Philly’s Favorite Local Spas

When you want skin detoxed, muscles prodded and lips plumped, head for one of these local, no-frills spas for top-notch, top-secret (and wallet-friendly) treatments.



Center City | 2200 Arch Street, Suite 102
Ladies-who-lunch believe that tasteful cosmetic injections, surgery and dentistry are essential—and the snootiest Manhattanites often sneak down to this SoHo-sleek med-spa for those services. (Psst: They’re less pricey than NYC equivalents.) Plus, the new functional medicine division focuses on underlying causes of hormonal imbalances, female hair loss and more.
Go to this Philadelphia spa for: Maria for injections, Elizabeth for skin, Dr. George for teeth.

Southampton Spa

Southampton | 141 Second Street Pike
Some research has shown high-heat saunas force illness-causing heavy metals like mercury and lead out of the body, and after sitting in the co-ed Russian or steamy Turkish baths (saunas) here, we don’t doubt it. For the adventurous: We tried the traditional platza ($30)—getting switched with a birch, oak or eucalyptus branch for circulation—but found it vaguely S&M-y.
Go to this Philadelphia spa for: Hades-hot Russian and Turkish saunas, plus family-friendly swimming pools.

Chung Dam Spa & Fitness

Cheltenham | 41 East Cheltenham Avenue
A warning: Spa-ing sans clothing is de rigueur in the gender-divided areas at this traditional Korean spa. The regimen here is simple, and geared to serious detox. After you soak in a small pool (either hot or cold), a no-nonsense specialist scrubs your skin free of dermal toxins (read: dead skin cells). Then it’s all sweat, in one of three different saunas. You can use the facilities for a day rate of $20, but we suggest shelling out $60 for the scrubber, or the best hour-long massage around, period.
Go to this Philadelphia spa for: Merciless body- sloughing that leaves your skin born-again.

Meridian Medica

Center City | 1124 Walnut Street, Third Floor
You can go almost anywhere for acupuncture or acupressure, but at this third-floor spot, you’ll find all forms of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) practiced by pros. It’s not posh, but you won’t even notice during the 60-m­inute combo of qigong body massage, tui na head and facial massage, and foot reflexology.
Go to this Philadelphia spa for: One-stop TCM for only $55: qigong, tui na and ac­upressure massage, body-walking and acupuncture.

Divya Ayurveda

Bensalem | 2842 Street Road
This isn’t some New Age-y, incense-burning sanctorum: It’s a storefront in a Bensalem mall. What’s practiced inside, however, is traditional ayurvedic medicine, in which your appetite, temperament—you name it—is diagnosed by dosha, or constitution, followed by prescriptions of specific foods, Indian spices and herbs, and heavenly (albeit super-oily) body treatments in fluorescent-lit rooms. Try abhyanga (massage, $59 for 45 minutes) and shirodhara, a stress-melting drizzling of warm oil or medicated milk onto your forehead, plus a face and head massage ($80 for 40 minutes).
Go to this Philadelphia spa for: Ayurvedic medicine as practiced by certified doctors from India, not tie-dyed New Age therapists.

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