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  1. Caudalie Vinotherapie Spa

  2. Photograph: Charles Silverman
    Photograph: Charles Silverman

    John Barrett Salon

  3. Photograph: Jena Cumbo
    Photograph: Jena Cumbo


  4. Photograph: exhale mind body spa
    Photograph: exhale mind body spa

    Exhale Spa

New York spas: where to go to relax in Midtown West

Think of a visit to one of these quiet New York spas as a respite from the throngs of Times Square tourists. The treatments are just a bonus.


Spas in NYC are perfect for escaping the clamor of visitors and flash of neon lights that are oh-so-common in Times Square. Go ahead and see a Broadway show, then disconnect from the hustle and bustle with a massage or facial.

RECOMMENDED: New York spas guide 2013

  • Health and beauty
  • Spas
  • Lenox Hill

The anticipation of a week spent fraternizing with some of the most anxiety-provoking people on the planet—my family—put knots in my back that no yoga stretches could alleviate. But massage therapist Jennifer Lopez (different Jenny, different block) worked all the preholiday kinks out of my body during this blissful 80-minute treatment. After she carefully applied a scrub composed of brown sugar, Caudalie’s Vinotherapie lotion and the spa’s signature Divine oil to my legs, back, arms and stomach, I took a luxurious, warm shower in an adjacent room and returned to the massage table for an extensive rubdown with more Divine oil (a lubricating blend of grape, hibiscus, sesame and argan varieties). I left smelling better than I ever have before, and unable to speak in complete sentences for at least an hour thanks to a transcendent scalp massage. Regularly $305. Mention TONY when booking or at time of appointment for 20% off the treatment through Jan 31. 212-265-3182,—EW

Exhale Spa: Illuminate facial
  • Health and beauty
  • Massage and body treatments
  • Midtown West

The winter months tend to dull even the brightest complexions, chapping lips and drying cheeks with every gust of chilly wind. I trod into this ground-floor retreat in search of a remedy, and met with national spa director and facialist Laura Benge to determine how to treat my ailing skin. A warming honey cleanser with antibacterial properties rid my mug of day-to-day grime and gave Benge a blank slate for the next step: a clarifying rosemary-scented mud-and-algae mask applied under steam via lymphatic drainage massage, which helps circulation and lets the product’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory ingredients penetrate the epidermis. As the mask set, Benge swapped out the usual arm-and-hand massage for a neck-and-shoulder session meant to eradicate the kink I’d developed after a bad night’s sleep. I nearly drifted off as Benge softly removed the paste, but a thorough series of extractions followed by an invigorating citric-acid mask (activated by quick bursts of effervescent copper mist) woke me right up. Getting dressed, I caught a glimpse of my now-glowing appearance in a mirror and noticed  the treatment’s collagen-boosting botanicals already perking up my skin. Locations throughout the city; visit $200.—SB

John Barrett Salon: The Braid Bar hair styling
  • Health and beauty
  • Hair salons
  • Midtown East

Weeks spent gawking intricate brand tutorials on Pinterest and failing to accurately mimic them left me with exhausted forearms and dashed dreams of replicating Bella Swan’s Twilight wedding coif. Stylist Kayley Pak welcomed me to the salon with offers of warm or cold drinks (soda, tea, water or coffee) and helped me look through a book of celebrity-inspired ’dos. Looks ranged from an intricate braided updo to a simpler half-up, half-down style and can be scheduled with an optional shampoo and blow-dry. After delicately weaving my hair (I chose the latter option, with a delicate crown plait), Pak curled my hair into beachy waves and sent me out to enjoy my New Year’s Eve—but not before I copped a few selfies in the lobby of Bergdorf’s. 212-872-2000, Braids start at $50.—EW

Tenoverten: Signature manicure Le Parker Meridien
  • Health and beauty
  • Hair salons
  • Midtown West

Getting a manicure in New York City can often feel as if you’re passing through some sort of nail and foot farm. But the newest location of this tricked-out salon aims to erase the factory-like ambience, replacing cheesy decor with an industrial-chic vibe. The real draw here, though, is the charming staff, such as technician Christina Querica, plus up-to-the-minute trendy polishes, including Chanel, RGB and Nars in addition to the classic Essie and Tenoverten’s own brand. The quick but high-end Signature manicure comes with a thorough nail shaping, cuticle attention and a hand massage. Drying serum replaces a table of big hand blowers, and the paint job lasted nearly a full week. $25.—EW

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