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Carlsbad Mineral Water Spa
2802 Carlsbad Boulevard, Carlsbad
760-434-1887

The brochure for the Carlsbad Mineral Water Spa features massage rooms that look like a Hollywood set circa 1957: parquet floors, friezes, massage tables that look like altars for making sacrifices to the Roman gods. Located on Carlsbad Boulevard, just west of the train station, the building's exterior might remind you of an Alpine chateau were it not for the weed-strewn alleyway behind. Knock on the spa's door on a weekday afternoon, and a New Age goddess greets you. She smells like patchouli and talks like she's either high or just finished meditating. The crystal in her left nostril wiggles when she speaks. "You'll need a reservation," she says. When you get your Gladiator Massage, be sure to check out the personal Caesar and Cleopatra Mineral Spas.

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