The Best in Rome
SPAS & SALONS
Day Spas l Salons
Rome Day Spas
A day spa or salon at it's best, should be more than a place to beautify the face and body. It should be a retreat from life, a place to crawl into on one's knees, where the staff all comport themselves like a cross between a trauma therapist and a Jewish mother. It should be a place to relax, a place totally free of stress. We take a dim view of facialists and massage therapists who make threatening remarks like, "You really need to get in here at least twice a week until we can get some real improvement in your skin tone." Or who make offers like "I'll put together a package of products for you and leave them at the front desk." We go to a spa and pay lots of money to be treated like the fragile creatures we think we are, not to be pressured into spending more. The Rome spas and salons on these pages have been chosen for their restful ambience, the range of treatments and facilities available, and wherever possible, we have chosen establishments where at least some of the staff speak English. Enjoy! You've earned it.
New! Aveda Lifestyle Salon and Spa
A sleek new salon in the heart of Rome, just across the Castel Sant'Angelo bridge in the shadow of the Vatican, this is a destination for every kind of pampering, from a quick manicure to a full-day of beauty.
The international staff, headed by Pasquale del Prete and Annamaria, di Carlo, all Aveda-trained, offer the full spectrum of hair services, manicures, pedicures, facials, waxing, makeup, massage and body treatments. Specialities include an awesome 90-minute holistic body treatment, and a hair-spa, including analysis, treatment and coloring or blow-dry. In addition to the spacious, light-filled main salon there are three atmospheric private treatment rooms and a shower and dressing area. All the products use, from the Aveda line, are 99 percent pure, ecological and organic, including plant-based hair coloring. The salon's boutique offers the Aveda range of beauty and wellness products, skin care products, candles and makeup.
English, German, French, Romanian and Italian spoken.
Piazza della Rovere 112-114 tel 06 683 07889 www.hairbeautyoma.com
Victoria Regeneration Spa
This recently opened paradise is luxuriously appointed with a magnificent indoor hydromassage pool overlooking the ocean. Every healing and pampering ritual is available, from the Hammam, to Kneipp botanical aromatherapy, to the bio-sauna, ice fountain, Swedish shower, riflexology, massages of very sort, Thalasso treatments, Aryevedic treatments, facial treatments, hair treatments, (including extensions!), cosmetic tattoo, nail services, makeup applications. It's a perfect place to spend an entire day, but you may want to spend the week. Brunch, lunch, tea time and happy hour available.
Lungomare Paolo Toscanelli 195, Lido di Ostia tel 06 86760393
Acanto Day Spa
We were impressed the minute we entered this relatively new spa in the heart of Rome’s historic center. The interior, an intriguing and luxurious blend of ancient Roman bath and Far Eastern elegance, amazed us. As regal as the surroundings may be, the staff is warm and friendly. Alessandra, one of the owners, told us, “We want our clients to know there is a high level of seriousness and passion, that what we do, transcends the beauty of the center’s exquisite décor.” In the ancient tradition of Ayurvedic and Thailandese body care, massage treatments are tailored to individual needs. The spa offers an extensive list of services. The choice of massage therapies ranges from relaxation to energizing, slimming, cervical, circulatory, reflexology. We love the therapeutic herbal massage, an hour and half of relaxation and body therapy using a mix of aromatic herbs. The house specialty, a Balinese treat called “SaBai SaBai” is exclusive to the Acanto Day Spa. A relaxing romantic occasion for two, this two-hour treatment begins with a sumptious bath in a stone vessel filled with milk and floating flower petals, and finishes with a ninety minute “pas de duet” as the couple is massaged in tandem. The two-level facility includes spacious changing rooms, showers, a relaxation salon, private treatment areas, a thermal pool, sauna and Turkish bath, and adjoins the stylish Café Universale.
Piazza Rondonini 30 tel 06 4004 0853-4 (near the Pantheon)
Monday noon-9 pm; Tuesday –Saturday 10 am – 9 pm; closed Sunday.
This day spa calls itself a "city retreat," a haven of serenity in the midst or Rome's tumult. It is also a little bit of Asia in the midst of Europe. The spa has no public areas. There are no communal dressing rooms or saunas. Instead, treatments are offered in six totally private suites, using their own line of natural products imported from Thailand. An extensive list of services includes Aryuvedic, aromatic Thai, and Lomi Lomi massage, Reiki, reflexology, lympho-drainage, and Shiastu (€30-60). The spare, Asian decor, soft music and perfumed air make for an atmosphere of total relaxation. Pilates and yoga classes (Kundalina and "contemporary") are also available.
Via Flaminia, 495/a (affliated with the new Hotel River Chateau) tel 06 333 9059 (Flaminio)
Exedra Wellness Center
In the luxurious Exedra Hotel overlooking the fountains of Rome's Piazza della Repubblica, the spa includes a fitness center, Turkish bath and hydromassage. All of the traditional treatments are offered along with the newly-popular stone massage. If you've never tried this, it's a treat. Smooth river rocks are heated and used to massage the body, relaxing the muscles. A fifty minute massage (€90) can be extended to include a fifteen-minute Turkish bath and/or hydromassage with light therapy (€20 additional). The intriguing speciality here is the chocolate massage. Pure chocolate (minus milk, sugar, hazelnuts) is said to benefit the body when applied to the outside. Special two-hour day spa packages are offered each month throughout the year.
Hotel Exedra, Piazza della Repubblica, 47 tel 06 489 38044
Nardi Day Spa
Nardi has long been the chic hair salon for Rome's signore in the upscale Parioli district. And with its English-speaking staff and proximity to the official residence, it has attracted the wives of the last and present American ambassadors. It now includes a full service day spa on two floors, including a small coffee bar, boutique on the ground floor, and massage, makeup and hydromassage facilitiies up the winding glass staircase. The spa specializes in a variety of mechanical treatments to tone specific body areas, promote drainage of the lymph nodes, untangle knotted muscles and eliminate cellulite. Aveda products are used for most treatments. A dietician is available on Mondays and Thursdays. The signature novelty treatment involves a bed of hypo-allergenic hay which has been infused with therapeutic aromas. A number of package treatments are on offer. The two-hour treatment includes massage, facial and makeup (€96,50). With four hours you also get a hydromassage, hair-styling and manicure (€153.) And if you can treat yourself to a full seven-hour day of beauty, you'll get a hydromassage, body peel, steam bath or "waterfall" an oil massage, lunch, face peel, facial, manicure, makeup and hairstyle (€329.). There are also packages for expectant mothers and brides-to-be. Two locations, both in the north end of Rome. The Via S. Costanza spa also has facitlities for men, a solarium and Roman bath.
Piazza Ungheria, 6 tel 06 855 15 97
Via di S Costanza, 2 (Piazza Istria) tel 06 854 90 79
This spa services guests at the Alelph Hotel, but welcomes day visitors, as well. Like the hotel itself, which was designed by Adam Tihany, the spa's decor combines humor with sleek functionality. The hotel was once a bank, and the spa is located on the lower level, which housed the bank vaults. Tihany has retained some of the vault furnishings in his design. Facilities include a relaxation room, thermal pool, Turkish bath and gym, as well as the traditional range of treatments. A day pass to the spa and gym facilities is available (€35). A classic relaxation massage costs €90.
Via San Basilio, 13 ( Via Veneto) tel 06 422 90075
Hotel de Russie
The Russie offers one of Rome's most luxurious spa facilities, including a hydropool, sauna, Turkish bath, jacuzzi and gym. Non hotel-guests can use the gym, relaxation area, Turkish bath and pool for an entry fee (€35). In addition to classic massage treatments, the de Russie offers Rolfing and deep tissue massage (€90), reflexology (€44) and Watsu (€120). Watsu (water + shiatsu) is an incredibly relaxing experience, in which the therapist cradles the client in a warm water pool. Manicure (€25-40) pedicure (€25) and waxing treatments (€50) are also available.
Hotel de Russie, Via del Babuino, 9 tel 06 32 88 81 (Piazza del Popolo)
Saturnia Day Spa
The thermal waters that spring from the volcanic ashes at Saturnia in Tuscany have been legendary since the days of the Etruscans. The story goes that the Roman god Saturnia, fed-up with earth's endlessly squabbling inhabitants, threw a bolt of lightening, creating hot spring waters to calm them down. Luxury spa resorts have been built around the springs, and the Saturnia spa is now marketed worldwide in the form of a range of products, and in hotel day spas. In Rome, the Hotel Crowne Plazza near the Vatican is the home of an extensive Saturnia spa, offering three and four-day hotel wellness packages as well as a day spa. The facilities include a fitness center, solarium, Roman bath, sauna, Turkish bath, hydromassage, tropical aromatic shower and cold fog bath. In addition to a complete list of all the usual body and facial treatments, the spa offers masks for face and body using the therapeutic Saturnian mud, which is rich in sulfur, hydrogen phosphate and algae. Among the specialities, the Multivitamin Oxygenating Treatment and the Ultrasound Anti-Smog Treatment (€95 each) are particularly intriguing. The spa staff includes a dermatologist offering skin examinations and recommendations and a nutritionist offering diet analysis and advice (€78 each). A variety of day spa packages are available (€86-96). Each includes a fitness or relaxation class, plus treatment and entrance to the Roman bath facilities. Our favorite: the stretch class, gommage or plankton and face mask.
Crowne Plaza Rome St. Peter's, Via Aurelia Antica, 415 tel 06 664 2740 (Vatican)
Noi's following is numerous and devoted. And they've gotten rave reviews in the international press. Southern California transplants Rick, Massimo and Giuseppe, who for eighteen years had salons in La Jolla and Laguna Beach, specialize in color and contemporary styling. They've created a charming place, decorated in gold-framed mirrors and antiques, wtih a private, pretty little patio. Look for the name on the citofono (intercom/buzzer). You'll find the salon in the far right hand corner of the courtyard.
Piazza del Popolo, 3 tel. O6.3600.6284 NoiSalon@alice.it www.noisalon.com
This modern new salon is, in fact, set up like a bar, with rows of brightly colored polish on the shelves below the alcoholic beverages. They pride themselves in treating clients to a New York-style manicure, with three to four coats of polish, careful attention paid to cuticles, and instruments sterilized with a state of the art system used by doctors and dentists. Also on offer are gels and fills, and pedicures, both aesthetic and curative, performed in the luxury of massage chairs. For the body, there is a sun shower, massages and peels. A menu of facial treatments are on offer, using the French Decleor line and the Lanèche range of products from Holland. Parties can be booked for a girls night out, complete with real beverages at the bar, and for special occasions, a makeup artist is on call. Nailbar is the sole Italian retailer of American Nails products, which ironically, are manufactured in Germany. Non Italian-speakers will be relieved to know that the friendly beauty consultant, Suzanne Thompson, is English.
via Ara Coeli 35
tel 06 693 80479 (near Piazza Venezia) www.gamax.it
A lush and relaxing day spa at the top of Rome's Spanish Steps, offers a menu of services, all using the Aveda line of natural products. Choose from a whirlpool bath, Tibetan mud therapy, salt glow body exfoliation, pure plant steam inhalations, facials, makeup lessons, eyebrow shaping, and expert massages by Bangladesh native Tushar, who is trained in the Ayurvedic arts.
Rampa Mignanelli, 9 tel. 06.69924886 (tope of the Spanish Steps)
Enhancements Nail Spa
If you've been looking in vain for a New York or L.A.-style manicure, look no further than Via Umbria, a small street in the shadow of the American Embassy. Founded by a New Yorker and an Italian, with branches in Rome and Milan, Enhancement is a calm and spacious salon, offering luxury treatments for hands and feet. Pedicures are performed in curtained spaces with whirlpool foot baths and super-comfortable easy chairs complete with personal DVD players stowed in the arm rests so you can watch "Sex in the City" while your callouses are sloughed off. The spa pedicure includes a sea salt foot bath and an almond foot scrub. All the utensils are sterile-packed; the products are top-of-the-line Opi and Essie polishes and Enhancements' own line of creams and oils. The spa offers an extensive menu of treatments for men and women, including hand "facials," hot cream and paraffin manicures and curative pedicures for aching feet. A basic manicure costs 29 euro, a spa pedicure 49 euro. Appointments are necessary.
Via Umbria, 13/b tel 06 420 13496 (Via V. Veneto)
Something of a rock n'roll hair style empire with shops in three locations in Rome, four in Florence, one in Salerno, and the newest addition, in Miami, Florida, this is a chain of salons for the seriously trendy. Styles include hair coloring in all shades, dreads and extensions. The Rome shop is a happening place, with happy hour on Wednesday nights, and the salon participates in events at clubs like Gay Village. A friendly crowd. English spoken.
Via Zingari, 10 tel. 06.489 06975 (Monti)
You'll have no trouble getting by on your English in this trendy salon tucked in a corner just behind Piazza Santa Maria in Trastevere. Elleffe stands for the initials of proprietors Lucia and Fabbio. Master haircutter Fabbio presides over the chairs, which are dominated by a huge rear projection TV screen. You can also get color, a manicure, pedicure, and other services.
Via San Calisto 6/6a tel 06 583 3875 Closed Sunday and Monday. (Trastevere)
Hair stylist to several US ambasssadors, including the current one. Spanish, German and English spoken. (Photo at left)
via Lombardia, 14 tel. 06 482 7328 (Via Veneto)
Michele Spanò & Co.
Candles, cushions, incense and Japanese calligraphy create a zen atmosphere in Spanò’s salon, which has been a fixture in Rome for more than twenty years. He uses a Japanese cutting technique and a hair treatment made with yogurt and fruits. A native of Calabria and former resident of Miami and London, Spanò styles the hair of Italian film stars and scions of society, using a Japanese cutting technique and a hair treatment he makes with yogurt and fresh fruit.
Via Dei Greci, 40-42 tel. 06.360 02325 (Spanish Steps)
Also see: Shopping Beauty and Fragrance
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In Rome Now Travel Guide: Rome Italy Spas and Salons