By Caroline Cooney
The spacious and modern Equinox Gym on the Upper East Side is the newest and arguably finest Equinox in the city. Open since October 2008, the club boasts a full-service spa that could easily stand alone, even in this well-heeled and discerning neighborhood, as a top draw for local residents.
The spa offers an array of facial and body treatments as well as massage, laser hair removal, body bronzing and teeth-whitening. In the lobby, an impressive array of Skinceuticals, Somme Institute and Lather face and body products are on display. Once inside the spa, guests ensconced in fluffy robes and comfy slippers sip chamomile tea and fruit-infused ice water before their scheduled service. Private treatment rooms as well as a couple’s massage room with private shower are available.
As much as New Yorkers love their city, living here comes with a grimy price and regular facials are a necessity. For those with large pores, dirt and debris can settle deep into skin, giving complexions a faint gritty sheen that no amount of scrub, serums or strips will ever remove. Extractions are the only way.
I once had extractions done at a well-known and uber-pricey spa in midtown, where a surly esthetician wielding a metal extraction tool left me with a tiny scar. So, I was a little wary about my first facial at Equinox Spa, but ended up thrilled with the experience and very noticeable results: a clear and glowing complexion and healthier, younger looking skin.
My esthetician Jessica analyzed my skin type and its particular needs and suggested the ‘Essential Balance’ 50-minute facial. After a gentle cleansing and toning, a relaxing eucalyptus-infused steam treatment opened up my pores and then a thorough scrub removed any dead cells. Then, to make the extraction process as easy as possible, Jessica applied an alpha-hydroxy serum to further exfoliate and loosen up any deeply imbedded dirt in my pores. The extractions themselves, though no pleasure cruise, were easily tolerable because my skin was properly and carefully prepared.
Jessica then applied a serum to kill any remaining bacteria and followed with a hydrating mask to calm the skin. While waiting for the products to take effect, it was wonderful to get a neck and shoulder massage. Jessica wrapped up the facial with a vitamin C moisturizer and sunscreen and a light back massage. I was amazed at the amount of tension released in my back, neck and shoulders from the brief massages. Throughout the facial, a cold compress or hot towel would magically appear just when needed. Jessica, like all skilled estheticians, had a high level of knowledge and artistry and a passion for skin.
Enterprising spa manager Sheri Bardot emails clients a monthly newsletter featuring treatment coupons and upgrades as well as invites to on and off-site spa parties and events. Sheri networks with local hot spots to host events once or twice a month where clients can pick up freebies, get treatments, and mingle with local celebrities. Ramona Singer, from Bravo’s ‘Real Housewives of NYC’, has hosted cocktail and treatment parties at the spa to promote her Tru-Renewal skin care line. The spa itself was also featured in a recent ‘Housewives’ episode during an event.
Another huge perk for spa clients is full-day access to the Equinox gym on the day of their treatment. The five-floor gym offers a fresh juice and wheat grass bar, large and luxurious locker and steam rooms, a kids club, yoga, Pilates and boxing studios, various group classes, and state of the art cardio, cycling and strength training equipment.
In today’s economic climate, many of us are looking to save money on spa treatments. Instead of rolling into a random nail salon and taking your chances, take advantage of all the extras this Equinox luxury spa has to offer: generous monthly discounts, free gym access, and fabulous parties!
The Spa at Equinox
1429 2nd Ave at 74th Street
New York, NY 10021