I’ve never been to a spa before. The closest I’ve been to a spa is the one I walk by nearly every day that has a picture of an older man hitting another man with a tree branch. Fortunately, my experience at the spa at dana was nothing like that unsettling image. As I experienced their “tune up package” as part of a men’s media night, the stress of a long work week slipped away. If men only knew what going to the spa was like, they’d be there every day.
Walking into the spa at dana
Though located at the dana hotel at 660 N. State Street— also put their breathtaking Vertigo Sky Lounge on your to do list—after I stepped out of the elevator, I had no idea I was in a busy hotel or noisy city. The spa has its own floor completely separated from any noise or chaos. After being greeted at the front desk, I was shown to the men’s locker room, right next to a small fitness area, where I changed into a big fluffy robe and slippers. The locker room also houses showers with incredible pressure and a steam room that was just pure hot, foggy steam.
The Relaxation Room
After changing, I was taken to the Relaxation Room, the place where you wait for all of your treatments. It’s a cozy, windowless room with lounging chairs, dim lighting, and the artful, skeletal remains of dead trees. For the media event, we were treated to a selection of small sandwiches, sushi, and other tasty bites, along with an Old Fashioned or beer. The men’s “tune up” package includes a cocktail during your “sport pedicure,” but since it is a hotel you’re welcome to order up any food or drinks you want.
Deep Tissue Massage
My first treatment of the night was a deep tissue massage in a darkened room lit by a candle and sound tracked by soothing, ambient music. The massage chair was heated and I was under heavy sheets, very cozy. During the treatment, the masseuse rubbed warm oil over me, put a hot towel on my back to loosen me up, and worked me over from neck to legs. As someone who is mostly stuck sitting and typing all day, I can get pretty stiff, but I felt the tension of the day disappear and I was relaxed and ready to enjoy the next treatments.
Since American men are often taught to consider any sort of beauty regimen as too “feminine,” many men don’t even learn basic skincare leading to dry or overly oily skin and premature aging. Getting a facial once in awhile helps to repair your skin and believe me, you’ll never believe how smooth your face can feel.
The facial room was similarly dark, but filled with bottles of lotions, cleansers, and creams, along with an overhead lighting machine that you might find at a dentist office. During the facial, I laid back on the table as my esthetician cleaned, exfoliated, and moisturized my face. I learned more about my skin type and proper skincare as she opened the pores with a hot towel and put a cleansing mask over me.
I was genuinely surprised to find the facial to be even more relaxing that the massage. As my face, shoulders, and necked were cleansed and gently rubbed, I became so at ease I felt myself nearly drifting to sleep. Honestly, I was very surprised how much I loved getting a facial and would easily get one again.
Again, many men might feel that a pedicure is all about getting your nails painted, but there’s quite a bit more to that. Plus with the warm weather you probably want to wear sandals, and likely your feet look pretty gnarly. Trust me: no one wants to look at your hobbit feet.
The pedicure started with a fresh Old Fashioned cocktail and slipping my feet into a very hot bubbling blue bath. From there, my pedicurist started by scraping the bottom of my foot as an embarrassingly large amount of dead skin fell off. From there, she cut and shaped my nails, massaged my feet with a hot towel, and moisturized them. Afterwards, my feet didn’t feel like mine they were so smooth.
While very relaxing, I liked that getting a pedicure was more social. All of the women that treated me were very friendly, but here I could have a conversation with the people around me—and drink. As I got up, I asked my pedicurist about how she felt taking care of people’s feet. She told me she took great pride in her job because “feet carry the weight of our souls.” We only get one body, and a trip to the spa is a great way to treat it right.
Having never been exposed to spa culture before, this was truly an eye-opening experience. After a night at the spa at dana following a stressful week at work, I felt more relaxed and much more at peace. My skin was smooth and my muscles limber. I would 100% go back to the spa at dana.
The spa is open Monday through Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. and Sunday, 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Reservations can be made online or by calling (312) 202-6040. The three-hour men’s tune up package is $380, and all these treatments, and many more, are available individually.
the spa at dana
660 N State St, Chicago, IL 60611