New Vernon Hills spa brings luxury to suburbs
Brandon (left) and Ranee McGowan (center) owners of the new Venus vs Marz Luxury Spa Lounge in Vernon Hills talk as Julia Mokrenyuk who is an esthetician stands in the bar area of the luxury spa lounge at their grand opening. | Michael Schmidt~Sun-Times Media
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NAME: Venus vs Marz Luxury Spa Lounge
SPECIALTY: Luxury spa specializing in nails (manicures and pedicures), massage, facials and waxing; Also has a lounge serving wine and other beverages
LOCATION: 281 W. Townline Road (Route 60), Vernon Hills, Suite 210
HOURS: Tues. and Wed., 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Thurs., noon to 9 p.m.; Fri,, noon to 10:30 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m to 10:30 p.m. Closed Sundays and Mondays
CONTACT: www.venusvsmarzspabar.com or call (224) 513-5312
Updated: September 3, 2012 6:06AM
VERNON HILLS -- The new Venus vs Marz Luxury Spa Lounge in Vernon Hills -- a 3,000-square-foot penthouse spa lounge, located on Route 60 in the Aspen Pointe Shopping Center -- offers services for women and men including manicures, pedicures, facials and massages.
The spa was the brainchild of Ranae McGowan, whose husband, Brandon, formerly played safety for the Chicago Bears. A licensed cosmetologist and esthetician with more than 16 years experience in the salon and spa industry, Ranae said she has long dreamed of opening an upscale luxury spa in the area.
“It just came to me and I saw a need,” she said. “You shouldn’t have to go downtown to experience this kind of luxury.”
Venus vs Marz is different from many other spas in the area in that it also offers a lounge area where customers can relax and enjoy a glass of wine, beer or other beverage while waiting to get their nails done or for a facial or a massage.
“We are here to make them feel relaxed, make them feel comfortable,” she said. “They feel like they’re in a spa in the city (of Chicago) but they don’t have to travel two hours.”
Brandon McGowan played safety for the Chicago Bears from 2005-2008 and then for the New England Patriots in 2009-2010 before retiring in 2011. His family has moved back to the area and now live in Mundelein. He said the spa was his wife’s idea and they looked at several potential locations before deciding on the site in Vernon Hills. After several months of renovation, they unveiled it for the first time last week.
“I think everything looks great,” he said. “I think I was even more excited than she was when it got finished.”
While most of the spa’s clientele will likely be women, the spa also offers massage and other services for men.
As a former football player, Brandon McGowan said he enjoys a relaxing massage and a pedicure.
“I played football for so long and I used to get a massage twice a week,” he said. “Being able to come to my own place and get a massage will be excellent.”
The GLMV Chamber of Commerce held an official grand opening/ribbon cutting for the new spa last week, which was attended by local business owners and village officials. First impressions were overwhelmingly positive.
“One of the first thing that comes to mind is classy,” said village trustee Thomas Koch. “It’s classy and it’s comfortable. It’s like a city spa come to the suburbs.”
“It’s an amazing new amenity for the town,” said trustee Jeanne Schwartz Sanders. “It’s something we haven’t seen in this town before.”
Vernon Hills resident and small business owner Gail Haynes said she’s visited many spas over the years and the Venus vs Marz spa in pretty unique.
“I’ve been to a lot of other spas in Lake Geneva, Chicago, the East Coast and New York,” said Haynes. “This is unlike anything I’ve ever seen.”
“I like the idea that you can get a manicure, pedicure and a massage and have a glass of wine,” she said. “It totally caters to a woman but there’s also a men spa and any man would be comfortable in there.”