The life of a freelance writer is seldom glamorous. If our political leaders and CEOs can be compared to lions, then surely we are the flies on a never-ending quest to pester those higher up on the economic food chain. It can be a dirty job on most occasions, but for this particular assignment, it was one I wouldn’t have traded with Carl Pohlad himself. Pardon me for reveling in it.
My assignment was simply this: to cover the much-anticipated opening of Ivy Spa Club in Downtown Minneapolis. To do so properly, of course, it followed that I received a spa treatment so I could comment on the full experience. You do see the logic, don’t you? I certainly did.
And so, after taking a tour of Ivy’s lush accommodations, I was treated to the Ivy Ritual—a 165-minute foray into nirvana.
Up to this point, my spa experiences have been infrequent—I’ve had a few massages and facials, as well as one full-body exfoliation, which failed to do accomplish much more than fleeting relaxation.
A welcome contrast, the spa’s Ivy Ritual consists of full-body exfoliation, scalp massage, hydrotherapy, facial treatment, detoxifying body wrap, eye treatment, and full-body massage. The ritual actually delivered on its promises: My long-suffering winter skin felt silky smooth for the first time in months, and stayed that way for days.
As far as relaxation goes, I find that a masseuse can accomplish only so much in an hour at a typical venue, where a client immediately has to go back outside, and fight with traffic. Perhaps Ivy’s greatest luxury is that it can be a full-day experience. Offering a fitness center, WaterTile and cold plunge showers, steam rooms, café, coed whirlpool and sauna, and absolutely lovely sitting room, Ivy is truly a destination spa. Moreover, it can serve as a destination not only for the individual, but also for couples and small groups.
Owner Pam Margolis says, “People often have two careers in the home, and they don’t get to spend a lot of time together. Typically, at a regular spa, you say good-bye at the door, and don’t see each other all day. So, having a coed whirlpool and sauna, a fitness center you can all utilize, a relaxation area that is also coed, and couples rooms, you know that you get to have some quality time with someone you care about.”
It also was very important to Margolis to incorporate natural products that would not irritate sensitive skin. Therefore, Ivy includes products from Pevonia and fragrance-free B. Kamins. As well, the spa has developed a signature product line with La Natura.
Margolis explains, “It’s natural, organic, and there’s no fillers in it. You’re not seeing the parabens and dye numbers, which is really important, because anything you put on your body—90 percent is absorbed into our skin, so it’s going into our body. We may as well have just swallowed it.”
Finding a fragrance that would appeal to a wide range of ages and genders took some time, but Margolis hit the mark with a spicy grapefruit blend.
Margolis chose to carry her desire for natural, good-for-you products into the design of the spa itself. The floors are made of earth-friendly bamboo, the furniture of teak. Lighting is energy-efficient fluorescent. Even the employee uniforms are made from hemp.
As Margolis remarks, “If we care about our body, and the spa is all about caring about ourselves, we also need to care about the environment and the world, or it’s not going to be here.”
Ivy Spa Club
Historic Ivy Tower
Hotel Ivy, 2nd Floor
201 11th St. S., Mpls.