Wow. That’s all I was thinking while at Aire Ancient Baths Spa in Manhattan a couple of weekends ago, along with six girlfriends for a birthday celebration. I loved this unique spa – with several locations in Spain, all evoking the ancient Roman baths experience – so much that I’m already planning to return with my husband.
Located in an old textile factory in Tribeca, Aire is all about the thermal baths, which you get to relax in for an hour before your massage and half an hour afterwards. There are five pools (three hot/warm, two cold) plus a steam room. My favorite was the flotarium, a salt-water pool that features the salt density of the Dead Sea, allowing you to be effortlessly buoyant so you can float in a state of complete relaxation. The candle-lit ambience and sound of trickling water everywhere add to the tranquil experience. I also liked that the number of people allowed into the pools was kept to a minimum, even on a long weekend. Reservations are required and should be made at least a month in advance.
My massage was excellent, honestly one of the best I’ve ever had – although among my group of friends, two reported not loving their masseuses, so I guess it can be hit or miss depending on who you get. The room I was set up in had two tables, and I ended up there with one of my friends. Might be a little awkward with a stranger! Then again, if you’re going with your husband, it becomes an automatic couple’s massage, which is nice.
As I said, I’m dying to take my husband there. I’ve never felt so relaxed and can’t wait to get back into that salt-water pool. Entrance to the baths alone is a bit pricey ($106 on weekends), but the massages are fairly priced, and a combo package is totally worth it. What a lovely oasis in the middle of the city and the perfect way to spend a special date night!
Aire Ancient Baths, 88 Franklin Street, New York, (646) 878-6174