by Griffin Miller
Get your Spring glow on at some of Manhattan’s poshest spas! After all, tis the season to kiss dry good-bye, and why not do it while savoring the art and artistry of New York’s foremost spa therapists. Let the pampering begin!
Completely Bare Spa When the name of the game is “take it off, take it all off” (from excess hair to vexatious wrinkles), sans pain and the smoothest of gain, Completely Bare has earned the reputation for being one of Gotham’s most sought-after solutions. With prominent locations uptown on Madison Avenue and downtown addresses on Fifth Avenue, as well as Bond Street, Completely Bare has become the darling of the in-crowd, garnering praise from Vogue, InStyle, Elle, Cosmo, and New York Magazine. One reason being its introduction of EpilightTM/QuantumHRTM – an imposing and somewhat scary scientific moniker for a truly exquisite hair reduction system that replaces such bothersome methods as waxing, electrolysis, and lasers, with “photo epilation” (quick and painless and popular). Promoting spa-tology, a term referring to result-oriented treatments (think micro dermabrasion and cellulite reduction) in a luxury spa setting, Completely Bare is definitely looking to be one-step ahead of the spa curve. 764 Madison Ave. (Bet. 65th & 66th Sts.), 212-717-9300; 103 Fifth Ave. (bet. 17th & 18th Sts., 212-366-6060; 25 Bond St. (bet. Lafayette and Bowery, 212-598-1111. completelybare.com.
The Peninsula Spa by ESPA With its three-story curving staircase and teak “figurative” tree sculptures and “Organic Form” theme design, The Peninsula New York Hotel’s spa premiered this past January with the sort of visual aesthetic customarily reserved for elite art galleries. The tri-level facility features 12 treatment rooms (including a Private Spa Suite for couples); an Asian tea lounge; Thermal Suites with Finnish saunas, aromatherapy steam rooms, “experience” showers and ice fountain; and a mind-blowing rooftop retreat featuring a glass-enclosed pool, sun-terrace and panoramic city views. Adding to the spa’s appeal, of course, is its partnership with ESPA, the high-profile international spa company known for its fusion of Asian, Ayurvedic and European therapies that run the gamut from a two-hour Deep Tissue Experience (a massage with unbelievably creative extras) to half-and full-day packages known as “Spa Journeys” to customized facials and massages. 700 Fifth Ave. (at 55th St.), 212-903-3910, peninsula.com.
The Setai Spa When The Setai, New York – and elegant club, spa and residential development in New York’s downtown Financial District – opens its doors the first week of May, be prepared to enter an organically tranquil oasis. Here guests are invited into the world of spa superstar Daniela Steiner, known throughout Europe for her inspired and classic spa designs and innovative treatments. Notably, Steiner is debuting her “Contemporary Care Suite” for the first time in the U.S. at The Setai – a unique concept that focuses on incorporating a relaxed living room ambiance into its overall décor and coupling it with customized care. In terms of treatments, “The Energy of Nature” is a signature face and body experience designed by Steiner to de-stress and revive. It is exclusive to The Setai. The balance of the treatment menu is extensive and emphasizes natural cell renovation and long-term effects. Also available to guests of Setai Spa: Steiner’s celebrated product line (all made from ingredients of natural plant original) and a state-of-the-art fitness studio. 40 Broad St. (Wall Street District, 212-363-5418, stetainy.com.
National Spa Week, 2009
April 13th through April 19th
(and on beyond!)*
If you’re looking to maximize your spa experiences – in both a quantity and quality sense – the magic words are National Spa Week, when New York City’s preeminent spas offer their signature, full-service treatments for merely $50.
For spa aficionados, and/or those of us whose overwhelming lifestyles have relegated personal tranquility and physical wellbeing to wishful thinking, this is a precious opportunity to renew and indulge – or at these prices, overindulge – and why not?
In Manhattan (and National Spa Week is a coast-to-coast event), the range of services run the gamut from the most seductively soothing massages and facials to Botox injections and chemical peels—treatments that usually carry price tags well into double digits. Here is a small sampling of what is being offered by this year’s participants:
From Red Door Spas (reddoorspas.com): Cream and Sugar Body Scrub
From Feline Day Spa (felinedayspa.com, and no, it’s not for kitties):
Pomegranate Body Scrub
From Ettia Holistic Day Spa (ettia.com): Holistic Facial
From Vada Spa & Laser Center (vadaspa.com): Organic Chocolate Facial
From Haven Spa (havensoho.com): Haven Foot Renaissance with European
Overall, between 40 and 50 New York based spas will be catering to clients during Spa Week, cutting a wide geographical swath across the isle of Manhattan. For complete information and a list of participating spas, visit spaweek.com.
*In New York City, Spa Week’s $50 price for high-end treatments will extend two-to-three weeks beyond April 19th. Check the website for exact dates.
City Guide Theatre Editor Griffin Miller moved to New York to pursue an acting/writing career in the 1980s after graduating magna cum laude from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. Since then, she has written for The New York Times, For the Bride, Hotels, and a number of other publications, mostly in the areas of travel and performance arts. She currently is the theatre and spa editor for Promenade Magazine as well as theatre editor for all NYMetroParents publications. An active member of The New York Travel Writers Association, she is also a playwright and award-winning collage artist. In addition, she sits on the board of The Lewis Carroll Society of North America. Griffin is married to Richard Sandomir, Sports Media reporter for The New York Times.