Best Spa - 2007
There's no sauna, fancy locker-room amenities, shelves of overpriced miracle salves, or attitude-shlepping front-desk girls, but Soothe, an unpretentious Upper Haight pampering haven, offers a gentle reprieve from careworn lives to rival any of the city's hoity-toity spa pretenders. You can forget the froufy products and $500 treatments this teeny, one-room outpost is all about pure, barebones, feel-good service. Soothe's founder, London Elise, is a Good Samaritan and Jill-of-all-trades who waxes, massages, and soothes irritated skin back into tip-top shape with her facials. She's also revered for respecting that fine balance between putting you at ease and shutting up during a treatment. An effective sprinkling of acupuncture, Ayurveda, massage, facials, and holistic health sessions keep Soothe's gaggle of clients satisfied and word-of-mouth friendly. The back facials combined with the most exquisite massage ever will make your pores squeaky-clean, and warm towels and aromatherapy are abundant in the modestly priced services. If you find yourself on the verge of tearing your hair out, this is your go-to place an hour or so of pampering is guaranteed to make you start purring and playing nice.