New York Spa Oui Oui - Spa Chinois
New York – this is what it’s all about. Spa Chinois is a name that rolls off the tongue. Putting together what bit of linguistic knowledge I managed to a correct pronunciation as a non-speaker of French. I admit hearing the name Spa Chinois threw me a curveball for my lack of French, and may also to many others. But in short, this spa is phenomenal and I won’t be surprised if the name became ubiquitous overnight. How I discovered Spa Chinois happened to be by going to their Free Spa Party. Firstly, a great party to throw. Secondly, a great turnout. In one drunken slur – “That party rocked!”
I was lucky to get a spot for a free treatment. There was a wait but who cares when waiting included a hot cup of tea and refreshments, and even a back massage if I had needed one. As for the free services the spa was offering that day, they were a mini microdermabrasion, polish change, bang trim, eyebrow waxing, and lymphatic drainage. Having already gotten a microderm, eyebrow waxing, and new hairstyle in my recent self-redefinition callings, I chose a simple polish change. Truth be told, I never had a manicure or pedicure in my adult life, just sweet memories from childhood of a friend’s mom who happened to be one hell of a manicurist.
To my surprise I struck up conversation with Yan, owner of the salon than extended to become the spa it is. Rather romantically, Spa Chinois is actually collaboration between Yan and his ageless wife Jasmine. I discerned quickly that idea of fusion was at the foundation of the spa. I love it. There are three levels to this spa/salon and everywhere you will encounter faces, be they staff or clients, of all backgrounds.
My manicurist Nina happened to be Uzbek, although she’s lived in New York most of her life. She’s a not a loquacious woman but I enjoyed immensely the chatting between us. Because I never wear nail polish, that was where Nina came through for me. She chose a dark shade of brown that absolutely complemented my style right down to my boots. Liking the spa as much as I did at the party, I scheduled an appointment for another day for a manicure and pedicure.
In the spirit of love, Nina changed my polish to a majestic red. With only one station for a manicure and pedicure, I relaxed in my overflowing personal space. I couldn’t stop myself from admiring the beautiful architecture of the space. Each window framed pieces of the New York skyline and New York vitality. The spa provides that tranquility to enjoy and take it all in.
Homme Spa New York, NY - it’s like being at Home
If you had a chance to pick up TimeOut New York you may have read the rave about Homme Spa. I went there myself. You could be reading about it on this here first! The luxury, the care, the attention at the spa is immaculate. The spa has such a narrow entrance that you’ll first be amazed by what lies behind it and how spacious the spa is. In fact, it is the largest in New York – but you would never have guessed that by looking at it from outside – You’ll have to go into it for yourself.
The first level is mainly a reception, which left me wondering where on earth is the spa anyway? Looking towards the back, you’ll notice a set of escalators leading downstairs and then a staircase going up. All around the area are financial buildings, and when there’s finance, there are over-worked, over-exhausted bodies. It happens that the greater percentage of the clientele here is male. Sure enough, you’ll notice luxuries with guy appeal. That said, I was curious about the other perspective. Without the slightest bit of hesitation my male colleague and friend agreed to accompany me. Don’t worry, though - Homme Spa is by no means the ideal retreat only for men. Ladies, you’ll love this spa too. With so much of the spa to discover, where should I even begin? Well, if you think it out with me - I came with a man and we’re not a couple. The direction we wanted to head was down those escalators.
The lounge comes to mind first. There is much to say about the lounge. But first thing first, you’ll be met with courtesy at the bottom of the escalator. If you have your appointment already booked, go right around back to lock up your belongings and put on your robe and slippers. I have to say I was confronted with confusion over options at this point, but nothing to worry about because there’s no rush – the spa stays open until 3am.
Assuming I would meet my friend in the lounge, that’s where I went. This very large area is lined with personal sink-right-in lounge chairs. The average person would approximately be twice my size, so imagine how roomy these ultra-comfortable chairs were for me. The main room is equipped with flat screens, and yes, you do have control of the remote. Give in to the special attention and service you will receive here. That’s advice I would have taken myself had I not been puzzled by my friend’s disappearance.
I was soon to learn my dear friend had discovered the sauna rooms. I thought I would go just to fetch him, but in truth, there was no resisting the large, individualized sauna rooms. Hopping into his, it was as good a place as any for conversation until we were ready to hit the showers. We had assistance toweling off afterwards – that was quite an unexpected surprise.
Now reunited with my buddy, it was back to the lounge where I decided we should sit in the smaller, brighter, quieter room in the back. I love the accommodation of this room. Here I was having a conversation over tea with someone dear to me, but when I had to leave the room for one second I was engaged in another conversation with a trader showing the same demeanor of a man relaxing at his own home after work.
Mind you, neither of us had thought about our massages until we realized we were ready for it. Leaving the lounge, we enter the ambient corridor of massage rooms lit by candlelight. The massage rooms are beautiful to behold. White drapery falls around the massage beds. I got onto the bed, ready for my first Shiatsu therapy from my therapist, a native of Japan. It’s rated the best massage treatment I’ve ever had. The Shiatsu therapy, a very hands-on, active treatment for the body, loosened the nooks of stiffness in my body. My therapist worked magic. I was felt entirely limber afterwards. I was almost knocking over plants and candles. After all, who would want to regain muscle control after a great massage? As for my friend, who received a deep tissue massage, he told me he knew it was a good massage because he was feeling it the next day.
You will find yourself in a heavenly place if you take the staircase upstairs. The soft canopy beds, lounge chairs, subtle adornments, and couples massage room with a Jacuzzi – I am filled with envy for the lucky couples who go here.