Best spray tanning salons

Snookin' for a pro spray tan in NYC? These bronzing temples have earned their gold mettle.

  • Acqua Beauty Bar

  • Future Tan Salon & Spa

  • Gotham Glow

  • Rosangela Skin Care and Spa

  • Townhouse Spa

  • Sunpoint Retreat

Acqua Beauty Bar

Brazil Bronze Glow Bar
To say the technicians here are experts—they can “sculpt” everything from abs to cleavage to Keira Knightley cheekbones—is putting it mildly. Once we were behind the Moroccan-style curtains, they surveyed our skin the way an art critic eyeballs a painting, then set to work creating a deep, honey-hued tan. 580 Broadway between E Houston and Prince Sts, suite 501 (212-431-0077, $25--$80. Mention TONY for 25% off tanning services through Feb 25.

Downtime Spa
Vindy Lam is the go-to tanning expert at this Williamsburg spa, which shares its waiting area with Beehive Salon. After leading us to a tranquil back room, Lam analyzed our splotchy skin before spraying in a circular motion, thus neutralizing the snakeskin effect. 115 North 7th St between Berry St and Wythe Ave, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (718-218-9680, $25--$60. Mention TONY for 10% off tanning services through Feb 25.

Future Tan Salon & Spa
Tea lights and vanilla diffusers decorate almost every surface in this narrow salon—a calming setup that was all but forgotten when we were gunned down by the aloe-based spray in the Mystic My Mist booth. Having a British voice direct our feet around the light-up panel was like playing Twister with James Bond, but we appreciate that the staff pampered us with lemon-scented towelettes and bottled water. 53 Greenwich Ave between Charles and Perry Sts (212-675-9009, $35--$69. Mention TONY for 25% off tanning services through Feb 28.

Gotham Glow
Book a house call with comedian-cum-mobile-spray-tanner Tamar Vezirian and you could be fodder for one of her bits at Comix. On our appointment, the Mary Poppins of home tanning lugged her spray-tan machine up two flights of stairs, then set up a portable spray tent right in our living room. She worked with a featherlight hand and, we were relieved to learn, never reveals names in her stand-up routine. (212-592-0368, $100 at-home full-body spray tan within Manhattan. Mention TONY for 10% off through Feb 25.

La Viva Glam Mobile Tan
Vanessa Vellucci, a onetime event planner for Guns N’ Roses, now tours hotels, offices and apartments with animal-print cases full of South Seas tanning spray. We were led through the requisite poses on our house call, and while the spray part took only five minutes, the girl talk could’ve lasted all night. (646-895-2407, Full-body tanning $75. Mention TONY for 20% off tanning for two and 30% off tanning for three through Feb 28.

Rita Hazan Salon
Anna Stankiewicz, faux-sun goddess to celebs, is worth the wait. (Free drinks and posh leather seating make the time fly.) Once we were in, the zero-attitude Stankiewicz got busy applying a St. Tropez airbrushed tan that had deepened to a lush postvacay glow by the next morning. 720 Fifth Ave at 56th St, 11th floor (212-586-4343). $25--$85. Mention TONY for 15% off tanning services through Feb 18.

Rosangela Skin Care and Spa
Shiraz and fruit platters fuel the waiting-room chatter at this UES staple, where devotees from as far away as Philly gather for Brazilian owner Rosangela Slomski’s expert services. We never thought our paper-pale skin could approach a Barbie bronze, but the maternal staff sent us off sporting a smooth toffee tone. 1200 Lexington Ave between 81st and 82nd Sts, second floor (212-861-0826). $25--$48. Mention TONY for 20% off facials, Brazilian waxing and tanning services through Feb 25.

Shade Bar Boutique Spa
A crystal chandelier and black-clad staff greet patrons at this Queens retreat. Masseuse Eliza Woznica started our treatment with a coconut-lemongrass scrub—a nice touch, as was the latex we were given to paint and protect our nails. They even blow-dried away the stickiness before dusting us off with an organic powder. 36-05 Ditmars Blvd between 36th and 37th Sts, Astoria, Queens (718-278-7892, $10--$90. Mention TONY for 20% off tanning services through Feb 25.

Townhouse Spa
Expect the usual alpha crew at this three-level spa, whose reception area leads to a clubby restaurant. After changing into a robe, we relaxed in a steam room and waited our turn. The treatment itself began with an exfoliating hot seaweed gel rubdown, followed by a delightful rain-shower rinse and, finally, a technician massaging a thin layer of Xen-Tan cream into every inch of our body with freakishly skillful hands. 39 W 56th St between Fifth and Sixth Aves (212-245-8006, Bronze leafing $150. Mention TONY for 15% off tanning services through Feb 25.

Acqua Beauty Bar
The airbrush machine’s ice-cold spray made us wince, but the technician here gave us an even bronzing. She also returned twice during the drying process to pat down our neck and joints—thereby avoiding any zebralike tragedies. 7 E 14th St between Fifth Ave and University Pl (212-620-4329, Fantasy Tan session $65. Mention TONY for 15% off tanning services through Feb 25.

Sunpoint Retreat
You’ll find all the usual Beach Bum Tanning trappings here, from fluorescent lights to wave-shaped doors, but it’s hard not to like the ultraclean private rooms and facial offerings. Owner Heike Muschik is an old pro too: She blasted us with a thin layer of SunFX solution, taking our funereal pallor to a rich, golden brown in minutes. 344 E 63rd St between First and Second Aves (212-319-5805, $18--$85. Mention TONY for 20% off tanning services through Feb 25.

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