Home to some of the Gold Coast’s glitziest stores (we see you, YSL), this little street has more beauty spots than initially meet the eye. In addition to a couple of stalwart spas and a can’t-miss department store, there are stellar under-the-radar finds hiding above street level.
Start at the Waldorf-Astoria Chicago (11 E. Walton; waldorfastoriachicagohotel.com). The Parisian-inspired hotel has a cushy full-service spa appointed with fountains and chandeliers. Try a massage (starting at $170), a facial (starting at $180), or a body treatment (starting at $185). Stick around to find a moment of peace by the pool.
Head east toward Paul Rehder Salon (70 W. Walton; paulrehdersalon.com), on the third floor of a luxury extended-stay building. Stylists are well versed in cuts, color, and additional services such as balayage and Japanese straightening. Bonus: The space has its own secluded, leafy rooftop patio, where you can lounge with coffee. (Prices vary based on stylists; haircuts start at about $75; single-process color starts at $100; highlights start at around $140.)
Slightly east, Elina Organics (100 E. Walton; elinaorganics.com) is a holistic spa hidden on the sixth floor of an easy-to-pass high-rise. Don’t miss it, though: Founder Elina Fedotova offers highly customized and effective facials that might incorporate gemstone elixirs, herbal compresses, or botanical masks. (Facials start at $80 and average at around $150.) Her fairytale of a spot also offers reiki, and an onsite boutique sells her handmade, organic skin care.
Head back to street level, cross the street heading south, and duck into Bloomingdale’s (900 N. Michigan; bloomingdales.com) to wander through its glossy beauty department. Counters display goods from high-end brands like La Mer and Tom Ford, along with more approachable labels such as Bobbi Brown and MAC. Don’t miss SPACE NK, an apothecary-style store-within-a-store selling international picks.
Cross Michigan Avenue heading east to find Red Door Salon & Spa (919 N. Michigan; thereddoor.com.) The spa has a full gamut of beauty services ranging from manicures to massages and waxing. But for those of us in a rush, there’s a menu of mini services that includes a 25-minute facial ($75) and a 25-minute massage ($70).
Bar-packed Old Town isn’t just about boozing. Then again, there is a spot where you can order a drink while you soak your feet for a pedicure. Head out on its most picturesque street to find this and more.
Start your stroll at Polish & Pour (1244 N. Wells; polishandpour.com), which serves girly-glam vibes with hot pink awnings and crystal chandeliers. Inside, you’ll find a full bar and range of nail services. Opt for a signature pedicure ($61), which includes a green tea foot mask. On a hectic weekday, you can just drop by for a 10-minute hand-and-foot massage ($20).
Just across the street, Plum Market (1233 N. Wells; plummarket.com) has a beauty aisle that wellness junkies obsess over. Browse CBD oils, goat’s-milk soaps, seaweed detox baths, and frankincense body sprays.
Keep heading north to get an expert brow and lip wax at Arch Apothecary (1359 N. Wells; archapothecary.com). The store also offers hairstyling (starting at $35), makeup application (starting at $65), and a beauty boutique selling products from brands like Natura Bisse and By Terry.
Continue north to Salon Vie Rebelle (1513 N. Wells; salonvierebelle.com), where stylists veer to the edgy. (Women’s haircuts start at $75; men’s start at $60). Switch up your style with an elaborate braid ($40) or get a makeup application (starting at $30) or microblading (starting at $600).
Wind down at VIVE Float Studio (1513 N. Wells; vivefloatstudio.com). A soothing, 60-minute float in a private room ($95 or $65 for first-time clients) is just what the doctor ordered. Or try VibroAcoustic therapy ($45), which uses a “sound and water” table to deliver full-body vibrations.
Though it’s obviously touristy with attractions like the Art Institute and Grant Park, this stretch of the Loop should be first in mind for beauty and wellness, too. Look closely: Hidden gems abound in this pocket of downtown.
Start your wellness crawl at Fourhands Healing (410 S. Michigan; fourhandschicago.com.) Hidden on the sixth floor of Fine Arts Building and decked out with Buddha statues, the wellness center is run by intuitive healer Janna Lee Childs. Book a 90-minute Intuitive Energy Healing & Bodywork session, which offers customized healing modalities ($220 for first session; $180 for follow-ups).
Head north for a few blocks and you’ll run into Fuga Centro Salon & Spa (8 S. Michigan; salonfuga.com). Gaze at Millennium Park as you get a haircut (starting at $50 for men; $85 for women) or color (starting at $85 for single process.) The spot also offers makeup services, including eyelash application ($30) and full airbrush application ($95.)
Hidden within Fuga, Tivvy Nail Shop (tivvynailsandspa.com) offers basic polish changes ($10), sure. But there’s also nail art ($5 per finger) and a dip-powder manicure ($55) that will last for two weeks. Pedicures come with unique flourishes, too, including a rose-petal foot soak with the Not So Basic Pedicure ($45).
Point your jazzy toes south on Michigan till you reach Monroe Street, then take a right to find the Palmer House Hilton (17 E. Washington) The iconic hotel houses an outpost of Merz Apothecary (merzapothecary.com), which stocks bath products, fragrances, and organic skin care from around the world.
Keep heading north, nip west onto Washington, and go north to Wabash to find Millennium Park Healing Arts (17 N. Wabash; millenniumparkhealingarts.com) is hidden on the fourth floor of an office building on Jewelers Row. Owner Michael Moran puts your mind and body in a better place with massages that incorporate Chinese medicine (starting at $120).
Just north, Mane Space (111 N. Wabash; manespace.com) is a chill go-to for textured hair services, from barber cuts to weaves, as well as extensions and color (menu starts at $25) done by a diverse, dynamic staff.