The Best Day Spas in NYC
Every New Yorker has their own way of dealing with city life – be it hitting the gym, finding a quiet corner of Central Park, or going full Crazy Shake at Black Tap. But really, is there a better way to cope than locking up your smartphone, slipping into a plush robe, and lounging in a scented steam room while waiting for lavish doting at the hands of a spa therapist? We think not. Escape the crowds (and the push notifications) at one of these blissed-out hideaways—the best day spas in NYC.
Spa at Mandarin Oriental, New York
Taking up the top floors of the glitzy Time Warner Center tower, the Mandarin Oriental is a NYC icon whose take on luxury is distinctly modern and international. A destination unto itself, the hotel’s Asian-inspired spa offers an unforgettable experience that starts with a shoe exchange ceremony, customized tea in the Oriental Tea Lounge, and 45 minutes in the spa vitality pool and amethyst crystal steam room. Treatments range from Hydrafacials and Thai Massages to the signature head-and-feet-focused Digital Wellness Escape, which zeroes in on relieving tension from the device-strained eyes, neck, shoulders, and hands. Some of the Mandarin’s treatment rooms are truly over the top, with gorgeous views, fireplaces, and daybeds.
New York City spas tend to be simple street-level affairs or ultra-posh temples of self-care that border on intimidating (see above). Haven Spa falls into a happy middle ground, delivering the plush, pampering experience spa-goers seek, while still feeling low-key and welcoming. Haven describes itself as an “urban retreat,” and in this case, the marketing speak is spot on. Its high ceilings, exposed brick walls, and large windows framed in black allude to classic NYC lofts, while the décor of royal purple and silver hues, stars, stones, and flickering candles set the escapist tone. Soothing as the design may be, it’s the team of reliably excellent technicians who make this place shine. They skillfully administer facials tailored to specific needs, as well as scrubs, wraps, and massages (including the divinely intense Geek Massage, which aims to undo the tension that laptop lifestyles wreak on our upper bodies). Haven also has cushy, custom-designed nail stations and a petite hair studio for manis, pedis, and blowouts.
The Peninsula Spa
If the crush of urban life is getting to you, the Peninsula Spa, high above crowded Fifth Avenue, is the ultimate tonic. Before or after treatments, spa guests have full reign of aromatherapy steam rooms, Finnish saunas, experience showers, the Asian Tea Lounge (full of organic teas and homemade treats), and relaxation rooms, where plush beds are dressed in Frette linens and cloud-like comforters and equipped with headphones playing soothing music. Treatments are as opulent as the facilities, with a menu featuring Biologique Rechere facials, hot jade massages, and organic airbrush tanning.
If the Greenwich Hotel's Shibui Spa is heaven, then its pearly gates are the beams of centuries-old farmhouse, shipped from Japan and painstakingly rebuilt atop Shibui’s grotto pool. The effect is stunning, and a pre-treatment dip so relaxing, you may wonder if an actual service is even necessary. But then you lie down for a massage using hot sake-steeped towels and jojoba oil (the Drunken Lotus) or body scrub followed by a mineral ofuro bath and massage (Bamboo Glow), and you’ll swear you’ve reached ultimate Zen.
Great Jones Spa
One-part spa, one-part water world Great Jones Spa is one of the best spots in NYC for a heavy dose of pampering. The water lounge here features a river-rock sauna, a color-therapy steam room, a hot tub, and a cold plunge, all presided by a three-story waterfall. Access to the circuit is free with most treatments, but those in need of pure water therapy can buy day passes to the lounge.
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Oasis Day Spa
Entering through the Gothic lobby of a gorgeous Park Avenue tower and down to Oasis’ reception is to instantly feel that womb-like comfort most spas aim to provide. The subterranean space dials up the coziness with a glowing salt therapy chamber and a gray-toned relaxation room filled with flowers, healthy snacks, cucumber water, tea, and magazines. Body scrubs and wraps are performed in rooms with circulation-boosting Vichy showers and a dozen facial options slather complexions in high-end products by GM Collins and Elemis. Massages run the gamut from gentle Swedish to lava stone massages that alternate between warm basalt and cool marble.
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