In a city where you can get virtually anything you want at any time you want it, massages are no exception. From the ultra affordable to big, luxurious splurges, and from standard Swedish to unique and personalized—these are the city’s best massages.
This body-positive massage parlor is situated in a pretty light-filled space, decorated with macrame wall hangings and emerald pot plants. Therapists go out of their way to give you a personalized experience focused on tension and pain relief, using trigger points and deep tissue techniques when required. As a female-owned enterprise, lady-specific needs are represented in the treatment menu in the form of prenatal and “moon cycle” massage.
Ayurveda, yoga’s “sister science”, provides an individualized lens through which to approach health and wellbeing. At Pratima, New York’s premier Ayurvedic skincare shop and spa, you can try traditional Indian treatments like their signature abhyanga massage. You’ll be covered in warm herb-infused oil from head to toe before the therapist starts rhythmically rubbing to help you feel deeply relaxed and soothed.
Pratima, 110 Greene Street #701, New York, NY, USA, 10012, +1 (212) 581-8136
Situated above New York’s street level hubbub, the Mandarin Oriental‘s swanky skyscraper spa evokes an instant sense of tranquility. First, enjoy the pools and the amethyst crystal steam room while simultaneously soaking up vertiginous city views. Then pick from the extensive treatment menu, including the jet lag massage which is designed to uplift you mentally and physically.
The Mandarin Oriental, 80 Columbus Circle, New York, NY, USA, 10023, +1 (212) 805-8800
The basement of a historic building in Tribeca—all red brick, tall pillars and glowing lanterns—is the perfect setting for Aire’s Roman, Greek and Ottoman inspired spa. Spend an hour pool-hopping and relaxing in private nooks and crannies—the staff will come find you when it’s time for your massage. Try the argan oil ritual for silky-smooth skin and supple muscles, then flop right into the flotation pool and let the salty water support your weight.
Aire Ancient Baths, 88 Franklin Street, New York, NY, USA, 10013, +1 (646) 878-6174
Don’t let the crazily low prices and suspect “No Hanky Panky” signs deter you—this multi-level establishment on Bowery, right off the Manhattan Bridge, is a one of the best value massage spots in the city. A classic full-body treatment with oil, hot stones, and a little Thai-style stretching to finish is just $39 (plus tip), and a loyalty card gives you the tenth treatment free. At those prices you can afford to make massage a regular part of your self-care regimen.
Renew Day Spa, 42 Bowery, New York, NY, USA, 10013, +1 (212) 227-9488
Try holistic treatments that harness the potency of all-natural ingredients, at this popular skincare store and spa in Chelsea. Billed as an antidote to a modern (read: anxiety provoking) lifestyle, the Blue Eucalyptus Energizing Massage blends acupressure, deep tissue massage and a blue eucalyptus steam, helping to soothe the adrenal system and enhance immunity.
Naturopathica Chelsea, West 26th Street, New York, NY, USA, 10001, +1 (646) 979-3960
Before you get a massage at Spa Castle—a giant multi-story spa inspired by European and Asian bathhouse traditions—spend some time in the “sauna valley”. Situated on the first floor, it comprises a infrared sauna, a Himalayan salt cave, a jade igloo, and a gold sauna. Lined with real gold plates, it’s said to “comfort sore limbs and assist in reaching the perfect balance in your mind, body and soul”. The place is also open until midnight, if you fancy some late night self-care.
Spa Castle, 131-10 11th Avenue, Queens, NY, USA, 11356 ,+1 (718) 939-6300