New York City Health & Beauty
39 W. 56th St., Penthouse, Midtown
There are tons of treatment options at this wellness hideout inside the penthouse on a particularly hectic block of Midtown. From a targeted acupuncture and cupping session with founder Joel Granik to a float inside a sensory deprivation tank (that's thought to mimic the body’s experience in the womb) to Reiki healing and yoga classes taught in a gorgeous white room with a glass ceiling, everything here aims to balance and restore the body’s chi. There’s an infrared sauna and a salt cave; the walls of the latter are made from hundreds of pounds of Himalayan salt bricks, which infuse the air with negative ions while you relax on a massage bed.
34 W. 17th St., Flatiron
This urban sweat lodge has three locations in the city and one in East Hampton, all with the spa’s signature infrared sauna wraps. After putting on the provided uniform—a light cotton top and pants—you’ll be snugly bundled inside an infrared blanket (the material it’s made of feels similar to the bib you wear for x-rays at the dentist) and left to watch Netflix while you seriously sweat. The far infrared waves gently warm the body, increasing the core temperature. You emerge from the cocoon 55 minutes later completely drenched. If that isn’t enough, schedule a consecutive lymphatic drainage session, where you’re wrapped in a full body suit that applies targeted pressure to points on the arms, legs, and waist to encourage circulation and detoxification.
Inside 11 Howard Hotel, 3rd Floor, SoHo
This spa inside the swank 11 Howard hotel has somehow managed to make sweating in an infrared sauna sexy. You get an entire hotel room to yourself, with a spacious personal sauna kitted out with music and even chromatherapy (everybody looks better in a red-tinted light) that combines near-, mid-, and far-infrared waves to heat the body from the inside out, resulting in a major detoxification sweat. The rooms have private bathrooms, so you can rinse off in the shower and start (or end) the day feeling utterly renewed.
511 W. 20th St., Chelsea
Beneath the High Line in Chelsea’s gallery district, this yoga studio does spectacular Ayurvedic facials. During the Kalyani treatment, rice poultices—prepared with herbs custom-blended for your skin and soaked in organic warm milk (a source of brightening lactic acid)—are applied to the face for a soothing, smoothing effect. The Deep Clean Facial, which is incredible for the breakout-prone, involves a heavenly marma massage (the aesthetician targets specific energy points on your face to release tension and wake up skin), healing masks, herbal exfoliation, and gentle extractions. Don’t miss the jar of healthy-ish cookies outside the treatment rooms—delicious with the studio’s dosha tea.
2030 Broadway, Upper West Side
This popular Colorado-based yoga studio is known for cranking up the intensity of typical Vinyasa classes. Strength training is incorporated through squats, free weights, and ab workouts in between traditional stretching and lengthening exercises. It’s ideal for those who want the calming magic that comes with a yoga session, but who may not have the time to also hit the gym. Studios are kept warm and humid to promote flexibility, and teachers are reliably energetic, which helps to keep motivation high.
410 W. 14th St., Meatpacking District
Hip-hop and yoga may seem like an odd combination, but somehow, inexplicably, it works here, especially on #hiphopwednesday and #hiphopsunday classes, where an artist of the week is featured (like A$AP Rocky, Dr. Dre, or Pharrell Williams) in a sixty-minute themed vinyasa flow. They take it seriously, too: Artists are announced every Monday on Y7’s Instagram page. The studio space is candlelit, so if you’re not on your A game, you’ll feel comfortable in the just-dark-enough surroundings. And this particular location is one of Y7’s largest, with changing rooms, mat and towel rentals, and a yoga selfie booth.
327 W. 11th St., West Village
Founder Angela Jia Kim incorporates the Korean beauty rituals she grew up with into every therapy, focusing on thorough cleansing and massage for “mul-gwang,” the Korean concept of luminous, dewy skin. The Skin Clinic facial is an over-the-top session of peels, LED lights, microcurrent, and ultrasound to firm and sculpt. During the Champagne Couture treatment, microdermabrasion removes dead cells, while antioxidants derived from champagne are applied to skin, along with a radiance-restoring fruit enzyme peel. You walk out with soothed, happy, noticeably improved skin. (Bonus: The spa hosts a Korean beauty master class.)
Treatment by Lanshin
129 Roebling St., Williamsburg
Many of the treatments here call on the power of Chinese medicine to heal, energize, and enhance skin. Founder, acupuncturist, and herbalist Sandra Lanshin Chiu uses gua sha—an ancient Chinese medical massage technique that incorporates a jade skin-care tool to relieve tension, support circulation, and flush out toxins for a brighter, smoother complexion—in many of her treatments. The Acne Rehab is one of her most impressive: The aesthetician uses botanicals, gua sha, and facial cupping to break up stagnation in the underlying tissues and restore balance. (Chiu emphasizes that fantastic skin happens from the inside out—but that it’s also important to pamper the skin’s surface.) And we keep coming back for the cozy cups of licorice root tea, prized in Chinese medicine for its calming effects.
VMV Hypoallergenics Skin-Specialist Boutique & Spa
227 Mott St., Lower East Side
If you have sensitive skin—and even if you don’t—this intimate little studio tucked away on Mott Street is especially compelling; all VMV products are derived from coconut oil sourced from the brand’s Philippines farm. The boutique in the front is brightly lit, cheery and staffed with knowledgeable, eager-to-assist employees. In the back is an atmospheric treatment room, where aestheticians perform some of the best facials around for balancing and fortifying troubled skin by way of intensely hydrating, soothing moisture therapies, as well as more-rigorous peels and microdermabrasion.
20 E. 49th St., Midtown
Legendary Hungarian skin guru Ildi Pekar draws on the healing botanical remedies her grandmother used to concoct with the herbs from her garden, along with high-tech therapies and treatments from all manner of traditions. Microneedling infuses skin with botanical stem cells and supports collagen, the acupuncture facial is as dramatically tightening as it is anxiety-easing, and Pekar’s magnetic cupping stimulates blood circulation.