With three restaurants, a pool deck and 40 guest rooms, the city is abuzz about the new hotel in town. Though parts of Soho House Chicago (113–125 N. Green St.) are restricted to its private group of members, the hotel designed its Chicago outpost to include the first public-facing Cowshed Spa in the U.S.
With seven locations in the U.K., spa-goers across the pond know the Cowshed name well. Stateside, the brand is relatively new. Spa director Christina Russillo, who compares the popularity of Cowshed in the U.K. to Bliss in the U.S., explains the name is a tribute to the spa's British roots. The first Cowshed Spa in Somerset, England was built inside an old cow barn, and the brand keeps a bit of that rustic charm in all of its upscale spas.
The treatment to try at Cowshed: the humble pedicure. While cities like Chicago and New York have a nail salon on every corner, they're far less common in the U.K., Russillo says— and much more lavish. After sinking into one of six tufted arm chairs, guests are offered headphones to their own individual television, a cup of tea, and a fluffy pillow to place on their lap. A nail tech uses an exfoliation drill to make feet baby soft and a shoulder and scalp massage tops everything off. The experience is highly indulgent, and reflected in the price— the 75 minute Ultimate Cowshed Pedicure costs $65, but speedier treatments for less are also available.
Also at Cowshed are five pleasantly large treatment rooms for facials and body treatments (try the popular Moody Massage for $105, tailored with essential oils if you're feeling "grumpy," "lazy," or "knackered"); and two men's grooming chairs in a classic British barber shop setting. The spa also has a retail area to house its entire line of products, with names like Grumpy Cow Shower Gel, Dirty Cow Hand Wash and Horny Cow Bath and Body Oil. Along with cheeky names, the bottles have quality ingredients inside—all of Cowshed's products are made in England with organic and fairly-traded plant extracts and essential oils.