Hylunia was started in 1988 by a group of medical doctors, naturopaths, Ayurvedic physicians and scientists who wanted to create effective skin care products that combined the best elements of both western science and eastern philosophies, and which were free of inflammatory, toxic and potentially carcinogenic ingredients.
The Hylunia MD Spa believes in looking at you as a whole person, and evaluates your needs, body type, stress index, eating habits, energy, motivation and lifestyle before preparing a program designed to leave you balanced and happy.
It offers treatments suitable for all skin types and all ages, and which incorporate eastern practices like yoga and mantra meditations to help achieve a complete balance between mind, body and beauty.
The spa is designed to look Balinese, with authentic imported decorative pieces thoughtfully placed both inside and outside. Even their outdoor number sign was exactly like all those I had seen on a trip to Bali. I have really fond memories of my trip, so I was looking forward to seeing how this theme was carried through.
The women’s locker room was very small, but as nobody else was with me, this didn’t really matter. It was tastefully decorated and spotlessly clean, with a few Balinese mirrors thrown in to keep with the overall Bali-style theme of the spa.
The lockers themselves were tiny – barely big enough for my purse, which is not huge. There were only three toilets and two showers, although they were all spacious. There was unfortunately no sauna or steam room.
Once I’d changed into my robe and slippers, I was led into a dark, coed relaxation room to wait for my treatment. The room had several sunbed-type loungers covered in Indonesian fabric, as well as pieces of Balinese décor. Underwater scenes were projected onto the walls, so I could watch sea turtles and fish while I waited.
I was given a blanket, and the attendant helped place it over me so that I was nice and cozy. She then handed me a pair of a goggles with ear pieces, explaining that to relax me before my treatments, I was going to experience guided meditation and visuals that would virtually “transport me to Bali.” This was a completely novel experience for me, although I’m not sure that I’d be too eager to do it again.
My massage therapist was there to bring me to my massage two minutes after the meditation ended.
The hallways leading to the treatment rooms were interesting. Instead of typical canned lighting, the ceilings were covered with dark fabric and starry lights, aimed at recreating the feeling of walking around Bali at night. It didn’t quite achieve the desired effect, but I thought it was kind of cool that they tried.
While the massage and facial rooms were fairly standard, the wet room where I had my scrub was also interesting. There were dual marble benches with footbaths, a marble table with a handheld shower next to it, and a roomy standard shower. The only slightly disconcerting things were the space heaters on some steps, heating the room.
Massage and Body Treatments
I chose the Mind Body Beauty Bliss package. This was made up of three treatments:
- A 60-minute Chakra Balancing Massage. According to the spa’s brochure, this would help me “achieve greater physical, mental and emotional health” and learn my own “signature mantra with this soothing and balancing massage.” It would help me become one with my body while my Chakra points would be “aligned with specially blended chakra essential oils, color therapy, gem stones and Chi/Prana energy.”
- A 75-minute Chakra Balancing Total Body Facial. This used natural, exotic Chakra blend essential oils, color therapy and gem stones to provide “balance and harmony of mind and body. Infusion of the chi/prana energy in the Bali ritual relaxes your body and helps endorphins and growth factors work for you.”
- A 60-minute Illuminating Bali Sugar Scrub. This was a body polish using Bali exotic essential oils carefully blended with sugar. It included a sugar exfoliation, aromatherapy Bali body wash and Bali healing and restoring moisturizer cream.
The Chakra massage was three parts massage and one part guided meditation. It began with what my therapist said was a “traditional Balinese foot bath,” but it wasn’t like a traditional foot bath at all. Traditional Balinese foot baths involve a bowl filled with warm water and flower petals – my therapist used hot towels and sprays. It still cleaned my feet pretty well though, so no biggie.
I was then asked to choose an Ayurvedic oil blend, which would be used throughout all of my treatments. I chose the Vata dosha oil, which smelled predominantly of citrus and lavender. My therapist asked me often to take deep breaths and inhale the scent of this oil. The massage was very relaxing, as opposed to therapeutic, with light to medium pressure. My therapist did work a little harder on trouble spots when she found them, though.
I didn’t get a mantra (which was fine, as I already have one), I’m not entirely sure how many oils were used, I have no idea if color therapy was used – other than during the guided meditation when we visualized the chakras and their corresponding colors – and I really don’t know if gemstones were used since my eyes were closed the whole time. So were my chakras balanced afterwards? Who knows, but I was very relaxed and felt more grounded and balanced after the massage/meditation combo.
The facial started off with a neck, back and shoulder massage to relax me before the rest of the treatment. I was already pretty relaxed having just had the Chakra massage, but was even more so after this massage. The facial was basic, and because my skin is sensitive, my therapist gave me a light treatment using gentle products.
The scrub left my skin feeling soft and polished, but was the least seamless experience of the three. I was asked to put on a disposable bikini and lie face up on a marble bed that was covered with towels and a mylar sheet.
My therapist was gentle and nurturing, but the scrub was cold, which was a shock when it was first applied – even though she had warned me about this. Surely they could warm up the scrub first.
I had to sit up, with all the scrub on me, so she could get to my back, and I found this uncomfortable. I wasn’t cold for very long as the room was well heated and I was eventually wrapped with the mylar sheet from the bed. But just as I got nice and warm, I had to get up off the table to shower – even though there was some sort of handheld shower right next to the table.
The service was attentive and gracious and went above and beyond the levels I usually experience at a spa. I thought the staff had a positive, gentle energy and a customer-comes-first attitude. They were all committed to ensuring I had a smooth and seamless experience, and their attention to detail was excellent.
This was a very different spa experience, and I liked it. If you are looking for a full spa experience with a sauna and/or steam room, you might want to visit another spa in the area with tropical touches. Although I missed having a sauna at Hylunia, I appreciated the way in which the whole Bali theme is carried through in everything from the design of the building to the staff uniforms and the décor. Even though my package took four hours, I was so relaxed I didn’t notice how long I was there. I would love to go back and try another one of Hylunia’s packages that includes a private yoga session, a couple of treatments and lunch.
- Couples’ suite
- Coed lounge
- Wet room
- Yoga Studio
- Spa Cuisine
$$$$ = Pricey
Hylunia Wellness MD Spa
1901 Newport Boulevard, Suite 180
Costa Mesa, CA 92627
SPA HOURS OF OPERATION
Monday, Wednesday and Thursday: 10am – 7pm
Friday and Saturday: 9.30am – 7pm
Sunday: 9.30am – 5.30pm
Tuesdays: CLOSED (except for all regularly scheduled yoga classes)
HOW TO BOOK AN APPOINTMENT
I called the spa at (949) 313-7760 to book my treatments. You can also request an appointment online.