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Photograph: Courtesy the Now

A massage in Los Angeles for every budget

Rest your head and unwind with cheap, mid-range and splurge-worthy options for a massage in Los Angeles

By Kate Wertheimer and Time Out contributors

We've scoured the city to bring you the best spas for a top massage. Los Angeles has options for a relaxing rubdown no matter your budget: from celeb-studded oceanfront hotels to Thai joints on the Eastside where you can get literally walked on. So take a deep breath, get ready to unwind and check out our guide to the best picks for a massage in LA.

RECOMMENDED: More of the best spas in LA

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Find a cheap massage in Los Angeles

Photograph: Courtesy the Now

The Now

Things to do Fairfax District

This modern, earthy space definitely has the aesthetics of relaxation down: It's minimally decorated with earth tones, potted plants and sleek wooden furniture, and the stripped-down treatment menu is displayed across one entire wall. It's nice to have a spa that doesn't overwhelm you with choices: aside from their signature massage, you can get four other types specifically for athletes, travelers, expecting mothers and one for general healing. There's also a massage for kids 17 and under, as well as one for head, neck and shoulders, and another for legs and feet. Pretty straightforward. The massages themselves are more rigorous than relaxing: you're jostled and stretched and rubbed, and it all feels good and will do wonders for your muscles, but you're not likely to leave feeling like you've just had a nap. That being said, you just can't beat these prices, which work out to about a dollar a minute. Our suggestion? Go from 5-7 for happy hour, during which you can get a 30-minute neck or foot massage and a glass of wine on the cheap.


Blossom Spa Hollywood

Health and beauty Massage and body treatments Hollywood

Smack dab in the middle of Hollywood (on bustling Highland, no less), this urban oasis offers a full menu of spa services from massages and facials to detoxifying mud body treatments and alphabiotics (hands-on body alignment that's chiropractics-meets-stress relief). The former house was restored by Jeff Widmann, who also owns Golden Bridge Yoga across the street. The result: a homey feel that's part cathedral (lofty ceilings, stained-glass windows) and part living room (fireplace, comgy lounge chairs). Massages range from Shiatsu and Thai to traditional Swedish. There are four treatment rooms for singles and couples, and the entire spa can be reserved for group parties.


Pho Siam Thai Spa

Things to do Historic Filipinotown

If you liked to be pulled, punched and stepped on, this is the place for you. Thai massage isn't for everyone, especially when it's done so traditionally (read: aggressively). You're not there to be pampered (okay, they do massage you with oil for a bit, and the head and neck massage is also quite nice). You're there to be worked on. And walked on. You'll be taken to one in a double row of treatment areas, sectioned off by heavy curtains. Each has its own changing vestibule, where you'll strip down and pull on a pair of loose Thai fisherman pants. You'll notice strips of fabric hanging from the ceiling above you, which is what your therapist will hold onto while she works on you with her feet. Your treatment will be half-ecstasy, half-exorcism, and if you're into that sort of thing, it's pretty great. Afterward, you're rewarded with a bottle of water and a candy bowl to grab from on your way out—it's a little more Halloween than healthy living, but hey, we'll take a fun-size Snickers anytime. The best thing about Pho Siam—other than it being one of the few good massage spots on the Eastside—is that it's pretty cheap: less than a dollar a minute for a 90-minute massage is a damn good deal.


The Massage Garage

Health and beauty Spas Culver City

Westsiders in need of a tune-up head to downtown Culver City to get their tired and sore muscles repaired and recalibrated. With an auto repair shop theme (the sign outside reads "we fix bodies"), this massage haven is open until 9:30pm daily for massages on the cheap. Don't expect zen and plush robes—it's straightforward massages in a no-frills space. More than 40 massage therapists rotate between the eight rooms. Try a Test Drive, get a major Overhaul or go for a standard Tune Up. Road ragers can come in for regular TLC with a five or ten-series pack (either five 60-minute sessions or ten 60-minute sessions).


Sirinan Massage

Things to do Marina del Rey

Located in a Marina del Rey shopping center, this traditional Thai spa is a diamond in the rough. The tiny space only has five treatment rooms, including one with two beds for couples massages. Each treatment room is portioned off by sliding doors, so you can hear anyone who walks into the reception area during your treatment. As a precaution, plan to visit during the week at non-peak hours so that your relaxing treatment remains uninterrupted. Keep in mind that this is a no-frills type of spa—as are many other Thai massage spas—however, the beauty here is in the cleanliness and professional staff. You may encounter a language barrier, but you'll find every staff member to be helpful. Opt for the one-hour massage, which combines Thai, Swedish and deep tissue massages catered on your body's needs. It's the best of all worlds. For full relaxation, and if you have many knots and tight muscles, you may want to book the extended 90-minute session. If you really love your first visit, opt for buying a 10-pack and you'll get a free massage.

Find a mid-range massage in Los Angeles


Argyle Salon & Spa

Health and beauty Spas West Hollywood

Whether you're a globe-trotting rock star, silver-screen starlet or just dream of being one, get polished, primped and pampered at Sunset Tower Hotel's spa hideaway. The exterior exudes classic Old Hollywood with the art deco to match. Past the understated glam (and decidedly masculine) lobby and down a flight of stairs is the main reception area and a salon where the town's most famous tresses are tousled and tamed. Another flight down is a dimly lit haven of four private spa suites, each outfitted with everything you need: shower, oversized tub, toilet, sitting area with telephone and Wifi, flat screen TV, Arcona face products, Brazilian Blowout hair products and in-room dining. Services are extensive, from massages to add-ons such as LED light therapy—yes, the same sun-simulating therapy used for seasonal depression is great for your mood and your skin—to a Cleopatra-worthy milk bath. Couples and groups can book the larger suitesor alfresco cabanas. Prep for your massage with a 25 minute ($25) Turkish hammam, a steam-heated room for detoxing the body and warming the muscles pre-treatment.


Willow Spa

Health and beauty Spas Santa Monica

Escape to Bali at this Santa Monica day spa. Beyond the mint green fence, enter a lush landscaped property where East meets West. Change into a cotton Thai top and pants in the bare-bones locker room and start to unwind on the comfy alfresco seating with homemade ginger tea. Massage services range from 60 to 120 minutes with a menu of holistic signature treatments. We like the Thai and Zen-tastic, which had us snoozing in no time. Athletes (and the super tense) can loosen up with a sweat-as-you-go, enzyme bath followed by a sports massage.


Spa InterContinental

Things to do Century City

Escape to the InterContinental Century City’s spa for head-to-toe pampering. This hidden oasis may not have the most extravagant lounge or locker areas, but don a plush cotton robe and slippers and your therapist will whisk you away to your designated private villa. You'll choose from a selection of aromatherapy massage oils to apply to your temples. The amenities are extensive: comfy treatment beds, a large shower, lounge area with TV, private restroom and a Kohler bathtub with light therapy. Choose a body treatment such as a scrub, wrap or soak, and be sure to pair it with a traditional Swedish massage, Shiatsu massage or a Thai Herbal Bolus massage, where packets filled with herbs are massaged into the body to relieve tension. For weary travelers, the Jetlag Restore massage helps the body recover from aches through improved circulation. Check the website for weekly deals including 20% off treatments Monday-Friday for local residents. What’s more? In addition to access to the full hotel gym, the spa offers workout classes on the rooftop helipad, such as yoga and Zumba (free for hotel guests, $15 for non-hotel guests) and complimentary 2-hour valet parking with any spa visit.



Health and beauty Massage and body treatments Mar Vista

This cute little spa is tucked into a beach bungalow off Abbot Kinney, and it exudes that laid-back, beachy, Bohemian vibe. If you're looking for spacious, spic and span, or a steam room you're out of luck: Nitespa lives in a very charming old house that looks lived in. It's less haute and more hippie here: You can browse a rack of vintage beach wear, sip tea or wine and have a tarot card reading while you wait for your treatment. You may want to stick to the body treatments here as the nail salon looks a little worse for wear—but that's fine, because you're really here for the massages. You'll be escorted into one of two back rooms (one for massage and Reiki, one for waxing and facials), with soothing music and soft, warm sheets on the table. The work done here is stellar. Nitespa is open from noon to midnight, which means you can get in some late-night pampering after work or before (or after!) dinner. A note from inside: Nitespa is a bit of a secret celebrity spot—you may find yourself rubbing shoulders (or getting your shoulders rubbed) next to someone famous.


<p>Exhale spa at the Fairamont Miramar hotel</p>

Exhale at the Fairmont Miramar

Health and beauty Massage and body treatments Santa Monica

The best thing about this chain spa, tucked away inside the chic Fairmont Miramar hotel in Santa Monica, is its focus on total wellness. A self-described "mind-body" spa, Exhale serves up all the traditional spa treatments—facials, massages, mani/pedis, waxing—but then enhances its menu with fitness offerings such as core fusion, yoga, private training and stretching classes. Mind-body style energy treatments include accupuncture, reiki and vibrational therapy, and coaches are available to guide guests through nutrition and wellness goals. Even fertility programs, accupuncture for weight loss and bridal bootcamps are available. Although set inside a luxury hotel, a visit to Exhale is decidedly less about the sort of posh frills one would expect from, say, the spa at Montage Beverly Hills or the Peninsula. The staff here is efficient and friendly, but not fawning or overly solicitist. The therapists are down-to-business. The basic Exhale True facial starts with a cleansing and moisturizing—accompanied by a steady stream of nurturing steam—followed by extractions, an eye-opening rehydrating mask and more moisturizing that made our skin feel perky and glowing (and no puffiness) all day long. While waiting for various masks, lotions and potions to soak into our skin, the therapist took the extra time to rub lotion into our tired feet, hands, neck and shoulders. A newer addition to the spa menu, the Glow Body Scrub and Massage, begins with a full-body dry brushing, followed by a s


Tikkun Holistic Spa

Health and beauty Spas Downtown Santa Monica

Nestled in a nondescript building off Third Street Promenade, this Santa Monica answer to a Korean day spa offers all the same services (minus the black lingerie-clad women), along with other full service treatments such as facials and body wraps. Prep for intense deep tissue bodywork in the dry and wet sauna rooms. Post treatment, you’ll be so relaxed you'll wonder how you’ve never discovered this underground oasis before. A tip:Leave your worries and your fashion sense at home—the spa provides a pair of comfy cotton shorts and a T-shirt.

Find a splurge massage in Los Angeles


The Spa at the Beverly Wilshire

Things to do Beverly Hills

Enter the iconic hotel's south tower and take the elevator to the hidden spa, where you'll feel miles away from bustling, tourist-heavy Rodeo Drive. The luxe spa pulls out all the stops leading up to your treatment—slip on a plush robe and slippers and head to the twinkling steamroom. Light therapy shines down from the ceiling and a crystal geode fills the room with soothing energy. You may have to wait for it, but the ice-cold rain shower (with three settings to choose from) is worth it. After prepping for your treatment, head to the relaxation room for tea, fruit, nuts and homemade dark chocolate. It's too easy to lose track of time in the dimly-lit quiet area. When it's time for your treatment, you'll pass the spa's pièce de résistance—a massive, glittering amethyst crystal geode placed in the middle of the spa for balanced energy. Stones play a motif throughout the spa, and in the acutal treatments. For ultimate pampering, the Diamond Magnetic body ritual uses a diamond dust made of realcrushed diamonds and magnets to soothe dry skin, re-balance your body's energy, and eliminate electromagnetic waste from clutching cell phones, laptops and other electronics. A head-to-toe massage follows the diamond treatment.




Things to do Beverly

LeSpa is a beautiful spa attached to the Sofitel, though, unlike some other hotel spas, you don't need to go through the hotel lobby to get inside. It has a separate entrance, which is nice. Everything at LeSpa is thoughtful, from the uber-comfy chairs in the waiting area to baggies in each locker to keep jewelry safe.  Fresh flowers rest at the head of the massage table and their scent will linger throughout your treatment. The massages here are top-notch—the therapist's hands will never leave you, and hot towels keep you warm during treatment. Everything is up to you—the lighting, the music, the pressure (of course), and the staff is gracious and accommodating. If you're feeling extra decadent, add on a hydrotherapy bath. Soak surrounded by candles and fresh flowers, and take your time primping and preening in your own private changing room.

The Ritz-Carlton Spa

The Ritz-Carlton Spa

Things to do South Park

You're greeted at the Ritz-Carlton Spa at LA Live with a glass of champagne or the beverage of the season (in spring, it's mint lemonade freshly made with lemons from the hotel's rooftop garden). Follow the "yellow brick road" that guides guests to the lockers, since the 8,000-square-foot hideout is a little tricky to navigate. Make sure to set aside enough time when you visit to enjoy the facilities—the men’s and women’s locker rooms include private relaxation areas, eucalyptus steam rooms and cold plunge showers. Once you’re ready for your treatment, leave some time to unwind in the co-ed Sanctuary, where flat screens overhead shuffle through nature photography. The spa also offers seasonal Garden to Glamorous treatments, incorporating herbs and produce from the hotel’s rooftop garden with top-of-the-line products. You'll savor the treatment long after you’ve left the spa.For $30 more, add a treatment enhancement including hot oil scalp massage, micro-current cellulite treatment, lavish foot treatment or anti-aging hand treatment.


Sea Wellness

Things to do Santa Monica

This serene, lovely spa is tucked into Casa del Mar, one of the nicest hotels along the beach in Santa Monica. And we do mean tucked—an elevator brings you to the fourth floor where you'll walk past guest rooms until the spa doors appear like an opening in a maze. Once inside, you'll be taken to a dimly lit waiting area with lemon water, warm green tea (heated by tealight candles!) and comfy chairs. The spacious changing room has a single shower that converts into a mini steam room. You'll put on a soft, heavy robe and seemingly brand-new Haviana flip-flops to wear to your treatment. And you're definitely in for a treat: Even the basic, 60-minute massage is heaven, but the menu offers such luxuries as a Hydrafacial (no harsh chemicals or lasers), hot stone massage and a firming citrus body treatment. If you're really in the mood to splurge, try the Diamond Magnetic Body Ritual, which uses mud spiked with diamond dust to eliminate the effects of electromagnetic pollution—we're not 100% sure about this one, but getting a diamond rubdown does sound pretty nice. Certain treatments are available oceanside, so be sure to ask if you'd like your treatment alfresco. And for the men, try a Gents Facial, inspired by techniques used by old-school barbers to sooth a razorburned face.


The Spa at Terranea

Things to do Rancho Palos Verdes/Rolling Hills Estates

The sprawling 50,000-square-foot spa facility at Terranea is a destination in and of itself. It has a boutique, pool, cafe and gym, with free fitness classes. Open-air spin, anyone? We can guarantee the spa's oceanfront terrace is an improvement on the poshest of spin studios in LA. Make sure you enjoy the steam rooms, women's and men's lounges as well as outdoor cold plunge pools and Jacuzzis on the grounds. Large parties are welcomed—the spa even has a group spa menu and wedding party packages. Follow your therapist to the second floor—the spa boasts 25 treatment rooms and three VIP suites—to the first door on the left. Opt for the Ocean Prelude, a full-body treatment that incorporates elements from the sea and takes places in an airy room with a bronze-cast bathtub, two treatment beds and the pièce de résistance—a balcony with a stunning ocean view. The soundtrack to your treatment will waft in on a salty breeze. We can't imagine you'll want to leave the spa afterward, so relax in one of the lounges for the rest of the day.


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