Politics, wildfires, gas prices, inflation... You need a massage!
One of the brightest benefits of the end of the pandemic? Massage therapy is once again kosher. Though some spas are still requiring proof of vaccination, our longtime favorites are all back to business as usual offering bodywork along with relaxing and cutting-edge enhancements in soul-soothing urban spaces.
Here's where to get kneaded in the Bay Area now.
The Best Massages in San Francisco
At Suchada's three SF locations, Thai massages are given the traditional way: on floor mats in soft cotton Thai-style pajamas.
(Courtesy of Suchada)
When it's holistic inner balance you seek, head to one of Redmint's two serene-chic SF locations where you can team your bodywork with an array of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practices and enhancements including acupuncture, LED and infrared therapies, oxygen blasts, earseeding, hydrafacials, and more. The wide range of massage modalities on offer include your more standard fare—therapeutic, prenatal, lymphatic, Swedish—plus more specialized services including chi nei tsang, myofascial release, and cranio-sacral. Bodywork is typically offered in 50-, 80-, and 100-minute sessions; memberships with discounted pricing are also available. // 2044 Fillmore St. (Pacific Heights), 1958 Union St. (Cow Hollow), redmint.com
Kabuki Springs & Spa
If you're in the mood for Kabuki's signature communal bathing experience, the hot and cold pools, saunas, and steam rooms have finally reopened post-pandemic. We love to stick with the theme here and book a shiatsu massage, maybe even with added cupping, but CBD, Swedish, deep pressure, and prenatal massages are also available ($120-$150 for 50 or 80 minute). Feeling fancy? Add on a foot scrub, or consider getting a facial, too. Proof of vaccination is required for all massage and body treatments. // 1750 Geary Blvd. (Japantown), kabukisprings.com
Suchada Thai Massage
We're all for the lavish, luxurious spa massage experience—the oils, the heated beds, those hot stones, and gentle hands. But at the end of an average work week, when we're wearing our shoulders as earrings and our bank accounts won't quite cover pampering at a chichi hotel spa, we need something down and dirty. In such dire moments, we go straight to Suchada Thai Massage, where we can have a 90-minute
beatdown rubdown that leaves us feeling like jello. Suchada is a more budget-friendly option than most, and they even offer 15 percent off on Thai massages before 3pm Mondays through Thursdays. If at any point you feel that your therapist is definitely about to break your arm/leg/back/neck, that's normal. Just keep breathing. // Three locations in SF; suchadathaimassage.com
Michelle Bravo, founder of EOS Massage, has a few gifts to share. She is highly skilled in such divergent practices as lymphatic drainage massage, aromatherapy, and life coaching. With a holistic approach to healing, Bravo whips our minds and muscles into shape in no time with treatments that include decoding our star charts and untangling neck knots. But it's that detoxifying lymphatic treatment ($200/60 minutes) that is a must. // 450 Sutter St., Suite 2011 (Union Square), eosmassage.com
Follow up your hike in the Presidio with a treatment at this 15-year-old serene retreat where the lengthy menu of decadent services includes not just several types of massage—think gua sha, shiatsu, acumassage, Swedish, lymphatic and, of course, deep tissue—but also a variety of healing add-ons including reiki, acupuncture, hydrafacials, and waxing. Come to think of it, you should make a day of it—just be ready to show proof of vaccination. // 1161 Gorgas Ave. (Presidio), senspa.com
The Best Massages in Marin
IO at Marin Country Mart can also be your one-stop-shop for clean beauty products from local brands In Fiore, Vintner's Daughter, and IO's own Essentials collections.
(Courtesy of International Orange)
This sunny space at Marin Country Mart is a decadent reason to take the ferry across the bay. Signature, deep tissue, and pre- and post-natal massages are always on offer, but times are stressful so why not splurge on the In Fiore massage ($170/60 minutes), which utilizes products from SF's beloved botanical beauty line. Be sure to allow ample time to soak up some rays on the outdoor deck and to peruse top-notch skincare—from brands including Vintner's Daughter, Goop, and IO's own Essentials—in the spa shop before you head out. IO also offers memberships starting at $135 per month // 2421 Larkspur Landing Circle, Suite 43 (Larkspur), internationalorange.com
The Best Massages in the East Bay
The beauty of booking a massage at the Claremont? Access to the hotel's famous pool.
Claremont Club & Spa
This Forbes Four-Star Award–winning spa features CBD massages (and facials), deep tissue work, and calming prenatal body therapy. But what makes this oasis extra special is its location inside the historic Claremont hotel. Book the Fit and Refresh Retreat package for luxury accommodations, one 50-minute massage or facial, a private fitness training session, and free access to the famous, refreshing pool (spa-only guests can get access for $50). Spa treatments are available Thursdays through Saturdays. // 41 Tunnel Road (Berkeley), fairmont.com
House of the Home
Few of us humans are as intimately acquainted with our bodies—their structure and the way they move—as the dancers among us. When Bethiah Rosa was forced to suspend her dance career due to injury, she turned to massage not just for healing but also for her next act. Now, from her private studios in both Oakland's Grand Lake neighborhood and in Santa Cruz County, Rosa is bestowing her gifts upon us with Swedish, deep tissue and CBD massage, offered in 60-, 75-, and 90-minute sessions ($100-$185); for an extra fee, she'll come to your home. Interested in Reiki? She also offers this Japanese energy healing modality. // 3654 Grand Ave. (Oakland) and 2955 Park Ave (Soquel), houseofthehome.com.
For relaxing afternoons in the Town, Piedmont Springs is a preferred destination thanks to its four private outdoor hot tub sanctuaries. Melt your problems away during a one-hour steamy session for up to four people, then team it with a 60-minute massage for ultimate R&R. Swedish, sports, deep tissue, and maternal massages are offered ($90-$125). // 3939 Piedmont Ave. (Oakland), piedmontsprings.com
The Best Massages in the Silicon Valley
When in Silicon Valley, decompress inside the Rosewood Sand Hills ambient Sense Spa.
(Courtesy of Sense Spa)
Sense Spa at Rosewood Sand Hill
In a time when travel isn't so much on the table, a day trip to Menlo Park's Sense Spa, inside the Rosewood Sand Hill hotel, checks the box for a much-needed escape. Ninety-minute massages are offered in Swedish, deep tissue, and pre-natal modalities, and all the organic lotions and potions are as luxe and aromatic as you like. Get your tips and toes in order for spring by finishing your spa day with a manicure and/or pedicure using nail care products from Margaret Dabbs of London. // Rosewood Sand Hill, 2825 Sand Hill Rd. (Menlo Park), rosewoodhotels.com