Editor’s Note: Unfortunately, the quality of service at 5 Elements Elite Spas has changed since our visit in December 2012. We’re keeping up our original review, but ask that you take the time to read the comments on this article and other Internet review sites before planning a visit.
Though it all pays off on Christmas Day when we’re surrounded by loved ones, these few weeks before Christmas can be brutal. I don’t know about you, but my head is filled with grocery lists, event schedules and that nagging feeling that some of my Christmas letters will be late…and all this in the middle of the work day.
So you can imagine my excitement when 5 Elements Elite Spas and Salon, a new business in Steiner Ranch, invited Eric and me out for a visit last weekend. The 5 Elements team took amazing care of us and we really got a behind the scenes look into their quality of service.
Our Experience at 5 Elements Elite Spas and Salon
Our Saturday morning began with a tour of 5 Elements. It’s located above the Monterone Apartments Clubhouse in Steiner Ranch. It’s a beautiful location, with painted ceilings, eye-catching chandeliers and an overabundance of windows looking out on Texas Hill Country.
My first appointment was with esthetician Julie Ray, who gave me the 5 Elements Signature Facial (60 min). Julie was incredibly kind, and I couldn’t believe that she was taking time to take care of me on her birthday! What stood out the most about my 5 Elements facial, compared to my past experience, was the sophistication of Julie’s equipment. Julie introduced me to the Clarisonic, which is a tool for exfoliating and cleansing. Think of a Sonicare toothbrush for your face!
After visiting Julie, I was introduced to the lead massage therapist. Eric had just received a customized massage that he couldn’t stop raving about. For our time together, the therapist wanted to demonstrate for me his Hawaiian Lomi Lomi massage (70 min).
The Lomi Lomi massage is rare in the continental United States because there aren’t many practitioners who choose to learn it. I’m so glad I had the privilege of experiencing it. The therapist described the technique as “caring and nurturing,” as the massage therapist “flows” up and down the body.
This may sound silly, but I kept imagining that I was floating in the ocean, and the ocean had become a person who was gently buffeting my body. The 5 Elements Lomi Lomi session is even more wonderful because Hawaiian music is played in the background, completing the experience.
Floating on clouds (or waves), I made my way to my last appointment at the 5 Elements Elite Salon. I gave hair stylist Amber Welch full range to play with my hair as she wanted! After a shampoo, Amber blow dried and styled my hair into soft, bouyant curls. The other customers in the salon joined me in raving about Amber’s work, and I resolved to go out on the town later in the day to show it off!
5 Elements Services
In our few hours at 5 Elements, we only experienced a fraction of their full suite of services. Instead of having to visit multiple locations across Austin, you can receive all of these services at 5 Elements:
- Multiple types of massages, including couples massage
- A variety of facials, peels and facial add-ons
- Makeup and lash extensions
- Hair design and coloring
- Hand and feet services, including manicures and pedicures
- Botox and other injectables
- Health and fitness consulting
- Bridal packages
- Maternity packages
What Sets 5 Elements Elite Spas Apart
Spa Director Stefany Taylor sat down to answer our questions about 5 Elements before we started our treatments. There were a number of interesting takeaways from our conversation:
- 5 Elements customers receive full access to the Monterone Clubhouse on the day of their visit, including indoor/outdoor swimming pools, sauna, jacuzzi, billiards, gym, and patio overlooking the countryside.
- 5 Elements has a full-time staff – no one rents space.
- Staff members have impressive experience. Main colorist Victoria Fuentes has been a trainer for Toni & Guy. Lead hair stylist Michael Rosario has opened multiple Toni & Guy locations. Nurse Kelly Harrison trains doctors to provide Botox treatment. Stefany had nothing but good things to say about all of her staff members.
- 5 Elements provides the ambiance of a resort spa, but it’s not “fluffy.” The level of service is kept high and customers see lasting results.
Stefany describes 5 Elements Elite Spas as “elite, but not elitist.” Though I don’t regularly frequent resort-style spas myself, I felt a warmth from everyone. I’m sure this stems in part from the fact that 5 Elements staff members enjoy working with each other. I heard from multiple people that they love their co-workers, and even spend time with each other outside of work.
If you’re in need of a breather before the holiday season drives you batty, but you can’t go far from Austin, take the time to check out 5 Elements Spas and Salon. Once you do, let me know what you think!
5 Elements Spas and Salon is open Tuesday through Saturday, from 10 AM-6 PM. Visit their website for more information.
What is your favorite resort-style spa in or near Austin?