|One of the ladies at La Residencia|
The tranquility tea that Jane Aranksy hands me is good. Very good. My eyes must give it away, because she watches me take a sip and says, "That's chamomile, sweetened with luo han fruit - it's all natural. I like to drink a cup before I go to bed at night." I notice what look to be homemade cookies on the table (her grandmother's cookies, she later tells me), sink back into a velvety, Victorian chair, and begin to realize...this is no ordinary spa.
|One of the ladies La Residencia|
Aransky is the entrepreneur behind La Residencia Day Spa in Newton Upper Falls. The nine year old spa is a manifestation of her lifelong dream, concentrated into a transcendent vision while in a fishing village in Spain. "My husband and I moved to Mallorca for several years", she tells me. "There was this hotel there, called "La Residencia", and I thought, "That's it! A spa with this kind of warm, inviting feeling, like you are being welcomed into someone's home!"
|Pedicure area at La Residencia|
It's clear that Aransky decorated the spa to receive. The reception room keeps snacks on the table, and guests sip tea while awaiting their services. There is room for only one pedicure at a time - "it isn't as luxurious to have your toes done surrounded by the noise of other people", she notes. As we wander through the the treatment rooms (each with it's own themed decor), I notice a common thread in the artwork. Tapestries, prints and paintings abound, all featuring beautiful women. Aransky gestures to a piece, "I see these women in antique stores, and they just speak to me! So I bring them here..." Noting the copper sink in one room, she laughs. "Originally I thought this space would be my office, and I would serve martinis in here! But we've been blessed with so many clients, so we turned this into the facial room".
|Reception area at La Residencia|
While all spas, in theory, are places one goes to relax, La Residencia takes spa services past refreshment to a level of respect and caring. Aransky believes in a holistic approach to skin care; instead of just trying to right problem areas from the outside, she addresses the internal elements that can contribute to less than perfect skin. Her focus on the visceral is obvious when I inquire about the common difficulties faced by her clients. Instead of the suspect answer of age spots or dry skin, the licensed counselor replies, "Well, many women have careers they dislike, or are in bad relationships. When you are unhappy, it's going to manifest itself in other ways in your body".
|Makeup suite at La Residencia|
La Residencia offers a variety of services, including massage, anti-aging treatments, make-up, manicures and facials. Jane's Signature Facial, a salon trademark, is a ninety-minute, lavender scented, restorative facial that is uniquely crafted for your specific skin care needs. Another specialty, the Sweet Dreams facial, addresses insomnia with music and aromatherapy. The real distinction of La Residencia, however, is the pleasure that Aransky takes in serving her clients. "I always thought of myself as the ugly sister", she tells me. "I always had this thing with beauty. And one day we had a client who was so unhappy about her appearance. When she left that afternoon, she looked in a mirror, put her hand to her face and gasped, 'I look so beautiful'! It just filled my heart with such joy; I couldn't stop smiling."
La Residencia Day Spa is located at 336 Eliot Street, Newton Upper Falls, MA. I received a complimentary signature facial from La Residencia to review, but I was not compensated for this post.