New Yorkers are constantly on the go, and it's no shock that stress in our lives can throw a major roadblock on our quest to find peaceful places to relax. But ask yourself this: When was the last time you actually took a spa day? Sure, you can rely on Spa Week for discounted treatments twice a year, but you deserve to treat yourself at a day spa all the time. The best spas in New York can be downright expensive, which is why we scoured the city for affordable facials and massages, so you can get your mug and back in check. And while trying something cheap and under the radar can sometimes be sketchy, trust us—these affordable spa treatments are worth every penny.
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If a traditional, straight–forward mudpack is what you seek, you can’t go wrong at this West Village spot. The cozy all-purpose spa is not only easy on the wallet, but on your time (Eve takes walk-ins). When you go, book the 30-minute Escape treatment, which will revive and nourish your skin with two phases of exfoliation, a custom mask from the spa’s product line and a facial massage followed by moisturizer and sunscreen for $55. Sign us up, please!
It’s tough to keep a fresh face when it’s hot as hell, but it burns more to drop almost $200 on a skin-care service. That’s why minimalist facial bar Heyday offers a deal that fits into your schedule and budget (minus the annoying wind chimes). Consider this NoMad spot an anti-spa. There’s no real menu, just three options—a 30-minute ($60), 50-minute ($95) or 75-minute ($135) treatment—that are bookable online. The skin-care therapists will customize the session to your needs (like getting rid of pesky dry spots or pimples). Better yet, this place opens early and closes late on weekdays (Mon–Fri 8am–10pm), so you can pop in before or after work rather than sacrifice your weekend of beaching and boozing.
Like the products, the facials here are ahh-mazing (highlights include the apothecary and warm oil masks). And while the spa’s typical prices can be a stretch (most range from $160 to $180), Kiehl’s is making it easier to put your best face forward. Spa 1851 recently launched an Express Remedy menu including two 30-minute facial options—one brightening, another hydrating—that for go $75, so you can get a quick radiance boost on your lunch break with time to spare. This spot is great for dudes, but we also recommend trying the Re-Energizing Facial Masque ($15) at Kiehl’s Barbershop on Ninth Avenue in Hell’s Kitchen.
Note: This spa is not super-luxurious, but for doting and soothing salves, booking a mini facial treatment (40mins, $35) is totally worth it. The aesthetician will usher you into a small room with an unexpectedly comfortable bed and proceed to mollycoddle you with cleansers, creams, toners and moisturizers that will soothe your mug. Shell out a little more dough for an extraction and combo facial-shoulder massage followed by a 15-minute mask ($55).
The mini facials (30mins, $75) are European-style at this quaint spa, meaning they consist mostly of massages in order to create a glowing complexion. The specialist will use several firming scrubs, working them into every pore. But once the lavender mud mask hits your skin, you’ll drift off for 10 minutes, then wake up (without any red blotches or puffiness) and be ready to hit the bar.
Inspired by the Israeli beauty industry and its heavy reliance on products containing ingredients from the Dead Sea, Tel Aviv native Dorit Baxter opened her eponymous New York spa in 1980, and while the massages are not the cheapest, you will get your money’s worth. Book a basic Swedish massage (50mins, $95), consisting of long, relaxing strokes to increase blood circulation and body energy. The spa frequently offers discounts through Groupon, too—it's not uncommon to find the same massage for less than half the price.
Struggling with kinks and knots? This joint will knead them till they’re gone, guaranteed. After discussing your target areas with the therapist, sink into a heated bed for a basic Swedish massage. The therapist will massage your oiled back with constant pressure, then move on to a brief foot, neck and head rub (30mins, $55).
If you’re looking for a really great deep-tissue massage, then this is the place for you. Best of all, the service costs $45 per hour, which may be the best deal in town. During the rubdown, clients are treated to a private room (with a door), and by hour’s end your tense muscles will be raising the white flag.
This Williamsburg spa is basically a yoga studio, but also offers excellent massage services for prices that won't necessarily ruin your bank account. A one-hour Swedish massage runs for $80, deep-tissue massages clock in at $90 for an hour and hot stone massages run another $10. Plus, the spa frequently runs Groupon deals, and offers bulk massage packages to keep prices down, though the therapists' hands alone will keep you coming back for more.
The therapists at this spa offer soothing rather than intense massages, so don’t expect deep-down digging. But for $65, your masseuse will definitely untangle a few knots and de-kink your neck, shoulders and back, rocking your spine out of its stiffness. In a half hour, your muscles will feel totally relaxed and reenergized.
Walk into this small but uncluttered spa, where your therapist will lead you to a relaxation room complete with Celtic-sounding music and incense. The therapist will give your bod a traditional rubdown using unscented oil on your back and legs, while working efficiently to de-kink your troubled areas. For $45, you can totally justify spending a small chunk of change for 30 minutes of peace. Keep an eye out for Groupon deals, too: The spa recently offered an hourlong massage and 45-minute seaweed facial for just $75.
Living in New York City requires a lot of walking: to the subway, up the stairs to your apartment, the list goes on and on. Treat your aching feet to a reflexology massage at this spa known for its traditional technique. You’ll sink into a plush recliner and dunk your dogs into a warm foot bath before the technician goes to work. The careful application of pressure to specific parts of the foot is said to stimulate other parts of the body—if nothing else, it will certainly relieve some of your aches and pains. It’s quite a bargain, too: An hourlong session only costs $35, and the spa regularly offers even steeper discounts through Groupon.
When you just need to escape for a few minutes, book a session in the Himalayan salt cave at this Hell’s Kitchen spa. Bricks of pink salt line the walls of the room, and a mild, infrared heat keeps it pleasantly warm. The salt particles in the air are purported to have detoxifying benefits, but if nothing else, the silent room works as a relaxing form of sensory deprivation. Half an hour in the pale pink room will typically cost you $65, but Floating Lotus is currently offering the service on Groupon for just $35.
What this bare-bones East Village bathhouse lacks in frills, it makes up in tradition. Locals have been sweating it out here for the last 100 years, and the famed oak-leaf platza scrub and massage is as authentic as it gets. A technician will escort you into one of the spa’s hottest saunas where you’ll be doused in hot water, swatted all over with a fragrant bundle of oak leaves and finally rubbed down with oil. The leaves are said to work as a natural astringent, sloughing off dead skin and impurities. Though you typically have to pay both the $45 entrance fee for the spa and an additional $40 for the 15-minute treatment, bargain seekers can usually better deals online, like a recent Groupon priced at $39 for both.
Haggard, overworked New Yorkers might want to book themselves a session in one of YeloSpa’s signature nap pods for a sleep therapy session. Before you go down for your nap, a staff member will ask you which sounds and aromatherapy scents you prefer. Then you'll hop into to a fluffy “zero-gravity” bed that lifts your legs above your head to slow your resting heartbeat. Though the space-age spa might sound bougie, but it’s actually very reasonable priced at just a dollar a minute (20mins, $20).