spa imageOver the last ten years I have worked in a variety of settings including Medical and Day Spas, Yoga studios, Gyms and Chiropractors offices.  This wide and varied experience has given me a very sensitive and shrewd understanding of the spa experience.  I understand what goes on behind the scenes and can spot a shotty establishment pretty quick.  My background and New York State License in Massage Therapy also makes me an extra picky consumer.  Over the next few weeks and months I will be reviewing several New York Spas and sharing my experience for those of you who live in or are visiting the New York City area.

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havenNestled in the bustling side-streets of SoHo is a true Haven amongst the busyness and at times, this chaotic center of shopping, restaurants and art galleries.  Haven has been around since 1998 and is one of New York’s original and affordable day spas. The ambiance here is incredible in that as one walks through the halls it  feels less like a spa in SoHo and more like a retreat in a remote and quiet place in New Mexico.  Haven is gently well lit and inviting with warm hues of mauve and plum.

I have enjoyed a variety of services here as I proudly was employed for five years at this spa.  This makes me favorably biased which is a good sign.  Not everyone can recommend places they were previously employed.  The owners have diligently put together a spa menu that is a head to toe fantastic and rejuvenating experience.  From body treatments to specialized manicures and pedicures.  I witnessed them consistently experiment till they would find the right combination of essential oils, scrubs and other delicious products for their services.  It would be difficult to review all the services offered here but I recommend Haven highly as a full service spa for grooming and relaxing.  Waxing is also available with both regular and organic wax for sensitive skin.

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Soho SanctuaryIn the heart of SoHo is nestled a fabulous retreat for ladies only, especially those who can afford it.  SoHo Sanctuary is nothing short of amazing.  For many of us unfortunately it is a special occasion kind of a treat as it is on the least affordable side of Spa menu prices.  That said, it is well worth it and is a true treat when in need.  The “ladies Only” aspect adds an element of ease to the modest type or for woman who simply want to have a cloistered experience.  There is a steam room appropriately “egg-shaped” which is infused with lavender and which the use is included in the price of the massages and body treatments.

Cost: Signature massage $125 / $185     60 minutes / 90 minutes with an additional $15.00 more for aromatherapy

Ambiance:  Tastefully and comfortingly designed with natural wood floors and soothing accents.  This has a traditional earthy spa atmosphere.  Combined with bright marble in the bathrooms for a very classic style that is at once comforting and uplifting.

Customer Service at the front desk:  Very kind and accommodating.

Hygiene:  Excellent

Quality of Service:  SoHo Sanctuary prides itself on having a massage staff that is consistently being trained in the latest techniques and continuing the professional development of its staff’s training.  This is significant in that it raises the interest and commitment level of the therapists, thus creating a better session for the client.  I have personally received about four massage therapy sessions there over the last ten years and have always had an excellent experience.

Products:  SoHo sanctuary uses the Young Living brand of essential oils for its sessions.  This is a top of the line company known for its purity and high end price.  For facials, the Dr. Haushka line is used.  Many people love this line again for its purity, but I have always found it a bit heavy.

Overall Impression:  This is a professional and full service place.  SoHo Sanctuary also offers  fitness and manicures and pedicures.  For quality and ambiance it is wonderful but as mentioned one feels it when you are leaving to pay.  It is not a place many can frequent but for a treat it is worth it.  For women who really prefer to de-compress in a female only atmosphere, this spa has my highest recommendation.

http://www.sohosanctuary.com

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jurlique-logoThis posh Madison Avenue location mixes uptown elegance with earthy products.  Many of their products are made with organic herbs and flowers that are harvested from Jurlique’s own farms in Australia.

Service:  Aromatherapy Facial

Cost:  $100.00 for a facial-reasonable especially for this part of town.

Ambiance:  Very Inviting and a lovely, calm oasis from the busy neighborhood it is located in.  They strive for a natural, yet upscale ambiance here and it is successfully achieved.  The spa is small as it is attached to the store which seems to take up most of the space.

Customer service at the front desk:  Very welcoming.

Hygiene:  Excellent.

Quality of service:  Very Professional and relaxing.

Products:  Jurlique is an international company largely known for its all-natural line.  As mentioned, they harvest a lot of their ingredients from their own farms.  If you are into “all-natural” this may be the line for you.  Some of their products are quite aromatically strong so be cautious if you have any allergic sensitivities.  They are on the costly side but they tend to last a long time and are very pure which tends to raise the price.  Quality costs.

Overall impression:  Jurlique is a class act in the spa world in my opinion.  No pretension, simply good quality products and great service technicians.  As mentioned, you pay for it but it is still not as costly as other high end spas in the neighborhood which are much less holistic.  This is strictly a facial spa as the emphasis is on their quality products.  They do not offer any other spa services such as massage therapy, body treatments etc.

www.jurlique.com