The best luxury spas in New York City offer stellar service, excellent treatments, unusual amenities, even views and rooftop gardens. But you pay a price. Most of these luxury spas in NYC are attached to hotels with treatments that start at $150 an hour or well above. Get there early to enjoy the amenities you won't find at smaller day spas. Consider having a meal there to really enjoy the whole atmosphere of the hotel -- preferably after your treatment.
This lavish hotel spa has stellar service and attention to details, like fresh orchids in the treatment rooms and tea with your treatment. It's best known for its 80-minute "Time Rituals." To make the most of it, take the time to savor amenities like the steam, Jacuzzi and shower and outstanding views in the Tea Lounge and relaxation areas. For romance, try the exotic Couples Suite, with an antique Asian bed. 80 Columbus Circle at 60th St.212-805-8800, 866-801-8880.
The Peninsula Spa in NYC
The Peninsula New York has reclaimed the high ground with The Peninsula Spa . It's big -- 35,000 square foot -- with 12 treatment rooms, a sun-lit movement studio, fitness center and a glass-enclosed pool featuring panoramic city views. That's one reason they call the three-story spa "an urban resort destination." 700 5th Ave. at 55th St. 212-956-2888
The Spa at Trump in Soho is one of the most beautifully designed spas I've ever been in. It uses luxurious materials, interesting textures and details like antique textiles to tell its tale of Middle Eastern indulgence. Trump Soho is 46-story tower condo-hotel with 391 rooms. There is plenty of sunshine inside the 11,000 square-foot spa on the 7th and 8th floors, which is a true pleasure in New York City. This is one of a handful authentic hammams in the United States, so you should definitely try it out.
Guerlain Spa at the Waldorf Astoria
The Guerlain Spa at The Waldorf=Astoria is a piece of heaven. It's high above the city, on the 19th floor of the legendary Art Deco hotel at Park Avenue and 50th. You change and get your treatment in your own all-white spa suite, which includes a lavish bathroom. And it's whisper quiet. It's like being on your own private cloud. Facials feature the Guerlain skin care line.
La Prairie Day Spa at The Ritz-Carlton New York
This was one of the first luxury hotel spas in New York City, so it's not flashy, but it's quietly elegant and the services are excellent. It's known for its caviar facials. 50 Central Park South near 6th Ave. 212-521-6135
Spa Vinotherapie Spa at The Plaza is so much about the wine that there's a wine lounge instead of a relaxation lounge -- complete with wine cellar and sommeliere. You can enjoy a complimentary glass of high-quality wine before or after your treatment (though the two don't really mix all that well, from a therapeutic standpoint). Treatments include a crushed cabernet scrub or a fresh grape massage. One West 58th St. at 5th Ave. 212-265-3182
Just one block from Wall St., Setai Spa is the most affordable of the luxury spas, but it offers a luxury hotel spa experience. It has steam, sauna, Jacuzzi, a luxurious fully staffed locker room, even a glass of sparkling wine and truffles from the restaurant before your treatment. It has a dark, clubby feel.
With just three treatment rooms (including a couple's treatment room), the spa is small but luxurious. The new men's and women's locker rooms each have a steam room and sauna, backlit mirrors, and full-length lockers. The 55-foot, heated lap pool is now a Salt Pure pool, using 100% pure, natural chlorine made from salt. Treatments feature Sonya Dakar's skin care line, aromatherapy oils by Essence of Vali, and skin softening body treatments by Nikali and Fleur. Want to go? You have to stay at the 176-room hotel.