FX Excursions

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

The Marmara Park Avenue

by Kimberly Inlander

Nov 1, 2017
November 2017

THE MARMARA GROUP, a well-known Turkish luxury hotel chain, brings a taste of Turkish hospitality and culture to the Big Apple, operating an authentic Turkish hammam at its Marmara Park Avenue hotel, conveniently located at Park Avenue and 32nd Street. When you are enveloped in the solitude of the traditional bath, you feel far removed from the hustle and bustle of the city streets above.

The Marmara Group, in existence since 1978, operates with a philosophy of “not static, but dynamic,” and all of the group’s hotels — eight total, two in Manhattan and the others in Turkey — are individual but with consistent levels of service and a Turkish flair.

At the collection’s Marmara Park Avenue, guests enjoy an all-inclusive subterranean wellness center. The authentic Turkish Hammam is one of the highlights, offering both traditional treatments and a place to unwind in the steam. Expert masseurs and estheticians add to the on-site wellness center experience, which also includes treatment rooms, an experience shower, a state-ofthe- art fitness center and a lap pool.

In fact, everything at Marmara Park Avenue has been custom-made and thoughtfully curated. Artisans from across New York’s five boroughs crafted elements of the hotel in conjunction with New York artist and designer Joe Ginsberg. In addition to the full wellness experience, guests can enjoy three penthouse suites, more than 40 terraces, extended-stay options, event spaces and a lobby lounge serving beverages and small plates.

Meaning “spreader of warmth,” the hammam or Turkish bath tradition dates to the Roman occupation of Constantinople, modern-day İstanbul. While Roman baths were prevalent in the area, when the Ottomans occupied the city around 1450, they brought with them their own bathing traditions. These merged with their Islamic beliefs, and today you will find mosques and hammams often in close proximity to each other. Other differences between the hammam experience and Roman bath houses: Turks traditionally run water from bowls to cleanse soap and grime from the body rather than the immersive pools commonly found in Roman baths, and they use a cold room to finish the experience, as opposed to beginning the journey there as the Romans did.



The traditional experience begins in the entrance hall, or warm room, where patrons undress. In the hot room, hammam-goers lie on a raised marble platform, and the masseuse uses a loofah to wash away dead skin cells. Throughout the process, the body is rinsed with bowls of clean water. Next, the masseuse uses suds from a traditional soap to wash and massage the body.

While I was not in İstanbul or Ankara, I was transported there right from the heart of Midtown Manhattan during my recent visit to Marmara Park Avenue. Unique to New York City and a relatively new offering for the hotel, the gorgeous marble hammam offers a luxurious place to simply relax; the space is open daily for guests and is akin to spending time in a sauna.

I visited on a Saturday afternoon for the 45-minute ritual, which combines the tradition of the Turkish bath with modern luxury, detoxifying and purifying the body. The hammam is warm, and after my 45 minutes inside, I felt the effects of the heat, even though I was just lying on the marble platform. I sweat profusely while in there and could feel the toxins leaving my body. I wore a swimsuit during the treatment, but disposable underwear is available. Also of note: The whole body will get wet — yes, ladies, even your hair — and the room can become slippery, so take care when entering, exiting and even turning over.

This experience is truly traditional — I lay on the göbek taşı, a heated marble slab in the middle of the bath, while the therapist used a kese, a glove mitt imported from Turkey, to exfoliate my skin. He offered me a glimpse of the mitt, lined with my dead skin. Not a great visual, but incredibly therapeutic. Bowls of varying temperatures of water were poured over me from head to toe — I appreciated my therapist’s warnings when the colder bowls were coming. After the exfoliation, suds of lemon and cassius soap were squeezed over my body, much like a bubble bath, and then rubbed into my skin using massage techniques. Noting I spend most of my day at a desk, the therapist paid extra attention to working out the muscles in my neck.

As the toxins leave their bodies, hammam-goers should feel blood circulation increase, immune system stimulation and physical and mental relaxation — I felt all of those things and found myself in a tranquil state, almost near sleep, for the rest of the day. And my skin was smoother to the touch than it’s ever been. It can be a rough exfoliation, but the results are well worth it.

The Marmara Park Avenue

114 E. 32nd St.
New York, NY 10016
tel 212 603 9000


FX Excursions

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

Explore Excursions


Insta Feed

Global City Guidebook: Savannah

Savannah, Georgia, is known for its stunning parks, antebellum architecture, cobblestone squares, historic landmarks, spooky buildings and coastal location. Travelers from all over flock to the destination for beauty and fun.

Extend Your Stay In Trendy Madrid

With its rich artistic and natural heritage, its outstanding transport network, the quality of its accommodation, its excellent gastronomy, and the passion with which the people of Madrid enjoy both the day and the night, the capital of Spain is one of the most attractive cities in the world.

Jul 19, 2024

Hotel Heron Joins Lodging Options in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia

Perfectly positioned in the historic center of Old Town Alexandria, the newly opened Hotel Heron is ready to welcome guests in search of boutique luxury and eclectic fine dining. The hotel is housed in a space once occupied by George Mason Hotel, opened in 1926.

Global City Guidebook: Cairo

Take a step back in time in Cairo, Egypt’s capital and largest city. Home to the Nile River, museums boasting antiquities and the nearby Pyramids of Giza, there is no shortage of wonders to behold in Cairo.

IHG Hotels & Resorts: Elevating the Guest Experience & Expanding Globally

With a robust portfolio of brands catering to diverse traveler preferences, IHG has been on a strategic trajectory to conquer key markets worldwide. The IHG footprint continues to grow, offering unparalleled experiences to guests around the globe.

Jul 19, 2024

Sea Crest Beach Resort Debuts New Immersive Dining Experiences

Sea Crest Beach Resort in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, recently opened Streetscape, a collection of new and enhanced dining experiences highlighting the region’s coastal cuisine.

Global City Guidebook: Cairns, Australia

Located on the northeastern coast of Far North Queensland, Australia, Cairns is a seaside city drawing visitors both by land and sea. The city, founded in the late 19th century, features two UNESCO World Heritage sites, a rain forest comprising part of the Wet Tropics of Queensland and the Great Barrier Reef. Cairns blends urban sprawl with Australia’s natural landscape, from beaches to rivers to valleys. With just 153,000 people calling the city home, Cairns invites visitors to explore its many sites and experiences.

Why Buy Annual Travel Insurance?

One affordable plan can protect an entire year of trips: business or pleasure, short or long, domestic or international.

Jul 17, 2024

Celebrate with a $50K Milestone Birthday Offer in Rome

With the latest trend of bespoke travel experiences, Sofitel Rome Villa Borghese launched the Milestone Birthday offer, perfect for celebrating big birthdays in luxury. The five-night experience includes a curated selection of activities each offering an unforgettable celebration.