SPA AND THE CITY II: SWEATIN’ WITH IVANKA
By Mary Alice Kellogg
SpaWatcher looked forward to The Spa at Trump SoHo opening, particularly since the buzz promised a heady Moroccan ambiance. Could this newest entry in the Manhattan relaxation sweepstakes revive memories of SpaWatcher's weekend taking the waters with Rick and Isla in Casablanca?
Indeed it did, but with noticeably more water. A two-floor, 11,000-square-foot beauty with indoor/outdoor relaxation lounges, Assyrian-shaped ceilings tiled in Capiz shells, woven-mesh chandeliers, two-story waterfall wall, and courtyard with plashing gold marble fountain, the Spa at Trump SoHo nonetheless retains a distinctly sleek SoHo vibe.
While there is an extensive menu of up-to-the-minute treatments, the big draw is the authentic men's and women's hammams — the only ones in New York City — inspired by hotelier Ivanka Trump's travels to the Middle East. The hammams' domed ceilings and lavishly mosaic-tiled walls put one right in the mood for Middle East bathing rituals. I chose the 45-minuteTurkish Hammam treatment, which began when my Hammam Attache –yes, there are such people — ushered me into a mosaic room of elaborate-patterned blue glass tiles. Having tiptoed into the Tepidarium, I was instructed to lie down on a heated (120 degrees) white Calacatta marble "belly stone" which took up most of the floor space.
After a full-body loofah banished dead skin cells, my attache began pouring pans of hot water all over me to accelerate sweating and detoxification.
Detox accomplished, pans of warm water followed and then my favorite — an application of oil-based castile soap applied with a traditional handmade Kesa mitt. Completely covered in white bubbles at least six inches high, I felt like Doris Day in a movie bathtub. Which is to say: Day-licious. Pans of cooler water washed off the bubbles, then cool-down applications of icy water got my circulation going. An all-body spritz of rosewater finished the treatment.
My euphoric epidermis was rejuvenated and toned. More surprising was the treatment's afterglow effect: like having had a steam, sauna, massage and stress-relieving day at the spa — all rolled into 45 minutes.
Sipping ginger/lemongrass tea and nibbling on dates in the relaxation lounge, SpaWatcher realized she had journeyed to the Middle East, sans jet lag. She thanked hotelier Ivanka Trump — was that her red Ferrarri parked outside? — for the inspiration — and the free loofah.
THE SPA AT TRUMP SOHO
246 Spring Street, New York, NY 10013