Spa

By Irene Fogarty

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When you review spas on a regular basis, you grow accustomed to being treated with the utmost care by the staff. They always greet you with a smile, offer you tea or water, and speak in a soothing voice – all in an effort to help you forget the outside world. At SAVA, the atmosphere exceeds the norm.

The first sign that demonstrated their hospitality was when I got lost (hey, it’s above 14th- way, way above!); one of the girls actually came out on the street to find me. Talk about being greeted!

A Skin Care Line that’s Right for You Like most spas, SAVA carries many skin care Iines you may not recognize. Nuxe, Protective Nourishment, and Ren are just a few of the lines that cover their shelves. After Bascha, one of the friendly Polish beauties, quizzed me about my skin’s sensitivity, it was clear that I was a suitable candidate for the Ren line.

Meaning “clean” in Swedish, this ultra-cool skincare line from the UK (take a look at the design of the containers) isn’t a favorite of Kate Moss and Sadie Frost for no reason. Employing ingredients like chamomile, anti-oxidants, and omega 3 fatty acids, Ren is prefect for sensitive complexions like mine that are only used to all-natural botanicals.

Later I discovered that SAVA is an exclusive carrier of this red-roped-VIP skin care range. Ren is only available here and in some other state I can’t spell. The owners are very fussy about who “gets” it, which tells you something about the owner.

Check out SAVA owner, Joanna
Before opening SAVA, Joanna Czech, a native of Poland, was a sought-after aesthetician at Paul Labrecque Salon in the city. And despite being a skin-savior to Christy, Uma and Natasha (as well as hubby Liam!), Joanna is more star-struck by her skin care lines than the stars that use them. Her bright blue eyes light up when she tells the story of how she opened the place a few years ago.

(She lives across the street so she pops in all the time just for a cup of coffee and a chat with the girls.) I believe it’s her natural friendliness and charm that so are intriguing. It’s no wonder Manhattan celebrities travel the distance to see her.

But not only is the staff sweet, the facial was heavenly. Bascha gently exfoliates your skin to prepare it for the upcoming following layers of luscious lotions. It was a very gentle and non-abrasive facial yet stimulating and invigorating. All I could sense was the subtle aroma of something delicious being slathered on my face. After extracting my skin for over 15 minutes (damn blocked pores!), I was refreshed with layers of more nourishing Ren formulations.

In addition to indulgent face and body treatments, SAVA is also known for their wonderful hand and foot treatments Try the therapeutic pedicure…you’ll leave like you’re walking on air, even if you were foolish enough to wear high heels there.

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All this said, what struck me most about SAVA is the unity between the girls and their “boss” Joanna. I was fascinated with how well they all got on, how they worked as a team and how natural it felt to pamper yourself. The entire experience was relaxing and reassuring. I left feeling good about being involved in the world of beauty, which can be fickle and flighty. Not to mention how lovely my skin looked – if I say so myself!

Check out SAVA. Take the A train and get ready for a trip that will rejuvenate your spirits as well as your complexion. Don’t forget to say “hello” to Joanna and ask her the meaning of SAVA – a tale about a mythical Polish mermaid. I was so relaxed it escaped me.

SAVA Spa 211 Pinehurst Ave (bet. 186th + 187th) 212.543.0008 www.savaspa.com Facials range from $55 to $225

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Originally published October 2005
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