With the days growing shorter and colder as winter quickly approaches, it’s not unusual to daydream about exotic, warm getaways. But you need travel no further than The Setai Club & Spa in the Financial District for a one-of-a-kind pampering body treatment inspired by the traditional hammam rituals of Morocco.
Tucked away on the third floor of a busy commercial street, The Setai Club & Spa is a hedonist’s delight. The elegant space was designed with an artist’s eye and has a sleek, modern look with an Asian flavor. The use of timber, dark stone, bamboo and earthy colors immediately soothes the senses and promotes serenity. The spa offers several exclusive body therapies; the Moroccan Hammam Experience is ideal for welcoming the cold weather.
Following the website’s advice for spa guests, I arrived early to allow myself plenty of time to enjoy all the spa’s amenities. After I changed into a plush robe and slippers, Carmen, who keeps the women’s dressing area pristine, offered me a glass of champagne and escorted me to the women’s Aqua Grotto, an immaculate and stunning Zen-like space with a marble Jacuzzi, steam room, sauna and lounge chairs. (The men’s dressing area has its own Aqua Grotto.)
Although I could have relaxed indefinitely in the grotto, I went to the Tea Lounge to wait for my therapist. With its dim lighting and selection of herbal teas and nuts, the lounge provides another tranquil area in which to unwind.
Stacy, my therapist, led me to my suite and described the steps of my luxurious 90-minute session. First, to prepare my thermal body soak, she added mint leaves, argan oil, jasmine and neroli (orange blossom) essential oils, and rose petals to the deep soaking tub. Adjacent to the tub was a table with cold rosewater, hot mint tea and assorted nuts and figs to enjoy.
After leaving me to soak in this fragrant, foaming bath for about 20 minutes, she reappeared for the next step: a very gentle exfoliation with black olive soap, which she applied while I reclined on a toasty, heated massage table. Next, I rinsed off in the private shower in my room. I returned to the massage table for a body wrap of warm Rhassoul, a natural red-lava mineral clay from the Atlas Mountains of Morocco that is known for its healing properties. Stacy also applied the clay to my face and gave me a mini facial before massaging my scalp with warm argan oil. By this point, I was too relaxed to want to budge, but I took another quick shower to remove any bits of clay she had not managed to wipe off me. Not only did my skin feel totally detoxed and refreshed, but it was now buttery soft too. The final step was a therapeutic body massage, which targeted the areas where I usually have the most muscle tension—my neck and shoulders.
If you’re looking for a super-deluxe gift to spoil someone special this holiday season, your search is over. The Moroccan Hammam Experience offers a few hours of blissful escape from the hectic pace of the city.
For more information, visit http://www.setaiclubnewyork.com
The Setai Club & Spa
40 Broad Street, 3rd Floor
NYC, NY 10004