To say I dislike massages would be an understatement. I know, I know, I can cue the hate mail, but just hear me out – I am ticklish AF! I can’t help but flinch every time someone tries to massage any part of my body. As a matter of fact, I can’t even stand massage chairs; just thinking about it sends a shiver down my spine. To give you a better understanding, one masseuse even had to stop 15 minutes into my hour-long session because I was in so much pain. Yep, that was my money down the drain.
It’s sad to say, but I’ve gone my whole life not understanding how in the world a massage is supposed to relax you.
That was until I was visiting New York and I reached peak stress mode, by body was worn out, my mind was a mess, and I was just too tired to enjoy my holiday, in which I thought I’d give that massage a second (or more like tenth) go. So, booked myself in for an appointment at the Peninsula Spa – I mean, if I was going to treat myself, I was going to go all out and treat myself to the best of the best.
Overlooking New York City’s iconic Fifth Avenue, the Forbes five star-rated spa is a 35,000-square-foot oasis boasting a line-up of the finest wellness treatments.
From facials using the French luxury skincare line Biologique Recherche, to a mix of French and Asian skincare and body treatments including the Vedic Aromatherapy Full Body and Facial Marma massage, the twelve-room Peninsula Spa is known amongst the city-goers (celebs included) as the go-to place for the ultimate pamper sesh.
Upon checking-in I was guided to the Asian tea lounge, where I was seated in a throne-like chair and welcomed with a luxe AF organic tea ceremony (major tick for a total tea-lover) to calm my mind and prepare me for what was to come.
After helping myself to one too many cuppas, my masseuse came to whisk me away through a series of dark corridors until we finally reached my treatment room.
While the room was dimly lit, the interior design was too beautiful not to notice – a little bit yin, a little bit yang, the mixture of Asian and European influence I had seen throughout the spa already was all reflected in this one room.
My masseuse took the time to ask me about the areas of my body I specifically needed working on, in which I promptly told her about my horrible fear of massages. Without hesitation, she reassured me she’d do her best to help de-stress my mind and body… and that’s exactly what she did.
15 minutes into my hour-long session I found myself dozing off into Stress-free Wonderland – a place I thought only existed in my wildest dreams. The calming music, aromatic oils and the warmth from the heated bed was exactly what my body needed. There was not too much force, and not too little; my masseuse didn’t apply an uncomfortable amount of oil all over my body; and to this very day, I will forever remain confused as to what she did differently in order to avoid my ticklish nerve receptors.
Of course, I was heavily disappointed when the sixty-minutes was up, but after getting dressed back into my robe, my masseuse guided me through another series of corridors until we reached the ‘Relaxation Room’.
Yes, a room dedicated for nothing but relaxing; a room containing four private heated beds stocked with individual headphones and a self-controlled music selection, a stack of magazines, and for the hungry ones (i.e. me), a spread of fresh fruits, healthy nibblies, and a selection of coconut water, sparkling water, inner-beauty water, and of course, more tea. And this my friends, is where I spent the next few hours – phone-less, uncontactable, and in a pure state of bliss.
Days could’ve passed and I wouldn’t have known, but I eventually had to pull myself out of the Relaxation Room to take a shower… where I was in for yet another treat.
Being the world-renowned Peninsula, the steam room wasn’t just any steam room, and the showers weren’t just any ordinary showers. Featuring a 24-karat gold mosaic-tiled wall, the steam rooms inside the separate men’s and women’s bathing areas encapsulate you in a refreshing eucalyptus scent to soothe your nerves. From here, you invite yourself to rinse off in a waterfall or tropical-rain shower. And for those who aren’t a fan of heat, an ice fountain loaded with ice shavings is on offer – luxe AF times a hundred? You can say that again.
Rest and restored, I left my secret oasis feeling 100 times lighter, my mind was off in la-la land, and I felt like I was walking on clouds. I did have the option of hitting up the cutting-edge fitness centre, or taking a dip in the glass-enclosed pool, but who was I kidding – I was on holidays, and my body and mind were too relaxed to do anything but head upstairs to the Peninsula’s iconic rooftop bar Salon de Ning, to sip on a Cosmo in true NYC style.
As for next time I find myself in the city that never sleeps, my wallet is wide open for the exclusive ‘Sleep Ceremony’ they have on offer – apparently it alleviates disruptive sleep patterns with a relaxing full-body treatment that includes meditation and massages. Sounds exactly like my style, aka Carrie Bradshaw’s.
Head here to check out the spa and to find out more about their treatments, and follow The Peninsula New York on Instagram @thepeninsulanyc.
For more like this, this is how you can get a monthly massage for $40. Yes, $40. Plus, this is Dyson’s newest ground-breaking product that will help you save over $2K a year.
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