By Leslie Rice Hart


Webster defines a Haven as a place offering favorable opportunities or conditions. Haven Day Spa, located at 150 Mercer Street in Soho, lived up to this definition by offering both.

The French doors in the front are the entryway into an eclectic décor, mixed with Indian, Moroccan and French Country influences. The soothing, meditative music and comfortable oversized couches and pillows were perfect for relaxation before, between and after treatments. A most favorable condition that put a smile on my face was the warmed toilet seat when I sat down. There was also a switch for warming the toilet’s water and a bidet feature. Now that’s an asset (couldn’t resist) worth mentioning!

Three of Haven’s favorable opportunities and signature services, which I chose to, prepare my body, from head to toe, for the change of seasons are the Remedy Facial, Moroccan Hammam Body Treatment and Haven Foot Renaissance Pedicure.

The Remedy Facial is custom-tailored to each individual. My esthetician, Krystyna, analyzed my skin, reporting large, clogged pores and dehydration, no surprise to me. Her task began with cleansing my skin, and exfoliating it with Tao Scrub. Steam and extraction came next where she work diligently de-polluting my neglected skin. A toner and moisturizing mask soon followed. Krystyna applied TNS recovery complex, a serum to plump up the fine lines, around my eyes and mouth. Krystyna explained that a little of the serum goes a long way. I was pleased when I looked in the mirror at my fresh glow. The rest of my body needed to catch up to my revitalized face, so off to my Moroccan Hammam Body treatment.

Moroccan Hammam Body treatment is an authentic therapeutic service from North Africa and Haven is one of only two spas in the United States to offer it. According to Hanna, my esthetician for the treatment, the Moroccan Hammam treatment would rejuvenate and hydrate my dry winter skin.

To begin, Hanna wrapped my body with hot towels, preparing it for the application of the Beldi black soap, formulated with olive oil and eucalyptus. Removing the towels, she lathered me up with the soap, front and back, wrapped me in plastic and towels and left me to “marinate” for about 10 minutes, which after a long, hard week, this was ideal for a few minutes of shut-eye. After rinsing the soap, my skin was now ready for the thorough exfoliation that Hanna performed with buffing gloves.

Rinsing once more, she then applied a paste made from Rhassoul volcanic clay, rich in essential oils, to infuse minerals and nourish my newly exfoliated body. She enveloped me in plastic and towels from neck to toe for 15 minutes to allow for ample absorption of the essential oils. Hanna gave me a fabulous head and neck massage while the Rhassoul volcanic clay worked its magic. May I just say I was in “Hammam Heaven.”

Next, Hanna rinsed the mask and began anointing my body with hydrating Argan Oil, made from the almond fruit of the Argan tree, indigenous to Morocco. Rich in Vitamin E and essential fatty acids, the oil’s antioxidant properties help to diminish the signs of aging. HALLELUJAH!

After this incredible body treatment, my skin felt amazingly, supple and smooth, and so did I. Now it was time to give my feet their turn.

My third and last service was the Haven Foot Renaissance performed beautifully by Fahmida. She started the decadent treatment by soaking my feet in an invigorating blend of essential oils. She meticulously manicured each toenail, preparing them for the polish soon to come.

To soften my dry skin, my feet were treated with a blend of moisturizing oils and placed in heated booties. After removing the booties, Fahmida went to work sloughing, buffing and exfoliating my tattered tootsies. She massaged my tired “dogs” with a blend of honey, shea butter and essential oils giving them a newfound invigoration. The final step was the application of a lovely cream-colored polish. With my newfound “foot resurgence”, I couldn’t believe these were my original, exhausted feet I walked in with.

When the treatment was complete, Fahmida kindly escorted me to the cozy lounge where I happily relaxed, while drinking infused lemon water and nibbling on a cookie, while the polish dried on my toenails.

I went three for three at Haven Day Spa. When I left, I was calm and revitalized, GOOD RIDDANCE winter, HELLO spring!

For more information contact Haven at 212 343-3515 or visit their website at

Originally published April 2006



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