D-stressing and D-compressing in the revved-up Motor City.
But metro Detroiters also know the importance of downshifting once in awhile. That's why the area is brimming with hideaways where folks can relax and recharge – and not just on special occasions. "Visiting a spa to pamper yourself doesn't have to be considered a treat," says India Washington, general manager of downtown Detroit's Woodhouse Day Spa. "In this stressful world, you never need an excuse to rejuvenate. It's a necessity."
When you're visiting The D from out of town, you can choose to build your trip around a spa experience or include it as a cherry on top. There are day spas tucked into shopping centers and charming downtowns throughout the area – including the destination locations featured here.
If you've got your money on an exciting stay in The D, look no farther than the city's casino hotels. Each offers an experience unique to that particular venue.
Take the MotorCity Casino Hotel, which puts a decidedly Detroit spin on its spa. The 8,000-square-foot D.Tour Spa defines urban luxury through private treatment rooms, thermal whirlpools, steam rooms and saunas, and rainshower facilities. The spa menu includes decadent treatments such as massages and body wraps. The Pink Cadillac Melt, for example, combines rose, geranium and ylang-ylang to hydrate and detoxify the skin.
In addition to its full complement of solo selections, this spa promotes packages for pairs. The D.Tour Couple's Suite begins with a sense-awakening body scrub in a secluded two-room treatment area. A private soak together in an illuminated hydrotherapy tub is followed by an application of warm mud to detoxify, mineralize and revitalize. Step into the Rain Room for an hour-long rinse, and finish with the signature MotorCity massage. Tables embedded with speakers allow you to hear and feel carefully selected music while highly skilled specialists work to release tension and restore energy.
Guests are invited to combine their spa experience with a workout in the state-of-the-art fitness center, outfitted with advanced equipment, including cardio machines mounted with personal entertainment systems. Complimentary bottled water and disposable ear buds are part of the package.
Stay-and-play packages also tempt visitors at the MGM Grand Detroit, which boasts the resort-style Immerse Spa. The 20,000-square-foot facility – which includes a Technogym fitness zone and an indoor infinity-edge pool – transports guests through a total sensory experience. An exclusive selection of seawater and marine extracts, exotic botanicals and customized aromatherapy treatments cover patrons from head to toe – from facials to pedicures.
The Immerse Spa's Signature Ritual massage and facial include an Indian Jasmine body mist, inhalation breath therapy, a guided relaxation power nap, topped off by a Japanese tea ceremony. The Bejeweled Escape is a specialty treatment that begins with a golden body scrub exfoliation, followed by a warm cocooning wrap. After a relaxing soak under the Vichy shower, an attendant applies gold-flecked body oil and a light dusting of shimmering powder, leaving you glowing for the evening.
There's a full-service salon to finish the look, and a special section called Emperor proves that men are more than welcome. The Smooth facial is tailor-made for those who endure daily shaving. The Repair massage includes hot mud to relax tight muscles. And the Player gives hardworking hands and tired feet some extra care.
The casino's Wolfgang Puck Grille offers spa-goers a selection of refreshments, including wine, salads and sandwiches, and a handful of desserts befitting the decadence of the spa, such as the Michigan Honey Crisp Apple Tart topped with almond cream and butterscotch sauce.
Greektown Casino Hotel presents the next best thing to an on-site spa: a ticket to paradise. Overnight guests will find a bed card detailing the decadent services they're entitled to at special prices when they take a short walk west to the Woodhouse Day Spa Detroit. Named the top day spa chain in America by DaySpa magazine in 2009, the Woodhouse has been delighting those who work and play in downtown Detroit for nearly four years.
Aromatic scents and soft music fill the air upon entrance, in stark contrast to bustling Woodward Avenue outside. Each visit starts with a wardrobe change into a luxurious robe and sensei pressure-point sandals, followed by a calming cup of tea or glass of wine. General Manager Washington says a good deal of their out-of-town patrons are baseball, hockey or football widows who would rather spend a day at the spa than in the stands.
Many of them are tempted by the Volcanic Stone Massage, when a therapist glides heated stones over the body to deliver a penetrating warmth that soothes stress and summons calm. Also popular is the Chakra Aromatherapy Massage, during which stones are placed on the body's seven Chakra energy points, creating balance.
Washington says men and women alike appreciate treatments such as these; the spa caters to groups of guys during bachelor party outings as well as couples looking for a romantic excursion. Whatever the case, the Woodhouse is happy to work with patrons to indulge their every need. "We turn to local vendors for flowers, champagne, specialty coffee – whatever our guests want and need to round out their visit," Washington says. "We have so many wonderful businesses downtown, and we're happy to share their premium products with clients."
Like the Greektown-Woodhouse arrangement, several metro Detroit hotels nurture special relationships with local spas to ensure top-shelf service for their guests.
In Rochester, for example, the luxury boutique Royal Park Hotel provides complimentary shuttle service to the nearby La Dolce Vita Spa. From its breathtaking location in an elegantly remodeled 1863 Victorian home, La Dolce Vita provides the exquisite service Royal Park guests would expect. Treatments range from rejuvenating salt scrubs and candlelit tandem massages to European facials and pedicures. Want to truly live the sweet life? Try the signature Resplendid Fruit of Eden package, which includes a white chocolate truffle sugar glow, a dark chocolate truffle body wrap, a Jacuzzi soak and a dessert of fresh fruit alongside a chocolate fountain.
Meanwhile, the Detroit Marriott Troy presents a Detroit Spa package that includes a deluxe guest room, breakfast and a treatment such as a Swedish massage or combination manicure/pedicure at Schenden's Spa, directly across the street from the hotel. Unique in that it's owned and operated by a doctor – Dr. Michael Schenden is chief of plastic surgery at William Beaumont Hospital in Troy – the spa offers the latest in safe medical treatments in addition to professional pampering. Of special note is the menu of services specifically for men, including the sport manicure and pedicure for weekend warriors.
Farther south, guests of the Dearborn Inn benefit from this Marriott hotel's affiliation with the nearby Om Spa. Offering serenity befitting its name, Om specializes in Western technologies combined with Eastern healing. Take for example the Zen Garden body polish: a fine-grained sugar scrub buffs the skin to enhance its natural glow, followed by a rinse in the Vichy shower and moisturizing essential oils scented with lavender, chamomile, honeydew or spearmint. There's something for everyone here, including women who are pregnant or have recently given birth. After choosing from an impressive menu of prenatal and postnatal options, mommy's skin is massaged and soothed with lotion until it's as soft as baby's bottom.
Finally, guests checking in to the upscale Townsend Hotel in downtown Birmingham will experience star treatment at its partner spa, Margot European Day Spa, which caters to the rich and famous – and you – with packages such as the Day of Decadence. Treatments include a stimulating body scrub followed by time in the Vichy steam capsule, an aroma-essence massage and a golden caviar manicure. Margot's popular private-label beauty products make lovely souvenirs of your trip to heaven.
Metro Detroit is always on the move, from work to play – and then to necessary downtime. So feel free to get your ahs at The D's many spas, to relax, rejuvenate and reflect.
Rebecca Kavanagh is a Farmington Hills writer who is passionate about pedicure
1. D.Tour SpaMotorCity Casino Hotel
2901 Grand River
2. The Dearborn Inn – A Marriott Hotel20301 Oakwood Blvd.
3. Detroit Marriott Troy200 W. Big Beaver Road
4. Greektown Casino Hotel1200 St. Antoine St.
5. Immerse SpaMGM Grand Detroit
1777 Third St.
6. La Dolce Vita Spa302 W. University Drive
7. Margot European Day Spa101 Townsend St.
8. Om Spa22070 Michigan Ave.
9. Royal Park Hotel600 E. University Drive
10. Schenden's SpaColumbia Center
201 W. Big Beaver Road
11. The Townsend Hotel100 Townsend St.
12. Woodhouse Day Spa Detroit1Lofts of Merchants Row in the
heart of Campus Martius
1447 Woodward Ave.
Heaven on Earth
If you're not a casino-goer or aren't staying at one of the hotels or casinos listed in Getting There, here are a few more splendid spas located across The D:
The Great Escape Spa
“Lafayette Coney Island, The Joe, Comerica, Ford Field, The Fox, and even the people mover...love me some Detroit no matter what. “ – Mike C.
Visit the Arctic Ring of Life exhibit at the Detroit Zoo. Voted the largest and best polar bear exhibit in North America.
Enjoy the Sounds of Summer at The Mall at Partridge Creek. Live music in the plaza every evening through Labor Day.
Visit Motown Museum, the muscial birthplace of stars such as Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, the Supremes and more.