I’m jumping back into the spa blogging business – so check back for monthly reviews of spas and spa treatments in Chicago and in whichever city I visit next!

My most recent spa visit wasn’t due to geographical proximity or a PR contact or even having heard of the spa beforehand. I saw a Groupon I couldn’t refuse. Chocolate peppermint massage and a cinnamon sugar body scrub for $67? I was like sign me UP. I don’t care where it is, I will get there!

The treatment was being offered at The Spa On Oak, a chic little second floor spa, overlooking the bustling boutiques and restaurants of the area. The waiting area is tiny but well appointed – I was offered a cup of tea or a mimosa as I arrived, even though there was nowhere for me to sit down until the other clients were ushered into their individual rooms. When I could, I sat to wait my turn. No sooner than I finished my tea, I was being called to a treatment room of my own.

A quick note on being a big girl at the spa…if you’re plus sized or tall, going to the spa can be frustrating. I’m just curvy enough that the standard spa robe leaves my private areas more exposed than I’m comfortable with. Some spas are good at assessing your size at the beginning, and will give you a robe that fits. I had to ask for one at The Spa On Oak – in general I’m so used to disrobing at the spa that I’m fine either way, but I know quite a few of my plus size amigas have felt embarrassed at having to deal with this delicate situation. It’s always best to speak up first and ask for a big, comfortable robe.

My masseuse turned out to be a beautiful natural haired bella by the name of Kim – she was AMAZING. Ask for her by name. Kim used the chocolate peppermint body oil and lovingly worked out all of the kinks and stress from my lower back and shoulders. Because I work on a computer all day, I tend to store my stress in my shoulders. By the time Kim was done with me, I felt loose, relaxed and remarkably stress free. Plus I smelled like a York Peppermint Patty! It was an incredible massage, and I’m already yearning to go back!

My body scrub was done by Nanda, an adorably bubbly blond who had to break down the news about the sugar scrub right away. The Spa On Oak primarily practices in massages and facials – NOT body scrubs. Because they don’t have shower facilities there. But for this Groupon, they decided to offer a somewhat innovative way to body scrub – instead of the treatment ending with a shower, it ends with you being wiped down with warm, wet towels. Nanda was super sweet about the whole thing, but I could understand why many of the Groupon clients might choose to turn down the sugar scrub after finding out how it worked. I chose to go ahead and it was fine…but definitely not the best or most relaxing body scrub treatment I have ever had. I could have done the same thing at home (and rinsed the sugar off after, too). But Nanda was so nice and professional, I didn’t mind as much as I might have. She also admitted that facials are her area of expertise, so the next time I return, I’ll be hitting up Nanda for one of those. She rocks!

And YES, there will be a next time. The Spa on Oak is a small space, but I was happy with the quality of service and the friendliness of the staff. If you’re looking for a deliciously relaxing massage or facial, you should check them out! And if you’re just looking for the next super discounted spa treatment in town – click here to sign up for Groupon!

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misslycia says:
January 26, 2011, 2:55 pm
OMG, a chocolate peppermint massage sounds delightful! Thanks for sharing your relaxing experience. I'll have to find a comparable salon in my city...
Buki says:
January 26, 2011, 9:21 pm
I wish you'd blog chicago salons also (wink wink) Did you ever end up finding one?
hair stylist Sheila says:
January 27, 2011, 10:06 am
Am a massive fan of Groupon and wish they had this in London. Thanks for sharing and beep posting S x
TheBrownBabe says:
February 3, 2011, 12:46 pm
Any recommendations for a good "stay spa" in Chicago? I'm contemplating a birthday weekend of spa bliss - am I crazy for wanting to brave the windy city in late March?
Keesha says:
February 6, 2011, 2:37 pm
The Spa on Oak was my worst spa experience ever. I had a massage by Kim also, which was not bad, but the facial left my normally smooth skin broken out and scarred! Two months later, I still have the dark spots on both cheeks and on my chin to prove it! Will not be going back :)
??? says:
August 17, 2011, 6:19 am
Great blog! thanks for the recommandations!