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Mother's Day mud

“I know it’s the thought that counts. But this year...Mama wants a day at the spa.”

Rose petal foot soak at Spa Kingston
  • Rose petal foot soak at Spa Kingston

Many a Mother’s Day has found me spending the afternoon running my kids around town so they could get me a gift. Once or twice, I’ve even lent them the money to pay for it. I know that should be Dad’s job, and I know it’s the thought that counts. But this year, I’m going to be really proactive. Mama wants a day at the spa.

I polled a few gal pals to learn about their favorite places to soak and be pampered. “Alleviating Whispering Waters Day Spa downtown is my go-to place for a facial,” said Sarah. “They really educate you on skincare with the skin consultation, but they don’t push products at you. They also run a really good acne clinic. “

The spa is offering a slew of Mother’s Day specials, ranging from $190-$295. All the specials come with a long-stem rose, mimosa, and chocolate-covered strawberries. (Some clichés are still great even though they’re clichés.) I was drawn to the Unconditional Love Package, which included a 60-minute Swedish massage, hot stone treatment, 60-minute hydrating facial, and 30-minute foot treatment (2 hours, 30 minutes total, $230).

“Walking into Spa Kingston on Fifth Avenue is like an aromatherapy treatment in itself,” said my friend Mimi. “I go in for the the signature massage. It’s a full-body massage, and you get to choose the essential oil that they will use during your pre-massage rose petal foot bath and aromatherapy wind-down time. After the massage, you get an invigorating lemon coffee foot scrub. I love it, because my relaxation is so tied to my feet, but I know my body really needs the massage.” The signature massage starts at $75 for 45 minutes and goes up to $180 for 120 minutes. Other packages are available from $259 up to $412.

“I say go to the Estancia La Jolla Hotel and Spa in the heart of La Jolla,” said Joanne. “It’s a hacienda-style place with a small boutique feel, surrounded by lush gardens. Sometimes I go and just get the day pass at $65 so that I have access to the resort’s amenities — the heated saltwater pool, whirlpools, eucalyptus steam room, relaxational lounges, meditation garden, and fitness center. You get access to all of these amenities with any treatment as well.” The spa has packages ranging from $290 -$560.

Personally, I love to eat while I relax. So I was happy to find a spa and lunch package at Rancho Bernardo Inn and Spa. The deal ($165 - $175) offers a 50-minute massage or 50-minute facial in either an indoor treatment room or an outside casita, plus lunch in the garden. The menu includes items such as lobster mac and cheese, grilled maple soy salmon with local grilled vegetables, red quinoa and micro greens, and chicken lettuce cups with cabbage, carrots, green onions, red peppers, and garlic soy sauce. Plus, I would have access to the steam rooms and the saline waterfall whirlpool.

“If you want awesome nail care, go to White Rabbit Day Spa in Normal Heights,” said Kiki. “They have great facials and massages as well, but I love their nail care. I go for their Spa Shellac manicure (1 hour, $35) and Spa Shellac pedicure (1 hour, 30 minutes, $55). The Shellac polishes, also known as gel polishes, last a lot longer than normal polish. Both include warm essential oil soaks and hand or foot massages. And the pedicure includes callus removal, natural foot scrub, and a reflexology-style foot massage.” The spa offers massage and facial packages from $105- $185.

Finally, if I were willing to drive about 90 minutes, I could experience the Glen Ivy Hot Springs in Corona, which offers 19 different water baths and pools, including a Roman bath and hot and cold plunge pools. They are also known for Club Mud, their spring water mud pool, where you can slather your skin with red clay, let it dry in the sun, and simply rinse it off for baby-soft skin. General admission to the spa waters and Club Mud is $50 Monday through Friday, and $70 Saturday and Sunday. Many other skin and massage treatments available. Spa packages run $159-$289. Mother’s Day gift card is offered for a reduced rate through May 10th.

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