Spa Escape Offers Safe Outdoor Relaxation & Pampering

Spa Escape Offers Safe Outdoor Relaxation & Pampering title=
Outdoor setup for Spa Escape (courtesy photo)
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By Lauren Bray, edhat staff

With the COVID-19 pandemic placing new restrictions on local businesses, owners are forced to pivot to keep their doors open. This is especially true for the beauty and wellness industry.

California Governor Gavin Newsom temporarily closed all indoor operations forcing hairstylists, barbers, massage therapists, and estheticians to only operate outdoors. Many of the workers in this field are self-employed and rent small studios without outdoor space, causing a massive strain on the industry and its workforce.

One local spa owner has found a way to adjust to the ever-changing tides of our new world. Yolanda Rosenthal, owner and operator of Spa Escape, is following the strict guidelines from the local and state health orders while still offering a much-needed relaxing experience.

“When we started hearing about COVID-19, my husband and I both were optimistic that it wouldn't be as bad as other countries had seen.  Unfortunately, it came quickly, and I was shut down for around 3 months.  This was very difficult for me, as my work is a passion in my life, and I felt helpless,” said Rosenthal. “We then were able to open for about 2 weeks toward the end of June.  Then I was forced to close again.”

Yolanda Rosenthal (courtesy photo)

Spa Escape opened in 2009 with Rosenthal, a self-described “jack of all trades,” at the helm. An artist at heart, she started in the beauty industry in 2002 doing makeup then went back to school to be an esthetician, then a licensed massage therapist, and has since received certifications in eyelash extensions, NovaLash, and airbrush tanning.

Perhaps she’s most well-known for her deep-tissue massages that have earned her a nomination as “Best Massage Therapist” in the Santa Barbara Independent’s 2020 Best of Reader’s Poll.

The current location of Spa Escape, 3022 De La Vina Street, opened in 2014, but with the latest COVID-19 restrictions they were unable to reopen without an outdoor space. A neighboring business, Donn Roberts Construction, graciously stepped in and offered their private outdoor patio to allow the spa to stay open within the proper regulations.

“I was very fortunate to have very nice neighbors Donn and Jill Roberts. The area is quite nice, and I am very thankful!” said Rosenthal.

Even though all spa treatments are done outdoors, a lot of extra time is spent on cleaning, sanitizing, and laundry after each client.

Rosenthal said she is following the strict industry guidance from the state and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). She does daily temperature checks, wears a mask, face shield, and gloves during all services, as well as changes clothes between clients. The treatment table is dressed in fresh linen right before the client arrives and there are additional layers on top of the table to allow for more protection.

“I completely understand any concerns about COVID, cleanliness, and safety during this time. For now, I really just want to follow all of the guidance as best as I can to keep my clients, my family, and myself safe,” said Rosenthal.  

Clients are required to wear masks, except when there is a facial service, and must have their temperature checked prior to service.  

Before being allowed to reopen, Spa Escape offered reviews of beauty products and customized tutorials for at-home treatments on their social media channels.  

While business is still cut in half, Rosenthal says she feels fortunate that she’s able to work and give people some respite from the stress of our new normal.

More information about Spa Escape and appointment bookings can be found at as well as @spaescapesb on Instagram.

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