The Big Apple’s spa scene is due for a fresh dose of zen in 2020 with the arrival of Aman and Six Senses. But that’s not to say there aren’t plenty of homegrown wellness offerings to opt for in the meantime. From Manhattan to the Hamptons, here are four new New York oases at which to relax and recharge.
The Spa by Equinox Hotel Hudson Yards
Luxury fitness brand Equinox turned heads when its first hotel debuted last July in the Hudson Yards development on Manhattan’s west side. While the 212 rooms and suites may have temperature-regulated bedding and minibars stocked with dozens of healthy snacks, supplements, and other wellness items, the main attraction is undoubtedly the two-story spa and gym. A highlight? Regenerative facials created in collaboration with celebrity facialist Thuyen Nguyen, whose skin-lifting FaceXercise treatment is trusted by Uma Thurman and Natalie Portman. Jet-lagged travelers should try the Wave Table, which uses sound-wave relaxation therapy to induce the feeling of three hours’ sleep in just 30 minutes.
Though technically a members’ club, this next-level wellness center in the Flatiron District is also open to day visitors. And thank goodness. The calming, whitewashed sanctuary unites a packed lineup of amenities: coed steam room, wellness library, fitness training areas, and dome-shaped meditation chamber. There’s even an organic restaurant that serves dishes such as wild salmon with greens and delicious daily-changing kitchari. Doctors specializing in areas that range from sports medicine to acupuncture and Ayurveda are on hand to provide personalized care, whether you wish to alleviate insomnia or require relationship counseling.
Across the Brooklyn Bridge in the heart of Williamsburg, a 1930s soda factory now hosts a 600-square-meter subterranean spa that takes its cues from the social bathing cultures of Russia, Turkey, Scandinavia, and Finland. Aside from relaxing in two cedar-clad saunas, bathers can recline on hammam-style heated marble slabs and plunge into several hot and cold pools against a backdrop of exposed brickwork. Therapists deliver sports recovery massages in 10 vaulted treatment spaces; patrons are welcome to book an immune system–boosting cryotherapy session or float in a sensory deprivation tank saturated with Epsom salts. A post-treatment glass of wine at the street-level bar is a bonus.
Shou Sugi Ban House
A two-hour drive outside town on the south fork of Long Island, the newest destination spa to grace the Hamptons is Japanese-inspired in both its aesthetic (think minimalist decor and ofuro soaking tubs in each of the 13 guest rooms) and its wellness offerings. Multiday escapades and full-day immersions here tap into a diverse menu of experiences such as tea ceremonies, hypnotic gong baths, tailored shamanic healing sessions, and guided shinrin-yoku (“forest bathing”) walks. Classes in yoga, pilates, and tai chi take place at an open-air pavilion; you’ll also have the chance to commune with others around a ceremonial fire pit under the stars or over plant-focused meals designed in tandem with Noma co-founder Mads Refslund.
This article originally appeared in the February/March 2020 print issue of DestinAsian magazine (“New York Nirvanas”).