Midtown Manhattan can be maddeningly busy—whether you're running around to back-to-back meetings, or doing the tourist shuffle from Times Square to Central Park. Take a break to rejuvenate at one of several top-rated area spas. Here are two top picks, highlighting a duo of recent additions on the Midtown spa scene:
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The Setting: In the Lenape Indian language (the original inhabitants of the island of "Manhattana"), "nalai" means serenity, and it's serenity indeed that you'll find at this 25th-floor, a 13,000-square-foot spa oasis, perched atop the posh, August 2014-debuted Park Hyatt New York. From the second you step into the high-ceilinged, light-filled spa lobby, with its floor-to-ceiling windows offering sweeping cityscape panoramas, you'll know that you have arrived . . . and are about to be transported.
A clean-lined, contemporary design scheme spills over to the six spacious treatment rooms, equipped with in-room changing rooms and showers (with a eucalyptus steam option)—four rooms even boast private balconies.
Book any splurge-worthy spa treatment here, and gain day-pass access to the hotel's impressive three-story hydrotherapy and fitness center, with a steam room, hot tub, 65-foot-long indoor swimming pool, and fitness center. Bring your swimsuit, and... arrive ahead of (or stay after) your treatment to fully take advantage of the complex (a considerable value-add, given that overnight hotel guests pay upwards of $795 a night for a stay at the hotel, the only other way to gain access to these top-notch facilities).
For the ultimate in romance, book a treatment for two in the wow-factor couples suite, touting a soaring ceiling, breathtaking city views, and a private soaking tub and double shower experience.
The Treatment: Personalized treatments here are uniquely based on an "atelier" concept, wherein each massage, facial, and body treatment is custom-tailored to the needs and preferences of the individual (down to the in-room soundtrack and blended massage oils), following a consultation with a spa staff member (they're called "artisans" here). Products are sourced from the Carita Paris, H. Gillerman Organics, and Stemulation lines, and treatments are complemented by a tea service and amuse-bouche "pairing."
Don't miss their one-of-a-kind, wonderfully calming "signature treatment," which unfolds on a heated sand quartz-covered bed (the first of its kind in NYC), and is based on the ancient tradition of "earthing," an idea of grounding the body to the earth via energy transfers. The three-step treatment includes a detoxifying exfoliation scrub, full-body clay wrap, and poultice massage (180 minutes, from $399).
Look, too for special featured treatments from their international series—sourced from various Park Hyatt spas around the world—that rotate quarterly (the current option is a warm jade stone massage, from the Park Hyatt Tokyo; from $350)
The Details: Spa Nalai at the Park Hyatt New York, 153 W. 57th St. btwn 6th & 7th Aves.; 646/774-1210; nalaispa.com
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Marilyn Monroe Spa
The Setting: This December 2014-debuted spa is literally a hot stone's throw away from the hectic hubbub of Times Square just outside its door. A step inside this third-floor spa retreat (set within the Hyatt Times Square) transports guests a world away, to a cheery little haven dubbed the Marilyn Monroe Spa. Part of a national spa chain, the brand pays homage to the legendary actress's bombshell beauty, with a Marilyn Monroe Spas-branded line of organic skincare, hair care, makeup, and nail polish products.
There are five spa treatment rooms, as well as a "Glamour Room" for salon services, and a manicure and pedicure station. The staff is friendly and polished, and the low-key atmosphere is fun and flirty, true to the spirit of Ms. Monroe. (Tip: Round out your treatment with a rooftop drink at the hotel's rooftop Bar 54 lounge—NYC's highest rooftop perch.)
The Treatments: Sign up for any of more than 100 treatment options, including massages (from $135 for 50... minutes), facials, body treatments, manis and pedis, makeup applications, waxing, and salon services.
For something different, try their signature "fassage," a quick and uplifting facial massage ($80, 25 minutes). Locals should consider their blowout membership program, which offers unlimited blowouts—complete with shampoo, blow-dry, and a choice of Marilyn-inspired styles (from soft waves to tight curls) from just $129/month. Considering a single blowout can run up to $55 a pop, this membership pays for itself in just three monthly visits.
The Details: Marilyn Monroe Spa at the Hyatt Times Square New York, 135 W. 45th St., btwn 6th & 7th Aves.; 646/640-3830; marilynmonroespas.com