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Treat yourself to a brief tour of this Westlake refuge of pampering, and you'll swear the guest list must be limited to foreign heads of state. Not so: All of us are welcome to bask in the almost ludicrous pleasures that abound at every turn at Spa West, from massage therapy and yoga, to spa packages and complete hair and makeup services — and the list goes on and on. Whether you're overdue for a personal pick-me-up or a day spent being doted upon with a loved one, Spa West rejuvenates the body and soul in ways you might never have known possible.
29109 Center Ridge Rd., Westlake,
Staff Pick: Sacred Hour
Anthony Vince Nail Spa
Surely the most tranquil spot you'll find at bustling Crocker Park, Anthony Vince specializes in a complete line of manicure and pedicure services for adults and young ones alike. The experience revives more than just your digits, from the opulent setting to the fully-stocked bar. Settle in and whisk your worries — and unsightly cuticles — away. In summer 2011, the East Side got its Anthony Vince fix too, with a new location at Legacy Village.
276 Crocker Park Blvd., Westlake,
440-899-8170, avnailspacrockerpark.com; and
25333 Cedar Rd., Lyndhurst,
Staff Pick: Revelations Salon & Spa
Best Sporting Goods Store
One of the best reasons yet why big boxes will not take over the universe, Geiger's has long prided itself on unequaled customer care. At the flagship store in Lakewood as well as their satellite location, Geiger's specialties include skiing and apparel, and their services extend from tailoring and cycle repair to racquet stringing. They've long been the go-to shop for school sports teams and rec leagues, but they're an essential stop for weekend warriors too.
14710 Detroit Ave., Lakewood,
Geiger's Ski & Sport Haus,
Chagrin Shopping Plaza, Chagrin Falls, 440-247-4900; shopgeigers.com
Staff Pick: Geiger's
Best Hair Salon
John Robert's Spa
John and Stacy DiJulius, the folks behind John Robert's three locations, are fond of an expression that encapsulates their mission: They expect each John Robert's spa to be staffed by "day makers" — people who make their guests' experience as special as it can be. This dedication to unparalleled customer service is a key reason why John Robert's has been beloved throughout the region since they first opened their doors back in 1993. As they continue to grow, their adoring clientele grows along with them.
6727 Eastgate Dr. (EastGate Shopping Center), Mayfield Heights;
89 North Main St., Chagrin Falls; and
33705 Station St., Solon;
Staff Pick: Charles Scott Salons & Spas
Quintana's Barber & Dream Spa
Widely known as a full-service spa and bastion of comprehensive pampering, Quintana's might be best appreciated for its signature haircuts for men and children. Most land in the $20 range — slightly less for "Police & Firemen's" cuts and senior specials. But all cuts land in the realm of follicle pampering — especially the "Signature" cut, complete with hot towel facial and hot lather neck shave. It's like 25 bucks for a brand-new head, a deal most fellas should jump at without thinking.
2200 South Taylor Rd., Cleveland Heights, 216-321-7889, qbds.net
Staff Pick: The Groom Room
Best Thing Made in Cleveland
Great Lakes Brewing Company's Christmas Ale
Cinnamon, honey, and a jolly 7.5 ABV help make Christmas Ale the one gift that all little hopheads crave. But drink it when you got it: The legendary brewski is available only for about 10 weeks a year — and each year it gives rise to a sort of regional holiday when the first kegs are tapped around Thanksgiving time. Beyond its seductive flavor and two-fisted punch, that enforced scarcity also plays a part in the beer's powerful allure. In recent years, snarfing down Christmas Ale has given way to an equally engaging pastime: Hoarding it by the bottle or the keg, the better to surprise and delight thirsty loved ones long after the last snows have melted. Thank you, Great Lakes, for helping us find Christmas cheer all year long.
Staff Pick: nPower PEG