To get the most out of a visit to a New York City spa, you have to know what you’re looking for. In search of the ultimate skin treatment? You might head to Joanna Vargas Skincare on bustling Fifth Avenue, where the elite aesthetician’s Triple Crown facial uses microcurrent technology to tighten and tone skin. Or maybe you’re looking for a quick bit of beauty maintenance. In that case, try Benefit Boutique Soho’s brow wax and tint, which concludes with a complimentary makeup application. Given the fast pace of life in the Big Apple, the demand for New York City spas is so high that it’s possible to find one that caters to practically any whim.
Some spas emphasize an immersive experience. Ohm Spa, for example, is the kind of place where you can don a robe and slippers and nibble on fresh fruit in the lounge. And Midtown’s aptly named Townhouse Spa takes up three whole levels of a large townhouse, including a romantically appointed basement where couples enjoy tandem massages.
Other places are more concerned with cutting-edge technologies. That’s certainly the case at Romeo and Juliette Laser Hair Removal, where Dr. Christian Karavolas—a prominent educator and a consultant to leading laser aesthetics companies Candela and Cynosure—uses 12 different laser machines to remove hair, wrinkles, and vascular lesions.
Still others come up with novel treatments to stand out from the crowd. At The Plaza Hotel’s Caudalie Vinotherapie Spa, massage therapists rub fresh grapes over their clients’ bodies to hydrate skin—though unconventional, this is just one of the spa’s several wine-themed services. Not to be outdone, Shizuka New York has the famous—or is it infamous?—Geisha facial. Known more colloquially as the “bird poop facial,” this treatment harnesses the brightening enzymes found in powdered nightingale droppings.
Nickel Spa makes its mark in a different way: by appealing exclusively to men. After an oxygenating facial mask or a hot shave with a straight razor, guys retire to “nickel cabs”—solitary cabins where they can adjust the lights and music to their liking and then doze off in “zero-gravity” chairs that elevate their legs above their bodies.
Of course, to truly escape you have to get away from the city. Two hours north of town lies the Emerson, a destination spa and resort where guests indulge in Indian head massages and other ayurvedic treatments before sinking into a bubbling outdoor jacuzzi that overlooks the Catskill Mountains.
Salons in New York City are focused on delivering the comfort and convenience that’s necessary to counter the stress that city life can bring.