So a few weeks ago, I celebrated my 32nd birthday! At first I wasn’t going to do anything… I figured I’m pregnant, I’ve been tired and just not in the mood to do any planning. Then, at the very last minute (literally a week out) I decided to plan a Spa Day! I figured this might be a stretch due to timing but I was willing to send a few emails and make a few calls to try to make it happen.
I knew this would be small and intimate so I decided to keep it at 12 of my closes friends and family. First, I decided that I wanted this to be a reasonable experience for all of my guests. I immediately eliminated the higher end, 5 star spas like my favorite in Ohio (which you can read about in an older post Heaven in Greater CLE) and others that may have been simply amazing in ambiance and service but higher in cost. Contrary to the notion that people think I just know all the cool places in CLE, google is sometimes my best friend. I searched for a list of Cleveland’s best spas and literally read a plethora of reviews based on places I had never been. I ended up with a few options in Akron but the more I looked, the more I decided I wanted to keep it as local as possible. I didn’t want my friends to have to drive too far from the east side.
I’ll be honest, I had no idea there were so many small spas in the area. I actually enjoyed spending my time reading about the various places I could go over time. What I did know, was that I didn’t want a spa that only offered manicures and pedicures, I wanted my friends to be able to choose from pedicures, facials, massages, body wraps, — and whatever else they desired. This made it easier for me to narrow down my list of places to reach out to. Then it happen… I randomly stumbled upon a place in Pepper Pike and literally fell in love with the pictures, services and prices provided. I convinced myself after reading all the reviews that I had to make it work here, I called and sent and email and waited for a reply. In the meantime I called a few other places as back ups.
My short list of must haves included all my girls receiving a robe and slippers, a private room/area for us to gather between services and I wanted to be able to have both alcoholic beverages and food. The next day I received an email basically stating depending on the services my guests were requesting they may or may not be able to accomodate us given the short notice. I literally took the link and sent it to all of my friends and asked them to pick a service. Once selected, I sent an email to Kelly, the salon manager asking her to let me know if it was possible. As expected my guests chose a range of services from pedicures to massages… and Kelly said she thought she could make it work.
This place checked off every box on my list. The only issue was that due to the last minute booking, the only availability was starting at 9am. I was worried this was too early for my friends and family and considered canceling then it hit me! Schedule your mom and mother in law at the earlier times (because they will certainly be up) and let the others have their services later in the morning. I sent that in an email to Kelly and she sent back the schedule of everyone’s services, once I approved I was required to pay a $25 deposit for each person. This locked everything in and I was finally excited to have everything confirmed.
That evening I spent my time purchasing a Spa invitation template on ETSY. I made my edits and sent it out to my girls with the final details and arrival time. The last thing that had to be done, was for me to go to Walmart and purchase everything for my mimosa bar! Various fruits for garnishments (which I hand cut the morning of) and a few different juices to be mixed with the champagne. I also provided sparkling juice for myself, and the spa provided unlimited red and white wine. Even though I couldn’t enjoy the alcohol I wanted all my friends to have a great time and relax. Not only did I do the mimosa bar, I also purchased donuts, muffins and pastries. I brought in my own wine glasses and made each person attending a custom wine glass tag with their name. This was my favor, as it could be removed and carried in your purse and reused anytime your at a large gathering to recognize your wine glass.
The morning of I was super excited! Keep in mind I had the high expectations and had never stepped foot in this spa. I arrived a few minutes before my guest to set up. After following the directions of my GPS, I arrived and was a little taken back. I pulled up and noticed the spa was located in a plaza. I was immediately nervous that the space was going to be small. The parking lot had a few reserved spots for the spa so I was lucky to find one but was worried about my guests. I took a deep breath, gathered a few of my items and walked in. To my surprise the space was open, the sun was shining through the glass windows, and the floors were clean and shiny. To the right there was a sitting area and products that lined the walls, also to the right but to the back you could see hair stations and tables where people were getting there nails done. Towards the front window you could see a make up artist working on a client, and then smack front and center there was a long desk. I walked up and there was Kelly to greet me! To the left there was a door- she opened it and escorted me back to our private space.
Upon entering this door the first room on the left was full of pedicure chairs. As we walked past that there was another sliding door to our space. There was a small locker room for everyone to put their space, attached to a private restroom. All of the robes were nicely folded with slippers on a bench. Ahead, was a long dim lit hallway with various doors with private rooms. One of the rooms was open with chairs, water and tea. This was our space! It smelled amazing and there was just enough room for me to add my mimosa bar, wine glasses, a few custom signs that I made and the food. There were only 3 lush chairs but there was a mix of swivel seats and ottomans in the room as well. Once the services started we weren’t in the room all at the same time anyway so it worked out perfectly. Kelly and her staff were literally phenomenal, they came and checked on us every so often and made sure we had everything we needed.
I selected the 60 minute prenatal massage and thanks to Heather it was nothing short of amazing! I usually like for the soothing music to play, and to close my eyes and zone out but in this instance I talked to Heather the entire time. It was like she was one of my friends. It made for an enjoyable massage experience, it was just a first for me which also says a lot about her personality. I will admit, I was totally jealous that everyone else who selected a massage got to do the 10 minute steam shower. I loveeeee to sit in the steam room, but unfortunately while pregnant that was a no go. I did sit in with my sister and friends while they got to enjoy it. The shower changed color and it just looked like a great experience to accompany a massage.
From start to finish we had a great time! Everyone enjoyed their experience and service. Although people originally complained about the 9am time, everyone arrived before 10am and we stayed til about 1pm. We brought a small speaker, so we had music playing, good conversation and the drinks were flowing.We hung out in our private room and took pictures until it was time to leave. It was just the perfect way to celebrate my birthday while pregnant.
So in closing, this is a spa and salon that offers a variety of services. I would totally recommend this place for a girls gathering, or just as an option for an individual who wants to escape and get pampered for a short period of time. Unlike my favorite spa, this place is extremely reasonable, and if you want to have a good experience at a lower cost this is the way to go. Not to mention the staff was amazing! No request was too big or too small and even with my last minute planning, Kelly the Salon manager, was willing to help me make it work. That meant a lot. She stopped taking appointments so that she could accomodate my party and it was so very appreciated.
I’m so glad I found this place and I’m glad to share it with you… if you’re ever in the Pepper Pike area, be sure to visit Santo Salon and Spa and tell them you read about them on #CourtneyCoversCleveland This spa is open Monday through Sunday. Be sure to read PART 2 of #CourtsSipandSpaBday LUNCH here!
Check out a few comments from my guests:
Leslie said “I thought the staff was attentive and friendly. The perfect girlfriend experience”
Amber said ” I loved my experience with Santos Spa soooo much! They pampered us like queens and my pedicure made me feel like a new woman. The staff was awesome and I have referred plenty of people”
Kelly said “It was a fantastic experience and beautiful setting”
Ashley said “It was nice.. nice ambiance… I’d go again”