If you’re looking for what could be the best massage in Los Angeles, head for quaint Larchmont Village in mid-city close to the sprawling Paramount Pictures lot and minutes from the heart of Hollywood. You’ll find it in a renovated former bungalow, recently painted bright orange brick, tucked on Larchmont Boulevard between Melrose Avenue, where a striking new sign was just being installed with its new name Larchmont Sanctuary Spa as (formerly Le Petite Retreat) we pulled into one of the private parking places in front (quite a perk on this popular parking-challenged strolling street of little restaurants and boutiques). Inside, there are a surprising number of stylized treatment rooms, including one with a huge copper tub for soak treatments. And inside another, if you are fortunate, you will find Nicole.
Nicole is from Thailand—the forest in the simpler, quieter north of the country, she said—but don’t let her petite stature fool you. Once prone on her massage bed, and if you’ve specified a firm massage, you’ll discover just how strong and effective her deft combination of Thai, Swedish and Japanese techniques are. She uses feet, knees, arms, elbows and fingers to probe every knot and ache, every inch really from toe to top of head. She misses nothing, spares nothing. And then when you’re drooling with relief, she proceeds to stretch legs and arms into greater flexibility than you thought was possible.
“I’m like a little monkey from the forest,” she says. A magic monkey, actually.
At this writing, Nicole works four days a week at the petite retreat which is located at 331 North Larchmont Blvd., in Los Angeles, 323-466-1028. Massage prices are quite reasonable at the spa with specials offered here.
The charming bungalow with its romantic touches is ideal for a couples’ retreat where you can soak in a tub together sipping champagne or just space out in individual treatment rooms succumbing to pure pampering pleasures then meeting in the picture perfect lounge for some tea and time together. Tiny Nicole, by the way, packs a wonderful wallop despite diminutive size and Richard (my mate) hasn’t stopped raving about his 75-minute session with her. He was so blissed out afterward he appeared happily drugged.
Larchmont Sanctuary is also idea for BFF spa blast, or gifts for Mother’s or Father’s Day that are coming up in May and June. The spa has locker rooms with showers and amenities (robes, toiletries, slippers, brushes etc) for men and women, a coed sauna and a cozy lounge. Come back for my report on one of the absolutely best facials this spa-hopper has ever experienced also at Larchmont Sanctuary.