FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

New York City, Spa Merge

Sep 1, 2012
2012 / September 2012

Nearly a month after becoming roommates with Kate, I earned brownie points when I invited her to accompany me to New York City on a beautiful June afternoon for a visit to Spa Merge, a day spa epitomizing the phrase “urban sanctuary.”

Only weeks after the move, we were finally beginning to settle in, and a girls’ afternoon at the spa was the perfect ending to the exciting but frenzied month. From our apartment in the Philadelphia suburbs, a daytrip to New York City is feasible — a 25-minute ride to the New Jersey train station and an hour into the city. We gave ourselves plenty of time to leisurely navigate to our appointments, walking from Penn Station to Spa Merge’s West 57th Street location, stopping along the way for a quick salad.

The minute we swung open the glass doors and stepped into the light-filled lobby of Spa Merge, the buzz of the streets and the flurry of foot traffic melted. After a quick tour of the facilities, we were led to a tiny sitting room off the lobby to fill out paperwork and wait for our therapists.

Aside from providing an escape from the hassles of city life or a chance for a pampering daytrip, Spa Merge prides itself on melding science and nature into a peaceful spa experience. The treatments, a fusion of scientific and natural techniques, attain a blend of clinical results and relaxation. The spa employs SkinCeuticals skincare, a leading brand in the cosmeceutical industry, and Naturopathica botanical and herbal products in its treatments. Spa Director Margaret Lora brought more than a decade of experience to the philosophy and execution of Spa Merge, a member of the Hilton Hotels and Resorts’ Spa Collection.

Lora aptly sums up the Spa Merge experience: “Spa Merge is so much more than just a typical spa; it is an urban haven where clinical and result-focused skincare blends with the gifts of nature to nourish both mind and body.”

Spa Merge’s hours are conducive to the city lifestyle, staying open until 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, allowing professionals a few hours of unwind time after a stressful day at the office. Weekend hours are Saturday 9 a.m.–7 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m.–6 p.m.

Kate and I were more than prepared for mind and body nourishment. My treatment room was calming, with tones of cream and purple, candles providing warm ambience. Each treatment suite offers a shower/bathroom. There is no central locker room area for men and women, but the facility offers several full bathrooms throughout. I hoped to find a fully stocked locker room, as I needed to prepare for a nighttime work function downtown after the treatments. While the shower facilities were adequate, I couldn’t find some accoutrements I was hoping for, and the lack of space made getting ready a more rushed experience.

The most unique part of the Spa Merge experience was a 15-minute bathing ritual that accompanied our 60-minute sports massages. The hot arnica oil soak is designed to ease muscle strain, an appropriate complement to the deep-tissue techniques of the massage. The tub’s 310 water and air jets and high-intensity back jets move across seven different body zones in a rhythmic motion, working muscle groups on a timed basis. The tub, in the middle of a mood-lit darkened room, is intense — we had to put our legs under a bar to keep us in place. About seven minutes into the session, my therapist came in with cold water and an ice compress for my eyes and head. Quite different from any treatment I’d experienced, I had to release some feelings of awkwardness and modesty, but once I did, the effect of the jets on my muscles was noticeable. Knots in my back felt looser, sore calves eased and tense shoulders relieved. The hydrotherapy session usually takes places before the massage, but as both Kate and I were booked at the same time, Kate sampled the tub pre-massage, and I indulged post-massage. The deep-tissue sports massage includes stretching and alternating hot and cold therapies.

A 45-minute Spa Merge Facial followed the massage and hydrotherapy. My knowledgeable technician offered tips for my skin, all while accomplishing each element of the facial — even the dreaded extractions — with a gentle touch. Irksome dark circles under my eyes mar my complexion; my therapist sensed my displeasure with them, using a massaging technique to lessen the severity, a benefit I wish lasted permanently. Nonetheless, several days with a brighter under-eye area made the memories and effects of the day linger longer than usual.

More than anything, the little touches made a big impression at Spa Merge. Each time I shuffled between my treatment room and the hydrotherapy room, I was greeted with a delicious smoothie shooter and biscotti. After the treatment, glasses of crispy, bubbly Champagne awaited us alongside banana chips (one of Kate’s favorite touches) and other healthy snacks. Everyone, from the check-in attendants to the therapists, was attentive and cordial. The afternoon flew by far too quickly.

As we emerged onto the streets of New York City following our treatments, we found ourselves smack in the middle of afternoon rush-hour traffic. Horns blared, cellphones rang out, people pushed past. We remained immune to the omnipresent noise. Spa Merge is a truly blissful place in a busy city.

Spa Merge

102–108 W. 57th St.
New York, NY 10019
tel 646 484 4104

Introducing

FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

#globility

Insta Feed
Daily
Aug 11, 2022

The Oberoi Marrakech’s New Wellness Program

The Oberoi, Marrakech introduces its new holistic wellness program, SAHA. Meaning health in Arabic, SAHA aims to help guests reach their full wellbeing potential. The program operates on four key cornerstones: soul & spirit, active body, holistic treatments and a better plate.

Discover Egypt in Total Luxury with World’s Most Eminent Archaeologists

THE MOST EXCLUSIVE TOURS OF EGYPT EVER OFFERED

Daily
Aug 11, 2022

Museum Hopping in Valencia, Spain

Filled with sunshine and beauty, Valencia, Spain, is also a great destination for diving into culture and art. Named World Design Capital for 2022, Spain’s third-largest city boasts a wealth of museums providing glimpses into history and fine art.

Daily
Aug 11, 2022

Nassau Paradise Island Resorts Offer Foodies a Taste of the Bahamas

Nassau Paradise Island resorts pull out all the stops for foodies this season with new culinary offerings to elevate guests' experiences. The Bahamas is home to chef-driven, award-winning restaurants, authentic meals and delicious drink options. In the next couple of months, the offerings and festivals provide an unforgettable culinary experience for everyone.

The State of Sustainability in Global Business Travel

Much of the global business travel industry has already made sustainable business travel a priority with a focus on reducing emissions and their environmental footprint. But the industry, as well as external stakeholders, such as policymakers, recognize more needs to be done.

Daily
Aug 10, 2022

Rosewood Vienna Opens

Rosewood Vienna opened Aug. 1, marking Rosewood’s first hotel in the German-speaking market and its fifth European property. The 19th-century hotel, situated at Petersplatz, sits just steps away from many of Vienna’s historical and cultural sites, including St. Stephen Cathedral and Kunsthistorisches Museum. Guests won’t even have to leave the hotel to immerse themselves in the rich history of Vienna, as the hotel encompasses the apartment where Mozart lived and wrote The Abduction from the Seraglio.

eFlyer Deals
Aug 10, 2022

Westin Hilton Head Island Resort & Spa Launches New Summer Experiences

Westin Hilton Head Island Resort & Spa’s new summer offers provides guests with unique and memorable ways to explore the region and relax on the property. The Lowcountry Adventure offer, in partnership with Outside Hilton Head, features a custom-designed, five-hour program for up to six people. The offer includes a variety of all-day adventures and activities around Hilton Head, such as boating local waterways, visiting private islands and exploring small towns. Guests wanting to book this experience can book a three-night stay through Oct. 31, with a 21-day advance booking required.

Discover a Journey Filled with Wonder in 2022

ISN’T IT TIME? It's time to treat yourself to the vacation you deserve, and Celebrity Cruises® offers the perfect escapes. With an award-winning fleet of ships that sail to more than 300 destinations around the world, Celebrity will take you almost anywhere you want to go in style. Enjoy stunning staterooms and suites, culinary experiences imagined by Michelin-starred chefs and intuitive service. Celebrity makes sure your vacation is effortless from the start, which is why drinks, WiFi and tips are Always IncludedSM on every sailing.

eFlyer Deals
Aug 10, 2022

American Queen Voyages Announces Free Air for New 15-Day Voyage Through Mexico, Costa Rica

For the first time in American Queen Voyages’ history, the cruise line offers free round-trip air from select gateways for guests booking their entire voyage from either San Diego to Puerto Vallarta or Puerto Vallarta to San Jose, Costa Rica. These new itineraries offer 15-, eight- and nine-day voyages to these destinations beginning Oct. 3.