We Tried It: The $630 Japanese Massage That Gwyneth Paltrow, Lea Michele and More Indulge In
Gwyneth Paltrow, Jessica Alba, Lea Michele and more are all fans of the high-end Beverly Hills spa
What It Is: The “Japanese Experience” massage at the ultra-luxurious Tomoko Spa in Beverly Hills
Who Tried It: Melody Chiu, Staff Editor
Level of Difficulty: 1 (because I drove there and L.A. traffic is no joke)
Over the years, I’ve noticed plenty of Hollywood stars (Gwyneth Paltrow, Lea Michele, Armie Hammer, Mindy Kaling and the list goes on…) share the cutest photos with their loved ones at Tomoko Spa in Beverly Hills. And as I personally found out, it really is completely different from any other spa in L.A. “What sets us apart the most besides the incredible attention to detail is our level of Japanese hospitality services referred to as ‘omotenashi,'” owner Tomoko Kurono — who opened the spa in 2014 — tells me. “Each aspect of the spa has been well thought-out to provide the ultimate level of relaxation and rejuvenation.”
Last month, Jessica Alba and her husband Cash Warren celebrated a whole decade of marriage and marked the occasion by heading to Tomoko and indulging in the “Japanese Experience.” While some of us don’t have husbands to bring to the spa, I invited someone even better — Kari, my best friend of 12 (!) years who’s also a new mom and definitely in need of some serious pampering.
After being welcomed into the spa, our shoes were swiftly swapped for cute Japanese sandals (“We ask our clients to take off their shoes as a sign of letting go of their daily routine and unwinding,” says Tomoko) and we were ushered into the gorgeous, minimalist lobby for some pre-massage tea and a piece of chocolate.
We were then brought to our massage room, which was super spacious and almost felt like a chic studio apartment with the waterfall shower and wooden bathtub (more on that later). Our massage therapists were beyond professional and really made sure we had a 5-star experience from start to finish. After we changed into our “Yukata” robes, our therapists kicked off the session with a 15-minute detoxing foot soak and massage (this may have been the best 15 minutes of my life) and then settled us into our heated massage beds for 60 more minutes of heaven.
Afterwards, we were given plenty of time to relax, shower and take turns soaking in the “Japanese Ofuro Bath.” Our therapists explained the tub is made out of natural cedar wood and is supposed to help rid toxins from the body. I don’t often take baths because I get easily restless, but I honestly could’ve soaked forever in the special bath had Kari not been (so patiently) waiting for me to hop out. Tomoko also has plenty of high-end beauty products — face-wash, toner, lotions, hair sprays, etc. — available in the room, and it’s little details like that that I think make the whole experience feel extra special.
As if all that weren’t enough, our “Japanese Experience” ended with a dinner of sushi, yummy Japanese sweets and organic green tea.
The Verdict: Though Gwyneth Paltrow probably could afford to visit Tomoko Spa every day if she wanted to, the “Japanese Experience” is definitely more of a special occasion-type spa for us non-celebs. It’s pricey, but the spa goes above and beyond to make the heavy price-tag feel totally worth it, and Kari and I left feeling beyond pampered. If you’re looking to treat yourself or a loved one to a less splurge-filled spa day, the “Tomoko Massage” is also available at a more affordable price. Tomoko also offers a facial treatment now called the “Harisienne Facial Massage Treatment,” which is only offered in select locations in the United States. I’d highly recommend either the massage or the facial treatment the next time you (or a loved one!) wants to feel like a Hollywood A-lister.