Practice self-care with a nourishing experience in Chicago | Courtesy of Scratch Goods
Accidentally partied too hard and need to detox, or just in need of some pampering? These are the best places in Chicago to soak away stress, salvage dry skin and clear your mind.
Ask someone what they know about Chicago and they will probably mention sports, pizza and The Bean– maybe Lake Michigan too. Healthy living and wellness trends don’t exactly pop to mind. The truth is, the city is filled with unique concepts that offer opportunities beyond the bar to slow down and reflect. So switch things up and reset at one of these five Windy City zen dens.
Soak away stress at AIRE Ancient Baths
Mas Salagros EcoResort | Courtesy of Mas Salagros EcoResort
This handsome soaking oasis indulges the senses at any time of the year, but there’s just something extra special about warming up inside during the winter months. Guests are greeted and led to a changing room before emerging into a stunning stone-clad enclave. Lit only by candlelight, the space encompasses six baths of varying temperatures and different salt densities created to hydrate, invigorate and soothe. After soaking, head to the steam room and sauna, or indulge in a treatment massage. Inspired by the tradition of baths from ancient Roman, Greek and Ottoman civilizations, Aire brings winter bodies into a trance of relaxation where life outside the bathhouse is forgotten for a moment.
Skin salvation awaits at this natural skincare DIY facial mask bar. Reserve one of 10 spots at the sun-lit counter and prepare to be guided through an invigorating skin revival. It starts with a hot steam compress followed by tea tree cleansing oil before you’ll mix up your own customized clay mask and experience the soothing sensation of brushing it onto your face. Awaken with coffee eye butter and a warm jade roller (yours to keep!) to finish. If you can’t get a spot at the bar, stop in to shop goods like the jasmine rose skin drink or the ultra-calming oat smoothie cleansing powder. All of the products are made in house from scratch using food-grade ingredients. Leave with dewy, hydrated baby-smooth skin prepped to soak in Chicago’s cold air like a cryo facial.
Craving to kickstart your week with something other than a loaded breakfast sandwich? Switch it up with a smoothie bowl at Wicker Park’s Graze. The plant-based café’s classic açai bowl blends the tart superfood with berries, bananas, coconut and cacao into an ice-cream-like consistency with a refreshing edge. And if you prefer to sip your smoothies, you can order one of those too; the menu offers salads and vegan protein drinks as well. All of the ingredients are naturally plant-based, gluten-free and thoughtfully sourced from around the world.
If you’re feeling sluggish, it might be a good idea to make an appointment with Giselle Wasfie at her integrative health studio. A board-certified acupuncturist and herbalist, she targets modern-day ailments with ancient techniques like acupuncture, cupping and reiki. Aside from being one of the most stylish doctor’s offices of all time, the space is filled with sprays, cleansers and balms all made in-house on foundations of herbal medicine to further encourage an internal and external body balance. “Winter months are super depleting; we’re living off of what we have stored inside,” probes Wasfie. “Acupuncture’s belief is that by balancing your internal body, it helps keep your immunity boosted and spirits lifted.”
Find a way to fit a little self-reflection into your daily grind at this modern meditation center. Focusing on streamlining mental clarity, awareness and emotional regulation, Chill offers both silent and guided meditation spaces. Drop in for a half-hour guided session and learn to realign with the grounding sensation of intentional breath. The teachers at Chill also lead yoga classes and retreats. A daily meditation practice has been proven to encourage better sleep while yoga is known to alleviate anxiety. Top this off with an approachable “no need to get naked” massage at Chill and head back to work feeling fresh.