.Sanctuary: The Almonte Spa experience

Life can be hard, but it doesn’t always have to feel that way—especially if Almonte Spa and its stress-meltingly effective services and staff have anything to say about it.

Between a soak under the open sky in the outdoor hot tub, the skilled hands of a master masseur and sweating it all out in a traditional Finnish or contemporary infrared sauna, it’s impossible to walk away from Almonte Spa in Mill Valley feeling anything less than ridiculously relaxed.

“We’re a sanctuary here at Almonte,” said Almonte’s manager, Coral Lawrence. “It’s a little off the beaten path, but we’re one of the last places, if not the last, in all of Marin County that you can get the full hot tub, massage and sauna experience.”

And what an experience it is, one that begins to work its magic long before any services start, simply by virtue of Almonte being built in and amongst the stunning natural beauty of Tamalpais Valley and with the redwoods of Muir Woods only eight miles away. And even though the location is conveniently close to civilization, the spa still exudes an aura of comfortable seclusion.

“Everything is private here,” Lawrence explained. “We’ve got quite a roster of clientele—there are legacy clients who have been coming here for decades, as well as new people discovering us for the first time…and it’s because there’s a relaxed atmosphere to the Almonte experience that is not at all posh or stuck-up.”

If any words could be used to describe Almonte Spa, posh and stuck-up are, indeed, not among them. Instead, one could confidently describe it as being rustic, charming, intimate, natural, welcoming, comfortable, indulgent, professional and private.

Since 1978, this local spa has served as a haven of health, wellness and healing. Its mission, to help visitors to soak, soothe and sweat away their stressors with entirely individualized private spa treatments, has remained the same through the years.

“It has been a healing center for decades now and was probably the first healing center in Marin, and we try to keep that vibe going,” Lawrence said.

The vibe is, of course, immaculate—from the ever-present crystals scattered all across the property, both as bold centerpieces and tucked away into hidden nooks and crannies, to the all-wood aesthetic that serves to soothe the eyes and soul (especially for those who spend their days in front of a screen), it’s easy to understand how Almonte Spa has stayed busy for so long.

“We specialize in advanced bodywork, and we customize each client’s experience to match their individual needs,” Lawrence explained. “We’re more into client relations than customer service.”

The advanced bodywork massages are, in fact, good enough to bring any adult to tears. And whether this superb quality of Almonte’s massage service is due to the hot tub soak beforehand, their emphasis on bodywork or simply the individual customization to each customer’s massage experience is one of life’s great mysteries…

Or perhaps not so mysterious, considering not just one, but two of their masseurs were previously employed as professional bakers, and they have the hand strength to match.

“They just know how to knead things, and it translates well, I guess,” Lawrence laughed.

So, if becoming a supple ball of dough sounds appealing, Almonte Spa is the place to go. And after every muscle has been kneaded to perfection, it’s time to let the dough rise—I mean, the customer relax—in the dry heat of an authentic, entirely private, Finnish sauna. There, the final vestiges of stress melt (and sweat) away, and all that’s left is the smell of cedar and a sensation of ultimate and complete relaxation.

Almonte Spa is located at 158 Almonte Blvd. in Mill Valley and is open daily from 10am to 9pm. Anyone interested in learning more about the spa experience may visit the website at almontespa.com, send an email to [email protected] or call 415-383-8260.


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