How to Pamper Yourself in Pittsburgh

Looking to beat the winter doldrums? We round up the best places and experiences for a little personal indulgence.


 

There are a few absolutes about February in Pittsburgh: It’s cold, it’s snowy (and, let’s be honest here, probably rainy) and 5 p.m. feels like midnight. Everything feels blah — including you.

The solution? Some creative pampering. Whether it’s indulging in a hot stone massage or temporarily escaping technology in a sensory deprivation tank, Pittsburgh Magazine rounds up the best ways to beat the winter doldrums.
 


PHOTO BY BECKY THURNER BRADDOCK

 

Wrap Yourself in Luxury

Let’s face it, when it’s cold and snowy outside, you want nothing more than to wrap yourself in a blanket and stay that way — all day. With the Blanket Poncho ($180) from Uptown Sweats, that’s entirely possible. Created by Pittsburgh fashion designer Kiya Tomlin — who launched her line of reimagined sweatsuits in luxurious fabrics three years ago — the Blanket Poncho is like entering into a fashionable hug. The asymmetrical poncho, which comes in black, olive and maroon, has pleating details on the left side to create interest and features a fun gold safety pin to close it. For a comfy yet elegant look, pair the poncho with a pair of sleek leather pants. For added pizzazz, try a pair of over-the-knee boots. —JS

Uptown Sweats
5983 Broad St., East Liberty
412/361-2100, uptownsweats.com
 


 

Peace Out

It doesn’t take long before you notice that the air just “feels” different inside the Himalayan Salt Cave at Peace, Love & Zen Holistic Wellness Center in East Liberty. Immersing in the mineral-rich air is believed to have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that are particularly beneficial for people with respiratory conditions and skin disorders. The negative ions in the air also can boost the immune system and reduce stress and fatigue, owner Susan Coe says. Even if you aren’t seeking medicinal benefits, there is no doubt that spending 45 minutes relaxing in so-called zero-gravity chairs in the warm, orange glow of the salt cave will reduce your stress. A peaceful soundtrack is piped into the cave during a session, during which mobile devices are not permitted. A 45-minute introductory session is priced at $20; regular sessions are $30. —BH

Peace, Love & Zen Holistic Wellness Center
6023 Broad St., East Liberty
412/661-0777, peaceloveandzen.com
 


 

Treat Your Feet (and Hands)

A manicure and pedicure are great ways to pamper yourself and still be able to pass it off as overall bodily maintenance — cuticle care is important, after all. AEY Nail Bar and Whitehouse Salon, both located on Walnut Street in Shadyside, go above and beyond the normal mani/pedi experience. AEY Nail Bar offers three levels for manicures and five for pedicures; the deluxe manicure and pedicure both include a clay masque treatment, hot towels and a massage. Prices range from $20 to $57 for a manicure and $35 to $125 for a pedicure. At Whitehouse Salon, guests are offered complimentary wine or tea to sip while they sit in the airy and bright space and warm up their feet in the built-in soaking tubs. —JM

AEY Nail Bar
5501 Walnut St., Shadyside;
412/652-9979, aeynailbar.com

Whitehouse Salon
5523 Walnut St., Shadyside;
412/681-8111, whitehousesalon.com
 


 

Get Away — but Stay Local

When life has you overwhelmed, get away from it all — without having to go far. Fairmont Hotel recently upped its game among the many popular and posh Downtown hotels with the addition of fl.2, a fine dining experience in a stunning setting. The Fairmont also offers the 6,000-square-foot Health Club & Spa, which includes a eucalyptus steam room and cedar sauna, as well as massages, facials, manicures and pedicures. Try the “Urban Essentials” package ($285), which includes a 60-minute Muscle Melt Massage and a 60-minute Customized “New You” Facial or men’s Refinery Deep Cleansing Facial with essential oils. Another option for a getaway, this one a little farther south, is taking a quick jaunt to the Omni Bedford Springs (above) in Bedford. For the ultimate in relaxation, enjoy the Springs Eternal Spa with water from the natural mineral springs on the property. If your idea of luxury is disconnecting, the Omni offers meditative hikes and guided naturalist hikes on the property. To indulge your tastebuds as well as your mind, try the Chef’s Table experience ($180 per person), where your six-course, prix fixe meal with beverage pairings is prepared with flair in front of you. —LD

Fairmont Pittsburgh
510 Market St., Downtown;
12/773-8800,  fairmont.com/pittsburgh

Omni Bedford Springs Resort
2138 Business 220, Bedford;
814/623-8100,  omnihotels.com/bedford

 


PHOTO BY LAURA PETRILLA​
 

Indulge Your Palate

Lautrec, the fine dining restaurant at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, is one of just 29 restaurants in the world to hold a five-star (Forbes Travel Guide) and five-diamond (AAA) rating simultaneously. Indulge yourself with a seat in the luxurious dining room, where 4-course prix fixe menus (prices start at $110) as well as 7- and 14- course chef’s tasting menus will delight your senses with thoughtful, seasonal cuisine. Book a table for two to eight people at the Chef’s Table located in the Lautrec kitchen for the ultimate indulgent experience. There, Executive Chef Kristin Butterworth and her team cater to your fancy with a 10 to 15-course menu. It’s an experience you won’t find anywhere else in the region. —HBK

Lautrec, Nemacolin Woodlands Resort
1001 Lafayette Drive, Farmington
866/399.6957, nemacolin.com/dining/lautrec
 

Resort-Like Retreat

To escape the winter blues, sometimes you need to escape the city. Off the beaten track on a country road near Cranberry, a long, gated driveway leads to the picturesque Osiris Wellness and Day Spa. Hidden by trees, the 8,000-square-foot facility, situated on 6 rolling acres and surrounded by a dramatic 15,000-gallon koi pond, offers a calming environment that makes it easy to relax and luxuriate. In addition to massage therapies, some of the services offered are reiki, skin and body treatments, facials, manicures and pedicures. The spa also features a variety of relaxation areas, where customers are invited to sit back and enjoy the ambiance (note the rough-hewn log walls and fireplaces in the massage rooms) before heading back into the real world. —JS

Osiris Wellness and Day Spa
1511 Mars-Evans City Road, Evans City
724/538-4004, osiriswellness.com
 


 

Take Me Out to the Ballgame

It’s easy to have a great time at PNC Park without spending a lot of money. The premium version of a trip to the ballpark, however, is worth an occasional splurge. Buy a seat in the park’s Lexus Club — 13 rows of seating directly behind home plate, with a few more adjacent to the Pirates dugout — and your experience will begin long before the first pitch. Make a reservation at the club’s restaurant (all food and non-alcoholic beverages are included with your ticket price) up to two hours before gametime, then grab a drink at the dedicated bar on your way to your seat; in a Willy Wonka-esque touch, there’s even a wall of complimentary candy. Few spots in the majors get you closer to the action; if you manage to snag a seat in the first couple of rows, you’ll be closer to the batter than the pitcher is. Single game ticket prices range from $190 to $240. Partial- and full-season packages also are available. —SC

PNC Park
115 Federal St., North Shore
800/BUY-BUCS, mlb.com/pirates/tickets/info/lexus


 

Float On

At Levity Float Studio, the small Squirrel Hill business offering escapes inside its isolation float tanks, the ritual is a key part of the relaxation. You’ll be shown to your dimly lit room, where wood furniture and ethereal music — both crafted by local artists — awaits. Rinse off underneath the rainfall shower and climb into the spacious saltwater tank, where you’ll experience an hour (or more) of blissful silence; nothing to see, nothing to hear, just unadorned calm as your muscles relax and your mind gets a well-deserved chance to wander. When you emerge (soft music will begin playing to let you know the time has come), you’ll be given plenty of time for a second shower, with lavender-oil infused soap, to ease back into the world. Pricing for the appointment-only sessions are $59 per hour. —SC

Levity Float Studio
2635 Murray Ave., Squirrel Hill
levityfloatstudio.com
 

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