These Are The Best Spas In Chicago

By Charlie Colville

4 months ago

How to navigate the secret wellness capital of the US


Craving a slice of calm? Whether you fancy a swanky spa experience, a steam in the sauna or a quiet massage in a boutique studio, Chicago is the best of both worlds when it comes to practicing self-care. To get you started on your wellness tour of this US city, we’ve picked some of the best spas in Chicago – enjoy.

The C&TH Wellness Directory

The Best Spas In Chicago

1. Aire Ancient Baths

Best For: Instagram-worthy experiences

With locations in London, Spain, New York, Copenhagen and, of course, Chicago, Aire Ancient Baths has become a world-renowned spa destination with a loyal cult following. The chain, which was founded in Spain back in 2001, specialises in thermal bathing experiences that range from super cold to super hot and feature steam, salt and jets. The Chicago branch has its own special charm – what with it being located inside an old factory in River West – that makes it feel like a quietly kept secret between friends.

Treatments To Book: It’s not floating in a pool; Aire is also home to skilled team of wellness specialists that can help create a relaxing itinerary, with experiences either for one or two (making this an excellent spa for couples). The spa’s signature Ancient Relaxing Massage 45′, which entails are full-body massage and tour of the thermal baths, seems just the ticket for those craving peace and quiet – while the Escape Together 60′ experience, which includes a massage for two, thermal baths access and a zesty fruit juice each, should prove that romance isn’t dead.

Address: 800 West Superior Street, Chicago, IL 60642

BOOK IT: beaire.com

2. K’Alma Spa at The Ritz-Carlton

Best For: Facials

Another big name on this list, The Ritz-Carlton is synonymous with grandeur wherever you are in the world – and Chicago is no different. The hotel’s K’Alma Spas-led wellness offering is everything you’d expect from a contemporary spa, but elevated. From the marble finishings to the warm lights and cosy treatments, every corner of this well-known spa is a quiet nook waiting for someone to relax in it.

Treatments To Book: Treatments here sit on the expensive side, but for good reason. Guests can work with the staff here on customised treatments that tackle the individual’s concerns and issues – which comes especially in handy when it comes to the facials. The 50-minute custom facial promises to help purify, hydrate, brighten and smooth your complexion through a tailored approach to your skin, and can be elevated with the help of add-ons like peels, masks, hand and foot massages and scalp rejuvenation sessions.

Address: 160 East Pearson Street at Water Towe Place, Chicago, IL 60611

BOOK IT: ritzcarlton.com

3. The Peninsula Spa

Best For: An urban oasis

If you want city-slick luxury, then you’ll want to pay a visit to The Peninsula. This global chain of hotels is home to many a glorious spa, but its Chicago outpost has been widely raved about since it opened back in 2001. The five star spa, which sits on the 19th and 20th floors of the hotel and is decked out in a mix of wood and slate, is comprised of eight treatment rooms and suites, a steam room, relaxation lounge, sun terrace, fitness centre and pool.

Treatments To Book: Bear in mind that treatments at The Peninsula sit on the slightly pricier side – although they are well splashing the cash. We love the sounds of the Pearl Infused Mineral Body Mask, which kicks off with exfoliation before a rich body mask comprised of pearl and conch shell extracts is applied, during which you’ll be treated a relaxing (and anti-aging) Facial Marma Massage.

Address: 108 East Superior Street, #2508, Chicago, IL 60611

BOOK IT: peninsula.com

4. Oxygen Spa Studio

Best For: Affordable experiences

 

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Fancy a spa day without breaking the bank? Then head down to this cosy massage studio in the heart of Chicago, which focuses on holistic wellbeing when it comes to its treatments. You won’t find a massive pool or steam room here, but the quiet ambience of the space – not to mention the soothing treatments, which start at the $65 mark – make it a hotspot for burnt out city dwellers.

Treatments To Book: Those in a rush (or on a tight budget) will appreciate Oxygen Spa Studio’s Swedish massage and its head, neck and shoulder massage, which both start at $65 for a 30-minute session – and if you want more, you can dial it up to an hour-long session for $104.

Address: 2638 W Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60622

BOOK IT: oxygenspastudio.com

5. Next Man Up

Best For: Men’s spa & wellness

 

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It’s not everyday you come across a spa catering exclusively to men’s wellness – but then again, Next Man Up isn’t anything like your average spa. This black-owned spa is on a mission to break down the barriers stopping men from practicing self-care, taking an educational approach matched with relaxing treatments designed to help you find the best version of yourself.

Treatments To Book: Next Man Up has a huge range of treatments to try out, from massages and manicures the haircare, waxing and specialised facials. If the latter takes your fancy, then we’d recommend trying the Masculine and Mature facial, which targets the signs of aging through a combination of vitamin C serum, retinol and hyaluronic acid-based products.

Address: 43rd Ellis, 946 E 43rd Street, Chicago, IL 60653

BOOK IT: @nextmanupspa on Instagram

6. Chuan Spa at The Langham

Best For: Chinese medicine

 

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A luxury spa with outposts across The Langham’s global network, Chuan Spa never fails to disappoint when it comes to experiences that help you wind down and settle into the moment. As is the case with its other locations, the approach here takes its cure from Chinese medicine – with a focus on the five elemental forces of Wu Xing: metal, wood, fire, water and earth. Make sure to try out all of the spa’s facilities while there, which include a 67-foot indoor pool, a hydro-vitality hot tub, an oriental steam room and eucalyptus and Himalayan salt stone saunas.

Treatments To Book: If you want to get your fill of all five elements, then opt for the Five Wu Xing Elements In-One treatment. Promising to transport those on the receiving end to ‘a state of relaxation you’ve never felt before’, the session consists of Po Sum On oil being applied to key pressure points, a full-body mud wrap, an acupressure massage and warm cleansing treatment.

Address: 330 North Wabash Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611

BOOK IT: langhamhotels.com

7. Chicago Bath House

Best For: Sauna experiences

For a steamier spa session like no other, pay a visit to Chicago Bath House. The venue has been a staple of Chicago’s wellness scene since 1906, and today comes with saunas, steam rooms, tanning beds and a menu packed with treatments. The icing on the cake? An onsite bar and restaurant, which will take your experience from fleeting visit to all-day destination.

Treatments To Book: When it comes to spa treatments, Chicago Bath House covers everything from mani-pedis and massages to all-over waxing sessions – but it’s the traditional bath treatments that many flock here for. If you can take the heat, opt for the Signature Platza treatment, which combined a traditional platza (a hot, aromatherapeutic bath filled with bundled oak leaves) and a soap scrub (a full-body scrub using a seaweed broom and hot soapy water).

Address: 1914 West Division Street, Chicago, IL 60622

BOOK IT: bathhousechicago.com

8. H2O House

Best For: Scalp care & head massages

If you’ve spent any time on TikTok, chances are you’ve come across those ASMR spa videos that show people on the receiving end of a toe-curlingly good head massage. Well Chicago, you’re in luck; there just so happens to be one of these very establishments on your doorstep. H2O House is a head spa based in Lincoln Park that focuses on cleansing, hydrating and revitalising the skin on your scalp – and if you love a good ‘before and after’ situation, the team’s special zoom-in camera that documents your scalp appearance throughout your visit makes this is the place to go.

Treatments To Book: You can’t go to H2O House and not look into their scalp services. If it’s your first time visiting, opt for the Hydration Base treatment, which comes complete with a scalp test, hair follicle purification and head acupoint session, as well as a neck and shoulder massage that will likely send you off into a peaceful sleep.

Address: 2360 N Clybourn Avenue, Chicago, IL 60614

BOOK IT: h2ohousechicago.com

Featured image: Jesse Schoff, Unsplash