One of my favorite things about working at Spa Week is the excitement of trying all kinds of spas around New York City. I’ve easily been to over 60 in the past year, and if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that the old adage really holds true in this industry: it’s what’s inside that counts. I’ve discovered some mind-blowing massage techniques, priceless skincare advice, and the most talented and passionate people inside the most unsuspecting places. It doesn’t take a big fancy lobby or famous name; just like hundreds of hipster restaurants in the East Village, sometimes the best spa isn’t even on your radar yet.

Here, I share with you a handful the NYC spas that I often recommend to friends, along with some that I’ve heard first hand are well worth discovering. All participating in Spa Week October 11-17.

1. Enliven Body Works116 East 60th Street, 2nd Floor, 212.813.9396

I had the Thai Bomb Massage here, and as a big fan of thorough, firm massages, this was everything I needed. They’re offering it for Spa Week and I’d recommend it to any frazzled New Yorker who needs the stress kicked outta them in Midtown East. Check it out on Live Spa TV.

$50 Spa Week Treatments: 50 Min Foot Reflexology, 50 Min Thai Bomb, Swedish, Deep Tissue, Aromatherapy or Hot Stone Massage, 50 Min Enliven Ultra-Hydration Facial

2. Perfect Spa, 1100 Second Avenue, 212.752.8880

From the outside, you would think it was just a nail salon, but the spa part is extremely nice and they have a huge spa menu of services to choose from.

$50 Spa Week Treatments: 50 Min Reflexology or Aroma Massage, 50 Min Perfect Customized Facial or Brazilian Bikini Waxing with Eyebrow Shaping, 45 Min Walnut Body Scrub or 60 Min Walnut Honey Milk Pedicure

3. Heaven-E Specialty Spa, 126 Lafayette Street, 2nd Floor, 212.966.4288

Ooooh, heaven is a place in Chinatown. From the outside you might think it’s a stereotypical Chinatown massage parlor, but au contraire! I could write a book about how pleasantly surprised I was— how pretty it is inside, the cutting edge spa technology they have (The ME K3 machine made me look 21 again), and fantastic services they provide.

$50 Spa Week Treatments: 60 Min Deep Tissue Massage, 60 Min Deep Cleansing Facial, 60 Min Sea Salt Body Scrub

4. Aqualia Spa, 829 3rd Avenue, 2nd Floor 212.980.8868

Blogger friend Sabrina Alexis said of Aqualia’s Signature Facial: “This treatment was hands down one of the best I’ve ever gotten.” Read the rest of her experience on A New Mode.

$50 Spa Week Treatments: 60 Min Aqualia Deep Tissue Body Massage, 45 Min Deluxe Green Tea Spa Pedicure, 75 Min Aqualia Signature Facial

5. Lia Schorr Day Spa, 686 Lexington Avenue, Fourth Floor, 212.486.9670

Lia Schorr is not only one of the most passionate and knowledgeable skincare experts I’ve met in this industry (and everyone is passionate and knowledgeable), she runs a skin care school AND has a full hallway of signed celebrity photos thanking her for their beautiful skin. If I were a celebrity, I’d be sure to have my photo up there too.

$50 Spa Week Treatments:50 Min Swedish/Hot Stone Combo Massage with Body Scrub, 75 Min Deep Pore Cleansing Facial with Seaweed Mask or 60 Min Oxygen Facial, 100 Min European Manicure, Pedicure and Brazilian Wax

6. Ettia Holistic Day Spa, 239 West 72nd Street, 800.795.7109

Very cozy, holistic spa focusing on special herbs and healing abilities.  It’s been featured in all of the big beauty books as a top spa in NYC.

$50 Spa Week Treatments: 45 Min Dual Decadence Massage, 45 Min Basic Holistic Facial, 45 Min Dead Sea Salt Jewel Scrub

7. Spa Catchi, 115 East 39th Street New York, NY 10016 212.980.3880

A brand new spa in midtown. Guest-blogger Julia Allison claims to practically have a “PhD” in mani-pedis, and called this “hands down” one of the best mani-pedis in NYC. Read her Spa Catchi review.

$50 Spa Week Treatments: 60 Min Catchi Signature Massage, 60 Min Catchi Signature Facial, 60 Min Combination Catchi Signature Manicure and Pedicure

8. Fine Living New York Ayurveda, 154 West 14th Street, 4th Floor, New York, NY 10011 , 212.616.4127

This spa brings the 5000-year old herbal science to life in a city that often forgets how much our ancestors knew about healthy living. A great place to not just experience the benefits of Ayurveda, but to learn about it.

$50 Spa Week Treatments: 50 Min Ayurvedic Body Massage with Dosha Balancing Herbal Oil- Abhyanga, Choice of 50 Min Ayurvedic Balancing Facial or Shirodhara: Includes Warm Herbal Oil Dripping on Forehead, 50 Min Shiropadaabhyanga: Includes Head, Face and Foot Massage

9. Graceful Services, 1095 2nd Avenue, 2nd Floor, 212.593.9904

Forcefully strong yet equally graceful hands are a priceless commodity in this industry. The  flocks of suited men and women I saw coming and going during my visit are a sign that this no-frills 2nd floor spa is no secret to midtown professionals seeking top-quality services.

$50 Spa Week Treatments: Acupuncture, 50 Min Qigong or Hot Stone Massage, 50 Min Scalp or Foot Massage

For the full list of spas in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and outside the city, view the list of New York Spas participating in Spa Week, October 11-17. Discover your own hidden gem, you hipster, you!

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