Best Day Spas in Chicago

Cold and cranky? We scoured the city for the top retreats to beat the winter blahs

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For Zenning Out: Allyu

Allyu’s relaxation tent
Allyu’s relaxation tent

Who knew that the old Montgomery Ward distribution center—a huge complex that now houses Groupon’s headquarters—is home to the most spiritual spa in town? Wafts of incense? Check. Sitar music? Check. Buddha statues for sale? Well, it is a business. Allyu’s big draw is its South-American-meets-South-Asian atmosphere, which evokes the saturated colors of Mira Nair’s Bollywood gem, Monsoon Wedding. Aspiring maharajas and maharanis can reserve 30 minutes in a private infrared sauna ($25; $20 with another service), where you can sweat it out, replenish with a provided carafe of cucumber water, and lather up with eco-friendly sage and lemongrass soap in a personal rain shower (no extra charge). Then head to the spa’s pièce de résistance: the relaxation tent, free and open to the public. Weary wanderers can find peace—and silence—while sitting on cushioned chairs surrounded by gossamer curtains. (Think classy hookah bar sans smoke and belly dancers.)

Allyu’s services skew toward Eastern techniques, such as shiatsu massage, eyebrow threading, reflexology, and chakra balancing, but more traditional offerings are available too. Brave enough to give Allyu’s shiatsu a whirl? Not for the faint of heart—or those with shoulder or knee issues—it’s an intense method where the therapist digs in her thumbs, then twists your arms and legs like a merry-go-round ($65 for 40 minutes). 600 W. Chicago Ave.;

Includes: Men’s services, express services, gym, pool


Photograph: John Faier



2 years ago
Posted by SpaConsultant

What surprises me is the proffering of these spas, albeit good choices all, as "day spas." It would be difficult for ANY genuine day spa to compete with a spa resort in terms of amenities, scope, scale, and the like. This list is profiling the best spas in hotels and resorts, and fortunately they happen to permit day guests. Now, we'd love to see a list of the best Day Spas as defined by the spa industry -- spas which have no association with an Inn, Hotel, or Resort property.

2 years ago
Posted by itsmyopinion!

what affiliation does allyu have to a hotel or resport? none. it's (or was) the best kept (day spa) secret in chicago!!!

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