You’ve got a surprising number of massage and spa options right in and around Avalon. If you prefer your massage in the privacy of your hotel room or condo, call In-Room Massage by Michelle (310/510-8920, www.catalinamassagebymichelle.net, $85–95 massage, $120–300 spa treatments). Michelle loves to work with couples looking for a relaxing day or evening of romance, and she is trained in a variety of massage techniques and spa therapies, including heated stones and Thai massage.
Book a simple Swedish massage or a full spa package with facials, body scrubs, and massages for one or two people. Check the website for a full list of available treatments. Be sure to book in advance to get the date and time you want. Studio sessions are also available.
Whether you’re looking for a divine romantic experience with your sweetie or a solo day of spa-induced respite from your busy life, you’ll find it at The Spa at Catalina (888 Country Club Rd., Avalon, 310/510-9255, www.catalinaspa.com, $60–325). This full-service day spa offers all sorts of massage and treatment packages, from a simple half-hour of bodywork up to nearly three hours of head-to-toe bliss. The spa has dual rooms (many complete with private baths for two) to serve couples or pairs of friends who want to enjoy their treatments together.
Choose from the many packages that focus on facials and scalp treatments using lavender, peppermint, and other delicious essential oils. You can also breathe deep and detox with a body wrap or heated stone massage. The spa sits in Falls Canyon outside of downtown Avalon; ask about getting a free shuttle from your hotel to the spa at the Best Western Canyon Hotel when you book your treatments. It’s best to make reservations at least a couple of days in advance; even in wintertime, same-day appointment availability is rare.
Decide for yourself whether the treatments you receive in downtown Avalon live up to the name A Touch of Heaven (205 Crescent Ave., 310/510-1633, daily 9 a.m.–5 p.m., $45–200). This day spa echoes the European flavor of the town surrounding it; you’ll find an extensive menu of Euro-styled facials, from the intense relaxation of a LaStone Facial to the aesthetically focused glycolic/lactic acid peel and facial. Also look for a few unusual treatments including raindrop therapy and ear candling, as well as practitioners of both Eastern and Western massage modalities. The spa also offers massage for children, and well-behaved young people are welcome to enjoy the the treatments here.
© Liz Hamill Scott from Moon California, 2nd Edition