The events and obligations of modern day life can take a tremendous toll on the body and mind. Friends tell me that they feel off balance, or overwhelmed. I often think someone, somewhere, is video-taping us on our mad dashes around the city, Truman Show style, and laughing at how we handle all of the stresses. If I were living in a movie, I would say the title would be “Full Throttle Acceleration” or “Beat the Clock” and living in that type of action packed movie sometimes requires a good old fashioned “pause” and “reset.”
The Peninsula Spa, located at 55th Street and Fifth Avenue in Midtown Manhattan, provides a sanctuary to escape the fast pace of New York, offering 35,000 square feet of space on the top three floors of the Peninsula New York Hotel. You would be hard pressed to find another location with the array of amenities in a pristine environment that offers the gold standard of rest and relaxation that this Forbes Five Star Rated Spa offers.
I had the privilege to enjoy my “Reset” in this space.
35,000 square feet of anything in Manhattan is a luxury, as we do not have much room to spread out around here, and therefore, this fact alone made this space an immediate personal favorite.
A glass enclosed swimming pool with mind-blowing floor-to-ceiling teak columns and a marvelous black tile floor, was just my first taste of what was to come in this experience. Note that healthy pool side dining options are available, as are daily aqua aerobics classes.
The Sun Terrace, coveted outdoor space not prevalent in New York, is available to Spa Guests who reserve two services or more, and to all hotel guests. The terrace provides heart-stirring views of Fifth Avenue and Central Park. I could happily spend the day (or a month) sitting up there with a book hiding from the world…
A fitness facility, an integral part of a luxury Spa, exceeded my expectations; and I spend a lot of time in gyms. Incorporating the teak of the pool with detailed teak accents, a bamboo floor and the most current cardiovascular and strength training equipment, in short, blew me away. The fitness center also offers customized fitness programs and classes ranging from Barre, to Yoga to Spin! If you want to hire a trainer, the facility can do that for you. Calling this a “Fitness Facility” does not begin to do this space justice. I would call it a “Health Haven” or “Fitness Phenom.”
It is exquisite.
The view of the Manhattan Skyline could keep one running on the treadmill all day long…
Note, memberships to the Spa and Fitness Center are available.
The Spa features a stunning collection of 10 treatment rooms, pristine in décor and immaculate. Men and Women Relaxation Lounges are a beautiful treat pre- and post-services, where soft music, dim lighting and plush seating allows you to immerse yourself in the experience.
A Private Spa Suite is available for private parties and includes a complete private experience including a spacious Private Spa Suite, men’s and women’s private relaxation lounges, an Asian tea lounge, and changing rooms, with no communication or visibility to anyone outside of your experience.
Massages include the Deep Tissue Experience, a calming massage designed to release stress and tension. Also on offer is a Jade Hot Stone Massage that incorporates aromatherapy and the healing powers of jade.
Body Treatments include the Podi Signature Journey, a moisture restoring therapy performed with herb powders and oil or the Sattva Signature Journey, a full body crystal salt scrub and detox polish to drain toxins and revive dull skin.
Please note Massages and Body Treatments above are for two hours and $550 at the time of publication.
Following my tour, I suited up in a cozy robe and slippers and headed to the Relaxation Room.
I chose a Facial Service because skin protects your body and that is a challenging job. The skin is susceptible to every environmental condition ranging from free radicals, pollution and climate changes to the cosmetics that you use daily. Because of this, a facial, in my mind is a necessary part of grooming. The North-East has been experiencing a strange weather pattern fluctuating between high humidity, unseasonal high heat and night time chills, all of which contribute to a need to seek outside help, whether you are using an at home skin care routine or not.
Regardless of the years I have worked with skincare and in spas, I find having another set of hands work on my face to be a life saver; my “reset” required some anti-aging, balancing, vitamin infusing pampering.
The selections of facials offered are vast, and suit a variety of needs. I was also pleasantly surprised to see that the Spa offered several product lines; I had thought the services only used ESPA products, so it was a pleasant surprise to learn that I could try something new.
Facials of interest included the Biologogique Recherche Deep Cleansing Facial, modeled as a “traditional facial” including cleansing, extractions, facial massage and mask (60 minutes is $225 Monday-Thursday, $235 Friday-Sunday) and the ESPA Refining Enzyme Facial, an anti-aging facial designed specifically to target uneven skin tone and treat congestion and fine lines (Monday-Thursday 90 minutes, $320, Friday-Sunday $335)
They also offer a Men’s Purifying Facial, Shoulder and Scalp Massage, as mens’ skin is different from womens’ and deserving of its own specifically targeted treatment (Monday-Thursday 60 minutes, $215, Friday-Sunday $230.)
I decided to try the MBR Age-defying Customized Facial (60 minutes for $360) because I had not heard of MBR, and was curious to try it. I learned that MBR stands for Medical Beauty Research and originates in Germany. The concentrated formulations of the product are designed to treat skin at the cellular level down to the dermal layer of the skin, and therefore designed to stimulate collagen and elastin. Products are mineral oil, paraben, PEG, phthalates and artificial fragrance free and every product is made in small batches. I was intrigued and super excited to have this experience.
We decided that my skin needed hydration and we would work on addressing some uneven skin tone. Most importantly, I was going to relax. The facial is in three steps:
- The “Opening” process used a cleanser followed by an exfoliation enzyme that tingled in a good way and was massaged beautifully on my skin.
- The “Treating” step followed using a variety of potions and masks to restore and reduce pigment. Around this time is where I dozed off…
- The “Closing” was when I came out of my light sleep, and was given a variety of products to be left on my skin to seal the process and work their magic throughout the remainder of my day.
Post-Service, I saw my skin in the light and I was radiant, if I do say so myself. My skin looked hydrated, fresh and vibrant. I spent the remainder of the day without make up and just enjoyed how beautiful my skin felt.
Not only do I recommend this Spa, but this MBR product line intrigues me, and I can not wait to learn more…stay tuned, and in the meantime, visit the Peninsula Spa New York.
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Angela Ranieri joins us as Contributing Editor with an extensive background in Fashion, Beauty and Digital Media. She has worked with PRADA USA Corp., Jurlique, Amore Pacific and the New York Daily News in management capacities including Marketing, Client Relations, Employee Relations and Training Management. She has authored and published the column, “Ask Angela,” featured on the Amore Pacific USA website. Her beauty advice has been featured in Shape and Fitness Magazines and CBS News.
She is a graduate of Syracuse University with a Bachelor of Science in Communications and Writing. Angela also has an MBA in Marketing and Entrepreneurship from Northeastern University. While at Northeastern, her Market Research on the Electric Car was published for University use.
Angela is currently creator of Circuit Cosmetics, a Brand Ambassador for luxury beauty line, Patchology, an On Air Guest for QVC and blogger for www.thelaughinmommy.blogspot.com.
In her spare time you can find Angela running, spinning, practicing yoga or getting beautified. She resides on the Upper West Side of Manhattan with her Husband, Son, and Chihuahuas.