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Posted at 1:00 PM ET, 11/19/2007

Julia's Wish List: Exfoliate Away That Holiday Stress

By Julia Beizer

Visions of spa treatments dance in my head during this stressful time of year. If you're looking for a little self-indulgent me-time, Washington's day spas have luxurious options a-plenty. I perused their menus for the most elaborate spa offerings and listed the best below. While most of them are pretty pricey, perhaps one might be a good gift for a very loved one.

Volcanic Force Revitalizer -- Ritz Carlton, Georgetown
When you're looking for revitalization, sometimes only volcanic force will do. This Ritz Carlton, Georgetown, treat features a full-body rub-down with volcanic-ash powder. According to the menu, the massage "allow[s] the force and energy of volcanic elements to restore vitality." Other perks of the pampering include a hot-stone treatment and body polish. 120 minutes for $280 | Official Spa Menu.

The Blue Grotto -- The Pearl Modern Spa and Boutique
Now tell me this doesn't sound insanely delicious: you and a loved one paint detoxifying mud to your bodies. You then step into the Blue Grotto, an herbal steam room complete with a light show and music of your choosing, and relax while the mud drips away. Finally, the steam room turns into a shower. Admittedly, this treatment sounds a little on the naughty side, but a friend has done it and reports that there's nothing seedy going on in the grotto. 60 minutes for $160 (cost includes two people) | Official Spa Menu.

Capital Buzz Revitalising Treatment -- The Four Seasons
Start this 80-minute treatment with a soak in a coffee-essence tub. Spa workers then brush on a paste of coffee grounds, peppermint and rosemary extract. A warm wrap allows the mixture to invigorate your skin. 80 minutes for $225 | Official Spa Menu.

Swedish Massage With Cherry Blossom Scrub -- Mandarin Oriental
A traditional Swedish massage gets a Japanese twist with this Cherry Blossom Scrub add-on. The scrub, made of cherry-blossom tea, sugar and oil, sloughs off dead skin cells before the massage. Massage: 80 minutes for $250 ($220 Mondays-Thursdays). Scrub: 20 minutes for $75 ($65 Mondays-Thursdays) | Official Spa Menu.

Wild Lime Botanical Massage and Scalp Treatment -- Ritz Carlton, Tysons Corner
"Avocado and macadamia oil blended with wild lime blossom, ginger and sandalwood." It sounds like a pan-Asian delicacy, but in fact, this warm blend will be applied to your scalp and entire body. 80 minutes for $195, 110 minutes for $270 | Official Spa Menu.

Chocolate Therapy -- Sugar House Day Spa
This hydrating body mask is good for dry, wintertime skin. Spa technicians brush a chocolate mixture onto your body, which soaks into the cells for about 20 minutes. Spa staffers tell me the treatment smells delicious, but sadly, isn't edible. Rinse it off in the spa's Vichy shower, a decadent marbled-floor space with six shower heads. 70 minutes for $110 | Official Spa Menu.

--Julia

By Julia Beizer  | November 19, 2007; 1:00 PM ET
 
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