Spa treatments by body part
Pamper yourself with facials, massages, hair treatments, reflexology and more.
Mon Jan 23 2012
Hands and feet
Relax Foot Spa: Foot reflexology
202 Hester St at Baxter St (212-226-8288) • 193 Center St at Hester St, second floor (212-226-5635) • relax-footspa.com. $30.
A mere 30 bucks buys you an hour-long reflexology session at this minispa. My masseuse, Xiao, began working on my head, neck and back, while my feet soaked in a warm herbal tonic. After 10 to 15 minutes, I eased into a recliner, and he got to work on my feet.
Best part: Having your feet and calves rubbed with moisturizer after the massage remedies any throbbing from the preceding compressions.
Why it's worth it: Xiao's commitment to getting the job done (versus chatting) means you can bask in some much-needed quiet time.—Sophie Harris
Jin Soon Natural Hand and Foot Spa: Magic Clay Slipper for Hands
421 E 73rd St between First and York Aves (212-249-9144, jinsoon.com). Regularly $32. TONY deal The first 50 readers to mention TONY when booking receive a free CND Scentsations lotion (8.3-ounce bottle, normally $12).
Once inside this antiques-shop-turned-salon, I was offered tea and ushered to a small table. One of the friendly technicians whipped my nails into shape and scrubbed my arms from fingers to elbows before slathering them in an almond illuminating mask. A final shaping and paint job—you can select from myriad Chanel, CND and Zoya shades, among others—made my digits photoworthy.
Best part: The mask has a fresh, understated scent and gives your skin a pearly glow.
Why it's worth it: When I visited my newborn nephew a few days later, my once winter-chapped skin was still as soft as his... well, you know.—Karen Snyder Duke
The Grotto Spa: Paraffin Manicure
Hilton Garden Inn, 1100 South Ave at Hughes Ave, Staten Island (718-876-8700, thegrottospa.com). $28.
Think of this 45-minute treatment as a much-needed upgrade to your usual manicure: After the standard regimen of filing, oiling and cuticle-clipping, I dipped each hand three times into a large container of bright purple wax. My arms emerged pale and prosthetic looking, and were immediately wrapped in clear plastic and terry-cloth for 10 minutes, so that the wax could so the wax could moisturize my skin and harden. Afterward, my attendant stripped the mittens and wrap, very slowly pulled off the skintight layer of paraffin and proceeded with the usual hand massage and polish, plus clear topcoat and more oil to seal in the softness.
Best part: The wax pulls out impurities and moisturizes dry skin you probably never knew you had.
Why it's worth it: For not much more than a standard manicure, my hands emerged velvety soft without feeling greasy.—Annemarie Dooling
Sweet Lily Natural Nail Spa: Bergamot Orange Pedicure
222 West Broadway between Franklin and North Moore Sts (212-925-5441, sweetlilyspa.com). Regularly $68. TONY deal Mention TONY when booking for 20 percent off the seasonal Bergamot Orange Pedicure (usually $68) through Feb 9.
Once I was comfortable in an overstuffed floral-print armchair, a foot bath of sea salt and bergamot essential oil (known for its mood-lifting properties) arrived in a charming, farmhouse-style enamel bucket, and the congenial technician, Soni Shrestha, massaged my feet with an individual bergamot orange soap—made especially for the salon by Red Hook--based company Saipua. She then expertly tended to my nails and cuticles, exfoliated my gams using an invigorating sea-salt-and-citrus scrub and applied a bergamot-oil-spiked whipped shea-butter cream to my feet and calves. Following a precision paint job with toluene- and formaldehyde-free Zoya polish, I settled into a cushy sofa to air-dry—in keeping with the salon's emphasis on natural nail care, you'll find no infrared driers here.
Best part: While many salons skimp on the massage element of a pedicure, Shrestha gave my soles and calves a lengthy kneading, tending to each gam for more than five minutes.
Why it's worth it: The personal attention, cellphone- and TV-free serenity, and use of well-being--enhancing natural products turn this pedicure into restorative ritual rather than mere maintenance.—Lisa Ritchie
L'Institut Sothys: Hanakasumi Foot Ritual
37 W 57th St between Fifth and Sixth Aves (212-688-9400, sothyspa.com). Regularly $60. TONY deal Mention TONY when booking for 25 percent off this treatment through Feb 29.
Like many New Yorkers, I walk a lot—and not always in the most comfortable shoes. This 30-minute foot treatment was the perfect cure for my tired dogs: My massage therapist, Simona, worked out the kinks in my feet and calves, and the improvement was apparent as soon as I stood up. My legs felt like jelly—in the best way possible.
Best part: Although this isn't a traditional pedi, the technicians use Sothys's lush line of products, which incorporate rice powder and Japanese cherry blossoms to thoroughly exfoliate the skin.
Why it's worth it: Despite the relatively short time slot, the experience is luxe: I reclined on a heated massage bed with a warm cloth over my eyes while Simona worked her magic.—Amy Plitt