Relax and Rejuvenate at These New Spas in SF

The lobby at L'Occitane by the Bay
The lobby at L’Occitane by the Bay

Just as December and the holidays herald a particular mood, so does the first week of the January. A new year brings grandiose visions of a new you with a clean body and calm mind. However, a week of green juices and Barry’s Bootcamp can be a shocking jolt to the system—that’s why a spa treatment, of the relaxing and rejuvenating kind, is just as important as your new mediation mantra. Luckily, there are two new exciting spas—L’Occitane by the Bay and Onsen—in San Francisco. Here is the 411 on these soothing de-stress centers.

L’Occitane by the Bay

A treatment room at the Ritz-Carlton's new spa
A treatment room at the Ritz-Carlton’s new spa

The Rtiz-Carlton San Francisco has debuted a gorgeous renovated spa—a collaboration with French skincare brand, L’Occitane. Although L’Occitane has spas and stores all over the globe, L’Occitane by the Bay is its first US spa location. Walk into the white-washed lobby with twinkling candles, the soothing scent of lavender heavy in the air, and you feel as if you’ve been transported to a chic spa in the south of France. Vases are filled with yellow flowers, the immortelle, L’Occitane’s signature bloom—the petite flower never loses its bright yellow color—and component of its anti-aging facial products. The spa offers an assortment of classic treatments—think deep tissue intense relief massages, hydrating and nourishing body polishes, and facials that leave the skin youthful and glowing. There are also three unique treatments developed specifically for L’Occitane by the Bay with locals in mind. The tech tension relief is a full body massage geared toward people who spend their days in front of a computer. The jet lag reviver, for the weary traveler, involves a stimulating massage and radiance-boosting eye treatment. With alternating hot and cold therapies, the microclimate treatment is meant to mimic the ever-changing weather of San Francisco. The spa is open every day, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. meaning you can get a quick foot massage before work or a revitalizing scrub before date night.


The soaking pool at Onsen
The soaking pool at Onsen

Photo Credit: Raquel Venancio Photography

For a traditional Japanese bathhouse experience, head to Onsen, now open in the Tenderloin. The spa, which was two years in the making, is from a husband and wife team, Sunny Simmons and Caroline Smith. Much in the way that L’Occitane by the Bay transports you to Provençal France, Onsen takes you to a serene Japanese salon. The front half of the spa is a small tea house that serves up Japanese-influenced seasonal cuisine like soft egg custard with Dungeness crab, shiitake, and yuzu and warm udon noodles with brussels sprouts, trout roe, and furikake; and an assortment of tisanes, kombucha, sake, and sochu cocktails. The back of the 3200-square foot space is devoted to the bathhouse, with six treatment rooms, dry sauna, steam room, cold plunge shower, and eight-person hot soaking tub. Alternative medicines, acupuncture, and massage are offered by a handful of local practitioners. Onsen is an ideal environment to unplug, soak in the soothing waters, and relax.