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 11,500 square-foot spa occupies the entire fourth floor of The Setai Fifth Avenue. The space is expansive but welcoming. The soft, neutral color scheme and friendly staff are two reasons why. Guests can relax in a large lounge area with a myriad of drink and snack options. Head around the corner and you come across the coed AQUA Lounge, a wet thermal area that includes showers with multiple powerful jets and light displays, cold and hot plunge pools and a large hammam, aka Middle Eastern steam room. I spent more than 40 minutes in the hammam by myself, letting the toxins flow out of my body and my mind to clear.
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