NYC’s cutthroat attitude is great for things like chasing down taxis and forcing tourists to get back in their lane. But all that innate New Yorker stress and rage has a way of bubbling over when, say, someone accidentally touches your hand on the subway or cuts in front of you on the elevator line. Thankfully, there are a number of excellent spas primed to lead you into a state of ultimate bliss with the help of massages, body scrubs and more, and though some of these will cost you a year’s worth of monthly MetroCards, others are affordable enough to have you kneading out your knots on the regular. Here is a list of our favorites, broken down by price; leave yours in the comments, please.
Affordable Massage ‘n Steam
GREENHOUSE HOLISTIC: Yes, this is a spa that doubles as a yoga studio. Yes, it screams “WILLIAMSBURG.” But gentrification cliche jabs aside, Greenhouse Holistic offers some excellent massage services for prices that won’t necessarily destroy your soul. A full-price, one hour Swedish massage runs $80 ($105 for 90 minutes); deep tissue massages clock in at $90/hour, $120/1.5 hours and hot stone massages run another $10. Plus, the spa frequently runs Groupon deals and offers bulk massage packages to keep prices down, though the therapists’ master strokes will keep you coming back no matter what the cost.
For a real treat, opt for Greenhouse’s signature massage, performed by proprieter David Greenhouse. The rubdown includes a deep tissue and hot stone massage, and he’ll customize the time, style and price to your specifications, though note that those range from $200-$300.
Greenhouse Holistic is located at 88 Roebling Street between North 6th and 7th Streets in Williamsburg, Brooklyn (718-599-3113, greenhouseholistic.com).
ASIA TUI-NA WHOLENESS: Aesthetically, this Flatiron joint has more in common with a medical facility than a luxury spa. And the deep-tissue massages here are not for bodies that bruise easily; the technicians here will beat the crap out of you, crawling on top of you and digging their knees into your spine as they claw out those muscle knots you’ve earned through hours spent bent in front of a computer. You will grip the table as spikes shaped like human hands tear into your shoulders, back and legs, and you will cry out for more, more, MORE when your $60 hour is up ($90 for 90 minutes). If the glorious pain doesn’t do the trick, they also offer cupping therapy—an acupuncture-type situation in which hot round cups are suctioned onto your back—for an extra $10.
Asia Tui-Na Wholeness is located at 37 East 28th Street between Madison Ave and Park Ave South in Flatiron (212-686-8082, asiatuinawholeness.com).
SPA CASTLE: We’ve given Spa Castle snaps before, but this place is so fun it’s worth a second write-up. A $40 weekday or $50 weekend ticket gets you access to indoor and outdoor pools, saunas and showers, with add-ons like reflexology, body scrubs and massages priced a la carte. Tragically, this Queens facility no longer serves hard alcohol on the premises, though you can still score beer and wine at its Acqua Beauty Bar, along with virgin “mocktails” poolside. Bonus points for decor lifted right out of the Magic Kingdom.
Spa Castle is located at 131-10 11th Ave in College Point, Queens (718-939-6300,spacastleusa.com).
MOONFLOWER SPA : For facial enthusiasts, this lovely little Japanese day spa offers stellar skincare services, with packages including deep pore cleansing facials ($95), teen facials for the acne-prone youth ($80) and full-throttle microdermabrasion ($120) to rid your face of dead skin particles and things that make you look old. Their signature facial ($75) is a gentle cleansing and moisturizing effort that includes exfoliation and a brief massage, and you can also opt for add-ons like a chemical peel ($30), collagen mask ($40) and neck and décolleté care ($40).
If a massage is what you seek, Moonflower also offers a full range of rubdowns, along with full body treatments like a $95 rose body wash and a detox body treatment that includes foot reflexology ($95).
Moonflower Spa is located at 8 East 41st Street between 5th and Madison Aves in Midtown (212-683-8729, moonflowerspa.com).
MERMAID SPA: Another spot that warranted a spa write-up back in the 2013 days of yore, Mermaid Spa is the perfect mash-up of Old World/New World Russian banya, or bathhouse, scene. Men and women, both the elderly and the impeccably young and fit, lounge around in tiny bathing suits, sweating out toxins in steaming hot saunas or cooling off in icy pools. And if you have no qualms about forms of interrogation torture, spring for a $45 platza treatment, in which you are lightly beaten with an olive branch in a piping hot steam room (but seriously, it’s really fun). A day pass runs $40; massages and specialty treatments are priced a la carte.
Mermaid Spa is located at 3701-11 Mermaid Ave in Sea Gate, Brooklyn (347) 462-2166,mermaidspany.com).
High End Splurge
OHM SPA: The friendly technicians at the zen spot perform the full gamut of services to perfection, from paraffin wax nail care to exfoliating facials to glorious custom massages. Recently, they moved to bigger digs on the 5th floor of their old building, offering more space for ultimate relaxation, though they’ve managed to preserve the old spa’s intimate feel. Prime treatments include the hot stone massage ($159/hour), the deep Swedish massage ($135) and their specialty Manuka honey facial ($159); just be sure to book well in advance, as spots can fill up.
Ohm Spa is located at 260 Fifth Ave between 28th and 29th Street in Flatiron (212-845-9812,ohmspa.com).
GREEN SPA AND WELLNESS CENTER: This low-key spa center isn’t necessarily a spot to trek out to, but if you live in Bay Ridge, Staten Island or a surrounding area, it sure as hell is worth the trip. In keeping with its name, the Green Spa focuses on organic creams, polishes and other beauty tools, so you can expect a low-chemical, vegan treatment. Though they offer the whole spectrum of spa services, your best bet here are the body scrubs and massages. The 90-minute Massage ‘n Glow, for instance combines an exfoliating Australian Eucalyptus Salt Scrub with a full body massage ($165), and the Ultimate Massage is a combination Swedish massage with Aromatherapy, hot lava stones and a specialty vegan hot wax hand and foot treatment ($165 for 90 minutes).
Green Spa and Wellness Center is located at 8804 3rd Ave between 88th and 89th Streets in Fort Hamilton, Brooklyn (718-921-6100, greenspany.com).
GREAT JONES SPA: Great Jones Spa is one of the loveliest spots in the city, offering luxurious massages, manicures and facials complete with the added bonus of access to their famed water lounge. The treatments themselves are standout, if pricy. A rock river facial ($150 for 60 minutes) comes complete with a cold and heated stone wash followed by a repairing mask; the aromatherapy massage ($140 for 60 minutes) uses hot scented oils to promote relaxation and the Rosemary Citron Sea Salt Scrub ($60) involves a vigorous all-over scrub using Rosemary, Lemon Peel and Safflower Seed oil. Post-treatment, hang out in the spa’s wet lounge, complete with a massive indoor waterfall, hot tub, plunge pool and neighboring saunas to let out a little extra steam.
Great Jones Spa is located at 29 Great Jones Street between Bowery and Lafayette Street in NoHo (212-505-3185, gjspa.com).