But it's not the view that makes The Spa at Mandarin Oriental so wonderful. It's the combination of a stunningly beautiful setting, a gorgeous spa, a super-polite but warm approach to people, and probably most important, a great staff of spa therapists and unusual spa treatments. Watch a video that takes you through The Spa at Mandarin Oriental.
An Asian-Inspired Oasis
To get to the lobby (and spa) you have to take an elevator to the 35th floor, where Antique Asian textiles and a stunning clear glass Dale Chihuly sculpture decorate the lobby. Fabulous shopping and great restaurants by renowned chefs like Grey Kunz are downstairs in the Time-Warner Center, and the location is convenient to Fifth Avenue shopping and Broadway theaters. .
Mandarin Oriental, NYC, has 251 soothing and sexy rooms -- all above the lobby so you feel above it all -- and the service is superb.
The Spa at Mandarin Oriental NYC is an Asian-inspired oasis in an intense city, with a surprisingly gentle, almost spiritual quality. There's always a theatrical component to luxury hotels and spas, but The Spa at Mandarin Oriental takes it to a higher level. When you arrive, the spa concierge brings slippers to you on a tray decorated with an orchid and takes your shoes away before you even enter the locker room.
Get there early to slip into your luxurious robe and take full advantage of the separate male and female "Heat Experience" rooms. These are equipped with large stone Jacuzzis, an iridescent Amethyst Steam Room with New Age music, and a rain forest shower to cool off in. After you're finished there, you wait for your therapist in the Tea Lounge with views of the Hudson River (and a few office buildings.)
The Time Ritual
Somehow Spa at Mandarin Oriental NYC feels a lot larger than it really is -- just eight treatment rooms, including a super-glamourous 650-square-foot VIP Spa Suite for two with a dramatic Chinese bed for relaxing after your treatments, fireplace, private steam and shower, and side-by-side pedicure thrones. (This could also work for a single person, with the money and inclinations of Cleopatra.)
There's also has a special Thai Massage room with a deep soaking tub, and on another floor, a good fitness center and 75 foot-lap pool.
The Spa at Mandarin Oriental NYC is famous for inventing The Time Ritual, a one hour 50 minute (or 2 hour fifty minute) treatment that is customized for you based on how you're feeling that day. You find that out by talking with the massage therapist about how you feel that day, and how you want to feel afterwards, while he or she gently washes your feet. The kind of massage oil they use, which have essential oils in them, will depend on what smells good to you. The theory is that what you like is what your body needs.
Generally the Time Ritual will include some kind of exfoliation, a massage and a gentle facial cleanse. Once you're on the table, the treaments begins and ends with the ringing of Tibetan tingsha cymbals. I was pretty wound up, so my therapist and I decided on an Ayurvedic-inspired treatment. I was exfoliated with a special ESPA cactus body brush before a soothing stream of warm oil was poured onto my belly and back. It was delicious, and profoundly soothing.
The Time For Beauty facials at The Spa at Mandarin Oriental NYC use ESPA products, an essential oil based line that doesn't believe in the use steam or extractions, because they believe it can traumatize the skin. It's a deeply relaxing facial that uses acupressure, and very gentle. They also massage ESPA's nourishing red clay into your hair and recommend you leave it on overnight, so no fancy dinner reservations after! (You can always skip that part.) You can also have the steam and extractions if you want.
The Spa at Mandarin Oriental NYC also has a Vitamin Infusion facial that uses Somme Institute, a great line for sun-damaged skin, and Nature's Radiant facials that uses Amala, and organic skin-care line based in Germany. It means "most pure" in Sanskrit.
After your treatment, take time to relax in the room that overlooks Central Park, equipped with comfortable lounging chairs. You've paid a lot of money to be here. Enjoy it!
Contact Info for The Spa at Mandarin Oriental, New York: 80 Columbus Circle at 60th Street, New York, New York 10023. Reservations: 866-801 8880. Website: www.mandarinoriental.com