Spa Report: What’s New at Willows, Hydrotherapy Bliss at Yuan Spa

Everyone at the office hates me this week, and not because I mutter to myself at my desk (though they have a legitimate reason there), but because I got to check out not one, but two local spas this week. Yes, I have a rough life.

First up, the Spa at Willows Lodge has emerged from a recent remodel with a new lounge seating area, a cozy space devoted to manicures and pedicures and a spacious new floor plan that makes it even easier to find your inner zen. Tucked near the back of the Lodge, guests can take in a pre-treatment Jacuzzi in the private garden right outside the spa doors, then head in for a Carita facial (the “it” product of the moment), or a blissful Lomi Lomi massage.

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I was treated to latter, a rhythmic Hawaiian massage that is part a stretching session and part relaxing, tension relief. I’m intrigued to go back and try their signature Thai Herbal Balls massage (do not make ball joke, do not make ball joke), which increases blood circulation and relieves joint pain via massage with scented cloth balls. Bonus: In the summers, the lodge offers pedicure treatments outside in their custom-made cabanas.


Yuan Spa opened up in a quiet corner of downtown Bellevue in November, and it is indeed a luxe place to stay and spend the day. Based off a Chinese bathhouse model, guests imbibe in traditional hydrotherapy before or after treatments, soaking first in the tiled hot tub before taking exfoliating salt into the steam room and finishing off the in the 78-degree salt pool. (You can buy a daily pass for this area for $39, which on a cold, wet winter day sounds pretty awesome.) After that bliss, I tried the Chinese body scrub, which schluffed off dry winter skin in favor of fresh, glowing moisturized skin. I would highly recommend this one before a big event. One note: This one may be a bit much for “never-nudes” (as Arrested Development fans will know) as it is indeed a full body scrub, but as a semi-shy spa-ite myself, I felt completely at ease.

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Photos courtesy of Willows Lodge; Yuan Spa