As you may imagine, canvassing South Jersey for our annual Best of the Best feature is no small job. It’s the culmination of a year’s worth of eating, drinking, shopping and pampering. OK, we realize that doesn’t actually sound too bad, but trust us, it’s a lot of hard work. We traveled through¬out the area in search of worthy winners from both well-known establishments and those off the beaten path. The payoff is being able to bring you our selections for everything from chocolates and cigars to fine jewelry and flowers. To make the list even more comprehensive, we’ve also included our readers’ choices for their favorite places in a variety of categories. It certainly was a busy year, but we’re always up for the job.
When you’re looking for an edgy haircut to change up your ho-hum routine, not just any salon will do. When we’re looking for a change, we head over to Thriv, where in the capable hands of any of the stylists, we get the perfect cut that makes a bold statement to everyone we see. Cherry Hill, (856) 751-0014, ThrivSalon.com
We don’t know about you, but there’s nothing we look forward to more than a relaxing aromatherapy massage after a tough week at work. Even better, at Tranquility Spa, you can choose which essential oils the masseuse utilizes during the massage, so whether you’re stressed, tired or suffering from anxiety, there is an oil that will help soothe and caress your problems away. Hainesport, (609) 267-5600; Voorhees, (856) 809-9410, TranquilitySalon.com
The Manor may be a full-service salon and spa offering haircuts and coloring from some of the top stylists in the area, but when it comes to pedicures, we won’t go anywhere else. Its private room with massaging chairs provides the perfect relaxing atmosphere we’re looking for when we just need an afternoon to pamper ourselves, and our feet. Mantua, (856) 468-8822, ManorSalonAndSpa.com
The facial packages here are the epitome of luxury, and leave you feeling refreshed and totally rejuvenated. There are around 15 varieties to choose from—including a gentleman’s treatment and anti-acne treatment—but we flip for the hydrafacial, which exfoliates and rehydrates the skin with state-of-the-art tools. Marlton, (856) 985-0700, SuedeSalonSpa.com
Martino Cartier Salon
With its namesake celebrity stylist at the helm, this salon prides itself in giving clients the best color for them. Whether you want subtle highlights or lowlights, an all over change from blonde to brunette or an on-trend ombré look, the professional stylists at this salon will guide you through the coloring process and have you on fleek when you walk out the door. Cherry Hill, (856) 520-8777; Washington Township, (856) 582-6600, MartinoCartier.com
Head Candy Salon
For the average person, doing your own makeup can be hit or miss. That’s why we trust the experts at Head Candy Salon to give us a fresh look with flawless foundation, knockout red lips and dramatic lashes that automatically puts us in a good mood. All we need now is a date for drinks and dancing. Any takers? Cherry Hill, (856) 751-4247, SalonHeadCandy.com
We’ve yet to find a better way to treat ourselves than with a glamorous blowout, and when we’re looking to get locks that turn heads we go for Verde’s Express Blowout. You’ll leave with silky, sexy hair that you just need to show off—so be sure to make plans for a great night out. Collingswood, (856) 858-0911, VerdeSalon.com
Timmons Barber Shop
Timmons is undoubtedly one of the most beloved barbershops in Gloucester County, and even clients who move away from Washington Township make their way back for the welcoming staff and hot towels that come with every haircut. Mary, Leigh and the rest of the staff will send all of your family members out looking their finest. Washington Township, (856) 218-0700
Shine Power Yoga
Heated yoga is a trend that’s here to stay, and Shine has embraced it with their 96-degree rooms by adding just a bit of extra humidity, so you leave your class with a bit of a shine—see what we did there? There’s even a special kids classroom, which gives your little one the chance to stretch like Mom or Dad in a healthy and safe setting. Maple Shade, (856) 793-5311, ShinePowerYoga.com
This Collingswood spin spot is still young, but is already drawing crowds with their fun and unique class options. Of course there’s the classic 60-minute sessions, but then you can mix things up with 45-minute “quickie” classes, or have some fun with monthly classes like their Bikes and Brunch, Gears and Beers and Candlelit Cycle class. Collingswood, (856) 477-2724, UpcycleNJ.com
The trainers at Smart Bodies are not only invested in each half-hour session, but your overall long-term goals as well. Workout regimens are customized to your abilities and desires and no two sessions are ever the same thanks to a calculated mix of cardio and weight training that helps your body maximize its potential. You’ll be motivated to push yourself and test your limits, but the results you get will make any pain a little more tolerable. Marlton, (856) 983-2625, SmartBodiesFitness.com
Whether you’re a seasoned athlete or you’re just getting your feet wet in the conditioning world, Future Fitness has a class for you. From the ever-popular Zumba dance class to the booty-busting boot camp, they offer classes seven days a week for every ability level, so all your excuses about not being able to stay in shape just went out the window. Multiple locations, FutureFitnessCenters.com
GYM FOR KIDS
The Little Gym
Your kids will love the outgoing staff, the chance to interact with other children their age and exciting activities like gymnastics, dance and karate. You’ll appreciate an hour to yourself on a hectic day. Multiple locations, TheLittleGym.com
Pampering yourself never felt as good as it does here. Massages, facials, mani-pedis—even a blow-dry bar—are all on the menu with an array of ways to personalize each one to your body and skin. It’s easy to lose yourself in the moment, but that is what a great spa does. And their menu of on-the-go services mean you can get rejuvenated on your lunch break when the grind at the office is wearing you down. Moorestown, (856) 291-8700; Washington Township, (856) 341-8460, VirTu4U.com
Published (and copyrighted) in South Jersey Magazine, Volume 12, Issue 4 (July, 2015).
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