The Spa at Chelsea Piers
Platinum Salon: Cut and style
Exposed brick, minimal decor and bumping, up-tempo music set a hip downtown vibe in this popular spot. The staff was engaging and generous, offering coat check and complimentary tea while I thawed out in the lobby. Anna Rose, who has been with the salon since it debuted four years ago, started my appointment with an in-depth conversation to assess my lifestyle and habits. She asked questions about my hair-care routine and how I wanted to look, and carefully eased me into my decision to cut off several inches. After a wash and conditioning with Moroccanoil products, plus a scalp massage so relaxing I nearly fell asleep, she cut my damaged hair to a clean and sharp, textured coif. Before I left, she gave me styling tips for different occasions and suggested products, making sure I was excited about my transformation. Women’s cut and style $65. Mention TONY to receive 15% off a standard cut and style through Feb 28. 212-243-1010, platinumnewyork.com
Graceful Spa: Signature facial
This spot may not have the frills of other spas, but by the time my hour-long appointment was done, I couldn’t have cared less. The service kicks off with a cleanser and scrub to wipe away excess dirt and dead skin. Lying faceup on the heated bed with a steamer percolating above me, I quickly forgot I was separated from the other patrons by only a thin curtain. After using a tiny handheld tool to extract all the muck lurking beneath my epidermis, aesthetician Amber Song applied a Nu Skin green-tea-and-mint collagen mask. While the product worked its magic, Amber worked hers: Massaging my shoulders, neck and décolletage, she kneaded out the kinks and stiffness accumulated after the double whammy of exams and the holidays. After removing the mask, which had doubled in size, she massaged my face using rapid strokes meant to increase blood flow. The treatment ends with the application of a toner and moisturizer; afterward, my face felt rejuvenated and quenched. 60min $80. Mention TONY to receive a complimentary 30min massage with a 60min facial booking through Feb 7. 212-675-5145, gracefulspa.com
The Spa at Chelsea Piers: Swedish massage
Most New Yorkers frequent this complex for its sports facilities, but hidden inside the fluorescent, sterile locker room is a tranquil spa lounge. Once I got comfortable in the private treatment room, Juliet Kressner, an experienced massage therapist of 14 years, asked about my preferred pressure level and which areas needed focus. Using long, fluid motions and stretches, she moved from my feet up to my neck, methodically working out tension and knots with Biotone’s Dual-Purpose massage cream, which combines almond oil, aloe vera and vitamin E for an extra oomph of moisture. A series of short, rapid strokes along my arm and leg muscles successfully jump-started circulation, and Kressner’s no-muscle-forgotten method ensured that even my knees, hands and earlobes received attention. A low-intensity facial massage around my cheekbones and temples relieved built-up sinus pressure and capped off the blissful, revitalizing experience. 50min massage: nonmember $100, member $94. First-time visitors who mention TONY will receive 15% off the 50min Swedish massage (Mon–Fri) through Feb 28. 212-336-6666, chelseapiers.com
The sweet and salty treats in this boutique spa’s lounge kept me quite content as I relaxed briefly before my appointment with technician Ada Zhou, who has been with the spa since it opened in TKyear. The in-depth foot treatment involved grating off calluses and dead skin before applying a calming, aromatic green-tea mask from toes to knees. After using cellophane to wrap up my calves like a bake-sale goody (to lock in moisture, Zhou explained), she plucked dead skin from around my toes and began applying the deep-red Shellac polish I’d chosen from the 100-plus shades on offer. The soft massage that followed stole the show. Incorporating the balls of my feet, shins and the always-forgotten soft spots between my toes, she quickly had my limbs completely slack. My legs and feet—so often the victims of schlepping up and down subway stairs—were left renewed and forgiven of all stored-up damage. Regularly $69. Mention TONY to receive 20% off this service through Jan 31.