Get Over It and Get Naked during Manhattan’s New Spa Castle

December 16, 2014 - table lamp

Should we zen out in a erotic blue imagining room, join a cocktail celebration in a pool, or be bathed in whole divert by a Korean therapist in a nude-only H2O lounge? These are a formidable choices one faces during Manhattan’s prohibited new wellness retreat, a Spa Castle Premier 57.

Luckily, one can simply accomplish all 3 and then-some during this $8 million feel-good funhouse, a latest of 3 Spa Castle outposts built, owned and operated by C.Castle Group Corp.

It’s a confidant move, opening nonetheless another large sauna pound in a core of hotel-stuffed midtown Manhattan — though to a zealous sauna goer, it is a acquire one. Firstly, New York’s initial Spa Castle plcae in College Point, Queens, was remote to many — and incited visits into a singular special occasion. Second, to use a bit of New York genuine estate jargon, a place is massive. And third, for a prudes out there, a organisation nakedness aspect of a sequence has been downplayed — nonetheless there are still shallow, single-gender pool areas where no garments are authorised and towels are discouraged.

(Worst box scenario? You run into a work co-worker in-the-buff, and are forced to perpetually fake like it never happened. Otherwise, H2O loll nakedness is treated most like a customary gym sauna, where we and your exposed crippled will go mostly unnoticed.)

The Facts

Spanning 39,000 block feet and holding adult 3 floors of midtown’s Galleria building, this European spa-Korean bathhouse hybrid is divided into a aforementioned bare lounges, dual hydrotherapy jet-massage pools, a “Sauna Valley” (comprised of 6 opposite forms of saunas, including a ‘Himalayan Salt Room’ and an ‘Ice Igloo’), and 3 resting lounges (meditation room, sleeping room, and infrared feverishness flare lounge). There’s also a café portion remove and light fare, and a swim-up poolside Aqua Bar portion beer, booze and Asian-inspired cocktails.

The best part? It’s accessible. Admission for a full day of striking around, that does not need a reservation, costs $65 per chairman and includes opening to a pools, sauna rooms, lounges and community areas like a poolside aqua bar. (It’s also potentially a misfortune part, if government allows overcrowding.) Separately, sauna treatments are sole a la carte, and labelled in line with a internal oppulance marketplace (ranging from $155 to $690.)

Check In

To get to a spa, enter a cavernous corporate run of a Galleria building on 57th street. Take an 80s-throwback conveyor with harried bureau workers and well-dressed women streamer into doctors’ offices. Exit on a 8th building to a bustling Spa Castle corridor which, with a black and orange lava-lamp motifs, feels some-more like a opening to a nightclub than to a balmy diagnosis center. There, fit staff members take your credit label sum and palm we a plastic, electronic watch.

This nifty gadget, that looks like what you’d wear if we were a real-life Barbie, is indeed flattering handy. It acts as both a pivotal to your locker and as your wallet, by scanning all of your in-spa purchases. (So don’t take it off, even if it doesn’t compare your showering suit.)

Next, you’ll be asked to mislay your shoes, and are given a ‘uniform’ and slippers. This, in my case, was a stiff, blue sanatorium dress and old-lady Pepto-Bismol pinkish slippers. I’m possibly prepared for a good Korean massage or an try-out for “One Flew Over a Cuckoo’s Nest.”

On a splendid side, we won’t spend most time wearing this.

Cocktails and Closed Pools

Those seeking to de-stress after work can enclose a showering fit and conduct true to a verbatim watering hole, also on a 8th floor. Here, underneath atrium character windows that tide in healthy light and a perspective of Galleria condos, congregation dash about in an oversized jacuzzi pool with aqua massage jets as absolute as a ‘Aqua bar’ cocktails served poolside.

“What’s better, a Ginger Martini or a Korean Bellini?” asked one immature veteran womanlike patron, who eventually motionless on a former ($16) before floating behind to her birthday-party organisation of girlfriends. The group’s gibberish was impressed by a sound of resounding bubbles, that doesn’t seem to worry a 20-odd other pool loungers – a multi-cultural miscellany of 30-40 something career gals, clean investment landowner types, and tattooed Brooklyn hipsters.

The rooftop community 'bade pools' now sealed due to an ongoing lawsuit brought by Spa Castle's Ritz Tower neighbors. Photographer: Dominic Perri/Bloomberg

The rooftop community ‘bade pools’ now sealed due to an ongoing lawsuit brought by Spa Castle’s Ritz Tower neighbors. Photographer: Dominic Perri/Bloomberg

The bar area isn’t utterly prepared for primary time; a menu isn’t finalized, or even printed, yet. But that’s a teenager distrurbance compared to a large beating that is a shutting of a spa’s rooftop pools. A outcome of a lawsuit brought by a adjacent Ritz Tower condominium board, congregation will (at slightest temporarily), skip out on a fantastic views from a 9th building and multi-colored vegetable pools infused with lavender, ginseng, and rose petals.

The Ritz claims a sauna violates a 1973 easement that boundary a tallness of a any structure on a roof of a building, nonetheless it seems like sound would be some-more of an annoyance. A State Supreme Court decider recently ruled opposite Spa Castle — that is appealing a decision.

Sauna Valley

Once scrupulously water-logged by a 8th floor, congregation can try adult a moody of stairs, where they’ll find 6 saunas (named Gold Pyramid, Far-Infrared, Ice Land, Himalayan salt, Chromotherapy, and Loess Soil). They are any designed to accomplish graphic health benefits.

“Which tone should we choose?” asks one bikini-clad enthusiast entering a Chromotherapy room. “What are we looking to achieve?” replies Stephanie Chon. The enthusiast ponders this for a moment, before determining on ‘happiness and calmness.’ Chon recommends a sauna’s yellow domain (for happiness), and immature domain (for calm.)

Personally, we cite a newness of a splendid blue ice igloo, frosted with a dampness of coolant and a humidifier, that soon freezes on a post of copper coils in a core of a room. Frost tingles your feet on a floor, and a light packet aroma fills a air. Supposedly, 15 mins in here will leave your defence complement strengthened, and your skin firmer. we don’t know about that, though we feel watchful and alive on exit.

Spa Castle Premier's 'Far-Infrared' sauna translates infrared light into heat, that is directly engrossed into a skin (without UV exposure.) Time in this sauna is pronounced to 'sooth corner stiffness, and boost oxygen upsurge to a brain.' Photographer: Dominic Perri/Bloomberg

Spa Castle Premier’s ‘Far-Infrared’ sauna translates infrared light into heat, that is directly engrossed into a skin (without UV exposure.) Time in this sauna is pronounced to ‘sooth corner stiffness, and boost oxygen upsurge to a brain.’ Photographer: Dominic Perri/Bloomberg

If we cite privacy, book a sauna diagnosis on a 7th floor, where a 12-strong staff of well-trained aestheticians and therapists massage, scrub, and flay their approach to a new, �lite you.

Signature Treatments

Spa Castle Premier’s website claims it ‘allows for all cultures to open their palates to a unfamiliar.’ we didn’t know we had a sauna palate. But, we take Stephanie Chon’s sauna signature suggestions: a normal Korean Supreme Body Scrub ($165) and a condensed chronicle of a Caviar Facial ($395).

The Korean physique dumpy is really unknown territory.

The initial spirit is that a dumpy therapists are in their underwear. Chon says this is since it’s a soppy treatment. Okay. But we still consternation since they wouldn’t usually wear showering suits.

To ‘soften a skin’ and prepared for what is about to happen, Yong, a 5’4’’ Korean massage therapist finds me in a locker room, and, in fast glow succession, leads me to mislay my dress (it’s a nude-only women’s H2O lounge), to showering and afterwards spend 15 mins in a 3 pools, any with their possess infuriating heat extremes.

I didn’t make it by a open-plan showering before Yong walked in to palm me a correct basic soap. “Here. Use this. Better to dumpy off passed skin.” She afterwards proceeded to change my showering conduct tide from beyond to a mid-body jets, that apparently we would prefer. This is somewhat too tighten for comfort, though I’ll marker it adult to a ‘cultural experience.’

The impassioned pools were hardly bearable. So, I’m relieved when it’s time for treatment, and I’m escorted into a small wet-stone room — an appendage from a H2O loll — versed with one cosmetic lonesome table, a faucet, a hose, and a large cosmetic bucket. This practical accoutrement is used alternately to lard creatively scrubbed clients with a large bucket of comfortable H2O and soap.

It’s like you’re a automobile in your possess particular automobile wash.

The Results

Yet, miraculously, after usually 50 minutes, I’ve strew my aged skin like a snake. I’ve been massaged with oil that smells accurately like baby powder, my hair has been shampooed, and I’ve been bathed in whole milk, that evidently is really moisturizing – and a lot of fun. I’m renewed, and prepared for what’s next. So, we quietly wander out to a core of a lounge, usually to find that there are usually palm towels in this room.

The 'Lexington Suite,' a white-on-white private apartment easy guest who've requisitioned one of a 'Premier Retreat' sauna packages. Photographer: Dominic Perri/Bloomberg

The ‘Lexington Suite,’ a white-on-white private apartment easy guest who’ve requisitioned one of a ‘Premier Retreat’ sauna packages. Photographer: Dominic Perri/Bloomberg

Surely, in a bare H2O lounge, there should be bath towels within reach? It would have saved me a really ungainly hunt for a therapist, who retrieved one for me from a storage closet.

The Caviar Facial

Those looking for a some-more European-style diagnosis should opt for a high-falutin’ caviar facial, if usually since it’s achieved in one of a spa’s 4 private oppulance suites, that are an shun in and of themselves. we fast schooled that a masks aren’t done with whole fish eggs, disappointingly, though rather ‘caviar egg extract,’ that presumably acts like an enzyme on a skin, according to Korean sauna executive Su’a, who used Pevonia products via a treatment.

Perhaps she’s on to something with caviar, we consider as we hold my now dewy, organisation face. But, overall, a knowledge didn’t wandering distant from other signatures during determined Manhattan spas, like Great Jones Spa, and Bliss.

Final Thoughts

Overall, this colourful venue is a initial of a kind in Manhattan, with a saunas and happy hour pool a biggest offered points. It’s a place to find community rest and relaxation, and maybe even genuine health benefits. But, they’re not entirely adult to speed.

While a rooftop pool shutting is a biggest eyesore, there are other, smaller flaws. The ‘sleeping room’ on a 9th building is still in-the-works, a Aqua bar is operative out a kinks, and many of a Korean staff members have difficulty vocalization and bargain English.

That said, after 3 hours, we didn’t wish to leave this escapist breakwater and enter a genuine universe outside. The genuine universe doesn’t demeanour as pleasantly on inebriated pool hoppers – or, for that matter, bare people.

WHO’S NEXT TO YOU: In a saunas, ease core aged health seekers looking to zen-out in silence. In a pool, a amicable set. Young professionals are bathing-suit-clad, proud, and thirsty. In a 7th building spa, it’s usually we and your Korean therapist – who could be clad in underwear, depending on a treatment.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: Don’t forget to move your swimsuit to suffer a community pool; though be prepared for full nakedness in a apart Men’s and Women’s H2O lounges. Also, satisfactory warning, wearing an electronic bracelet with purchasing energy while celebration ginger martinis and frolicking underneath waterfalls could lead to post-spa plaque shock.

Spa Castle’s Premier 57 is located during 115 E 57th Street, New York; +1 (212) 750 8800 or

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