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The couples’ treatment room at 21c includes a private, deep-soak whirlpool tub and steam shower. / Image courtesy of 21c Museum Hotel Cincinnati // Published: 4.18.18

The Rub-a-Dub-Dub Treatment At 21c Is Like A Siesta Key Beach Vacation

Confession: I’ve never done a staycation. I can’t wrap my head around paying for a hotel room in my own city when I have a perfectly comfortable bed of my own. But I like the thought. And recently, I hit the mark on my own version of a staycation. Let’s call it a spa-cation.

A trip to the spa is often viewed as an indulgence. In the words of Donna Meagle from Parks and Recreation, it’s how one lives up to the “Treat Yo Self” motto. And, sure, it's that. But it’s also somewhat of a necessity. At least, that’s been my view in the past few years.

Whether it’s tech neck or some other life/body ailment, a trip to the masseuse has become routine. Normally when I book a massage, it’s at a franchise, like Hand & Stone or Massage Envy. Don’t get me wrong, the staff at both those places are great, and I always leave feeling way looser and more refreshed than how I arrived. But walking into a strip mall location of any sort — even if you enter into a world of hot oils and masterful hands — can only transport you so far.

My March visit to the 21c Spa taught me that there’s another way. It starts with valet parking and a friendly escort to the elevators. After a short walk up some stairs (which were more like an interactive art installation) I arrived at the spa, greeted by Natasha (Spa Manager) and Fred (resident spa penguin).

Before long, I was whisked away into my own room to be prepped for the Rub-a-Dub-Dub treatment: body scrub + one-hour full-body massage. The room well, it was probably double the size of my college dorm room. The space included two massage tables, a whirlpool tub , and a palatial steam shower. (Note: This was the couple's massage room. And I took full advantage of my new "home.")

The Rub-a-Dub-Dub treatment is accurate to its name, as I did have a good 30 minutes of solo bubble bath time, rubber ducky included. All told, the experience lasted two hours. But it felt like five days on the beach at Siesta Key.

So I guess, what I’m saying is that next time I’m due for a massage, I’ll be booking a “beach vacation.” When in Cincy, yo. When in Cincy.

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The 21c Spa is located at the 21c Museum Hotel in Downtown Cincinnati (609 Walnut Street, 45202).

Note: The Rub-a-Dub-Dub treatment costs $230 (Monday through Friday) or $260 (Saturdays and Sundays). On average, though, a spa treatment would run around $90.