Best Of Dallas

Eight Best Spas in Dallas, Because You Really Need To Relax

In this hectic world full of traffic, student loans, and boring jobs, relaxation is an absolute must. Most of us don't budget enough time or cash to bliss out from time to time, which will probably mean that we'll all end up dead from all the stress of our fast-paced lives by the time we're 50. If you're interested in avoiding that early, overly-caffeinated death, going to the spa is an excellent way to recharge your batteries if vacation just isn't in the cards.

And sure, going to the spa is expensive, but so is the therapist that you're inevitably going to need after that nervous breakdown. You don't have to mortgage your townhouse to indulge in some of Dallas' best spa services, but you should occasionally save up your extra pennies to spring for a full she-bang spa day at one of these eight excellent places to get your zen on.

King Spa Korean spas aren't much like traditional day spas, but you'll find that they're equally relaxing. Created around the idea that sweating helps the body rid itself of whatever the hell "toxins" are, King Spa has an assortment of dry saunas, hot tubs, and traditional spa services that will totally chill you out. In addition to the traditional jimjilbang-style spa, you'll also find a massive indoor waterpark with powerful massaging jets that can knead your sore muscles if you're too broke to spring for an actual massage. Here, you can have a full twenty-four hours of spa experience for less than $30, which is perfect for people who can't justify spending half a month's rent on traditional spas.

Hiatus Spa It isn't often that you'd call a luxury spa a "bargain," but Hiatus Spa + Retreat is the closest thing to budget-friendly in the world of fancy day spas without skimping on the full, relaxing experience. For just $250, you can indulge in three of Hiatus' most popular services, including mani-pedi, facial, and massage, in a 3-and-a-half hour spa package. Hiatus also offers acupuncture, full-body treatments and a thing called "relaxing waxing," which is probably less zen-inducing than it sounds.

Woodhouse Day Spa Tucked into the Shops at Legacy, you would miss Woodhouse Day Spa if you weren't looking for it. It's a tiny little oasis, but that's definitely part of this spa's charm. Woodhouse Day Spa's signature four-person massage is expensive, but totally worth the splurge. Having two people work on all those stress knots in your shoulders will make you feel much richer than you actually are, which is at least part of the fun in spending too much money on relaxing at the spa.

Spa Castle Spa Castle is Dallas' newest Korean spa, but it's got plenty of amenities that make it more appealing to our puritanical American sensibilities. The pool area is outdoors, but it's much more extensive than King Waterpark. Wander into a lagoon-style hot tub with a massive waterfall, or post up in the massive pine-ensconsed hot tub in the middle of the pools. The pine aroma is said to be relaxing, and you can get a big dose of fresh suburban air while you bliss out in the hot water.

Exhale Going to the spa is just as much about staying healthy as it is relaxing, and Exhale at The Highland Hotel takes a holistic approach to the whole experience. There's a full menu of daily yoga, barre, and Pilates classes that don't cost that much more than a regular gym membership, plus you'll have access to Exhale's swanky eucalyptus-scented steam rooms and discounts on the spa services that you're inevitably going to purchase. Even if the gym isn't your thing, a one-off experience at Exhale every few months will make you at least feel healthier.

Halcyon Days Salon & Spa A spa in the middle of a massive shopping mall doesn't sound much like a retreat, until you remember that Halcyon Days Salon & Spa is located inside Northpark's massive Neiman Marcus outpost. As with any experience at a Neiman Marcus, you're immediately transported to the land of the One Percent, a luxurious place where bill collectors and instant ramen don't exist. If you can afford a full day at Halcyon Days Salon & Spa, which may be around the same price as a short vacation, you should definitely take full advantage of your wealth and get there immediately. The massage services are particularly indulgent, and the adjacent hair salon is a great place to splurge on a trim or blowout.

Rosewood Spa At The Crescent There is no place more Dallas than than The Crescent, and the Gwyneth Paltrow-endorsed Rosewood Spa is old-school Dallas at its fanciest. Services like massage and facials are pricey here, but the practitioners are extremely knowledgeable at making you feel totally blissed out. Even if you can't afford a full spa day, you can relax after a massage in the spa's dated but luxurious lounge. Take full advantage of the mandatory (free) cucumber-infused water, crappy daytime television, and fluffy robes, then linger in the showers and sauna (fully stocked with cucumber-melon shower gel a la 1999) until it's time back to head back to the real (middle-class) world.

Espa The Joule is yet another of Dallas' swankiest hotels, but the relatively new Espa is a modern take on the spa experience. Instead of booking specific services, you'll schedule a block of time and meet with a therapist that will help you figure out what your tired ass needs. Traditional mud wraps and deep tissue massage get hippy-dippy twists, like "vibrant energy play" that will center up all your unbalanced energies. Budget a little extra cash to splurge on Espa's signature spa products, like their addictive ginger-scented lotions and soaps. If you're broke, just swipe a sample from the room service cart.

KEEP THE DALLAS OBSERVER FREE... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Amy McCarthy