By Stephanie Ila Silver-Silberstein

What is it about the Europeans that make them so darn good at all things spa? Fortunately, you don’t have to travel 8 hours to a place where your dollar is worth half as much and that facial you get only helps you overcome the jet lag you got from flying over there. The Elizabeth Lata European Day Spa on Manhattan’s Upper East Side offers the charm of a privately owned spa along with the expertise those on the other side of the Atlantic are known for.

Having lived on the Upper East Side for a while now, I had always made a mental note to check out the Elizabeth Lata Spa. I was drawn to the swirly handwriting on the banner outside and the feminine drapery framing the windows. As the spa editor of BeautyNewsNYC, it’s always refreshing to go to a neighborhood spa run by a passionate entrepreneur with a loyal clientele. Unlike the bigger, more commercialized spas (I won’t name any names), this spa is like a home away from home for its clients. And it was clear that everyone there that day had been there many times before. The rapport each person had with the small staff was reminiscent of a scene out of Steel Magnolias – just with different accents.

Though I’m sure their signature deep cleansing European facials are not to be missed (and everyone I spoke to attested to this), I received a manicure and a pedicure of the highest quality. Elizabeth herself gave me her undivided attention and much of her time as she cleaned, filed, exfoliated and massaged my swollen tootsies (I was 38 weeks preggers at the time) and then repeated the process for my hands. And though you won’t find those fancy electric massage chairs and Jacuzzi footbaths there, the atmosphere is so calm and relaxing, you won’t miss those bells and whistles at all. Though the 10 minute $8 manicure I often get across the street serves its purpose when time is of the essence, it was so nice to indulge myself with a mani/pedi at Elizabeth Lata and let myself enjoy some quality (and quantity) pampering.

Elizabeth Lata herself is a natural beauty hailing from Poland. She’s very particular about who she hires and she’s a walking testament to the benefits of a healthy lifestyle combined with quality spa treatments. You’ll find the same types of treatments and extras (i.e. products, masks, etc.) as you would at any other spa but at this spa, they’re given with a little more care, attention and European authenticity – not to mention a lot less travel time.

Elizabeth Lata European Day Spa
163 East 87TH Street off Lexington Avenue
New York, NY 10128
Phone: (212) 348-8700

Originally published March 2009
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