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Hot List 2008

Ginza Armani Spa, Tokyo

Tel: 81-3-6274-7004

"It's not a treatment, it's a ceremony," corrects the receptionist. She's not kidding: Like all treatments, the Facial Focus ($391) begins with a volcanic ash footbath (the black powder is briskly whipped with warm water to create a foamy, matcha-like brew), after which a gong is solemnly struck. The facial—including a thick mineral mask that peels off in one large piece—is followed by a deep foot massage and a neck and shoulder rubdown. Armani has left his stamp throughout his lair, from the smoky, woody incense (fabulous, and available for purchase) to the vaguely S&M (but unbelievably comfortable) treatment bed, a black leather slab that rises and falls at the touch of a lever. It all feels a bit silly, but it leaves a lasting glow (90-minute massages, $463).

Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.



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