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Weekday Escape: Martinis & Manicures

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Now that it stays light until almost nine o'clock, nighttime has taken up its annual habit of being more playful, with balmy temperatures and the hint of summertime. But weekday doldrums can still take over, which means weeknight relaxation and indulgences are a must-have. Here's where the beautiful and historic Langham, Huntington Hotel & Spa comes in. From now until August 27, every Tuesday and Wednesday night from 4-8 they're having a poolside summertime special, starring you, your fingertips, and your thirst. It's Martinis & Manicures... and, ladies (and gents!) it's lovely!

Last week we were lucky enough to get to give the annual event a whirl, and managed to nab some photos (without spoiling the polish or the mellow mood).

Here's what you get: A full 25-minute Spa Manicure (which consists of removing nail polish, treating the cuticles and nails, applying a fresh citrus exfoliation, and then wrapping the hands and arms with a warm, moist, fragrant towel. A luxurious hand and upper arm massage is given, followed by a nail buff and polish), a martini (one from a list of specialties) or another drink of your choice, fruit and cheese platters you may help yourself to, and a poolside seat in the charming ambiance of Pasadena's legendary century-old hotel.

Our visit was ideal; the shade available by the pool curbed the heat of the late afternoon, the "Flirtini" we ordered came with a straw for easy sipping while our hands were being expertly massaged and pampered by the friendly and knowledgeable spa staff, and the cheese plate had Humbolt Fog cheese (a personal all-time favorite). The service is outstanding; they are neither too precious nor obtrusive, just warm, welcoming, and helpful to all the guests and visitors peppering the poolside patio.

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Once your manicure is done, you are welcome to stay as long as you'd like, and meander the gardens, sip a scotch in the dark and elegant bar, stretch out in a deck chair, or stay put and keep drinking (although it's only the first martini that's covered in the cost, mind you!). One bummer: For those fond of the "child bride" look, they unfortunately don't do French Tip by the pool. Ah, may all our troubles be so small.

Although Pasadena might not always be a destination for you, it's worth the trip just to escape the everyday hectic and slip into some good old fashioned pampering in a beautiful building that's worth taking a gander at. Go with a gal pal, or as a couple (guys, we saw some men getting manis)...and enjoy!

Martinis & Manicures
@The Langham, Huntington Hotel & Spa
1401 South Oak Knoll, Pasadena
Tuesdays & Wednesdays, 4-8 p.m. (through August 27)
$50/person (includes manicure, one drink, fruit & cheese, and gratuity)
Reservations: (626) 568-3900