by Chelsea Lin - 273 Reviews - 109 List
After all the lunch breaks you've spent eating PB&J hunched over your keyboard, you deserve a little midday pampering. Do yourself a favor and use your break for a quick, rejuvenating spa treatment at one of these spas, which offer nail, skin care, waxing and massage treatments; you'll come out primped, glowing, waxed or relaxed in less than an hour, and that sad little sandwich will be waiting for you when you get back.
Updated: October 15, 2009
This industrial-style Mission Bay spa's got plenty of lunch hour-friendly services: a customized mini-facial consists of cleansing, exfoliation and a masque ($50 for 30 minutes), chair massage can be purchased in 10-minute increments (starting at $35 for 20 minutes) or simply go for the classic mani-pedi ($50 for 35 minutes).
Though as tranquil as the name implies, this Panhandle oasis understands the demands of a girl-on-the-go: faster services include a mini facial with hand and arm massage ($50 for 30 minutes) and customized massage with aromatherapy ($45 for 30 minutes or $60 for 45 minutes).
Hoofing it around town in 4-inch heels will definitely get your dogs barking, and this Asian-influenced Inner Richmond massage center knows how to handle those hounds: a pressure point-based foot reflexology massage makes the whole body feel better ($25 for 35 minutes). There's also hand, head and body massage if feet alone won't cut it ($30 for 30 minutes).
Tucked down Maiden Lane, this posh, sunny spa will ply you with free wine before treatments ranging from (relatively) painless Brazilians and body bronzing to chemical peels and eyelash tinting. To get glowing in a hurry, try the Let's Do Lunch facial, which includes cleansing, exfoliation, moisturizer, sun protection and a mineral make-up application ($65 for 30 minutes). Boys, take note: Man-scape that unruly body hair in just a half hour for $45-$60.
Service is quick and cheap at this Financial District nail salon that also offers waxing. The basic mani takes less than 25 minutes, and costs just $12 (only $8 if all you need is a polish touch-up). Since you're saving, combine it with an affordable wax (eyebrows are $14, bikini is $20) for a one-stop shop that will leave you looking twice as good.
This aptly named Financial District hair stylist is just that--they don't do cuts or color--but stop in for a blow out, styling session or elaborate up-do. For those mornings when another half hour of sleep is non-negotiable, go for the hustle&BLOW, a quickie 15-minute styling that's guaranteed to leave you looking fab, and the convenient downtown location make it perfect for a pre-client meeting or post-lunch pop-in.
Bliss, the popular ultra-luxe spa in SoMa's W Hotel, isn't cheap, but neither are you. The Bliss chain's high standards apply, as does the adage "you get what you pay for" even the services short enough to fit into a lunch hour: Oxygen Blast includes a quick fruit acid wash, massage, enzyme pack and oxygen spray ($80 for 30 minutes); Super Sleeping Peel promises to reduce pores, wrinkles and sun-damage spots ($125 for 30 minutes); Rapid Rub consists of a customized 30 minutes of intense massage wherever you need it ($70); and The Manly-Cure offers to soak, clip and buff guys' hands ($30 for 30 minutes).
If you work near Japantown, you probably know all about this Japanese-style spa and bathhouse, but here's extra incentive: a half session of either Swedish or Shiatsu massage includes access to the communal baths, sauna and steam room ($65 for 25-minute massage, unlimited bath time). Call ahead for an appointment though, and make sure you book a day that corresponds with your gender--the baths are in the buff, they have different days scheduled for guys and gals. Sorry, guys.
If you're just looking to get the job done and not be terribly pampered in the process, book your lunchtime mani-pedi at this no-frills FiDi nail salon. Perhaps the cheapest in the neighborhood, manicure and pedicure together are only $30--splurge an extra $10 for an added 10 minutes of massage time (happy ending is your minuscule bill).
For all those lovely ladies working deep downtown, this stylish Embaradero salon specializes in indulgent treatments in a hurry: Get a glass of white wine and upstairs-downstairs service with the refreshing French lavender mani-pedi ($50 for 30 minutes), and for a pre-dinner date glow, try the mini European facial ($65 for 35 minutes); if all you need is a little R&R, chair massage is available in 10-minute increments ($15 for 10 minutes, $30 for 20 minutes, etc.).
Hitting the gym may not be your idea of a restful lunch hour, but there's nothing like an endorphin rush to put some color in your cheeks and clear your mind from a stressful day. Crunch is one of the few downtown workout centers that offers full classes in less than an hour--Body Blitz on Tuesdays and Thursdays claims to fit a 60-minute workout into a half hour, other 45-minute classes from pilates to cardio kickboxing are offered throughout the week around lunchtime--so you can still get in a shower and be back at your desk by 1pm.