Spa treatments by body part
Pamper yourself with facials, massages, hair treatments, reflexology and more.
Mon Jan 23 2012
Greenhouse Holistic Spa: Hot-stone massage
88 Roebling St at North 7th St, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (718-599-3113, greenhouseholistic.com). 60-minute massage regularly $80. TONY deal Mention TONY when booking for 10 percent off a 60- or 90-minute hot-stone massage through Feb 15.
After discussing my various aches, lead massage therapist and founder David Greenhouse rubbed me down from head to toe, using heated massage stones to relax my muscles. Though his firm kneading caused me to grit my teeth at times, I could feel the deep-seated knots in my shoulders and upper back giving way.
Best part: My keyboard-based day job leads to pent-up stress in my shoulders, while my waitressing gig causes tightness in my legs. Greenhouse eased the stiffness in my upper body and still had time to soothe my sore calves.
Why it's worth it: The therapists do their best to help you decompress even after you leave: Greenhouse showed me stretches I could do at home to relieve my tension.—Marley Lynch
Face to Face: Back or chest treatment
20 W 20th St between Fifth and Sixth Aves, suite 603 (212-633-0404, facetofacenyc.com). 60-minute massage regularly $140. TONY deal Mention TONY when booking for 20 percent off through Mar 31.
I knew I was in for a high-end pampering session as soon as I walked into the spa and was offered a glass of wine. Once I decided which body part to focus on—my back, in this case—owner Enrique Ramirez examined my neglected dorsal pores, and set about remedying them. Using soothing strokes, he applied a Declor cleanser and exfoliator, followed by an Aura Research hydrogen-peroxide mask (meant to disinfect and open pores), before performing thorough extractions. While the mask was working, he expertly massaged my feet, lower legs and grape-addled head.
Best part: The final step of the treatment is dictated by what your skin needs most—it might be a moisturizing paraffin mask to combat winter dryness or a fruit-acid peel to treat breakouts.
Why it's worth it: Unless you're as bendy as Mrs. Incredible, chances are your oft-neglected reverse could use the hour of close attention that this clarifying experience provides.—Sarah Theeboom
Aura Wellness Spa: Signature back facial
49 W 33rd St between Broadway and Fifth Ave (212-695-9559, spaaura.com). $120. TONY deal Mention TONY when booking for 20 percent off all facials (except express facials), regularly $120 to $150, or 10 percent off all 60- and 90-minute massages (regularly $120 and $160) and Korean body scrubs through Feb 29.
"Your back is very clean," said Itsuka Kobayashi, Aura's "back facial" specialist, as she quickly mapped my skin. It's her job to get that hardest-to-reach area prepared for swimsuits, low-cut gowns and the like. Kobayashi customizes her treatments: microdermabrasion reduces visible scarring while high-frequency light therapy kills the bacteria that encourages acne. Given the Usher--level smoothness of my posterior, I receive a foaming cleanser, a light exfoliation and a clarifying masque; other less fortunate souls would get a more heavy-duty regimen. Each portion of the treatment is punctuated with hot towels, healing lotions and mini massages and scrubs. She even identified and took care of a half-dozen blemishes in need of extraction.
Best part: I followed the relaxing, detailed service with downtime in Aura's Korean igloo-style dry saunas (complimentary and unlimited with any hour-long treatment) before heading out to the frigid city.
Why it's worth it: I learned there's at least one body part I don't pay enough (meaning any) attention to. Kobayashi recommends five to six monthly treatments for serious issues, so start now if you want to look hot on the beach this summer.—Robert Haynes-Peterson