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Treat yoursellf to a massage and lunch at the Ritz-Carlton Chicago

With Black Friday nearing, shopping will become an Olympic sport instead of a leisurely activity. And, since Chicago's Magnificent Mile has such world-class shopping, it's a sure bet most of us will wind up there at least once this season.

Well, don't forget to treat yourself.

This season give yourself the gift of a well-earned break with the Ritz-Carlton Chicago "Savor and Spa Days," a new weekday escape that combines lunch at the new deca RESTAURANT with a spa treatment for a relaxing retreat. From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, non-hotel guests can enjoy a 55-minute spa experience (choice of a massage or a facial); the new DLT (deca lunch trio) and parking for $135.

That's a small price to pay for this decadent oasis from the holiday storm. The spa is a quiet and lovely place with all the amenities one could wish for. My massage therapist was attentive and warm, listened to my complaints (my upper back is pretty cranky) and utilized them to create a massage just for me. She also offered customized aromatherapy. From top to bottom I felt like the whole treatment was personalized just for me. With long strokes and deft hands she massaged away my little aches and pains while concentrating on my trouble spots. The massage ends with a warm towel applied to your feet--after a day of shopping in cute but troublesome shoes that was just what I needed.

After the massage I made my way to deca where, again, I was treated like royalty. My food was scrumptious--each bite prepared with care. I literally felt a million miles away from all the hubbub just stories below my feet. For just a couple of hours the stress of the season disappeared.

I cannot recommend this treatment enough. It is a much-needed, well-priced gift to yourself (or could be a great gift for a friend).

Call the Spa at the Carlton Club 312-573-4915 for reservations. The Ritz-Carlton Chicago and the new deca RESTAURANT + Bar are located at 160 E. Pearson Street inside Water Tower Place on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile.

I swear--it's an absolute dream.

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