Step down into the cool seaside blues, greens, and sandy brown of Solstice Day Spa, on the lower “Spa level” of Puritan Cape Cod’s flagship Hyannis store, and feel the stress slip away. The full-service spa has partnered with Puritan at its 408 Main Street location since 2008; and with the opening this past summer of Naked Oyster Bistro & Raw Bar in the adjacent site, it offers a total setting to “dress, dine, and decompress,” according to Solstice co-owner and esthetician Sheryl Baba.
“Our plan is to be a one-stop beauty and wellness destination: your day-cation destination,” Baba says. Decompression is evident throughout Solstice. In one room, four hair stylists provide cut and styles, color, and custom-tailored services like keratin hair-smoothing therapy. Cape Cod is a wedding destination, and Solstice does a lot of styling for weddings as well as photo shoots and fashion shows. Expert make-up application or instruction is available to complete a photo-ready look, or to try out a new image. “We love to do makeovers,” Baba says. “The whole transformation experience is right up my alley.”
Across the studio, a manicure station and contoured pedicure chairs are arranged to shape and polish nails, care for cuticles, file away calluses, and massage aching muscles and joints. You can get an express pedicure for just toenail shaping and fresh polish, or indulge in a hot stone or lava shell manicure or pedicure, in which heated stones or silky-smooth tiger shells filled with warm lava minerals are applied to massage from your knees to your toes.
A locker area leads to a steam room, which Baba says is ideal for couples who want to celebrate Valentine’s Day with a steam and side-by-side massage. After the detoxifying steam bath, clients wrap on cuddly robes and step into a calm seating area, called the tranquility room, to await body and facial treatments. “Some refer to this as the decompression chamber,” says Baba.
The four private treatment rooms, including one that can serve two clients, offer rejuvenation for body and spirit. Baba says, “For some people, it’s a priority. They need it for their physical well-being. They just perform better.”
She explains that facials, which cleanse, tone, and refine the skin, can provide a boost to self-confidence that’s more than skin deep. One of Solstice’s facial treatments, microdermabrasion, treats fine lines, wrinkles, age spots and acne scars, and renews the surface skin cells. “It’s not invasive, and your skin looks great immediately,” says Baba. “It’s like sandblasting for the skin. If we can blast through a whole skin cycle, the new skin comes out all that much faster.” Specialized facials are tailored for teens and men, too.
Massage therapists individualize how they approach each client’s knots and trouble spots, but treatments such as the hot stone body experience and lava shell massage add the power of heat and soothing natural elements to induce deep relaxation. “When the hot soft stones roll over your tight muscles, it melts your tension away,” says client Sue Infante-Despo.
Solstice’s newest addition to its bodywork repertoire is bamboo-fusion massage, in which bamboo sticks of various shapes and lengths are heated and used as an extension of the therapist’s fingers to knead muscles in Swedish or deep-tissue massage. Like the hot stones and lava shells used for massage, heated bamboo penetrates tight muscles so they become more pliable to the therapist’s ministrations. And according to Baba, bamboo contains silica, which creates an energy charge.
Baba says, “The therapist can actually work deeper in the muscle without fatiguing their own hands, and the bamboo is flexible so it works with the curvature of the big muscles.” In October, Solstice’s massage therapists were certified in the technique by the pioneer of bamboo-fusion therapy in North America.
Bamboo is an eco-friendly tool, as well. The fast-growing grass, which grows as much as a foot in 24 hours, is found throughout Cape Cod, and offers another innovative use of a local, renewable resource.
With a staff of 20 beauty and wellness professionals, Solstice is a popular spot for spa parties. Groups of up to nine people can book their services, bring their own food and beverage, or have Naked Oyster Bistro deliver refreshments, and spend the day. Whether it’s a couple enjoying a romantic steam and massage, a wedding party celebrating the bride-to-be, or friends reconnecting for a girls’ night out, Solstice’s convenient evening and weekend hours make it a healthy alternative to just going out for cocktails.
Solstice’s move to the heart of Hyannis has contributed to the energy of what’s often called “Cape Cod’s downtown.” It’s been a good business move, too, with an enthusiastic clientele. “It has been phenomenal being on Main Street,” Baba says. “It’s such a great community here.”
CERTIFIED BAMBOO-FUSION THERAPISTS
Kimberlee Schuler, co-owner, Solstice Day Spa, 1993 graduate of Muscular Therapy Institute, Cambridge. Nationally certified member American Message Therapy Association; Massachusetts license.
Tabatha Rubini, 2001 graduate of Wood Hygienic Institute of Massage Therapy of Florida. Nationally certified member American Massage Therapy Association; Massachusetts license.
Kim Kelley, 2003 graduate of Massage Institute of Cape Cod. Association of Bodywork and Massage Professionals member; Massachusetts license.
Kristy DeCicco, 2005 graduate of Career Educational Institute of Massage Therapy.
Visit www.solsticedayspa.com for information about services, special events, and to purchase gift certificates in any amount. -cha
Written by Susan Spencer. Susan Spencer is an award-winning freelance writer and photographer who lives in Whitinsville and Brewster, Massachusetts. She writes frequently for Cape Healing Arts Magazine about health, environment, and energy issues.
Photos © Dan Cutrona • www.dancutrona.com