Whether you want a stress-unwinding massage before or after your flight—or a quick hair and nails upgrade, this spa offers a little oasis of calm amidst Ted Stevens International Airport—with treatments starting at just $35.
Opened in late 2013, the Northern Lights Spa is located right after the B Concourse hallway, on the opposite side from security—with an acrylic-glass exterior that exudes the soothing, celestial greens and purples of night-sky auroras. It’s staffed by six massage therapists—well versed in Swedish, deep tissue and variety of other therapeutic massage styles—as well as three hairstylists and three manicurists, all seasoned professionals who have cultivated a relaxed, family atmosphere. You can come in for a quick, 10-minute chair massage to smooth out that crick in your neck, or do a two-hour, full-body table massage to work out all of your head-to-toe kinks.
The spa is also a full-service salon: You can get a hair cut, shampoo, style or even color (really, anything but a perm), as well as tanning (the stand-up variety) or a mani-pedi from the comfort of a massage chair.
Soothing Travel Warriors
Co-owner Shannon Basile says that the spa is frequented by plenty of leisure travelers who are looking to relax before a long flight (a menu of cocktails may also be on the menu soon), or get a quick, soothing leg massage to help ease swelling after a long flight. Some folks with five-hour layovers, she says, will spend three hours at the spa, getting a combination of treatments and just kicking back.
And for anyone who thinks this spot is just a ladies’ zone, think again: Regular customers include plenty of men who work on the North Slope, who want perhaps both a haircut and a pedicure to spiff up their looks before they head home to see their wives and girlfriends. Local Alaskans also use the tanning option to get a little winter color before heading to Hawaii or the Lower 48 on vacation. The spa offers enticing discounts, too—for repeat guests, slope workers, military, and for anyone who books a treatment on the spa’s web site.
Either way, tucking a mini-vacation into your travels is always better than just sitting at the gate.