Photo: Courtesy of Elizabeth Arden Red Door
There's certainly no shortage of spas in NYC, but which are the best for pre-wedding pampering? If you're looking for a group-friendly place to get ready with your girls before the big day, check out these prime locations. They run the gamut from day-rate bathhouses to uber-luxe retreats, but all maintain a common thread of fabulous service, comfort, and relaxation.
Elizabeth Arden Red Door Union Square
A two-story, 10,000-square-foot urban retreat shielded behind the hustle and bustle of Union Square, Elizabeth Arden's newest Red Door venture offers the tried and true traditional services loyal clients have come to love from the spa, as well as a beauty bar for experimenting with the latest products, and a very NYC-centric "speed services" menu for busy girls on the go (think blowouts, make-up applications, manicures and waxes). Read real brides' reviews here!
While other AIRE locations occupy historically rooted buildings in Spain, AIRE New York is the first stateside venture, inside what used to be an 1883-built textile factory in TriBeCa. Each AIRE shares a quest to create a space for relaxation, full of calm and serenity in an experience for the senses. In addition to the thermal bath treatments and massage add-ons, AIRE has inventive individual "rituals" that focus on the health properties of red wine, olive oil, and warm candle wax. Though not group-based, the Red Wine Ritual, which includes a 30-minute relaxing tempranillo grape bath in a private thermal tub, seems intriguing for the stress-ridden bride-to-be and her bridesmaids.
Moonshine, Drybar, Blushington, and TenOverTen at Le Parker Meridien
Moonshine, Drybar, Blushington and TenOverTen — talk about the perfection of pampering and beauty. The "underground," a.k.a. lower level of Le Parker Meridien, is now housing four chic boutiques focused on getting you and your girls absolutely picture perfect, be it for a bachelorette, bridal shower, or the big day itself. That's basically a New York City version of a beauty strip mall, ladies. Here's the drill:
Moonshine: A simple spa with two tailormade services: massage or facial.
Drybar: No cuts. No color. Just (impeccable) $40 blow outs from the company that has risen the (blowout) bar. Simple menu, smartly designed space, talented stylists. What's not to love?!
Blushington: Easy-peasy makeup application by look and style (with add-ons for airbrush and lashes), and beauty 101 classes for the (contour) artist in training.
TenOverTen: A three-salon company born of the belief that there is pure pleasure in a perfectly executed mani-pedi. Read real brides' reviews here!
If your girls are into maintaining their fabulous tresses, look no further than Phyto. Truly a "universe," this sprawling tropical luxury atop Lexington Avenue is a balmy, lush oasis that greets guests with a giant "green wall" filled with more than 9,000 tropical plants. Each Phyto experience begins with a "hairscope" analysis under a computerized photographic device that has a magnetic power of more than 200x what the naked eye can see. Products and service tweaks are recommended based off results. Once customized services have been established, guests are ushered to semi-private cabins walled off by French chateau-inspired shutters. Luxe steams, scalp massages, oil treatments, masque application, and shampooing ensue, leaving guests invigorated, glowing, and relaxed.
Great Jones Spa
Located on a quiet corner in NoHo, Great Jones Spa has become a New York institution — a luxe bathhouse with tiered levels of service depending on your de-stress needs. Groups looking to keep it simple can pay a $50 day rate to relax in the three-story indoor water lounge. The plunge pool, thermal hot tub, chakra-light steam room, and river rock sauna are meant to be used in rotation to aid detox and circulation... But we've learned from experience that if you book a treatment, lounge access is free. (We especially love the wet lounge for post-treatment chillaxing with girlfriends!)
The Spa at Trump SoHo
The Spa at the Trump SoHo is home to New York City's first and only luxury Hammam, an amazingly bubbly and drenching experience that includes buckets of water at varying temperatures and intensity applied almost in rhythm, as an ancient Turkish cleansing and revitalizing ritual. While the Hammam is certainly an experience within itself, the balance of the bi-level Trump SoHo Spa is equally special, with indoor and outdoor relaxation lounges inspired by Ivanka Trump's visits to Turkey, as well as famed Natura Bisse facials, such as the Hawaiian Whitening & Brightening Facial which creates luminous skin before the big day. Read real brides' reviews here!