The staff at Mermaid Spa roasts granite rocks overnight to lend the Russian steam room an air of authenticity. And, in accordance with these traditional standards, they then dash water over the intensely heated rocks to create a natural steam. As the room gets misty, those relaxing inside of the sauna wield dried birch branches to self-administer a massage or tickle the wood-paneled walls just like their mother trees. All of this falls in line with Mermaid Spa’s owners’ vision when they first opened their Brooklyn bathhouse: bring the Russian banya to New York.
Also housed inside the spa are an extra-large jacuzzi, an ice-filled pool, and a Turkish steam room, where aromas of eucalyptus and mint intermingle with the warm mists. Pleasant scents also waft from the on-site Russian restaurant, where chefs ladle traditional goulash and dumplings onto plates or into the bindles of traveling hoboes.
Sandoony USA takes the concept of the American melting pot seriously; it’s blended the bathhouse traditions of Eastern Europe into a devoted relaxation center that pairs three types of saunas with just as many pools. After a stint sweating out toxins in one of two dry Russian saunas, guests jump into the cold plunge pool to refresh their bodies and shock their pores closed without showing them the phone bill from NASA’s calls to Neptune. The hot, thick air of the Finnish sauna and Turkish steam room warm up chilled bones before the lap pool gets muscles moving again. A final soak amid the massaging jets of the jacuzzi erases any lingering stress. After drying off amid the pool deck’s tables and hanging TVs, an opulent dining room or poolside café awaits with plates such as feta-cheese-and-tomato salads or beef tongue with horseradish.
Brooklyn Banya welcomes weary visitors into a relaxing Russian bathhouse, where saunas, steam rooms, and pools soothe aching bodies and open pores. Patrons stow valuables in lockers, for which they may bring their own locks, and don flip-flops before moving between baths of different temperatures, which can increase circulation and help the immune system. The bathhouse’s therapeutic jacuzzi bubbles with cozy heat, and ice baths chill sore muscles. Staff members perform body-bettering treatments, such as salt scrubs, which leave skin smoother than a newborn pickpocket. The hamam’s attached sundeck and cafe—serving fresh juice, black tea with honey, and authentic Russian fare—ensure that patrons leave calm, sated, and rejuvenated.
GreenStone Spa’s four therapists infuse organic products and Eastern therapies into treatments that yield whole-body rejuvenation. Calling upon the curative properties of copper and sulfur, aestheticians administer hydrating and deep-cleansing facials that balance skin tone. Massage therapists tackle the muscular system with 11 modalities including Swedish and deep tissue. During the Sticks and Stones massage, they heat muscles and soften areas of concentrated tension with warmed stones and bamboo sticks. In the spa's gift shop, beauty professionals equip patrons with aromatherapy gifts and body products to remind them of the chronic ache that got away.
The eclectic staff of Yaffa’s Living Well provides a comprehensive repertoire of services to promote holistic wellness, helping clients become healthier and more relaxed from the inside out. Visitors in need of physical relaxation can opt to de-stress weary soul sacks with rounds of detoxifying ionic footbaths, therapeutic massages, or energizing reiki. Acupuncturists can help appease minds unable to let go of ongoing work projects or enable them to rest until they understand life as a porcupine. To unwind the kind of stress accumulated over the long term, clients can find relief from the center’s new-age staff, including a psychic, life coach, and a hypnotherapist.
Just off a bustling Brooklyn sidewalk, patrons enter the organically inspired environs of Art of Natural Beauty Center, its mossy green hues and burnished wood floors reflecting a commitment to beauty and ecological sustainability. Clients can peruse the menu of services, which deploy a potent combination of technology and natural products to perform laser hair removal, colon hydrotherapy, and facials enhanced by seaweed.