Spas for any situation
The best spas for a girls' day out, romantic getaway, all-day escape and more.
Mon Jan 23 2012
RECOMMENDED: See this year's New York spas guide
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Bond with a bro
John Allan's: Signature Full Service
Think of this bundle as a tune-up for your entire head: It comprises a scalp-massaging shampoo, conditioning treatment, hot towel, haircut, manicure and shoe shine. While I sipped a brewed iced tea (other offerings range from espresso to beer), I was escorted from station to station within the midtown outpost. The whole shebang took only 45 minutes, but I never felt rushed: I had the option to hang out all day at the bar and play a few games of pool in the lounge. Instead, I treated myself to an intense deep-tissue massage (60mins, $105).
Best part: If you're in a rush to go somewhere, you can multitask by getting the haircut and manicure at the same time.
Why it's worth it: A single visit isn't much costlier than a salon appointment, but each club also offers an annual membership (one location $750, all four locations $850), so you can go as often as you choose.
Visit johnallans.com for details. Regularly $68. TONY deal First-time clients who mention TONY when booking receive this treatment for $38 through Dec 31.—Adam Fulrath
- Locations throughout the city
The One Men's Spa: 30-minute full-body scrub treatment and 60-minute massage
A small, communal changing area marked employees only and a towel instead of a bathrobe, made for an inauspicious start to this luxurious doubleheader. But once ensconced in the candlelit treatment room with a glass of perfectly serviceable red wine, I quickly forgot these minor affronts. My masseuse, Leo L., worked a honey-and-herb scrub firmly over my body, yielding surprisingly effective results. The litmus test? The rough skin on my feet disappeared for weeks. Once Leo had washed my hair and hosed and toweled me down, I was led down the hall to a VIP room (with Jacuzzi, walk-in shower and banquette) for the massage. His combination of Swedish and shiatsu, plus a smattering of Thai, put me in such a mind-bendingly relaxed frame of mind that I mistook a siren from the street for a bird call.
Best part: To ease into the treatment, I began with a soak in a tub containing milk extract (to soften my skin) and rose petals (because that shit just looks nice).
Why it's worth it: There's a steam room to hang in with your bud. It's normally reserved for VIPs and regulars, but if you book an hour-long scrub or massage, they'll accommodate you, too.
212-203-9313. TONY deal Mention TONY when booking any full-body scrub or massage for 10 percent off that treatment through Dec 31.—Jonathan Shannon
- 163 Eighth Ave between 18th and 19th Sts
Wellness Men's Day Spa: Wellness Luxury Plus package (men's facial restoration and 60-minute massage)
- Price band: 4/4
The first thing that struck me upon entering this five-year-old spa was the soothing, slightly musky aroma emanating from scent machines. I was led past a row of leather seats with foot baths (a perfect spot to shoot the breeze with your buddies while having a foot treatment; $35–$58) to a massage room for a divine rubdown. Then I was taken to see facial specialist, Rafael Lopez, in a treatment room reminiscent of a dentist's office. The similarities didn't end there: Inquiries about my nonexistent skin-care regimen left me with the same sheepish feeling I normally get after my teeth are examined. After the application of numerous Kon Ya and EltaMD products (including a French micropeel that exfoliates like the American version, but also rehydrates and rejuvenates), a series of light massages and a misting with water, the extractions began. Using a needle, Rafael worked at five spots and blemishes on my face. I had to grit my teeth throughout (this is a man's facial, after all—no squealing allowed!), but the spot on my forehead had disappeared by the next day. No pain, no gain, right?
Best part: My masseur, Lee Chen, had intuition that bordered on the psychic: By using the Swedish technique of kneading and rubbing, I didn't experience my usual massage-table discomfort.
Why it's worth it: If you're serious about your skin, the no-holds-barred facial is for you.
212-366-9080, wellnessmensdayspa.com. $204.—Jonathan Shannon
- 44 W 22nd St, (between Fifth and Sixth Aves)
- Price band: 2/4
This sunny salon and spa doesn't have leather recliners or any other Mad Men–evoking trappings found in some pamper palaces aimed at men, but it does have complimentary booze—perfect for easing the jitters of guys not used to beautifying. My facial was scheduled before noon, so I skipped the hooch, but after a few minutes of extractions at the hands of a very sweet (but surprisingly strong) woman named Estella Eckardt, I wished I'd taken a big gulp from the bottle of Dewar's in the reception area. "You may hate me now," she said, as tears rolled down my cheeks. "But you'll thank me tonight or tomorrow."
Best part: A delicious-smelling wine-derived mask and a soothing shoulder-and-neck massage almost justified the pain that preceded them.
Why it's worth it: Estella was right: My skin is brighter, clearer and smoother than it's been in years—and the effect lasted for more than a week.
212-759-5015, trumans-nyc.com. $140. TONY deal Mention TONY when booking for a complimentary manicure with any spa service through Feb 29.—Ethan LaCroix
- 120 E 56th St, (between Park and Lexington Aves)
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