Since we are expanding our Spa Section and want to provide more in-depth reviews on top of “you should know about this spa in say Singapore”, I made an attempt to reach out to San Francisco-based spas since I spend so much time here and do a round up of about a dozen or so over the next 6-9 months. Huntington Hotel’s Spa otherwise known as Nob Hill Spa was my first stop.
I wasn’t sure what to expect since any spa experience I’ve had to-date in the SF Bay Area has been largely for facials and they’ve been let’s just say “hit or miss.” Nob Hill Spa offers an array of massage techniques including deep tissue, Swedish, hot stone, reflexology, aromatherapy and acupressure, the latter of which isn’t an expertise that many spa practitioners are savvy about. They also offer body treatments, manicures, pedicures and of course facials.
Since I was about to embark on a mud bath a couple of days later (see our Calistoga write-ups this month), I opted for a facial at Nob Hill. They have a number of fabulous options to choose from including:
Spring Seasonal Facial: refreshes in three ways: oxy-mineral treatment, exfoliation, and aromatherapy. They do a two-in-one mask exfoliant which is a scrub and mask in one product – the scrub removes impurities from the skin and the mask provides more oxygen. Rich in pink clay, it supplies softness and radiance to the skin.
Darphin Divine Lifting Facial: Pierre Darphin´s unique aromatherapy facial uses hydrating botanical serums and essential oil elixirs to tone and redefine facial contours. This customizable experience for the senses is perfect for those who appreciate a thorough and stimulating facial massage. A lusciously fragrant double mask infuses skin with age-defying, radiance boosting ingredients.
The Ultimate Facial: This uses Babor’s Sea Creation products, thermophilus, pearl protein and sea silk complex to regenerate and hydrate for a radiant, glowing complexion. Additionally, they add a scalp massage and foot and hand rituals to complement the treatment.
Nourishing Seaweed Facial: Ideal for all skin types, this treatment gently removes dead skin and replaces minerals and vitamins, leaving your skin revitalized with a supple, moisture rich complexion. First, a mineral enriched seaweed serum is massaged into the skin, followed by a layer of hydrating cream with marine exfoliators, evening the skin’s texture. Next, a cooling, pure energy seaweed mask is applied, followed by a heat activated mineral-rich thermal mask that allows total penetration of all mask layers.
High Skin Refiner: Bring it on as they say. Who doesn’t want an anti-aging facial? The goal of this facial is to use products and techniques to fight free radicals, lines and wrinkles. The HSR patented lifting complex with soy isoflavones gives your skin an energy boost to leave it noticeably supple and lifted. They also do a neck and décolleté massage with a specialty mask and eye treatments as well.
Vitamin C Radiance Facial: After deep cleansing and double exfoliation, a rich layered lift-off masque with Vitamin C and seaweed is applied for maximum hydration and firming.
Classic European Facial : Presented in the classic European style, the European facial includes a deep cleansing enzyme treatment, steaming with extractions, specialty ampoules, massage and a hydrating mask.
I tried the High Skin Refiner facial which uses the Babor line. High Skin Refiner products feature active ingredients based on soy isoflavones for lifting and firming. The facial included a deep cleansing enzyme treatment with steam, extractions, face contour ampoule, facial and décolleté massage and mousse mask followed by a fleece mask, scalp massage, and foot treatment. Bravo!!!
What I loved most about the spa were four things: attention to detail and outstanding service that is a notch above many others in its category, the new tranquil Zen relaxation room across from the gym (whoever did the design nailed it – feng shui and all – see above though when I was there, the lights were dim, the music was soothing and relaxing so felt a bit more subdued than the photo shows), the Eucalyptus steam room (this is one of my favorite things and so few spas include the Eucalyptus which I love, love, love) and the view of the glorious city skyline.
In the pool area is also where the hot tub “lives.” Facing the pool is a window of glass with an amazing view. On the outside porch, you can order brunch and dine while taking in the view of San Francisco beyond. Grabbing brunch with a girlfriend while you’re waiting for your treatment or after your treatment is a perfect add-on to the experience.
There’s also a fireplace lounge as well and of course you can grab a meal downstairs as well – remember that the spa is part of the Huntington Hotel. While parking is not free, they validate for $15 which covers you for three hours. Luckily, I found a spot right outside on that massive tall hill that I was thankful I didn’t have to sweat my way up after having a facial.
It is located at 1075 California Street in San Francisco, California.