Those bundles of joy may be cute, but they sure are tiring. As you put them down for a nap you fantasize about a break. A quick massage. A relaxing bath. Even a nap of your own. But by the time you catch up on a million little things, they wake, and it’s not an option. Until Spa Lé La opened last month in Studio City! Now parents can relax while their kids are entertained in a supervised playroom. While it sounds too good to be true, it actually exists and just in time for Mother’s Day!
See Ya, Kids! Mommy Needs Some “Me Time”
Located on a quaint little section of Tujunga Avenue (a few doors down from the popular Aroma Cafe), Spa Lé La, at first glance, looks like any other boutique on the block. But stop your stroller, Mama. This place is now the only standalone spa in Los Angeles that will take care of your kids while you get some well-deserved Mommy time. That’s right: You get R&R, your kids get free babysitting. It works.
And don’t feel guilty for wanting to get away: Spa Lé La owner Trina Renea has a 6-year-old. She knows that sometimes all a weary mama needs is a few minutes of peace and quiet. Alone.
“I was the mom who was always saying, ‘Please, I just need 30 minutes,'” said Renea, an esthetician who also owns Facial Bungalow in West Hollywood. “It’s not right that for three-or-so years we moms can’t take care of ourselves.”
Of course, “taking care of ourselves” means having to find someone else to take care of the kids. So when she set out to create a Mommy-minded spa, Renea knew she had to include the one thing that would make moms feel OK about coming—and that was a supervised playroom. Along with the adjacent treatment rooms, she created a serene little space where kids ages 6 months to 9 years can hang out while parents relax.
Good to know: Childcare is complimentary for one child up to two hours. Additional children are $6 per 30 minutes.
The playroom isn’t huge, but it is bright and clean with soft floors and a sparse but colorful array of whistle-clean toys. What it lacks in size, it makes up for in personalized care. Spa Lé La nannies (all CPR certified and background checked) aren’t allowed to simply watch children in the room; they’ve got to interact with them. That means they have to play with them. Read stories to them. Have tiny tea parties with them. Whatever it takes. The spa also offers various art and music classes for babies and kids throughout the week (just call and coordinate your treatments accordingly). The ratio is never more than 6 children per nanny (though during a recent visit, there was only one child, and one very doting nanny, in the playroom during a two-hour time span).
photo: Melissa Heckscher
If you’re worried that your super-Mama ears will detect your kiddo’s cries mid-massage, don’t fret; the playroom walls are sound-proofed with double-paned glass, so while you may think your tiny tot is the noisiest kid on the block, nobody outside the playroom will hear a peep.
In any case, you’ll have a buzzer to carry with you into your treatment, so if your little one can’t be soothed (though Renea says that’s only happened once since the spa’s opening in February), you will be summoned.
When’s the last time you had a bath? And we don’t mean a quick dip in a toy-cluttered tub while your kids grapple at the locked door yelling “Moooooommmmy!” We’re talking a real, dim-the-lights-and-relax style soak. With no kids in sight.
Now’s your chance. In addition to the traditional spa services—facials, manicures, pedicures, and massages—Spa Lé La offers several “Retreat” treatments, include a 25-minute bath time and a 25-minute snooze in the “Nap Room,” where you can catch some quick zzz’s on a heated bed. Other à la carte Retreat services include an infrared sauna treatment and 25-minute session with the “Massage Throne,” a motorized massage chair that uses zero-gravity technology to knead sore muscles. There are also private or semi-private “Quiet Pods” where moms can have some coveted peace and quiet and an (uninterrupted!) cup of hot tea.
All Retreat services are $40 for 25 minutes of time: a bit pricey, but well worth it for new moms still suffering all-nighters with colicky newborns. Quiet room prices start at $20 for 30 minutes.
Hint: On a budget? Try the $70 combinations of two Retreat services (a bath and a nap, for instance, or a sauna soak and 25-minutes on the Massage Throne). Every treatment begins with a soothing hot towel and finishes with an optional cup of hot tea or cold water.
Assuming all goes well with mamas in the Valley, Renea plans to open four additional locations throughout Los Angeles. After that, she says, she hopes to make it a nationwide chain.
To that, we say, the more the merrier and the faster the better!
Spa Lé La
4338 Tujunga Ave.
How do you manage your “Me Time?” Tell us in the comments section below!
All photos courtesy of Spa Lé La except when otherwise noted.