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A tour of local spas

Consider handling your stress to the professionals

No, it's not a salad. It's perfect relaxation and detoxification at Olympus Spa in Lakewood.

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I expected Savi Day Spa inside Hotel Murano to be elegant, soothing and decadent. I was right on all counts. What I didn’t expect was the sensation of the amazing Vichy shower. I was lying on a cushioned table in a tile room. Jessica Glaser had just massaged my entire body with essential oils mixed with sea salts – a first for me. I was a massage virgin before I embarked on this journey. The room was dark and filled with steam allowing me to feel completely unconcerned with my state of undress. I was relaxed, calm and forgot completely who I was for a brief moment in time. She uncovered only the area of my body that she was working on. After being gently massaged and then fully draped head to toe she turned on the faucets of the vichy shower and the water fell over me as she swung the bar back and forth to rinse – an experience I can only compare to what it must feel like to be an infant in the womb: warm, wet and completely oblivious to the world. After the rinse she applied moisturizer. She shared with me that the concoctions used during this body scrub treatment were all hand mixed by another Savi employee, Brenda Zak, and were comprised of a mixture of sea salts, coconut oil and homemade aromatherapy essential oils mixed in a different flavor each month. Savi Day Spa offers a 15% discount on all services for military.

1320 Broadway Plaza, Tacoma WA. 253.627.2000


My Ayurvedic massage started with an offer of tea and a foot-soak in the waiting area. In the massage room awaited a cushioned bed-like massage table. My massage therapist that day was a woman named Michael Fredrick-Martinez. She performed the massage, with what I can only describe as tender loving care, by following one lymphatic system at a time. The whole massage was divine but when she lifted my arm to massage my shoulder I really thought I was in heaven. She explained to me that she works with the person’s energy in order to take the stress away making it important for her to find ways to release that tension from her body later with either massages from another therapist or some form of exercise such as running. She told me to drink a lot of water for the rest of the day because my body would continue releasing toxins. I left feeling much lighter and with a new respect for these spa’s and the very real benefits they provide.

4502 S Steele St, Tacoma, WA  253.472.9999


My friends call this traditional Korean women’s spa “The Naked Spa” because once you enter the main area even the robe they’ve given you is forbidden. Modest girl that I am I was dreading this experience. My tour guide sensed my trepidation and assured me that all women’s bodies were beautiful. Then I noticed that most of the other women were Korean and appeared to be passed retirement age. They didn’t care at all about my body issues so why should I? I was instructed to shower and sit in the hottest hot tub for 30 minutes. When they called my number I went into the adjacent room where there were 5 tables with four naked women lying on them. Each woman had her own attendant. I climbed up on my table and proceeded to have every inch of my skin scrubbed by a Korean woman named Wanda. They use scrub mitts and antibacterial soap to exfoliate. Wanda said she calls them her magic gloves. They rinsed us by tossing warm water from a bucket. Afterward my skin felt incredibly smooth. I told Wanda that I felt like a dolphin. I think she thought I was crazy. I was happy to get back in my clothes. 

8615 S Tacoma Way, Tacoma, WA 253.588.3355


When I called these spas’s to ask if they wanted to participate, I did not ask for any certain treatments, I asked them what they wanted to feature. Club Biella wanted to feature their custom facial and something called ionithermie with a seaweed, clay and algae wrap. When I arrived for my appointment and was shown to the room by manager and esthetician Bethanie Fritz who explained how theses electrodes would be attached to my target areas (for me this was derriere, stomach and thighs) and that for 30 minutes I would experience stimulation that for some can feel weird or uncomfortable. I thought, “You’re going to give me electro shock therapy?” But she said the results were immediate loss of inches of fat and cellulite. I was very nervous but I wasn’t about to scoff at instant skinny. The experience felt a little like sitting in a vibrating massage chair except for when it stopped and I could feel my muscles relax making me realize that my muscles had contracted during the stimulation sort of like they would during a work out. She said I would be sore the next day like I had climbed several flights of stairs. She measured me before and after the treatment and my combined number of lost inches was nine! She said I lost 2 inches from each thigh. Woh!

Then she took me to a different room where I got the most well-known spa treatment of all, the facial. This relaxing and soothing facial treatment was the perfect thing to follow the ionithermie. She deep cleaned, steamed, masked and moisturized my face, neck and chest and my skin felt absolutely resplendent when I left. She told me about the $100 a month membership which allows access to their indoor pool, sauna’s, workout room and spray tanning, valet parking, up to $100 in spa services and a 20% discount on rooms at the Courtyard Marriott hotel (which they share a building with). I think I know where I’m going to be this winter! Club Biella offers a 15% discount on all services for military.

1506 Pacific Avenue, Tacoma WA 98402 253.682.2005    


The local alternative to the big spas in town is a little place called Navarra Massage Center owned and operated by Antulio Navarra, Licensed Massage Practitioner. Navarra used to work for the bigger spas but decided to start his own practice four months ago. Though he doesn’t have saunas, hot tubs or fancy vichy showers, he does have a nice office downtown and gives great massages for a lot less money. Since he lives near his office and he is open by appointment, his hours are more flexible and it’s not unusual for him to see clients as late as 8 pm. My massage focused on my shoulders and neck because this is where I have felt the most tension lately. He was very adept at giving me a massage that felt good but also worked out some of the knots. He said his motto was to do a little feel good, do a little do good.

1742 Market Street, Tacoma WA 253.230.8060

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