When the world’s first Virgin Hotel (203 N. Wabash Ave., virginhotels.com) opened in Chicago earlier this year, it did so with a bit of fanfare. (Oh, you know, just a parade with Richard Branson dancing on a float.) The downtown venue opened its spa last week a bit more quietly, which is fitting for a hushed, subterranean space that has five cozy treatment rooms known as “cocoons.”
Since it’s in the Loop, the Spa at Virgin Hotels Chicago has services that can be scheduled into a hectic workday. There are 30-minute Swedish and deep tissue massages ($55 to $60 each) and a 15-minute acupressure face massage ($25). At a manicure bar lit with hanging Edison bulbs, polish changes ($18) can be conducted in a swift 15 minutes—an add-on massage ($10) only takes another ten. And to make the services even more lunch-break-friendly, a special spa menu sends customers back to the office with boxed-up meals from upstairs diner Miss Ricky’s.
But there are also services for leisure travelers and locals who have time to linger. The locker rooms are stocked with plush bathrobes for lounging in, and the spa lobby has cushy leather armchairs, a coffee table piled with books, and a vintage fireplace filled with glowing candles.
Before treatments, guests are invited to unwind in the co-ed Hammam, a steamy space that’s heated to 120 degrees. Signature treatments include the 90-minute Red Flower Hammam ($175), a “ritual of detoxification” that includes a coffee-based body scrub, a Moroccan clay body wrap, and facial and a deep-tissue body massage.
And for night owls, bachelorettes, and corporate party crowds, the spa stays open till 10 p.m.
The Spa at Virgin Hotels Chicago is located at 203 N. Wabash Avenue. Regular hours are 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. Find more information at VirginHotels.com.