Pam­per Me

While Ber­lin em­braces its rep­u­ta­tion as a party cap­i­tal, Annabelle Mal­lia sets out to un­cover a more re­lax­ing – yet just as deca­dent – side to the city.

Where Berlin - - CONTENTS -

Take a well-de­served break from sight­see­ing and in­dulge your­self from head to toe. BY ANNABELLE MAL­LIA

Some­times, a va­ca­tion re­quires a lit­tle down time from all the sight­see­ing, gourmet din­ing, and club-hop­ping. Take the edge off with a day de­voted to re­vi­tal­iza­tion, both in­side and out.

IM­MERSE YOUR­SELF

Get into the right frame of mind for pam­per­ing and step into a flota­tion tank.

Tranxx (Akazien­str. 27, www.tranxx.de), in the beau­ti­ful Schöneberg neigh­bor­hood of Akazienkiez, has the big­gest in Ber­lin, where you can re­lax solo or with a loved one. The highly con­cen­trated salt wa­ter repli­cates the buoy­ancy ex­pe­ri­enced in the Dead Sea and is heated to ex­actly 35°C (95°F), which blurs the tac­tile bound­ary be­tween air, wa­ter, and skin. Com­bined with all-en­com­pass­ing dark­ness and si­lence, the re­sult is com­plete sen­sory de­pri­va­tion, which aids in the re­lease of stress and ten­sion. Mas­sages are avail­able af­ter­wards, or re­treat to a "chill" cave for fur­ther re­lax­ation.

BODY TREAT­MENTS

Ger­many is renowned for its sauna cul­ture, and Ber­lin is awash in venues to choose from. A per­sonal fa­vorite of mine is the ar­chi­tec­turally im­pres­sive Liq­uidrom (Möck­ern­str. 10, www.liq­uidrom-ber­lin. de). The venue's cen­ter­piece is a dimly lit con­crete dome with heated salt-wa­ter pool and moon-like win­dow above. Choose from a steam bath with hu­mid­ity reach­ing 100 per­cent, a Hi­malaya salt sauna with an il­lu­mi­nated wall, the Kelo Panorama, and a Fin­nish sauna, where low hu­mid­ity al­lows you to en­dure tem­per­a­tures up to 90°C (194°F). Hourly Auf­guss ses­sions (see op­po­site page) and al­ter­nat­ing in­fu­sions, from honey to salt and fruity tea, are best capped off with a dip in the ice-cold plunge pool. Per Ger­man cus­tom, swimwear is not al­lowed in saunas.

Once you're loos­ened up, take the re­lax­ation a step fur­ther with a lux­u­ri­ous mas­sage. Although these are also of­fered at Liq­uidrom, I rec­om­mend you head to the self-de­scribed oa­sis of tran­quil­ity in the heart of Ber­lin, Va­bali (Sey­dl­itzstr. 6, www.va­bali.de). Ooz­ing au­then­tic Ba­li­nese charm, the well­ness re­sort boasts nu­mer­ous pools and saunas, din­ing, and an im­pres­sive treat­ment list. Clas­sic mas­sages, from deep tis­sue to aro­mather­apy, and more ex­otic holis­tic tech­niques, such as Hawai­ian lomilomi and al­gae body packs, guar­an­tee an an­ti­dote for the knot­ti­est of shoul­ders.

HAIR & SKIN

Look­ing good is just as im­por­tant as feel­ing good. At NIVEA Haus (Un­ter den Lin­den 28, www.nivea.de), one of the Ger­man pow­er­house's two flag­ship stores, you can re­fuel with a spon­ta­neous cof­fee and fa­cial or other sooth­ing body treat­ment. Cab­ins are also avail­able for dual pam­per ses­sions, as is the full range of NIVEA prod­ucts.

Top off your ra­di­ant vis­age with a new coif­fure. With eight sa­lons city­wide, Udo

Walz (Kur­fürs­ten­damm 29, www.udo-walz. com) has be­come a hair­dress­ing in­sti­tu­tion. By age 18, founder Walz was al­ready pop­u­lar amongst Ger­many’s fash­ion­istas for his up­dos, then went on to open his flag­ship Ku'damm store in 1986. Since then, he has styled the locks of su­per­stars such as Demi Moore and Claudia Schif­fer – and even An­gela Merkel. Whether you book your­self for a spe­cial hair­style or a make-up ses­sion, rest as­sured that you too will be treated like a star. Be­fit­ting of its stature, Udo Walz also of­fers ho­tel room ser­vice.

MAN­I­CURES & PEDI­CURES

The Shan Rahimkhan brand, renowned for its ros­ter of celebrity clients, has just opened Shan’s True Beauty (Kur­fürs­ten­damm 195/196, www. shan­rahimkhan.de) on the ground floor of their Ku’damm sa­lon, of­fer­ing makeup and nail ser­vices amid a boudoir in­te­rior of vel­vet fur­nish­ings. The Gen­dar­men­markt lo­ca­tion also fea­tures a bistro that serves sweets and Per­sian-inspired Ber­lin cui­sine. The first-class beauty team at The

Alessan­dro Spa, housed within lux­ury depart­ment store KaDeWe (p. 27), spoils its clients with man­i­cures and pedi­cures, hand mas­sages, and nail styling ac­cord­ing to the latest trends. A com­plete range of in­no­va­tive skin care prod­ucts, in­clud­ing Hands!Up, rounds off the ser­vice.

THE TOP-TO-BOT­TOM PACK­AGE

If or­ga­niz­ing your own beauty and well­ness ap­point­ments sounds any­thing but re­lax­ing, book the "Pimp Me Up" tour of­fered by Ber­li­na­gen­ten (p. 39). The lux­ury tour agents will cu­rate a pro­gram tai­lored to your per­sonal needs and de­sires, fa­cil­i­tate ac­cess to Ber­lin’s most lux­u­ri­ous spas and well­ness lo­ca­tions, and trans­form you in­side and out. The ba­sic pack­age con­sists of a mas­sage at one of Ber­lin's hippest ho­tels, a pri­vate nutri­tion con­sul­ta­tion, or a per­sonal pre­sen­ta­tion work­shop. Trans­port, a pri­vate sight­see­ing tour be­tween beauty stops, and bev­er­ages are all in­cluded in the pack­age.

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