By Meredith Clinton Bell

Even with construction workers pounding the cobblestones of Mercer Street and a temperature that would reach 97 degrees, as I stepped down into Haven Spa, the heat, noise and chaos of the city all melted away.

The smell of lavender, blast of cool air and welcoming smile from behind the desk equaled instant calm and relaxation…which was only the beginning.

With its rustic wood flooring, plush seating and chill vibe, Haven is a chic SoHo spa for the everywoman. There’s no attitude or judgment, and the staff is eager to make your experience one of the best.

As I was led through a hallway filled with bright waxing and pedicure rooms, we went through another door into the land of massage therapy. It was quiet, dark and had a seating area all its own complete with comfy couches and a help-yourself station for coffee, tea and water.

Preparing for my Swedish massage and therapeutic stretching session, I quickly changed into the robe and sandals provided. Two private bathrooms include showers, toiletries and hairdryers to meet any after-massage needs. And conveniently, valuables can be secured in your own personal locker.

After a brief chat with my massage therapist, Laura, it was go time. The stretching, which can be an add-on to any massage or a standalone 45-minute session, was a unique twist I’ve never experienced. It enhanced the massage and took the “loosening up” to another level.

It’s easy to forget (maybe it’s just me?) that massages aren’t just a treat. They also have actual benefits that can help over-worked muscles and bodies. I left feeling those benefits even more than I remember in the past. I was refreshed, renewed and restarted.

I can’t wait to go back.

150 Mercer Street

Originally published August 2013
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