Best Spa Spots for Summer Pampering

By Meredith Hoffman on August 9, 2012 7:07am | Updated on August 9, 2012 8:53am

NEW YORK CITY — When Remy Bhatia needs a pick-me-up from the daily grind, she dives into a eucalyptus steam room or receives high-pressure foot prodding.

It's as cheap and convenient as a visit to a neighboring bar and the ritual leaves Bhatia, a model and fragrance creator, reinvigorated.

"I'm a big fan of aromatherapy and essential oils and eucalyptus really opens you up," Bhatia, 26, said of a recent visit to the Russian and Turkish baths' steam room in the East Village.

"I always leave that place feeling extremely rejuvenated, fresh, it clears out my sinuses, softens my skin."

For New Yorkers looking to calm their minds and refresh their bodies before summer draws to a close, DNAinfo.com New York has taken tips from Bhatia and other peace-seeking city dwellers to find spots that will bliss you out without breaking your pocketbook.

RUSSIAN AND TURKISH BATHS

Bhatia turns frequently to the the 120-year-old Russian and Turkish baths on East 10th Street because the $35 admission includes a day full of access to every facility, from the pool to the sauna.

"There are a variety of saunas, dry, steam room," she said of the amenities included in the price.

"And you have the option to get Dead Sea mud masks or wraps or massages if you want."

Towels, robes, slippers and soap are also included in the admission price, and visitors can show up any time during the spot's extensive open hours — but certain times are designated for women or for men only, so check the website before you go.

REFLEXOLOGY AND ACUPUNCTURE

Bhatia's other top pick is Qi Gong's reflexology, also in the East Village, where she gets a foot massage for less than $20.

"There are said to be points all over the base of your feet that that correlate to various parts of the body, organs, joints, and limbs," she explained, "and if the masseuse is good, they have this intuition and are able to work on any ailments you have throughout your body just through the feet."

Though the money buys you less pampering time than at the baths (with a 10 minute massage costing $10 and a 20 minute one for $18), Bhatia said Qi Gong's experts create long-lasting effects on the body and mind.

For the healing service of acupuncture, which also uses pressure points, many Brooklyn residents reccommended Worksong in Greenpoint, where visitors can get treatments for between $20 and $50, cheaper than most other city spots.

SPAS IN AND NEAR NYC

For entrepreneur Jamie Propp, who has lived all 42 years of his life in New York, the secret to avoiding urban fatigue is the occasional spa treatment.

"The key to living in New York City is figuring out these little tricks to keep relaxed," said Propp, an entrepreneur who lives in Battery Park City.

"We don't always have time to take a vacation so we can take mini-vacations."

Propp recommended two Korean spas — King Spa in New Jersey and Inspa World (also known as New York Spa Castle) in Queens — which both offer free shuttle service from Port Authority, and both have their own spa-wear "uniforms" you wear upon arrival.

King Spa is open 24 hours, seven days a week, and the daily entrance fee of $45 (or less if you get a coupon) includes the ice room, saunas, "gold pyramid" space, and other rooms in the 40,000 square-foot faciities.

"It's a great place to go with a friend or a group," Propp said, and praised the spa's healthy restaurant with Korean food and fruit shakes.

Spa Castle, which Propp called the "grander" of the two spas, has a rooftop pool, saunas, steam rooms and baths at a fee of $35.

"Now that I'm talking about it, I think I might go tonight," he said, calling the "complete change of environment" a "perfect way to recharge."

NAIL SALON MASSAGES

A real massage expert know which spots can offer a truly restorative rub. Propp recommended back rubs at Sufu Nail Spa on Church Street in Battery Park City, and other fans of pampering suggested Nail Spa Sakura on the Upper East Side or Pastel Nail and Spa in the East Village.

SEMI-COMMUNAL MASSAGE

If you dare receive your full-body massage next to those of other clients, Chinese Body Works is the best muscular rejuvenation for the cheapest price ($45), according to the West Village center's customers.

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