Chicago Spa Review: The Peninsula Spa

Spa visits are a luxury to be certain, but I firmly believe that they should be considered more of a necessity. Especially if you’re a busy woman who’s always stressed out and has no time for herself. If I’m describing you and your life right now, I’m telling you – a monthly spa date will change your life. Treat yourself to a monthly pedicure, or massage, or body scrub and while you’re at the spa, take the time to completely unplug and release your stress. If you work hard, you deserve it. And if you work hard and live in Chicago, you deserve a visit to The Peninsula Spa.

Typically, an experience at The Peninsula doesn’t come cheap. So right NOW is a great time to make an appointment – The Peninsula is participating in Spa Week and from April 11th – 17th they’re featuring a Deeply Nourishing Manicure or a Classic Pedicure for only $50 each!

A bit of backstory: I had heard The Peninsula was one of the best spas in Chicago, but when I actually did a bit of research into it, I found out why. The Peninsula Spa is part of the ESPA chain of spas. ESPA prides itself on having the absolute best spas in the world, complete with unique experiences no other spa is offering. I once was lucky enough to meet ESPA creator Susan Harmsworth, and she’s a remarkable woman with incredible vision. She personally travels around the world to ensure that the ESPA experience meets the intended standard.

The Peninsula Hotel is a Chicago gem. Glam, posh, and in a great location on the north side of downtown. The spa is hidden away on the top floors of the hotel, and feels completely removed from that super fance ambiance. The Peninsula Spa feels polished yet rustic. Serene and all natural. I felt relaxed as soon as I checked in and was offered the first cup of green tea in the lobby.
Each ESPA offers a unique spin on the spa chain’s East meets West philosophy, and this ESPA is no exception. Here you can enjoy Spa Journeys and Ceremonies, half-day or full-day experiences where you recieve back to back treatments. So for $310 you can have the Uplifting Mint Experience which includes advanced massage techniques for your whole body including your head, or the Spirit of Peninsula Body Treatment which begins with a foot bath and ends with a “detoxifying hand, foot, and scalp mask” and “awakening head massage.” In my visit to the Peninsula I didn’t get to indulge in a journey, but I did meet a woman who did and she couldn’t stop raving over how rejuvenated she felt after her experience.

I was lucky enough to get an aromatherapy massage from Mario, and if you’ve ever had concerns about having a male masseuse I assure you – if they’re a professional at an establishment with a meaningful reputation, do NOT hesitate. Male masseuses often have bigger hands and can give truly magnificent massages. I’d rather a male masseuse with large, soft hands than a female masseuse with small, strong hands ANY DAY. Mario was a professional to the extreme, and I can only hope he was complimented by my light snoring as I drifted off to la la land mid-massage.

The scalp massage – using ESPA’s Pink Hair and Scalp Mud, soothes your scalp and nourishes your hair. You’re recommended to wear it overnight after your treatment, and wash it out the next morning for significantly softer tresses. Note to self: buy a jar of this stuff! My hair was so fluffy and fabulous the next day!

Depending on the time of your ESPA treatment, you can come to the spa and make use of the pool, jacuzzi, or just lounge on the Turkish spa beds in the relaxation rooms. I chose to while away my time in the relaxation room, where there was no shortage of delicious spa water, flavored with different fruit depending on where you were located. Cucumber water, orange water, strawberry water – I drank it all. I was hydrated like you wouldn’t believe. I started making flavored water cocktails. Orange + strawberry = AMAZING, just so you know!

I was invited to The Peninsula to experience their aromatherapy massage, and I also got a special preview of their special Spa Week offer – a 60 minute pedicure.

Yes. You read that right. And it was everything dot com, dot org, dot biz and dot edu.

If you go to The Peninsula Spa and get a pedicure, ask for Aleks. She is incredible. And while most of the Peninsula Spa is almost reverentially quiet, the mani/pedi room is intimate and fun, a great place to go with a girlfriend or two to get your digits dolled up. For 90 minutes Aleks soaked, scrubbed, massaged, and pampered my feet, effectively exfoliating months of winter wear and tear. And after months of wearing heavy boots and earning their share of calluses and cracks, my feet were SO grateful for the hour of love. I chose Essie’s Lilacism for my pedicure – such a sweet, hopeful, Springtime kind of shade.

Typically the hour pedicure at The Peninsula Spa costs $85, so the $50 Spa Week deal is sweet indeed. And please remember my handy dandy Spa Week rules of engagement!

My experience at The Peninsula was absolutely awesome, and I’ll definitely be back. I’ve still got quite a few spas to review around the windy city, but I’m willing to say that this one’s in my top five favorites already. I’m already daydreaming of my next visit back!

Have you experienced an ESPA before? Are you signing up for a Spa Week deal near you? Tell me about your best spa experiences!

ps: last year I reviewed acupuncture for Spa Week, and the Ruby Room is offering it again for this year! So click to read about that experience if you’ve always been curious!

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Comments

  1. Spa visits are definitely a must for any girl, no matter what your budget is find a way!! It is a great way to decompress from all our day to day stressors. This spa looks like an excellent choice.

  2. Andrea (@LuvSunflower) says:

    Good read Bella! I have never been to the Pennisula Spa. It looks extra yummy, I am putting it on my (go to) spa list for this spring.

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