New York might be the city that never sleeps, but it’s also a city that knows how to spa – and we mean, really spa. Glamorous and well-heeled, the Upper East Side is the place to stay for the ultimate in pampering and wellness, right down to skin-caviar treatments and gym water infused with “wellness drops.” Follow our guide to blissing out on the Big Apple’s Upper East Side – as well as at a couple of honorary hotels in Midtown that are super handy for Central Park.
On a residential street, just a block from Central Park, this hotel majors in the art of pampering. It has 190 rooms and suites – or salons, as the hotel likes to call them – with serene decor and posh Diptyque toiletries. You could head out – free rides are offered in the hotel’s Mercedes-Benz S-Series, and there are complimentary Bobbin bikes you can use to pedal around Central Park. But we say: bliss out in the hushed Cornelia Spa, where treatments include fab facials that conclude with a glass of bubbly and a mouthful of caviar.
This classic New York hotel at 76th and Madison Avenue is an institution, awash with the trappings of tradition and opulence: think Louis XV lobby furniture and grand pianos. Rooms range in size and style, but all have sink-into super comfy beds dressed with Italian linen. A sparkly staircase leads to the Sense Spa – hinting at the glam 1940s-Hollywood-inspired space that greets you, adorned with chandeliers. The treatment rooms are beautiful snooze-inducing quarters, for reflexology and mind-blowing massages, while the adjoining Yves Durif Salon is a fine contemporary homage to Art Deco.
Technically the location is Midtown, but it’s so close to Central Park – and we couldn’t resist including this luxurious address among our UES favorites. From its on-point Madison-Avenue location, just a block from Rockefeller Center, to its light-filled rooms with chic white furnishings and plush geometric carpets, this hotel whispers “sumptuous.” Spread between a 19th-century mansion and a sleek tower, rooms reward the effort, although for total relaxation, the Hästens Ultimate Sleep Suite includes a Hästens bed worth $200,000, the bed-brand’s accessories, including bathrobes and sleep masks; slip the pajamas and slippers into your suitcase – don’t worry you’re allowed to. While the spa has been stunningly revamped, how about booking a drool-worthy massage or face-changing facial to be performed in your room?
Talk about a facelift: the Ritz-Carlton reveals a gorgeous revamped exterior as you exit your taxi – all gleaming limestone and glamour. You’ll unwind the minute you enter the lobby, inhaling the refreshing signature fragrance en route to rooms awash with soothing neutrals – chocolate browns or rich creams. Book well ahead for La Prairie Spa if you want to guarantee that skin-caviar body-polish session or reviving foot treatment. Flex your muscles in the gym, and enhance your humble bottle of water with “health wellness drops” from the hydration station. Later, with Central Park so close, you can head out with a running map from reception.
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Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
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