Since we all have to arrive at the airport early anyway, why not plan ahead and sneak in spa time to take care of ourselves? Airport mini spas have been strategically placed near (or within) about business lounges for some time. It’s smart to take care of our bodies while waiting for a flight — or to quickly freshen up after a long flight.

Experience Esenza by SHA at Barajas:

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SHA Wellness Clinic is an award winning medical spa that’s based in Valencia, Spain, and they recently opened two establishments where it’s accessible to everyone — among the  mini stores in Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas Airport. Located in Terminal 4 (near the Iberia VIP lounge) and in the satellite building, T4S, Esenza by SHA is an oasis (opened in 2015, operating 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily).

Their goal is to bring health and well being to people who want to adopt this type of lifestyle with organic menus options, spa treatments, salon services and a range of high quality spa products from its shop.

I couldn’t agree more. So, on my way home from a recent trip to Spain, I had an opportunity experience what Esenza has to offer: I enjoyed their breakfast options and taste tested a couple different healthy smoothies. And I had a quick massage. Here’s what you need to know.

Healthy Eating at the Airport

Esenza is a bright and open space with seating along its counter or you can “take away” (for my American readers, that means ordering it “to go” in British English) what you’d like for the flight. Finding a healthy option among the fast food stands at the airport (and even the business lounge, sometimes) can seen challenging. Esenza Spa is different, and they only use fresh and natural products:

  • No dairy or meat
  • Bread is not made of processed flour
  • Desserts do not contain refined sugar

I had a fantastic breakfast. Their toast with olive oil and organic jams was the perfect combination of toasted crunch, the sweet flavor of natural jams and the bitter yet sweet flavor from the olives. And the herbal tea was relaxing.

I also tasted a couple of their cocktails (their menu has nine options): “Esenza Detox” is a combination of swiss chard, apple carrot and daikon (a mild flavored radish), and “Esenza Green” is a mix of green apple, kiwi, mint and broccoli. I have to admit that both were refreshing and packed with nutrients.

They also have sandwiches and wraps, vegetable soups, sushi or carrot cake, a mix of Eastern and Western ingredients — all natural and healthy.

Mini Massage and Facial Treatments at the Airport

Depending on your schedule and needs, Esenza has a menu of five different massage treatments, four facial options and the ability to customize your treatment. And these are performed by the most qualified therapists.

After my quick breakfast, it was time to shut out the noise of the airport and experience Esenza’s “Massage on-the-Go,” a 20 minute neck and back massage. Their treatment rooms are private and each fully enclosed.

Being a fan of at least 50 minute sessions and preferring 80 minute treatments, I was a bit concerned if I would relax and gain any benefits from such a short time. However, knowing it was quick, I immediately went into relaxation mode.

My therapist used a sweet almond oil by Nirvana Spa, and she was able to work out some of that travel stress before stepping into the plane.

Quick Salon Services at the Airport

Esenza also has hair styling (20 minutes), a wash and styling (30 minutes), spa manicures (10, 15 and 25 minute options), spa pedicure (25 and 45 minute options) and even waxing. The equipment is all top of the line.

A travel companion who was on the same trip actually had a scheduled interview with Global Entry to complete her paperwork in Chicago upon returning from this trip. As we all know, those cards do not provide the most flattering images.

Thinking ahead, she chose to have a wash and blow dry styling just before the flight. I suspect that’s an advantage before showing up for the Global Entry photo. She looked amazing.

The Verdict? 

If you enjoy airport spas, you’ll definitely be pleased with Esenza Spa by SHA. If you haven’t tried airport spas, this should be your first.

I appreciate Esenza’s philosophy of promoting good nutrition, therapeutic treatments and styling services. And their shelves are stocked with excellent products such as Dermalogica, EviDenS de Beaute and Natua Blisse. They also have  SHA’s own line of food supplements as well as healthy snacks.

And this is only a teaser of what you could expect from the medical team at SHA Wellness Clinic (a full service spa with multi-day programs and luxury hotel with 93 suites) — I think we should go there to check out their meetings and events programs that focus on good health and wellness.

Have you tried Esenza Spa or used an airport spa? Post your experience with us.