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Holiday Spa Gifts for All

Tis the Season for Pampering!

The holidays are enough of a pain for even the most creative people to succumb to generic gift-giving. This season, you can dispense with gift certificates, ugly sweaters, and even the well-intentioned homemade tchotchkes and, instead, grace your loved ones with hours of decadence and pampering. Here are some ideas for treats that your friends and family definitely won’t want to re-gift.

For the Boyfriend/Husband: A Good Massage
No matter how much you try to work it, chances are your attempts at a passable back rub don’t really garner the therapeutic effects your overworked beau requires. And he’s probably not the kind to go in for a froufy facial, so surprise him this season with the best massage around. Therapeia’s 90-minute hot stone massage is a vigorous, deep-tissue workout for stressed muscles that’ll be just the way to get him to unwind. A Swedish or trigger-point massage at PSOAS Massage & Bodywork is in order for the sporty guys who like it rough, delivered by a therapist whose clinical knowledge of all your aches and pains goes well beyond the spa spectrum.

For the Girlfriend/Wife: Perfect Skin
There’s no woman in the world who’ll say no to perfect skin, painful extractions notwithstanding. Give her a gift to make her glow this season: Rejouvenance Day Spa offers state-of-the-art technologies to turn back the clock, in an intimate environment. Acne, sun-damaged skin, redness, and hyperpigmentation are visibly reduced after an anti-aging photo-rejuvenation facial -- two leisurely hours that include microdermabrasion, LED energy, and other treats to lift your skin’s spirits. If she prefers a more natural route to gorgeous skin, International Orange’s curative two-hour Organic Rejuvenation facial is packed to the brim with healing flowers and herbs and is sure to be an indulgence for all her senses.

For Mom and Dad: A Little Romance
If your parents are anything like mine, they’ve probably never set foot in a spa or donned a fluffy robe, which is even more of a reason to ensure they get to experience it together. Mill Valley’s self-proclaimed Zen spa, Tea Garden Springs, offers side-by-side massages in gorgeous, airy suites that include whirlpool baths strewn with roses. Palo Alto’s Watercourse Way is similarly smooch-worthy. Couples massages there include warm stone neck rubs, towel foot wraps, and a gorgeous, candle-lit sanctuary in which to kick back and get pampered. Beware the effects of your generosity, though -- afterwards, the ‘rents are apt to be all over each other like hormone-addled teenagers.

For the Best Friends: Pedicures
There’s nothing like catching up with your girls (or guys) over a good foot soak and exfoliation. This is the spa treatment that ensures you and your friends get to gossip and commiserate while getting all beautified. Polished Lounge is a gem of a place that’ll easily accommodate you and a few pals and make you feel like you’re sojourning in Grandma’s parlor. This intimate, charming nail spa specializes in leisurely pedicures. Their 60-minute Paradise Found treatment includes a foot bath, exfoliating foot mask, extended massage, and bubbly paraffin dip. Delicious tea selections, plush chairs, hospital staff, and the delightful ambience all add to the fun.

For the Colleagues: Lunchtime Pampering Fix
If you want to score points with your favorite co-workers or put the other Secret Santas to shame, surprise a lucky guy or gal with the chance to relax, at least for a little bit, at Spa Bar. The SoMA establishment’s 30-minute Executive Facial is 30 minutes of pure bliss. Blotchy, stressed skin gets a quick detox session—and one doesn’t even need to skip lunch altogether to make time for it!