The spa world is forever coming up with new ideas: Shea-butter body wraps, kelp-powered facials and green-caviar skin-care products are a part of the newest crop of skin-enhancing treatments from nature, formulated to make you look better and feel just plain blissful. Here is a roundup of some of the best around.
In need of a respite from the frenetic pace of lower Manhattan? Float into the Spa at the Four Seasons New York Downtown (27 Barclay St., 646.880.1999), where seven softly lit treatment rooms and a suite for couples set a serene atmosphere for soothing experiences. The offerings include deep-tissue massages, salt body scrubs and mud wraps, but the real draw is the skin care. The spa has partnered with luxury skin-care brands Omorovicza and Dr. Burgener Switzerland to create eight distinctive facials that use surprising ingredients, like green caviar and gold, reported to stimulate collagen synthesis, among other results. There’s also a 75-foot indoor lap pool flanked by two-story windows, should you feel enticed by a dip with a view.
With its year-round ice rink, rock climbing wall, golf club and bowling alley, Chelsea Piers has made a name for itself as a place to play. But you might begin to consider it as a place for pampering as well, once you discover the Paul Labrecque Salon & Spa (Pier 60, 2nd fl., W. 20th St. & Hudson River Park, 212.988.7816), tucked within the Sports Center. The salon is best known by its female clients as the place to go for precision cuts, hair extensions and hair-removal services, while men favor its nail services, cuts, hot shaves and skin care. The spa also offers an extensive selection of treatments for both, like facials, mud body wraps, Reiki, acupuncture and massages (including medical massages for sciatica and bursitis). Spend $75 and get complimentary access to the Sports Center.
If you Zen out on glitz and over-the-top luxury, instead of the minimalist, airy spaces at most spas, you’ll feel right at home at The Sisley-Paris Spa (35 E. 76th St., 3rd fl., 212.660.7560). Located within The Carlyle, the space is all about opulence—crystal chandeliers crown the lobby, while a glittery, domed stairway brings guests to tranquil treatment rooms with gray lacquered walls. Facials, a highlight of the treatments, use plant extracts to soften the skin and brighten the complexion, while the spa’s body treatments include aromatic essential oils.
At Modrn Sanctuary (12 W. 27th St., 9th fl., 212.675.9355), a new wellness center in NoMad, guests find a menu of treatments that heal the mind just as much as the body. The luxurious spa, with black crocodile-textured walls and antique Balinese doors, offers a range of traditional and alternative treatments, such as hypnotherapy, acupuncture, Thai body work and customized Ayurvedic care. At press time, Modrn Sanctuary was set to open a therapeutic Himalayan salt room, which is designed to benefit the respiratory system, sometime this spring. The spa also arranges a regular rotation of dynamic classes (the Warrior Goddess workshop, for example, is all about getting rid of self-judgment and negative energy). You can check the online schedule to see if the current options (classes change regularly) pique your interest.
Luxury meets serenity at Spa de La Mer (28 W. 53rd St., 212.790.8910), an underground sanctuary located two floors beneath the Baccarat Hotel & Residences. The lavish setting features a black-and-white marble pool bordered by plush daybeds, and four treatment rooms with murals of kelp, the key ingredient used in luxury skin-care brand La Mer’s cult-followed products. This is the spot to indulge in hedonistic experiences. The Cashmere Quench Wrap involves painting melted shea butter on the body, while the La Mer Baccarat Facial features a diamond-powder exfoliation and massage with Baccarat crystals. Don’t leave without trying the Miracle Broth: The highly concentrated blend of nutrient-rich sea ingredients is supposed to work magic on your skin and is only available at this spa.
Got a stiff neck, tight shoulders or a sore back? You need a rubdown from the massage therapists at The Marmara Park Avenue (114 E. 32nd St., 212.603.9000). By focusing on straightforward body treatments, like deep-tissue massage and Swedish massage, the spa expertly provides genuine relief. Top off your experience with a plunge in the subterranean pool, or try a Turkish hammam (bath).