Being one of the busiest cities in the world and the city that never sleeps, New York and doesn’t exactly scream relaxation, however behind closed doors each of these hotels provides serenity and an inner escape. With the wellness traveller in mind, I spent 10 days at the hottest hotels for spa and relaxation in the concrete jungle.
Best for: Spa treatment – Turkish hammam experience
It’s all about space (rooms start from a large 422 sq. ft.) and glass at the Trump Hotel Soho, with floor to ceiling windows, a separate dressing room, lounge, bedroom and larger than life bathroom there’s enough room for a party and more in the bedroom alone. The views of Manhattan extending to the Hudson River, Statue of Liberty and Empire State Building are just as fabulous in the morning and the evening so I didn’t want to close the curtains (available at the touch of a button) as the colours changed across the skyline. Custom furnished by Fendi better known for handbags and fur coats.
The Spa at Trump
A beautiful spa, spanning two floors, located on the seventh and eighth floors, the elegant Turkish styling of The Spa at Trump is home to nine private treatment rooms as well as New York’s first luxury hammam. Created by Ivan Trump who fell in love with hammam while on business in Istanbul and couldn’t wait to incorporate the treatment into her own spa. Not knowing what to expect for the next 1.5 hours I lay on the heated Calacatta-marble platform as the therapist began by pouring warm water over me from head to toe, before alternating between hot water and cool water. Then there’s the application of a warm, detoxifying Ghassoul clay before the exfoliation part where she washed my body with a an oil-based castile soap using a handmade Turkish kessa mitt, placed in a small, soft pillowcase-like cloth which floods the room with bubbles.
On the roof top of the 46th floor is Bar d’Eau and as the name suggests is on the water, on the hotel’s 6000 square foot pool deck. It’s not really a pool for swimming in but for relaxing on one of the sun loungers, drinking a cocktail and taking in the city views .
246 Spring St, New York 10013
Best for: The fitness and wellbeing obsessed
The Even hotel chain from the InterContinental Hotels Group is the first hotel brand to be entirely focused on healthy hotel living. Taking wellness travel to a whole new level, these hotels are aimed at those with serious health and fitness regimes who want to keep them up when they are away from their home environment. There’s no excuse to not stay in shape or to order a takeaway pizza from the room, I would of felt rather guilty about it since every room is fitted out with an “in-room training zone” such as a foam roller, yoga mat, yoga block, core exercise ball, and resistance bands. Then when I switch on the TV there’s a whole series of work-out videos to try and motivate you!
I’m not so keen on the idea of in-room exercise myself, it’s a novelty at first but as a person who much prefers the outdoors I prefer to use hotel rooms for relaxing and sleeping in (the beds here have natural-fiber eucalyptus bedding designed in providing a really good nights sleep.) I guess i’m not such an extreme fitness fanatic, however I do like to have healthy food options and this can be difficult in some hotels. The grab and go Cork & Kale restaurant serves organic meals and snacks that cater to all sorts of diet and health preferences. Guests are also given their own water bottle at check-in, and there are water stations on every floor.
For the fanatics there’s also a proper fully equipped gym with high tech equipment. As a wellness orientated hotel I feel it’s missing my number one love, a spa! This would be the perfect way to relax after a vigorous work-out or a day spent walking and exploring the city. Let’s hope that will be the next addition on the brands menu.
46 Nevins St, Brooklyn, 11217
Best for: Relaxation and lounging when there isn’t a spa!
Another eco friendly driven boutique hotel, TripAdvisor recently awarded the Roger with the Green Leaders accolade. What first strikes me upon entering the Madison Avenue hotel is the lounge area, huge comfy sofas and big tables. Being so central it’s a great location for sight seeing, walking, shopping and exploring the local neighbourhood. It’s three blocks away from the Empire State building and a short stroll from fashionable SoHo and Madison Square Park.
There’s an on site gym that I didn’t make it to as I couldn’t quite peel myself away from the sofa, especially during their complimentary wine hour! It’s got a real homely feeling to it so if it’s raining outside which it was when we were there, it’s the perfect space for chilling out in or catching up with some work. The Parlour restaurant also serves delicious and locally-sourced food. I must mention the staff as they were all super incredibly friendly and the doormen are dressed in adorable uniforms with bow ties!
The homely feel continues into the bedroom with modern black and white striped furnishings spruced up with dashes of colour. The room is reasonably spacious, well designed and the king sized bed was comfy and cozy. My one complaint however was that there was some construction work going on close by and the noise was incredibly loud both late at night and early in the morning! This was a real NYC experience!
131 Madison Avenue, New York, 10016
Best for: Open-air yoga pavilion with views over Manhattan
The hip and modern lobby of the citizenM Hotel reminds me of the front cover of Time Out Magazine – palettes of red, black and white. A glossy mountain bike hangs behind the reception desk and a postbox red statue of liberty stands in the garden. Floor-to-ceiling bookshelves showcase an eclectic mix of funky art and eccentric objects from around the world.
Designed by concrete architects, there are lots of outdoor areas to relax or work in, including a ground-floor courtyard with cascading greenery and beautiful lanterns. The pod like and space-aged designed rooms are high tech and come with tablet storing DJ-curated playlists, customisable light settings and remote-control blackout screens. All the toiletries are branded and labelled with quirky and entertaining messages such as this soap.
The wraparound rooftop terrace on the 22nd floor is an Urban Oasis with wooden ceilings, plants, picnic tables and green sofas. There’s also a basketball court-inspired gym which features floor-to-ceiling windows and an outdoor yoga terrace.
Best for: Panoramic views of NYC and eco-friendliness
Located in the funky meat packing district, Ink48 gets its name from being a former print building. The David Rockwell designed Kimpton hotel leads the way as an eco friendly establishment and has earned itself several green accolades over the years. As with most Kimpton boutique hotels, which are certified by the Green Key Eco-Rating Program and TripAdvisor GreenLeaders™ Program, Ink48, has a number of green hotel practices such as eco-friendly bath products, in-room recycling bins, limited paper products, energy-efficient lighting, low-flow water toilets and faucets and other sustainable features. Additionally, the hotel’s line of cleaning products are eco-friendly and they serve only organic and/or free trade coffee and tea products. The PRINT restaurant also offers sustainably sourced ingredients from local farms and regional suppliers.
I absolutely love the design of the rooms – big windows, high ceilings, king sized bed, plenty of space and a perfect spot to work from with sky scraping views. I get incredibly inspired and creative just looking out of the window over the concrete jungle, it feels very peaceful being so high up, above the noise and chaos of what lies below. The staff are very good at spoiling you with a surprise such as a knock at the door with a bottle of wine..twice..although I expect the second time around was a nice mistake!
For panoramic views of the city, the roof top bar ‘Press Lounge’ is the place to be, where socialites, fashionistas and business people mingle over a fancy named cocktail. Regarded as one of Manhattans rooftop bars it’s a fabulous spot to watch the sunset.
My wellbeing needs are taken care of too, every room comes with a yoga mat and there’s hotel bikes to ride around town, and a 24-hour fitness centre.
At the eco-friendly, tranquil zen inspired INKSPA I was treated to a luxurious and relaxing modern skin facial using Elemis products, designed to tackle the cities effect on the skin. A fruity Papaya Enzyme Peel mask was applied, an exfoliator that is smooth on the skin, then a Visible Brilliance Serum was applied followed by a mask. It smelt divine! This was then peeled this off to reveal my new skin! The therapist finished by applying an Advanced Eye Treatment to smooth fine lines followed by moisturiser to give my skin a new healthy glow.
653 11th Ave, New York, 10036
Best for: Spa heaven on 5th Avenue
I was invited to the luxury 5 star Peninsular hotel on 5th Avenue to experience their pioneering Second Skin facial. The elegant spa itself is absolutely huge and a beautiful place to retreat at for the day with many treatment rooms, fitness centre, sauna, steam room, swimming pool and a sun terrace with loungers and incredible views of the city.
The Second Skin Facial is a medically inspired regenerating treatment that acts on the extracellular matrix of the skin to accelerate the healing process and achieve immediate results. The treatment begins with the therapist doing a complete facial cleanse to remove all make-up and build up from my skin, then an application of P50 exfoliating lotion to moisturise my face. Electrospun hyaluronic acid (known for its incredible ability to plump and hydrate the skin) patches are applied to target areas then the Serum Seconde Peau (Second Skin Serum) is massaged into the patches until fully absorbed. This specific application allows for intense regeneration to occur. To finish, Crème Masque Vernix facial moisturiser is applied to my face and massaged in circular motions until it is completely absorbed.
Founded on more than 35 years of skincare innovation in France, the Biologique Recherche has a global reputation for unparalleled effectiveness. Its beauty care products are formulated with a high concentration of botanical, marine and biological extracts that are free from artificial fragrances and colourings. Each treatment is personalised according to a guest’s skin analysis to achieve visibly defined and glowing skin. I could definitely notice immediate results from this treatment and would highly recommend!
700 5th Ave, 10019