Fashion / Beauty

The Men’s Guide to Dallas Spas

Great Destinations and Treatments for Savvy Gentlemen

BY

Updated: December 28, 2020

After landing back in Dallas in late 2015, I was fortunate to have a friend give me a referral to the amazing Alexis Karavas. She has a small, boutique space off Northwest Highway and a who’s who list of clients (that, understandably, she is very hush-hush about). I’ll just give a teaser: she works with some Bravo-lebrities and some art world notables. I try and get in to see her twice a year when my face is feeling weathered and slightly sagging.

On my most recent visit, I asked her some things about how she treats male versus female clients.

I work on 10 to 15 men a month,” Karavas shares. “Their biggest complaints are broken capillaries, congestion, and sun damage. These guys are active. Since we are in Dallas and inundated with the sun — using an SPF is crucial! I have my male clients on a super streamlined routine so it’s easy and involves fewer steps.” 

Given she has been in the field for going on two decades, I ask if she’s begun seeing more men come in regularly in recent years.

“My male clientele has definitely spiked in the last five-plus years,” Karavas says. “I use a lot of gentle enzymes, light microdermabrasion, radio frequency and oxygen on them. Men have thicker, tougher and oilier skin so it tends to get congested easily — so a good exfoliation for them is usually needed. I give them a bit of a lift /tightening with radio frequency and top it off with oxygen to rehydrate.

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“In general guys are taking way better care of their skin.”

Karavas adds with a wink, “I think it has to do with their partners pressuring them to take their skin seriously.”

I‘ve found that a big obstacle for many men to take care of their skin is simply not knowing where to go. Here, I’ve compiled a guide to the best spas and treatments for the Dallas man.

A Booze-Infused Massage

Spa Adolphus at the famed downtown Dallas hotel of the same name offers high-end treatments specifically tailored to gentlemen as well. A four-hour package, The Dallas Man, entices potential clients with: “Working downtown or on a dude ranch leaves your muscles feeling tired.” In addition to a “man-a-cure” they offer pedicures, facials, and assorted body treatments as part of their men’s services menu.

Spa Adolphus
The 1912 Treatment will make your skin happy at Spa Adolphus.

Also, a new offering which isn’t on the particular Dallas Man menu, but seems like it would be of interest to gentlemen is the boozy, 1912 Body Treatment. The 1912 Body Treatment is inspired by the hotel’s signature cocktail, the 1912 – their riff on an Old Fashioned. The treatment is a deconstructed cocktail, spa-style, with earthly minerals blended with essences of Grapefruit, Black Pepper and Angostura Bitters. It begins with a calm mind inhalation and energy balancing ritual to soothe the spirit and settle into deep relaxation, utilizing rehydration neroli water, a lavender eye pillow and the rose porfyr stone placed on the heart chakra.

The earthly minerals then perfectly polish away dry skin during a body polish treatment. A warm-stone back, neck and shoulder massage follows to address any stress or tension. It is finished when you are wrapped in a warm cocoon and treated to an incredible foot and pressure point scalp massage. The 80-minute treatment is “topped off” with a serving of the 1912 cocktail which can be enjoyed post-treatment in the spa’s chic outdoor patio. 

When visiting with Spa Adolphus director Amy Bell she shared similar thoughts as to what I heard at the Anatole. The majority of the Adolphus Spa’s business is women (likely a 60/40 split), but having worked in the industry for well over a decade, she is also definitely seeing more men come as clients.

Say Yes to the Body Scrub

The V Spa at the Hilton Anatole recently revamped and relaunched its gentleman’s menu of services. I visited with Sara Long, spa manager, to learn more. She has seen men become more interested in V Spa’s face, body and nail services, but still, the bulk (like 80 percent) just come in for massages.

My first appointment for my V Spa afternoon was for a body scrub. It was a lot like a massage, but instead of lotion, a cream with abrasive (but still soothing) particles was used. The room in which this treatment is done has a shower inside for washing off when finished. My body definitely felt clean and rejuvenated and I would probably be interested in getting something like this done annually in light of all of the dead skin that seems to accumulate.

One of the additional benefits that many spas located in high-end hotels offer is the use of their fitness facilities (which often come with extensive workout equipment, saunas and pools). V Spa guests can enjoy same-day usage of the member’s only Verandah Club, conveniently located in the same building. The gym has vast selection of cardio equipment and free weights and machines.

 

New Day Spa on the Block

I was happy to hear that Woodhouse Spa was opening amid the pandemic at Mockingbird Station. First off, I tried a gentleman’s hot towel facial, followed by a gentleman’s manicure and pedicure, then finally a gentleman’s deep tissue massage. I spent most of my afternoon there and never once did I bump into another customer that day — all doors remained closed and no one was using the lounge area. Also, in the nail room, they’ve purposely limited the amount of clients they are servicing.

Inspired by the Harry Styles of the world, I toyed with the idea of getting a festive color on my nails. Alas, I went classic and safe with a simple buff and clear polish.

 

Treat Your Toes at the Crescent

The Spa at the Crescent in addition to a full slate of treatments offers a Gentleman’s Manicure/Pedicure. That is what I tried and I thoroughly enjoyed my hour of grooming and pampering. My specialist shared that he gets many repeat clients and is finding more and more retired men coming in regularly for a variety of treatments.

These facilities feel like a true men’s health club with an attendant that manages the locker rooms (if you are a day guest you can receive a locker for your visit should you choose to use the other amenities). In the locker room area, you will find fully equipped dry and wet saunas, a cold pool, a quiet/nap room, television area, and private showers.

Crescent Spa
The well-appointed space for a man-acure and pedicure.

Apparently, quite a few sports stars stay at the Hotel Crescent Court and then utilize the health club. As a result of frequent requests and the popularity of the cryo trend, they have recently purchased a cryosauna. I took a whirl in the space-age look contraption and have to say I was impressed. I won’t go into the details of the science of this treatment, but suffice to say numerous research has shown that it is in fact extremely therapeutic, particularly for those who are extremely athletic and suffer from sore muscles.

After stripping down to my workout shorts I was asked to put on socks and gloves. Then you enter the chamber (it’s vertical, so you are standing) and then once it started was told that I could slowly rotate my body for the three minutes I was planning on staying in the sauna. Some of the touted benefits credited to cryotherapy include pain and inflammation management, toxin removal, increased immune functions, improvement in skin elasticity and quicker workout recovery time. I have to say that after my three minutes I was ready to resume my workout and the next day my muscles were less sore than they would normally be after a few hours in the gym.

 

Puttin’ on the Ritz

On a recent staycation at The Ritz-Carlton, Dallas, I took full advantage of their spa. It’s everything that you would want from a Ritz property — beautifully designed and with the best and most attentive service imaginable. Once again, lounge areas at most spas seem to be closed or not being used as frequently as in years past. However, I did check out the whirlpool spa, which I had entirely to myself.

They offer a gentleman’s cut and style, but given the anxiety that has come with 2020, I went with their stress-relief massage.

Spa treatment room at The Ritz-Carlton Spa (Photo courtesy The Ritz-Carlton Dallas)

A Gentleman’s Guide to Spa Day Upkeep

To sum up, my advice for spa visits would be at last two to three facials a year to keep skin healthy and nourished. For body treatments, perhaps once or twice with one of them scheduled before the start of summer Vilebrequin swim trunk season. Finally, nails need more regular attention. A manicure every couple of weeks and then pedicures regularly in the warmer months especially if you are planning on rocking some Gucci or Prada sandals.

Some other spa options in that offer gentlemen-specific treatments or menus that seemed user-friendly for men include:

Bliss Dallas, 2440 Victory Park Lane, 16th Floor, Dallas

The Spa at The Joule, 1530 Main Street, Dallas

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