605 S. Normandie Ave., Koreatown
The Renaissance-revival exterior of Hotel Normandie is the first sign that this hotel is from another era—the era known as 1926. The hotel underwent an extensive renovation in 2010, and the result was updated guest rooms and common areas, and the restoration of a lot of the original Spanish colonial details: the heavy wood beams, fireplaces, and patterned tiles. The in-house diner, Cassell, is rightly revered for its hamburgers, and Comptoir, the more formal of the hotel’s two restaurants, has an intimate dining room with only ten seats and is the genius of French Laundry alum Gary Menes (reservations are essential). After dinner, treat yourself to an after-dinner drink at the Normandie Club, a moody, dark cocktail den, or the Walker Inn, the hotel’s speakeasy-style lounge.
Aura Wellness Spa
49 W. 33rd St., Koreatown
Smack in the middle of Koreatown, this futuristic joint revolves around four grottoes, which light up an otherwise pitch black room. You'll find a jade, clay, and amethyst sauna, each infused with far infrared, along with a series of wet rooms for really, really, really good Korean scrubs. As a bonus, it's open from 10am to 2am.
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