Prema Nolita makes beauty seem simple. In a storefront on Elizabeth Street, downtown Manhattan's current style frontier, this holistic day spa's cherrywood shelves display a streamlined collection of organic skin products from Weleda, Aqua Dessa, and Astara, as well as vintage kimono-fabric flaxseed eye rests, delicate Japanese incense, and herbal candles.
Owner Celeste Induddi has pared Prema's treatment menu to the essentials. In a back room lit by mimosa-rose candles, two therapists perform all services by hand—Gabrielle is a whiz at Thai massage and seaweed body wraps; Georgia does wonders with the Anne Semonin and Jurlique facials. Prema books one client at a time, and the experience is not only intensely personal but also blissfully free of cosmetic hype. (Still, try the new Salt Glow body scrub with citron, vanilla, or mint base.)
And be sure to sign up with foot guru Bastien Gonzales, who pays monthly visits and whose "pedicure medicale" has disciples in thrall on two continents. When not at the fashionable Hôtel Le Bristol in Paris, he's at London's clubby Home House. Best of all, Prema plans to stay small. Treatments from $90. Prema Nolita, 252 Elizabeth Street, New York, NY 10012; 212-226-3972.