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Popular Barcelona Bathhouse Coming to TriBeCa This Fall

By Julie Shapiro

DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

TRIBECA — A high-end bathhouse that has a devoted following in Spain is coming to TriBeCa this fall.

Ancient Baths, at 86-88 Franklin St., will have everything that stressed downtowners need to unwind, including five communal baths, a sauna and a massage facility, representatives of the project said at a Community Board 1 meeting Wednesday night.

"It's really to come and get away from the city," said Adam Rothkrug, a lawyer representing Ancient Bath. "It's really going to be spectacular. It will be very relaxing."

Ignacio Alonso of the architecture firm Alonso Balaguer plans to strip the interior space down to its original bricks and wooden beams, creating a rustic oasis that feels far from the bustle of lower Manhattan. He wants bathgoers to enjoy the building's historical architecture while they relax and plans to reuse original materials that are moved during construction.

Visitors will sign up for a 2 1/2 hour slot, which includes a half-hour massage and leisurely access to the pools: a salt bath, a hot bath, a warm bath, a cold bath and a whirlpool.

Only about 25 to 30 people will be allowed in the spa at a time, to keep it from getting crowded, Rothkrug said.

Alonso also designed the spa's flagship location in Spain, called Aire de Barcelona. The baths there are so popular that there is a three-month waiting list for appointments, Alonso said. The bathhouse also has two other locations in Spain.

The prices at the TriBeCa location have not been set, but in Barcelona they range from 28 euros (about $40) for 90 minutes in the baths to 105 euros ($150) for a 150-minute experience that also includes massages, according to the website.

Spa-goers in TriBeCa will be required to wear bathing suits in the pools, which are co-ed.

The Barcelona website lists one very important rule — visitors must remain silent at all times, to preserve the baths' tranquility.