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Saturday, February 23 , 2019, 10:34 pm | Fair 45º


Judy Foreman: Float Luxury Spa Is Just What You Need to be Pampered

East Canon Perdido spa is an oasis of renewal and relaxation in the heart of downtown Santa Barbara

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For the past 4½ years, Float Luxury Spa has been carving out a niche business in a community that values health and wellness. Owner Natalie Rowe and her sister, Stephanie Phelan, opened their doors in 2009, at 18 E. Canon Perdido in downtown Santa Barbara across the street from the historic Lobero Theatre

I recently returned for a summertime facial tune-up and was reminded how much I like their vibe as soon as I walked through the front door. Float Luxury Spa is beautifully designed, in a 3,300-square-foot, two-story space with an aura of renewal and relaxation. Featuring an eco-friendly coastal modern design by Orange 22 Design Lab, the day spa is intimate and comfortable, with an affordable price point and a wide variety of treatments for men and women.

When the sisters decided as young entrepreneurs to try their hand at the spa business, their goal was to create a pampering oasis in the middle of town with most of the amenities you find at larger luxury resort spas. Clients can pop in for a quick treatment or spend the day and enjoy all the facilities without having to travel to a different ZIP code.

With so many treatments to pick from, I left it to Rowe to make that decision for me. Getting ready for some annual Old Spanish Days Fiesta events, I opted for the Champagne Fiszz Facial (not tequila), which uses the Innovative Skin Care Facial System that targets resurfacing and smoothing, an all-around pick me up. Lead aesthetician Heidi Chesley provided an invigorating but relaxing 80 minutes of pampering, including a neck, shoulder, hand and feet massage. I drifted off in that womb of hot steam and hands-on treatment. The only bad part is when it's over!

"We encourage guests to make use of our amenities as much as possible," said Rowe, pointing out "the beautiful sky lounge, where they can enjoy tea and snacks and sit by the fireplace and catch up on their latest fashion magazine while waiting for their service or after.”

Float’s secret getaway is its beautiful private garden, where guests can enjoy a meditative environment near the reflecting pool and fountains — a unique offering in downtown Santa Barbara. This beautiful space is used during the holidays for the spa's signature event, "I Dream of Wine and Chocolate," which includes pairings by local vintner Lucas & Lewellen Vineyards, chocolates by local vendors, and mini-massages and mini-facial treatments.

Wine, chocolate and facials — hmmm, not too hard to take.

I 've also attended bachelorette, bridal and birthday parties there, as well as ladies spa days. For a large group, the entire spa can be reserved, and local caterers can provide lunch and champagne, mimosas, cheese or dessert platters.

Client feedback is important to Rowe, a mother of two young daughters who took over operations at the spa earlier this year. She recently printed Float's fifth spa menu with further enhancements to keep on the cutting edge of skin therapy. In addition to body and facial enhancements, Float is discriminating in its selection of high-quality product lines, which it uses and sells. This year, the spa added dry body brushing, coconut scalp treatments and revitalizing foot treatments to the menu.

Building a relationship with many local hotels, Float is the spa on record for the Montecito Inn, 1295 Coast Village Road, and The Canary Hotel, 31 W. Carrillo St. While many guests opt to come to the physical spa on Canon Perdido, if their preference is to have in-room service, a licensed therapist/aesthetician will provide a wide range of treatments from Float's extensive spa menu within the comfort of the hotel room.

After tackling the crazy-making traffic on Highway 101, especially on Friday afternoons, many weary travelers need a cool down and rub down to decompress and kick off their weekends. Float is the place to be.

Float Luxury Spa is open daily at 18 E. Canon Perdido. Click here for more information, or call 805.845.7777.

— Judy Foreman is a Noozhawk columnist and longtime local writer and lifestyles observer. She can be contacted at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Click here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are her own.

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