Downtown Banya looks and feels like an old-world bathhouse, but it's blessed with some distinctly new-world amenities, including a bistro that serves dumplings and beer and spa services such as massages and facials. The main draw is a sauna composed of two rooms—Russian and dry. A third-generation Russian stove maker crafted the Russian sauna, which has a low-humidity environment that allows temperatures to soar higher than they could in other types of saunas. The wet sauna, meanwhile, dangles the prospect of aromatherapy—clients may buy herbs in the lobby and waft them throughout the room so that no one will question why their hair smells like chicken fingers. After they’re done loafing around the sauna rooms, clients can dip into cold pools that help the skin maintain elasticity. Or instead, they can sink into a warm jacuzzi equipped with a flat-screen plasma TV overhead.
Owners Eric and Cristina Richerson care deeply for their salon and it shows in the hospitality. Their upscale barbershop Jonn Laurenz Fine Cuts specializes in precise men's scissor cuts tailored to the needs of the individual. Clients may also solicit the shop for a facial-hair trim or uber-close lineup with a classic straight razor.
At Antonio Melani Salon & Spa, there’s more to a haircut than trimming off split ends. Before each treatment, stylists fire off questions to garner information about their clients' visions for their hair, their lifestyles, and their daily routines. They then analyze their face shapes, hair types, and skin tones so they can design a look that accents their features, in addition to their personalities. And after all that, they still don’t start cutting until they treat scalps to a sudsy shampoo and purge stress from the shoulders and neck with a soothing massage. From there, their creativity and hair-cutting talent shines, as they take into account everything gathered from the consultation to create a chic, yet practical style. After ribboning locks with foil highlights or glosses, they style strands with Aveda products and teach clients how to re-create the looks at home or in a telephone booth during a superhero mission.
Though hair is clearly the bread and butter of Antonio Melani, the beauty team also caters to the skin and body with several treatments, including a gentleman’s facial featuring licorice root and hot-stone massages. The aestheticians also smooth skin with sugaring—a gentler and tastier alternative to traditional wax.
While clients relax under hot stones or aromatherapy oils, licensed massage therapist Brittney Younger is hard at work tracking down muscle knots and tension. She devotes full concentration to each of her 16 types of massages because she realizes that no two bodies are identical and that tension can occur in unassuming places. As a result, she provides custom trigger-point, lymph-drainage, and myofascial-release therapies during 60- or 90-minute sessions.
Spa In The City’s beauty professionals do just about everything there is to do in the spa and salon arena. In addition to traditional services (among them, haircuts, waxes, and massages), the specialists ramp up the volume and length of lashes with extensions. Applied one by one, the faux threads nestle alongside natural lashes to create a dynamic yet airy effect. Cosmeticians further enhance facial features with custom-blended mineral foundation, powder, or blush. After devising the perfect blend of colors to match your skin, the specialists keep the recipe on file so that it can be reformulated when you run out or your body double gets sunburned. Spa In The City's personnel also staff an adjoining boutique full of beauty products, gifts, and jewelry.
The exuberant exfoliators at Royale European Skin Care wipe out no-good skin cells with thorough multistep treatments that leave epidermises enlivened. The go-to spa facial polishes peeper chrome with a basic cleansing, a pH balancing, and a moisturizing mask finish ($84), and the intense glow advanced facial targets dry, sensitive, or oily skin types with an aromatherapy-based remedy ($94). The warm algae wrap treats trunks by blanketing bodies in vitamin-rich seaweed smoothies for 25 minutes to detoxify and hydrate hides ($99). Guests sip tea in the sitting room between services, relaxing before rooting out unwanted follicle flowers with full face ($40) or Brazilian bikini ($55) waxing services. Stop being mistaken for squiggly-mouthed emoticons with the hydrating lip treatment, which rinses out wrinkles and reshapes kisser contours ($15).