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Spa Radiance

An Oasis for the Elite

For luxury epicures, Spa Radiance, a pampering stronghold on the Fillmore boutique side of town, is an oasis blending both old-world beauty treatments and some of the most bold and innovative spa therapies around.

As soon as you step foot into Spa Radiance, the welcoming ambience -- courtesy of attentive customer service and swanky décor -- outdoes the establishment's's reputation as a one-stop watering hole for the upper crust. Flower-shaped lamps snake out of the ceilings like live plants, and the hardwood floors and rustic shelves stacked with various beauty products give Spa Radiance an earthy but urban feel. Exotic fashion photography is festooned throughout the treatment room hallway, against a backdrop of serene earth tones.

The waiting area is small but quaint -- a table with cucumber water and delectables like almonds and Hershey's kisses flanks a couple of plump couches, which contain cushions embroidered with words such as "Indulgence," "Serenity," "Purity," "Spirit," and "Vibrancy." In fact, each of the treatment rooms has one of these words on its door, as if to prime clients for the pleasures which await them.

Of course, Spa Radiance's standing as one of the hottest spas around wouldn't be complete without a really good story to tell. Mother and daughter founders, Galina Rovner and Angelina Umansky, culled all their beauty secrets from Galina's mother (and Angelina's grandmother) Rose, a Russian beauty who customized time-honored skincare treatments for her clientele in the 1940s, with blends of herbs, oils, and nuts. Some of the Umanskys' old world treats include the $300 All Natural package, which includes a vigorous buttermilk and salt scrub, a cucumber and honey wrap, an organic Hungarian Facial (with ingredients such as paprika, lemon, and peach), and a hot stone massage (which uses a massage oil made from green tea and gingko biloba to smooth the stones over your aching joints).

The Umanskys' aesthetic philosophy, however, blends the best of both worlds; state of the art technology such as Endermologie (a series of treatments that blast away cellulite and boost circulation) and simple but effective homegrown indulgence with fruits and veggies. While I opt for the Warm Lavender Aromatic Salt Scrub and massage -- a languorous 90-minute treatment that is both deeply rejuvenating and gloriously sleep-inducing -- other folks who frequent the spot prefer Endermologie or a LED (Light Emitting Diode) light therapy facial, which uses light to stimulate the production of collagen.

The facials at Spa Radiance are particularly popular, and include perks like microdermabrasion, a facial mini-peeling or mini-sanding technique that removes the top layers of skin with either chemicals or diamond dust to create a more youthful appearance. The effects last for weeks, but Spa Radiance offers the treatment in series as well. One of the most popular, and most pricey, treatments at the spa is their Grand Luxe Facial, which includes an exfoliating diamond peel, lymphatic drainage, facial resculpting (a radio frequency-induced technique that harmonizes cellular activity), a caviar mask, and LED light therapy. Apparently, the treatment is essential for skin purification and healing, but at a whopping $750, might not be the first solution you may look to when you start seeing fine lines.

Other treats at Spa Radiance include their seven varieties of Brazilian waxes, which sport tantalizing names like "Landing Strip" or "Mohawk." They also have an Especially for Men selection of services, for all the fellows who want to maintain a perfectly coiffed and manicured appearance.

Overall, while treatments tend to be on the pricey side, there are enough simple delights at the spa so that even clients who might settle for a manicure or pedicure rather than the royal treatment will walk away satisfied. For elegance, a bevy of options, and the full VIP treatment, Spa Radiance is definitely the place to be.