Image: A massage at Willow Stream Spa, Newport Beach, Calif.
Willow Stream Spa
Get a massage at the newly opened Willow Stream Spa at the Fairmont Hotel, in Newport Beach, Calif.
updated 5/15/2007 12:43:43 PM ET 2007-05-15T16:43:43

Need to take a breather before that 3 p.m. meeting? If your window of opportunity for rest and relaxation is two hours rather than two days, a visit to a day spa just might do the trick.

Just over 32 million Americans visited a spa in 2005, generating $9.7 million in revenue, according to latest numbers from the International Spa Association, whose membership includes over 2,700 health and wellness facilities in more than 75 countries. Over 75% of those visited day spas.

Unlike resort spas, many of which rely on vacationers willing to spend exorbitant amounts of cash for unusual treatments, day spas depend largely on repeat business--loyal customers who keep coming back for their "regular."

"You go to a day spa for maintenance, massage, skincare and relaxation," says Hannelore Leavy, executive director of The Day Spa Association. "It's to upkeep a certain regimen."

Men's Mani And Massage
One can do that at the newly opened Willow Stream Spa at the Fairmont Hotel, in Newport Beach, Calif. Designed particularly for those of the macho persuasion, the spa's "M" room is equipped with a flat screen TV and bed where a guy can receive a manicure, pedicure, facial and massage without moving a muscle. Men, according to the International Spa Association, currently make up 31% of spa-goers.

Mimi Cozzi, spa director at Willow Stream, says that men prefer this unfussy approach to spas, especially if it means they don't have to interact with any of the other patrons.

"We see a lot of businessmen come through the Fairmont," she says. "We designed the 'M' room particularly for them."

Men new to the spa scene might clamor for a little privacy, but socializing at spas is sometimes the draw. Cheryl Reid, co-founder of Spa Week, which organizes twice-yearly spa discounts nationwide, says that group treatments are gaining in popularity.

The facilities at the Spa at the Standard Miami are fashioned after traditional Roman baths, and include a communal steam room, sauna and hot tub.

Mix It Up
Another hot trend is "spa fusion," as Reid puts it, which simply means incorporating traditional Western practices with eastern philosophies, such as using ayurvedic oils (ancient Indian healing minerals) while giving the client a Swedish massage.

At the The Spa At The Mandarin Oriental in New York, clients experiment with Thai Yoga massage, which combines simple yoga poses and the ancient art of Thai massage, to help relieve stress and toxins from the body.

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Health On The Menu
But the biggest movement in the spa industry may be the focus on achieving an overall healthier lifestyle.

At the Tiffani Kim Institute in Chicago, a client will spend time at the spa, visit the rejuvenation clinic to explore cosmetic surgery options and, finally, stop in to see licensed dietitian Mindy Hahn, who will singlehandedly design a nutrition plan tailored to her needs.

All sound a bit, shall we say, time consuming?

No worries on that front. Fortunately for the workers of the world, most of these treatments can be pared down to 90 minutes--or 30, if you're really pressed for time. And don’t forget: If you’ve got time for lunch, you’ve got time for a lunch break massage.

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