NYC can be a place of such stress that it becomes a need, rather than a want, to have a haven where I can go and find restoration for my body when I'm home.
Aire Ancient Baths is my new favorite place. Part Roman bath, part Turkish hammam, part massage parlor, and infused with the best of Spanish and Moroccan design elements: it manages to be a true oasis in the concrete jungle that is Manhattan.
Aire is a chain that started in Seville, Spain. Every location is specially chosen to include an underground bath area comprised of stone and marble pools, treatment rooms, a hammam, and relaxation areas. In their TriBeCa location, a building that dates to 1883, all original architectural elements were restored and garnished with lanterns from Morocco plus marble from Spain. Old wood beams that could have been thrown away during construction were turned into beautiful benches and tables, and candles are the only source of light in most of the 16,000 square-foot space.
A salt pool allows you to experience what many travel all the way to the Dead Sea for: effortless flotation. The Eucalyptus-scented hammam cleared out my head so I could leave with renewed vigor for the day's writing projects. My massage, too, was worth every penny, though you can use the pools and steam room without being treated by a masseuse.
My 2 hour session began at 11 and I shared the pools with only 2 other women. However, Aire is open from 9 AM to 11 PM every day. Perfect for an after-work decompress!
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Relax at Aire Ancient Baths in Tribeca
A 90 minute session in this beautiful Tribeca bathhouse is a great way to start a morning. Numbers are restricted to keep the atmosphere to that of your own private sanctuary. It's surprising to find a place of such calm in the heart of Manhattan.