Spas for any situation
The best spas for a girls' day out, romantic getaway, all-day escape and more.
Mon Jan 23 2012
Photograph: Prue Hyman
Bliss out with a gal pal
Haven Spa: Haven Hand Renaissance manicure and Haven Foot Renaissance pedicure
Each Renaissance treatment takes about an hour, and Haven will give you and up to three mates access to the intimate lounge, where you can sip booze (there's a BYOB policy) while picking out your polish colors. At the pedicure station, chill out with Wi-Fi-enabled iPads loaded with tons of games—one device is provided at each chair—then settle into the comfy manicure bench (a great spot for gabbing).
Best part: My technician, Mariana Mejia, described the treatments as a "facial for your hands and feet," and she meant it. Wearing the heated mitts and booties for 15 minutes sent waves of comfort through my body, and I could feel my skin soaking up the moisture.
Why it's worth it: My nails stayed flawless for a week, and the extra hydrating massage repaired the chapped skin on my hands.
212-343-3515, havensoho.com. Hands $35, feet $70. TONY deal Mention TONY when booking this pair of treatments with a friend to receive two gift cards for a classic European manicure ($19 value per person) through Feb 21.—Jayme Klock
- 150 Mercer St between W Houston and Prince Sts
Busy girlfriends whose schedules only seem to align at odd hours can meet up whenever they please at this 24/7 Korean spa. After spending time in the cavernous jade-rock sauna, soaking in tubs infused with lemons (for detoxification) and warm ginseng (for healing), plus a brief stint in the 115-degree steam room, it was time for my invigorating 40-minute scrub. Using ginseng and other Korean herbs, therapist Heidi Park used exfoliating gloves to diligently scrub off piles of dry, dead skin from every inch of my body while intermittently dousing me with warm water. A soapy lather and quick shampoo left me squeaky clean for my tension-reducing, half-hour massage with Lisa Kim. Once my knots were kneaded into submission, Kim placed cool, refreshing cucumber slices on my eyes.
Best part: Any one-hour treatment grants free rein over the extensive facilities, which include a baked-clay dry sauna with a tatami-mat floor, where I rested postmassage.
Why it's worth it: Ladies-only hours are from 7am to 5pm daily, making it an ideal way to unwind on the weekend with your amigas.
646-733-1330, juvenexspa.com. $115, with 30min massage $165.—Melody Serafino
- 25 W 32nd St, fifth floor, (between Fifth Ave and Broadway)
- Rated as: 4/5
- Price band: 3/4
If you're looking for a ticket into New York's chic and elite members-only Soho House, here's a cheat: Book a day-long Pretty Party at the venue's in-house spa. For the flat fee, you and your group of six to 12 guests get private access to the spa. Decompress in the eucalyptus-scented steam room, or veg out in a fluffy bathrobe in the posh relaxation area. You set the vibe: Bring your own music, book a group yoga session or a fortune-teller (for extra fees), or just spend the day relaxing like royalty. To top it off, everyone leaves with goodie bags filled with coveted Cowshed products.
Best part: For the Pretty Party, guests can choose between two 30-minute "speedy" treatments (massage, facial, manicure or pedicure) or a one-hour facial or massage. My aesthetician, Elena Capo, promised that my skin would look radiant for a night out, and though I dozed off during the massage and mask, I could see a supple, youthful glow once I woke up.
Why it's worth it: Once you're finished, you'll be escorted to the energetic sixth-floor dining room for a three-course seasonal meal at one of the family-style tables or in one of the more intimate dining areas throughout the floor. Either way, you're likely to rub elbows with celebs at the bar—or at least feel like one yourself.
646-253-6111, sohohouseny.com. Each person $295 (includes one hour of treatment, plus champagne, appetizers and three-course meal).—Jayme Klock
- 29–35 Ninth Ave, (at 13th St), 10014
After offering an array of complimentary beverages (champagne, wine and tea), skin-care specialist and masseuse Alla Bor began my comprehensive beauty treatment with a relaxing 30-minute lemongrass-oil massage. Once my back and shoulders were loose, Bor quickly assessed my skin type ("beautiful, but very dry"), then got to work exfoliating, deep-cleansing and eliminating blackheads during a 45-minute facial. To top it off, she applied a thick seaweed face mask followed by a nutrient-rich moisturizer that left me feeling trim and rejuvenated. It was then on to get my locks shampooed and styled by hair guru Holly Cheema, who used Krastase and Moroccanoil products to give my newly wavy hair added texture and extra hold—perfect for a girls' night out.
Best part: A former nurse in Russia and trained aesthetician, Bor personalized the treatments by meticulously walking me through each step to explain what products make sense for my skin while highlighting the health benefits.
Why it's worth it: Though the spa has regular business hours (Mon–Sat 9am–8pm; Sun 11am–6pm), the staff is flexible and willing to work with patrons whose busy schedules may require visits outside normal hours.
212-420-6565, besusalonandspa.com. Regularly $160. TONY deal Mention TONY when booking for 15 percent off any service through Feb 29.—Melody Serafino
- 234 Third Ave, (between 19th and 20th Sts)