The sad state of the economy (bailouts! Ponzi schemes!!) might be precluding any big-ticket purchases right now (put that Bentley on ice for the time being), but luxurious spa treatments can be (make that SHOULD be) necessary indulgences -- especially in these trying times. Many Chicago spas are upping their game with deluxe treatments, adding everything from champagne and caviar to 24-karat gold and gemstones to facials, massages and body services. Note to self: This is not your ordinary mani-pedi.
The opulent Spa at Trump in the Trump International Hotel & Tower features pleasurable treatments in plush surroundings (the property even has 53 spa guestrooms in case you're too relaxed to go home after your "me time"). Here you'll find a treasure trove of signature gemstone treatments. Choose from the following 90-minute massages: "Purifying Diamonds," "Balancing Emeralds," "Revitalizing Rubies" or "Calming Sapphires." All therapies use gem-infused oils combined with rare floral and herbal essences and cost $300. You can also try the "Black Pearl Facial," which uses crushed black pearls and oyster shell extracts to hydrate, firm and tone the skin (60 minutes, $185).
At the charming Cleise Brazilian Day Spa in Lincoln Park, two new facials have been added to the lineup of uber pampering treatments. The 75-minute "24K Golden Touch Facial" ($150) involves the application of 24-karat gold leaf to the skin (gold is said to lift, firm and tighten the epidermis). The hour-long "Caviar Facial" ($125) utilizes sea proteins to stimulate cell production and regenerate elasticity.
Wicker Park's unique Ruby Room is a stylish sanctuary, offering numerous healing therapies, yoga classes, salon services and inventive spa treatments. (There are also B&B-style guestrooms available here.) For a rejuvenating experience, try the "Crystalssage" massage ($100-$150), which focuses on treating a tired body and spirit with "organic essential oils, signature energy cleansing rituals and powerful crystals from the world's most sacred places."
The Four Seasons Chicago Spa and Fitness Club is certainly no slouch in the decadence department. The services here use several high-end products, such as caviar and pearl proteins in its "Perles de Caviar" facial ($140-$190), champagne in a paraffin wrap for hands and feet (which includes a caviar canape and a glass of bubbly to enjoy during the service, $60-$90) and rose petals in a posh soak and wrap ($60-$90).