Urban Nirvana

Leah Riley, Urban Nirvana and Core Essentials Pilates

West Ashley. 8 Windermere Blvd. 720-8000

Mt. Pleasant. 636-D Long Point Road. 881-1160

The more urban Charleston gets, the more we need some nirvana to de-stress ourselves. Urban Nirvana’s three owners and cofounders, Susie McCrary, Jennifer Spears, and Sandra Lemtesis, recognized that opportunity, opening their first spa in Nov. 2000, a chain that’s now grown to five locations and 110 employees.

Comprised of a massage therapist, an esthetician, and a happy client, the three-woman team envisioned a place in the city, a few blocks from home, where a person could go to relax and be pampered. “We want to encourage clients to come into themselves,” says McCrary. “We’re not looking for the one-time client. We want you to keep coming back.”

A vast menu of massages make up the bulk of Urban Nirvana’s offerings, including specialty work on specific body areas. Leah Riley, a therapist at U.N. and at Core Essential Pilates downtown, enjoys giving hot stone massages the most, but feels that any of the offerings will benefit a client’s overall physical and mental well-being.

Apart from massage, U.N. offers waxing, body wraps, body scrubs, hydrotherapy, and a special cleansing “Vichey” shower. The West Ashley location recently opened a hair salon a few doors down. Although they’ve hosted Renée Zellweger and the random celebrity passing through, “all of our clients are our celebrity clients,” says McCrary. Come bliss out to the star treatment of three local girls done good.

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