By Kelly Hushin
In the search for therapeutic indulgences like facials, manicures or massages in New York City, one of the first things we consider is the privacy we’ll receive at said destination. This is especially true if we’re with our significant other.
It’s standard for couples to be isolated when receiving a massage, but how often do we have our own private changing area? A waiting room all to ourselves? An exclusive full, room-sized shower complete with wall and ceiling jets? A sauna for two – not ten – just two? These aren’t easy comforts to come by when spa space is prime real estate in the Big Apple.
That’s why Beauty News NYC has ventured outside the tightly defined lines of our beloved island to find what is a rarity in Manhattan: more space. In September we saw the Fountain Spa, a bright spot for Hackensack, New Jersey. This month, we set our GPS on Long Island and landed in the historic Roslyn Village. The aptly named Village Spa in Roslyn, about 20 miles from midtown, is a quaint but charmingly well-appointed spa with much more romance to offer its guests than most packed city spots.
When we called to ask about special holiday packages or treatments exclusive to the Village Spa, we were told that couples were the specialty and it would be a crime to undergo the spa’s pampering sans lover – unless of course I didn’t have one. Fortunately, I do, and he was willing to take the plunge with me, despite being ill acquainted with traditional spa practices. Though initially couples might be slightly apprehensive during their first-time spa experience, the Village Spa doesn’t take long to coerce its guests into an appreciation for luxury amenities, secluded relaxation and quality massage therapy.
The amount of room given to us – just us – was unprecedented for a New York spa. We didn’t have only one room to ourselves – we had five. The first was a small room for changing which led to an adjacent room outfitted with a table for two and flat screen TV on the wall for our use if we so chose. There, we were to take our time enjoying music, warm neck wraps, hot foot soaks and each other’s company while we waited to be ushered into the massage room where two beds had been set for us. Once our therapists came to greet us, we were ready for the treatment.
Jill and Jasmina laid us down on the massage tables without saying much to us but telling each other that they’d be using stones, lots of stones. We could hear the stones clanking together in their hot basins as the therapists fished them out periodically and proceeded to rub them into our skin and muscles. Neither of us had ever experienced the soothing aspects of a hot stone massage, so it was both an awakening and a delight.
An hour passed by in the space of a few minutes, or so it seemed. One of us (not telling which one!) even fell asleep for a short time during the massage – an extreme compliment to Jasmina and testament to the patient’s state of utter relaxation. After basking in post-massage repose for a few moments, we moved onto the shower-room where a set of products from Archipelago Botanicals awaited our use. A combination of seven vigorous jets of water and Archipelago’s Milk Body Wash helped remove the remainder of massage oil from our skin.
When we returned to our changing room we were greeted with an array of desserts and champagne. While we chose to exercise some self control in enjoying these pleasures (no need to binge in the middle of the day on our way to a family dinner), what we did sample was deliciously rich and made for a perfect ending to our first-time couples spa experience.
The next time we do this, we’ll make sure to schedule the treatment on a day when no other commitments are on our calendars. It’s easy to forget the importance of really making time for an activity like a spa visit when we’re so used to life on the go. An indulgent couple’s treatment – especially of the caliber offered at our chosen Roslyn retreat – is not meant to be slated into a schedule. Whether it means getting out of work an hour early, finding a sitter for the kids, skipping the gym – once…not every day people – or simply getting out of Manhattan, the Village Spa reminds couples that it’s OK to escape. And when we choose to do so, for heaven’s sake let’s allow ourselves to enjoy it.