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Better than Burke Williams: Iyara Thai Bodywork in Irvine

Posted on January 5, 2012

There. I said it. Fancy spas are not the holy grail of the most relaxing massages. My latest find in an unsuspecting little shopping center in Irvine is proof of that. And let’s face it, the holidays are over, and my feet still hurt from dancing all night on New Year’s Eve! It’s the perfect time to get a massage to ease yourself back into your reality which is the dreadful work week.

I’ve walked past Iyara a number of times since I began working at my job as a copywriter for an Irvine healthcare marketing data company three years ago. My coworker Christine mentioned a lunchtime special for $50 for an hour-long massage, so we decided to try it. If you’ve ever gone to a legit spa, you know that hour-long massages will typically run you nearly $100 or more.

Here’s why I liked Iyara:

- Pretty, clean and comfortable rooms. This isn’t your typical spa setup, but the rooms are dimly lit with flowers, candles and incense. Kind of has an East Indian décor aesthetic.

- The masseuse really knew what she was doing. It’s always frustrating for me when you get down on the table and the masseuse just strokes your back with some lotion and calls it a day. My massage was a mix of Thai and deep tissue, so my masseuse did a lot of stretching and gave quality attention to all areas (feet, back, legs, neck and head). At one point, she was literally climbing up my back! Needless to say, I felt much better when I left.

- Easy and low-key location. Iyara is located in a small shopping center near Main Street and Jamboree Road. It’s easy to find and parking is usually a no-brainer.

If you’re looking for an affordable place to get a good massage, this is a great go-to option. I like simple and quality places. I don’t care about the soft robes and fancy perks at spas…just give me a great massage! The only drawback is that Iyara only takes cash. This was kind of surprising; it’s not like you’re buying a cup of coffee for a few bucks. Luckily, Wells Fargo bank is just next door! Regardless, I still plan to escape here amid a rough work day soon.

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