Warming treatments at Chicago spas

Escape the brutal cold with these warm spa services in Chicago.

Photograph: Nick Murway
Hot Stone Massage at the Fairmont Hotel Spa

Hot Stone Massage at mySpa
It’s windy and the coldest day of the year so far when I shiver my way into mySpa at the Fairmont Hotel for a soothing hot stone massage. The chill in my bones vanishes immediately when I climb into the preheated sheets, lie facedown and take a deep breath of aromatherapy oil designed to invigorate my winter-logged self. I’m feeling so relaxed, as my therapist works out the kinks in my shoulders and goes deep into the muscles in my back, that I almost forget hot stones are coming next. When she finally begins working the stones into the massage, they are so smooth it feels as if she’s rubbing 120-degree oil into my skin. I can literally feel the tension being melted away as she works my backside before asking me to flip over so she can get to work on my upper legs, calves and feet. She steps away for a moment and I secretly wish she’ll return with hot towels for my feet. Seconds later, my feet are wrapped in steaming hot-towel cocoons and hot stones are caressed along my arms. She finishes my arms by placing a steamy, smooth stone in each of my hands, a nice touch that satisfies my curiosity about what these rocks feel like while also ensuring I’m toasty warm from the tips of my fingers to the tips of my toes. 200 N Columbus Dr (312-946-8945) $155 for 50 minutes, $225 for 80 minutes.—Amy Carr

Body Mud Infusion at the Spa at Trump
I really wish it had been snowing the day I visited this posh hotel spa. The killer view of downtown via Trump’s floor-to-ceiling windows would’ve been even more picturesque in the midst of a snowstorm, making the hotel an ideal retreat from the cold. Luckily, the body mud infusion treatment proves enough of an escape from the freezing temps. I know I picked the perfect warming treatment when Johnny, the spa tech, places hot stones on my back and warm towels on my feet right after I lie facedown on the massage table. He then uses a brush to gently whisk away dead skin all over my body. Once I’m completely exfoliated, I’m covered in warm, soothing mud and wrapped in a plastic and foil cocoon. I’m nestled in and very warm when Johnny starts to massage my temples, face and neck. This portion of the treatment is perfect for anyone suffering from sinus problems (or a hangover). Once the massage portion is over, I’m ushered to an in-room steam shower, where at least ten soothing showerheads wash away the mud. And then I get to do what I fantasize about every morning: crawl back into bed after the shower. Johnny applies a lavender purifying oil, and my skin feels refreshed and ready to face the snowstorms that await us. 401 N Wabash Ave (312-588-8000). $165 for 60 minutes.—Kevin Aeh

Get Clear at VALEO
I spend the first ten minutes or so in the infrared sauna uncomfortably waiting to break a sweat—it’s said to heat the body from the bone marrow on out to the epidermis—and when I finally do, it just won’t stop. Forty-five minutes later, I’ve barely moved a pinky (other than to flip the pages of my book) and I’m not only drenched, but the sauna session has supposedly helped me burn calories and rev up my metabolism. I am, admittedly, wiped, if only from the heat. Part two of the Get Clear service, however, is the mainstage act. Surrounded by the blazing fireplaces, black-tiled walls and heated floors of the Clarity Chamber, I climb onto a white marble bed, covering up my private regions with lightweight towels. Taking inspiration from Turkish bath rituals, my masseur, Josh, proceeds to douse my body in buckets full of warm water—lulling me with the rushing sound of the water and the aromatherapy of essential-oil-infused bubble bath and waking me back up with an exfoliating mitt. Once patted down with towels and taken into another treatment room, I’m moisturized with warm oil as he sends me to another level of bliss with a 30-minute massage. 151 W Adams St (312-660-8250.) $150 for 105 minutes ($111 when you mention Time Out Chicago).—Jessica Herman

Aromatic Herbal Linen Body Wrap at Eshe Day Spa
Eshe’s digs in the Loop make it an ideal sanctuary for businesspeople looking for a toasty winter treat. The detoxifying treatment begins with a warm footbath. While I sit in a chair and take deep breaths, my spa therapist, Maggie, rubs my ice-cold feet while telling me about the treatment. Afterward, I lie facedown on a heated table, and she brushes my skin in short, gentle strokes, sloughing away dry skin from every inch of my body. Next, she rubs in a light green tea oil (the spa exclusively uses Aveda products), before wrapping me in heated towels, a linen blanket and a Mylar wrap. While my skin rids itself of toxins and soaks up the hydrating, healing oil, Maggie scratches and rubs my neck and scalp to pass the ten or so minutes. (Ahhh.) The treatment ends with an application of green tea lotion from head to toe. I leave with soft, warm skin and a happy spa glow. 633 S Plymouth Ct #1 (312-629-0376). $115 for 60 minutes.—Liz Plosser

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