Luxury Spas: New spas in New York City have veered into one of two directions. Some have adopted the medi-spa way. These are low-brow versions of a dermatologistís office offering medical-grade treatments. Others are of the organic variety, utilizing holistic treatments and products. Auriga Spa at the Setai Fifth Avenue, a new luxury hotel in Midtown, is of the latter variety and is one of the best spas to hit the city in years.
The 11 treatment rooms are spread out so you never have to see or hear another patron. The wet rooms are best for couplesí treatments. Treatment options are pretty extensive, from traditional and innovative facials to green coffee slimming wraps to jet lag massages. If youíre in a rush, opt for one of the 15 to 30-minute treatments such as the mini-facial or the facial tension eliminator. But I think you really have to spend a couple of hours here to fully relax and escape.
The signature, 120 to 180-minute body treatments revolve around the monthly lunar cycle. Mind, body and spirit are restored. The treatments vary throughout the month, according to the stages of the moonónew, waxing, full and waning. Each experience includes a foot soak, scrub, wrap and massage. Auriga uses Organic Pharmacy products, a 100 percent holistic line.
The spa includes an outpost of the upscale Julien Farel salon. The salon is separated into private menís and womenís quarters, decorated with terrazzo tiles and leather chairs. The French stylist is known for his classic and inspired cuts and has worked on the heads of Salma Hayek and Richard Gere. I had hip-length curly hair when I entered. My stylist cut more than five inches from my tresses and made them more bouncy and lively. It was one of the best cuts Iíve had in recent years.
The Setai Fifth Avenue
400 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10018
Shandana A. Durrani
Shandana A. Durrani is a travel and lifestyle journalist based in New York City. She is the author of "Day Trips from New York City" (Globe Pequot Press, 2011) and co-author of "Insiders' Guide to New York City" (Globe Pequot Press, 2011), both travel guidebooks. She was Cigar Aficionado magazine's Travel Editor for more than 10 years and has visited such far-flung locales as New Zeal...(Read More)