The Drunken Lotus Massage is not a toe dip.
“It’s an experience,” says Sacred Hour Wellness Spa owner Tabitha Baker of the $145 retreat, leading me outside her Lakewood spa’s main building to a secluded bathhouse for special treatments like this and the Korean Scrub. “What do you typically do to relax?”
Relax? Not in my vocabulary. I’m a coffee-slugging, leg-bouncing, work-hard, play-harder dude. Aside from probably being clinically averse to tranquility, getting a rubdown is a-whole-nother level of peeve.
“Umm, grab a drink. Speaking of, does this get you drunk?” I ask, hopefully.
“No, you’re not getting intoxicated,” she says. “But we do use a full bottle of sake, which infuses into and moisturizes the skin. This is one you really just have to experience.”
Launched last fall, the Drunken Lotus is the newest of Sacred Hour’s 50 treatments. The Lakewood spa is the only place in Ohio — and one of few nationwide — where it’s offered.
After experiencing it at the Greenwich Hotel’s Shibui Spa in New York City, Baker, who often travels to find new treatments, had to bring it home to her loyal followers. The 90-minute, deep-tissue massage of customized strokes and sake soaks releases tired muscles and helps beat jet lag and hangovers.
After a complimentary green tea in my private waiting room, I enter a personal room for a 30-minute, pre-massage steam. The steamers’ hum brings a heat blast and realization — this sweat sesh isn’t another post-workout sauna.
Every movement is a departure from an accustomed airspace into a newfound wall of fire. I gasp for breath. The steam should settle me, but I fear they’ll find me passed out. Still, the heater hums.
Finally I surrender, and a sensual and otherworldly fog replaces my private struggle. Still, I retreat to the cold shower three times before hearing a knock at the door. It’s Kate, my massage therapist and savior. In a sweat-induced haze, I stumble to a nearby massage bed.
Van Morrison’s “Into the Mystic” swells softly into the chorus. Kate works my neck, my designated trouble spot. The deep-tissue massage is tailored for part therapy, part relaxation. She slowly rides each muscle, attacking knots until they turn over. Each time she leaves a spot on my back, chest or legs, she lays a hot, sake-drenched towel over the area, leaving it warm and recovered rather than cold and abandoned.
The air’s aroma of fresh lotus and floral sake with faint yeast creates an intoxicating aura. I get lost, sailing into the mystic of my newfound serenity. I barely realize Van’s done singing when Kate tells me the hour’s up. I try to sit up but fall back to bed twice.
I’m not drunk, but certainly intoxicated. The feeling lingers all night. I even skip a workout for fear of dropping a dumbbell on my head or melting on the treadmill.
Designed for relaxation connoisseurs, The Drunken Lotus proved to be the perfect gateway drink for this spa rookie.
17917 Detroit Ave., Lakewood, 216-228-9750; 19109 Old Detroit Road, Rocky River, 216-228-9750, sacredhour.com