Soothing ZaSpa loofah treatment rubs customer the right way

"I wish I were a kid again so I could have fun on a spring break," I thought as I navigated through tangles of highway traffic near family-friendly attractions during the third week in March.

Then, with great pleasure, I read about some spring deals at ZaSpa, the spa inside Hotel ZaZa in Dallas. I'd never ventured to the ultra-chic ZaSpa -- which counts among its fans Jessica Simpson and and Kate Hudson. But with a couple of treatments being offered for about 40 percent off through May, I couldn't resist.

The ZaSpa, on the second floor of the boutique hotel in Dallas' bustling Uptown area, has been open for seven years; only about half its clients are hotel guests, personnel say. It offers a full menu of cleverly named services for women and men, from "Never Been Kissed Facial" ($150) and "Bun in the Oven Body Wrap" (for mommies-to-be; $120), to a men's "ESPN Pedicure" (Emergency Sport Pedicure Needed, $40) and "For your Legs ... ONLY" (foot and leg massage, $100).

One of the spring deals, called "Loofah Does Dallas," is being offered for $74 (normally $130) through May 31 on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. It promises to "wish winter away and put that spring back into your step" with a thorough loofah-exfoliation and 25-minute massage.

The experience: There was no mistaking I'd arrived at the spa when I heard the tinkling of a fountain on the second floor of the hotel. I was led immediately down the softly lit hallway to change into a robe and told I could keep the bamboo slippers as a gift from the spa.

Then my massage therapist, Edith, let me relax for a few minutes in the very zen "Big Chill" room and offered me fruit-infused water, hot tea or a light snack of fresh fruit. After I'd completed the paperwork, we walked into one of six treatment rooms, where I picked from a rose-, eucalyptus- or unscented loofah for my exfoliation.

She soaked a loofah in rose-scented glycerin soap and then started on my back -- small, gentle circles; middle, down, up, left, right -- and I could practically feel the old, flaky winter skin shedding. Edith told me she'd send the loofah home with me and that it would be good for two more full-body exfoliations.

"Oh, you didn't give me a music preference," she said in midexfoliation. "Is this OK? It's classical jazz."

Wait, I got a choice here? And the choice wasn't between chirping birds and strumming sitar? I, in fact, was loving the music being piped in, and for the rest of the time there, pretended I was being serenaded by my imaginary boyfriends Michael Bublé, Chris Botti and Andrea Bocelli.

After she'd finished exfoliating my feet and legs, arms ("extra attention on my scaly elbows, please") and stomach, Edith lowered the lights and massaged my whole body with just-right pressure using a house-made, citrus-scented "massage soufflé."

And as she rubbed my back and Michael Bublé sang Wonderful Tonight, I felt sublimely relaxed, refreshed and hydrated -- this was just the sort of grown-up spring break I'd craved.

Cost: $74 (Tuesdays and Wednesdays only, May 31). A 20 percent gratuity is added to your total.

Other spring specials: Another Tuesday-Wednesday special is the "Smooth Moves" treatment -- a rose and geranium sugar scrub and a light massage with rose body cream ($74 through May 31; originally $130).

A new spring treatment called "Orange You Glad It's Spring?," available every day through May 31, includes an 80-minute scrub and massage using essential orange oil and sugar for detoxification and hydration ($180).

Also, a Mother's Day Weekend Package (May 7-9) includes a free upgrade: purchase a facial and get a free Ultrasound product infusion; purchase a massage and upgrade to aromatherapy or reflexology; purchase a nail service and get a free paraffin treatment.

Good to know: Guests of the spa must be at least 16 years old. Complimentary valet parking for spagoers.

Spa hours: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., seven days a week.

Information: Hotel ZaZa is at 2332 Leonard St., Dallas; 214-550-9492,