My Mini Vacation at Burke Williams Hollywood
Do you ever just feel really burnt out? Too many stressful things going on at work or at home, muscles aching, brain fried, and you just need some me-time? That’s how I’ve been feeling lately, so I decided to take a mini vacation in the middle of the week. Like most of you, I can’t just take off and go to Bora Bora anytime I want, so I did the next best thing – a Burke Williams spa day! Actually not even a whole day – just a half day off work – to recharge and fix my angry computer-jockey muscles.
I went to the newly relocated and remodeled Burke Williams Hollywood location – just down the street from me on La Brea (a block and a half up from Santa Monica Blvd). One thing I love – THEY HAVE A PARKING STRUCTURE (and parking is validated with any service)! If you live in the city, you know how exciting a parking lot can be (I know that sounds a little bit nutty if you don’t, but trust me – it’s like finding gold!).
I booked an 80 minute Pure Relaxation massage, and made sure to get to the spa 30 minutes early so I could take advantage of the giant hot tub, wet sauna, dry sauna and cold misting room. The best time to go is the middle of the day during the week – it’s not crowded at all, and perfect for a quick stay-cation spa experience. I put my hair in a bun, changed into my bathing suit (you can choose to go completely au natural if you want), grabbed my oversized robe, and went for a soak. The amenities are in the men’s and women’s locker rooms, so it’s very private.
Afterward, I took a quick shower. All the in-shower (body wash, shampoo, conditioner) and locker room hair and skincare amenities (hair styling products, makeup remover, cleanser, toner and moisturizer) are from H2V, Burke Williams’ cruelty free house brand (please note that if you plan to book a blow out in the separate salon area, or a nail service, you’ll need to bring your own cruelty free products – call ahead to confirm). They also sell tons of cruelty free brands like Kneipp and Eminence.
The Hollywood location also has a really cool “Custom Blend Alchemy Bar” that I was able to try out at the grand opening celebration months ago. You can have a custom blended aromatherapy spa product made up on the spot. There is an iPad with several options to choose from, or you can have them mix up something based on scents you enjoy.
After my shower, I went to the super cute Southern California-inspired lounge (how cute is the faux skylight?). Normally, I would have some hot tea and drink some more spa water (OMG the spa water – it’s legendary!), and chill for a minute, but this time I was running a bit late, so my massage therapist, Daphne, was waiting for me. Daphne was seriously a delight. I apologized for running late and instead of the forced smile I expected from someone who is on a schedule of clients all day, she gave me a huge smile and said, “Don’t worry – we have plenty of time!” The massage itself was amazing. I am no stranger to massages since my muscles are always in knots – and I’ve had my share of good and bad ones. She did an amazing job and really listened to my needs, areas to concentrate on and areas to avoid. She added in a little bit of light stretching which I REALLY needed, and a scalp and facial massage (with coconut oil). During the massage, she put my robe into a heater, so at the end, I got to slip into a warm, cozy robe. We also talked about my ALWAYS-swollen legs and feet, and she suggested I come back for a lymphatic drainage massage. I am definitely going to try that out soon!
After the massage, I popped into the dry sauna again for a bit, and then headed over to the sink area to clean my face and moisturize. Then I got dressed, grabbed my makeup kit, and threw on some foundation and bronzer. I could have done my hair and really glammed up (there are hair dryers and curling irons available), but I was just heading back to my computer to work, so I didn’t bother.
It’s amazing what a little self care time can do for your mind and body. I was only gone for about four hours, but it felt like a mini vacation. Ahhhhh! Check out the Burke Williams website to see what specials they have and which locations are closest to you. There’s also a membership option if you’re a regular spa-goer. So, tell your boss you need the day off (or even a half day) and treat yo’self!