Destination: Relaxation

The Ivy Spa Club becomes the Twin Cities’ first destination spa.

The words destination spa might conjure up thoughts of a quick flight to Arizona—or a road trip to Chicago—but now, it’s a leisurely jaunt to downtown Minneapolis.

Tucked inside the historic Hotel Ivy, the 17,000-square-foot spa includes a cafĂ©, fitness center equipped with Matrix machines, cold plunge showers, whirlpools, saunas, and more. Despite its size, it doesn’t feel at all corporate. Clients are encouraged to come early and stay late—if you’ve purchased a service, all the resources are at your fingertips, so soak, steam, sweat, read in your robe, eat, and raise and lower your pulse to your heart’s content.

“It’s a one-stop shop,” says Pam Margolis, owner of the multifunction spa. “It’s less stressful than driving around everywhere.” And don’t worry, the 5,000-square-foot gym is definitely far enough from the treatment rooms to avoid the noise pollution.

Following today’s green trend, the environmental impact and design of the spa was carefully considered. Floors are made of bamboo, employees wear uniforms made from hemp, and the spa recycles when possible. “A spa is a place for wellness,” Margolis says. “If you’re concerned with the well-being of the body, you have to be concerned with the well-being of the earth.”

To that end, Margolis hired California–based La Natura to design the spa’s scrubs, soaps, lotions, and hair care products. After a few months of research, La Natura and Ivy landed on the signature scent: a mouth-watering, citrusy blend of grapefruit, lavender, tangerine, and Paraguayan mate leaves. Neither masculine nor feminine, youthful but not young, the scent is energizing and uplifting. (The lotion—my canary in the coal mine when testing beauty product lines—is very moisturizing and long-lasting.) Facial products include Pevonia and B. Kamins, a scientific, fragrance-free line made for sensitive skin, and OPI for nails.

Locker rooms are nicely appointed with showers, a large vanity, tons of grooming products, ultrasoft towels, robes, and sandals, plus keypad-enabled lockers—and they create the perfect corridor to the extravagant services. The Ivy Ritual Treatment is a standout—jojoba full-body exfoliation, hydrotherapy milk bath, antipuffiness eye mask, and full-body massage. The room with its large soaking tub that emits chromatherapy is relaxing. It’s an amazing getaway, fully worth the nearly three hours and cost ($360).

Other specialty services include both mother-to-be and new-mother massages, the Asiana Journey (bamboo, ginger, and green tea exfoliation, followed by a rice milk body wrap and massage), Caviar facial, and the Honeymooner’s package (massages, facials, and wine and fruit in your Hotel Ivy suite).

An express manicure over lunch or a weekend of pampering—you choose. Ivy accommodates all that and more. Forget about Arizona and pack your bags for 11th Street instead. Historic Ivy Tower, 201 S. 11th St., Mpls., 612-343-3131. Memberships are available.