The Bottom Line
- Peaceful, beautiful, exotic decor/atmosphere; like taking a vacation without leaving LA
- Reasonable prices
- Great variety of services--especially massages
- No parking; street parking only
- Open daily from 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
- Massage options include: Thai, Hawaiian Lomi Lomi, deep tissue, Swedish, Hawaiian hot stone, couples, pregnancy and custom.
- Reiki, acupuncture and men’s and women’s waxing is also available.
- Facials include: organic Ayurveda facial and organic California facial.
- They offer Turkish “Hammam” soaks, scrubs and oil massages.
- Their Rituals ('Cleopatra,' 'Nefertete' and 'King') are indulgent circa three-hour multi-service treatments.
- El León sells body-care products and more at their reception area.
- Special event packages are available on request.
Guide Review - Thai Massage, Reiki and More at the El León Spa in Los Angeles
I first heard about El León through friends and then via a postcard in my mailbox. I have to admit--being a car-centric Angeleno--that I had passed by this sweet nearby spot many times without noticing it. And that’s saying something because it is housed in quite the pretty little self-standing casita.
Without exaggeration, I can say that entering the spa and having the treatment experiences feels akin to going on holiday at some exotic locale. The decor--which is key in spas since atmosphere sets a tone for the senses--is amazing and was clearly fabricated with love and attention to detail.
The look is Moroccan-inspired with modern and stylish exposed and distressed concrete floors. Festooned with curtained off treatment areas (mattresses on a raised ‘platform’) its color palette is comprised of soothing natural earthy tones. The scents and tranquil exotic tunes wafting through the air are equally intoxicating. ‘Lucky’ bamboo peaks in from outside via a window.
Though the spa offers a nice array of exotic massage treatments, acupuncture and Reiki, its signature is probably the Thai massage. I’ve also heard people rave about the 'Extremity Remedy'--a half-hour ‘fit-for-a-queen’ hand, arm, leg and foot soak and massage.
Be warned that Thai massage is not for the faint at heart or for those who are fond of traditional massages. But if you are open to it, the experience will take you away to higher realms. Think of it as assisted yogic massage.
Your massage therapist essentially moves with you, stepping on you and grinding into your muscles to work through knots and energy blocks and maneuver and twist your body around--sometimes like a pretzel. You breathe and flow through it and the results are a resounding sense of balance, ease and flexibility that few other traditional massages can deliver (at least after just a single session).
At the culmination of your treatment(s) you are given a little tray of mint tea and fruit (orange and apple slices and a date) which is a sweet way of capping of the experience and keeping up the exotic mood. If you don’t have time to jet off to Istanbul, Casablanca or Phuket, consider a more accessible visit to this soothing and inspiring LA oasis.
Find the El León Spa on this map of West Hollywood
8217 Beverly Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90048