Living in Manhattan, finding a spot to retreat and get away from the hustle and bustle can be an ongoing challenge. Enter Aire Ancient Baths, a place you leave feeling so relaxed, you could float right out.
Aire Ancient Baths opened in Tribeca last year and offers an experience like no other spa or wellness retreat in New York. Inspired by the traditions of the Ancient Greeks and Romans, Aire is comprised of a series of baths, each at varying temperatures. Single bath experiences vary from the very hot (102 F) to the cold (46 F or below), with a pressure bath and relaxing bath in between. A steam room offers thick, almost aromatherapy-scented air, which cradles your body, face and airways, opening your pores and forcing you to inhale its healing properties. The process is completed with the salt pool, which helps to induce mental relaxation, as the body is able to rest, totally motionless.
Perhaps the most impressive thing about Aire however is the space itself. The baths are housed in a warehouse-style, exposed brick wall, New York-style space, where the main lighting is provided by hundreds of tiny candles dotted throughout. Soft music plays, which adds to the chilled out vibe, while people patter around from pool to pool.
The staff at Aire recommend you pair the thermal bath experience with a massage, which can be of 15, 30, 45 or 60 minutes in length. I had a 60-minute massage, which takes place in the middle of the bathing experience, allowing enough time to relax pre-massage, and immerse yourself back into the pleasure post massage.
Relaxing in the salt bath to finish your treatment, you would never guess that you are sitting amidst one of the busiest and most hectic cities in the world. The experience is so relaxing it borders on spiritual. Floating motionless enables you to truly connect with yourself, to bat away fleeting worries and anxieties, and just be. It feels like active meditation, just lying (floating) there, with the world outside passing you by.
Leaving Aire, I felt remarkably rested, relaxed and recharged. My mind felt more open, I felt more generous, happier and positive. It was a truly grounding experience, where I was able to totally switch off and reconnect with myself. If ever there was a sanctuary away from the worries of New York, this is it, and I will definitely be back.
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