What are the best spas in New York City?

Answers from Our Experts (2)

The best spas in New York City offer cutting-edge treatments, top-notch amenities and gracious hospitality, making it easy to wind down in the city that doesn’t sleep. Book a service — or make a day of it — at one of these elite pamper palaces.
Located on the 21st and 22nd floors within one of the most prestigious hotels in the city, The Peninsula Spa New York is a rooftop haven. Killer views of the Manhattan skyline are balanced with modern Asian-inspired décor, including 24-karat gold mosaic-tiled walls, teak-tree sculptures, acacia wood chairs, and sumptuous dark red couches (located in the Asian Tea Lounge) where you’ll enjoy a welcome tea ceremony prior to your treatments. One of only two Five-Star spas in the city, the unique service menu — created especially for The Peninsula — combines Asian, Ayurvedic (Indian) and European techniques. Book any of the two-hour signature sessions at this 12-room retreat (from a traditional Swedish deep-tissue massage to Thai-inspired oil and mud wraps) and you’ll gain access to one of New York City’s best rooftop pools — as well as the state-of-the-art gym, should you feel like exerting yourself. With locker rooms offer aromatherapy showers plus steam, sauna and thermal suites, this Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star spa has first-class amenities to match.
Time literally is money at The Spa at Mandarin Oriental, New York. Book a 90-minute block in lieu of a specific service at this Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star spa and from there, you’ll consult with the meticulously trained staff to determine which treatment you’re in need of — from relaxing, to rejuvenating and everything in-between. On our last visit, we experienced the signature — and incredible — Thai Yoga Massage in the impressive custom-built studio with detailing resembling a Buddhist temple. The treatment combined a Japanese scented bath, traditional Thai massage (kneading, assisted stretching) and yoga poses. If you can pull yourself away from the floor-to-ceiling windows boasting jaw-dropping views of Central Park and the Hudson River, detox in the amethyst-crystal steam room, or take a dip in one of the Vitality Pools. The water is pumped full of oxygen, so even a 15-minute soak promotes circulation and promises to increase the effectiveness of other services. If you want the full Five-Star spa experience, book the VIP Spa Suite, which replicates an oriental home — right down to the fireplace, elevated bath and kang (platform) bed.
If good things come in small packages, it’s the quaint Four-Star La Prairie at the Ritz-Carlton Spa. As the name suggests, treatments use the luxurious line of La Prairie Swiss skincare products. For the weary traveler, book the Jet Lag Therapy, which combines a 30-minute aromatherapy massage, 30-minute facial, and 30 minutes of foot/hand reflexology to get you ready for your big city trip. Our Forbes Travel Guide editors had fun with the spa’s music catalogue — from “spa sounds,” to John Mayer — which places you in charge of what type of tunes will accompany your treatment. Your indulgent experience doesn’t have to end there. Ask for a plate of La Prairie’s fresh cookies (we loved the chocolate chunk) to complete your day of decadence.

Tucked away beneath the hotel, The Spa at Four Seasons New York is truly a hidden retreat. The service menu at this Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star spa reflects a host of international and New Age practices. Our editors suggest trying the unique “Acupressure with Back Walking” treatment, a pressure point massage delivered via the palms or feet of your therapist — who is supported by parallel ceiling bars. Alternatively, you can’t go wrong with the Four Seasons New York Signature Therapeutic Massage, which combines four complimentary practices: shiatsu, Thai stretching, Swedish massage and reflexology. Make use of the steam room and sauna, whirlpool — or gym — before venturing back out into the chaotic city life above.
Spanning more than 11,000-square-feet over two floors, The Spa at Trump SoHo is an urban respite as only the Donald could provide. The Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star spa is the first in the city to have classic hammams — communal steam and bath areas — that fit right in with the traditional Turkish spa décor inspired by Ivanka Trump’s overseas travels. Facials using the cult beauty line by Kate Sommerville guarantee results — not fluff — and according to our editors, the signature Trump Gemstone Body Treatment (a soothing massage using oils made from precious gems) is not to be missed. Taking cue from the Turkish theme, The Spa at Trump SoHo offers threading hair removal services, as well as sugaring and waxing services designed by celebrated New York hair removal salon Shobha.

Step into a spa with a name known for luxury indulging. Guerlain Spa, located at the Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Waldorf Astoria New York, continues the lavish legacy of the cosmetic and fragrance powerhouse of the House of Guerlain in this chic New York location. Book any of the relaxing treatments — like the nearly two-and-a-half-hour Orchidée Impériale Prestige facial or the Impériale Relaxing massage (where you’ll have four hands working to release your tension instead of the usual two) — to soothe and rejuvenate you. The Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star spa is set up with spa suites, where you’ll receive your treatment — or, hopefully, treatments — and where you’ll get ready before and after your spa experience. Enjoy the post-treatment amenities here like the walk-in showers stocked with Salvatore Ferragamo shampoo and conditioner and Guerlain products in the sink area for you to sample.

If you’re in need of a nearby Manhattan getaway, head to The Ritz-Carlton Spa, Westchester. Located at the Four-Star The Ritz-Carlton, Westchester, this retreat is huge — a sprawling 10,000 square feet — and is packed with amenities like a gorgeous indoor pool on the roof, full-service salon and a fitness center, as well as a multitude of treatment rooms including two hydrotherapy rooms and a Vichy shower. The Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star spa has various massages, like stone, therapeutic and more, to facials and seasonal indulgences. With these unique spa experiences, you’ll be soothed and renewed with a treatment designed around each season — such as a renewing treatment for spring where you’ll receive a gentle exfoliating scrub followed by a purifying clay wrap and scalp massage topped off with a full-body massage with stone crop moisturizer.

Michael Romei
  • Michael Romei

  • Chef Concierge, The Waldorf Towers New York

  • New York City, New York

The Waldorf Astoria Guerlain Spa is one of the best in New York City.   Conveniently located at the Waldorf Astoria in the heart of Manhattan; just steps away from 5th Avenue and Rockefeller Center.   The luxurious Spa is located on the 19th Floor of The Waldorf Astoria and guests may also access the Spa from the exclusive Waldorf Towers Entrance at 100 East 50th Street.   In addition to extensive treatments such as: Customized Facials, Body Treatments, Specialized Massages, Manicures, Pedicures, Waxing, Sunless Tanning; the Waldorf Astoria Guerlain Spa is an escape into an indulgent moment right in the heart of Manhattan.   What makes this particular Spa unique and standout from the rest are the wide assortment of luxurious treatment rooms each with its own luxurious oversized bathroom and shower.  Guests of the Spa not only have a very lovely pre-arrival waiting area where they are served beverages and biscuits such teas, coffee, champagne but they also are able to utilize their own private luxurious treatment room for another 20 minutes post treatment. During this time guests can luxuriate in the room; listen to music, shower, change, unwind, relax and they are again served a very lovely tray of water, chocolates and hot and cold towels.   The staff aim to please and pamper each guest from the moment you arrive.  Personally I have been a big fan of Guerlain products for years; their Orchide Imperiale Facial Cream is one of the best for softening lines and smoothing facial tension, eye contour etc.  

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