March 21, 2011
This may be the first week of spring, but with a chilly mix of snow and rain enveloping the streets of Manhattan, it’s apparent that winter isn’t ready to go away just yet. This final cold stretch can feel like the longest of all, which is why there’s never been a better time for a nice, relaxing day at the spa. One of our favorite city options is the Spa-cation at The Peninsula New York, which, for $250, is also one of the best deals in town. In addition to a 60-minute treatment of choice—holistic massage, intensive facial or organic sunless tanning—guests have all-day access to the fitness center and classes, as well as use of the indoor pool, with panoramic views of Fifth Avenue from its perch on the 22nd floor. There’s also a delicious bento-box lunch, with choices like grilled beef sirloin with bok choy and poached salmon with roasted red pepper and Thai spices. We recommend getting there early to take advantage of the daily fitness classes—yoga, pilates, cardioblast—then following that with a relaxing treatment and finishing off with a poolside lunch. Who cares about the cold when you can have so much fun indoors? At 700 Fifth Ave.; 212-956-2888; peninsula.com.
November 04, 2011
Photo courtesy of La Prairie
Launching this month at La Prairie spas in the Ritz-Carlton New York and Grand Cayman, and the Beverly Hills Hotel, is a 60-minute facial ($270) using the new Cellular Power Charge Night serum ($475). After a sleep-inducing treatment, we awoke the next day with firmer, brighter skin. laprairie.com.
March 15, 2012
Courtesy The Greenwich Hotel, New York City
Since 2008, residents of New York City’s TriBeCa neighborhood have had one of the city’s top spas right in their midst—but have never had access to it themselves. As of this week, though, Shibui Spa, set in a spectacular subterranean space below the Greenwich Hotel, is taking reservations for those who aren’t hotel guests. Now, for the first time, those wanting to experience the spa’s singular atmosphere (which centers around a lantern-lit, 40-foot swimming pool over which a 250-year-old wooden Japanese farmhouse roof is suspended) don’t have to book a room. Among the signature treatments new customers can take advantage of are the Drunken Lotus massage, which uses hot, sake-soaked towels to relax and detoxify stressed muscles (from $200 for 60 minutes); and the Bamboo Glow body treatment, which offers a vigorous bamboo–and–ginger grass scrub, followed by an hour-long massage ($350 for 120 minutes).
April 05, 2012
Courtesy Rosewood Hotels and Resorts
Las Ventanas al Paraiso—a Rosewood Resort in Cabo San Lucas—unveiled its newly expanded spa this month, taking its already decadent environment of luxury oceanfront casitas to new heights. New facilities at the spa—which has doubled in size—include a spacious lobby area and solarium, a full-service salon using Oribe and Davines hair products and eight treatment cabanas with private terraces, including two specially suited for couples.
The spa has also expanded its treatment offerings. The new Flor de Luna treatment uses a custom-blended dragon-fruit scrub, while the Holistic Twilight Ceremony employs an authentic shaman to administer ritual blessings and balance energy. But the resort’s traditional Four Elements services, inspired by earth, air, fire and water, are also a treat. Many of the spa’s therapists have been with the property for years and are skilled at the arts of healing touch and relaxation. After treatments, as guests relax in sun-dappled-solarium lounge chairs, sipping cucumber water and nibbling skewers of artfully sliced fruit, it’s clear the only pressing issue on their minds is planning their next trip here. rosewoodhotels.com/en/lasventanas
May 31, 2012
Courtesy AIRE Ancient Baths, NYC
A touch of the Old World arrived in New York’s TriBeCa neighborhood last Monday as luxury spa company Aire opened its first Ancient Bath outside its native Spain. The company, which has spas in Seville, Barcelona and Almeria, draws inspiration for its elaborate complexes from the historic Greek, Roman and Ottoman traditions of communal bathing used as a method for relaxation and purification. The new TriBeCa location is expansive, more than 16,000 square feet of illuminated pools, exposed brick and lounge areas lit by lanterns. Guests move through the pools in sequence—from icy to cool, warm to hot, and then onto the saltwater pool, the propeller-jet bath and the steam room. Those not content to bathe in water can opt for one of Aire’s ritual treatments, where guests bathe in more luxurious elixirs, like sparkling wine or olive oil, while receiving four-hand massages. With any luck, this new outpost is only the beginning of a wider campaign to revive the tradition of ancient baths. “We wanted to expand the culture of the bath experience to the world,” says founder Armando Prados. “New York is an amazing, vibrant city to begin that.” From $75; 88 Franklin St.; 212-224-3777; ancientbathsny.com.
March 21, 2013
Photo courtesy of Trump SoHo New York
The Empire State has made some serious headway in the hammam world as of late—see our piece on the Glenmere Mansion from the January/February issue. But it’s not just countryside estates that excel at the traditional Turkish and Moroccan spa treatment. Trump SoHo New York has featured authentic luxury hammam treatments—beloved by uptowners and downtowners alike—since it opened in 2010. The spa’s versions involve lying on a heated Calacatta-marble platform as an attendant softens skin with hot and cool water, a bubble treatment and an application of rhassoul clay before a thorough full-body exfoliation with handmade kessa mitts.
Ivanka Trump fell in love with hammam while on business in Istanbul and couldn’t wait to incorporate the treatment into her own spa. “The entire room floods as the hammam attaché washes your body with black soap made of crushed olives and olive oil,” she explains. “It’s exotic and blissful.” 45-minute Turkish hammam treatment, $100; 75-minute Moroccan hammam treatment, $160; 246 Spring St.; 212-842-5500; trumphotelcollection.com.
April 25, 2013
Courtesy of Amanresorts
Nestled atop a hill on Greece’s Peloponnesian peninsula, in the town of Porto Heli, Amanzo’e is a sanctuary with sea views, with 38 freestanding villas, each with its own pool, built in the round for maximum ocean exposure. This month the haven opens its new Aman Spa in grand style with a customized movement and alignment retreat beginning April 27.
During stays of either four or seven nights, guests will be pushed, pulled and pampered into a state of maximum well-being. “We draw upon the influence of Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, by working on a holistic level incorporating movement, treatments, water therapies and nutrition,” says spa director Stavros Mavridis.
To that end, renowned experts in Pilates, cranial osteopathy and watsu (supported aquatic therapy) will be in residence to guide the journey. Itineraries are crafted around individual needs, but each includes six private sessions of movement and alignment work and a menu of local produce, yogurt, honey, fresh fish and lamb designed to complement the program. Early morning yoga, hikes about the local olive groves, lazy evenings in the hammam and reviving dips in the Aegean Sea complete the experience.
Not to be missed are the spa’s 150-minute Signature treatments, which meld ancient local tradition with state-of-the-art technique to stimulate the lymphatic system, infuse the skin with minerals and diffuse stress. “Let go of all tension and… be with the present moment,” advises Mavridis. In Amanzo’e’s setting, that part should be easy. Retreat starts at $5,941; rooms start at $1,438; Agios Panteleimonas, Kranidi, Argolida; 30-275/477-2888; amanresorts.com/amanzoe.