When Ivanka Trump travels through Istanbul and the Middle East, you can’t just expect her come back with a magnet. For this businesswoman extraordin-heiress, Ivanka’s trip inspired the concept, decor and spa treatment menu at the new Trump SoHo Hotel’s 11,000 square foot bi-level spa. I visited this past Sunday to experience their prized Hammam, the most authentic Turkish Hammam on the East Coast, also just featured in the December issue of VOGUE (left).

A Hammam treatment at the Spa at Trump SoHo will transport you to the good old days in Turkey; everything is impressively 100% authentic Turkish. They imported everything: the pestemals (traditional hammam towels), the Tas bowls, buckets and ornaments, the soaps, the exfoliators and, most importantly, the techniques. The iridescent tiling on the walls — well, those are from Italy.

The Hammam Experience:

Upon entering the hotel and the seventh floor spa, you’ll feel far away from NYC surrounded by multiple waterfalls, a sleek outdoor pool (for summertime), and winding wooden maze-like hallways that lead to all sorts of relaxation rooms, patios, treatment rooms, saunas and the spa’s two prized hammams—one for women and one for men. The men’s one is suited for couples treatments as well.

What is a Hammam Treatment? It’s an ancient Middle Eastern bathing ritual that cleanses and exfoliates your body and renews you with the almighty healing powers of water. After removing my fluffy white Trump robe and draping myself in the pestemal, I sat on the heated marble surface and my “Hammam Attache” Nicolette, who has been doing so for 13 years, began to pour warm water on my arms, legs, and head. She used 2 Tas bowls, which are decorative shallow metal dishes. I then laid on my front as she continued to spill warm, wait… hot, water up and down my body. Unlike a bucket dumped on your head at the beach, every spill felt deliberate and sensational. The good kind of chills!

The spilling ritual rocked me into relaxation, and Nicolette continued with a full body exfoliation using a traditional kessa mitt, followed by a bubble ritual – a bubble bath with no tub. The bubbles were created by taking a pillow case-like sheet, soaking it in a bucket of soapy water, waving it around until it filled with air, closing off the open side like a balloon, and then squeezing the air out of the “balloon” onto my body. If you try ever try this treatment, be sure to open your eyes and watch this graceful process. A bubble ballet!

After soothing the mountains of bubbles into my body and repeating the whole thing on my front side, it was time to switch up the water temperature. Cool water, followed by even cooler water spilled up and down my body from the Tas bowls, finished off the ritual.

While I ordinarily don’t love non-massage body treatments (mostly because I just wish they were massaging me), the level of relaxation I achieved during this treatment was delightfully more than enough. Then, there was the relaxation room, equipped with Turkish snacks, tea, and soft lounge chair beds with big cozy blankets. Nicolette recommended I stay there for at least 20 minutes. As you wish.

From being watered like a mystical houseplant, buried in bubbles, treated like a Trump and peeing on heated toilet seats… (yes)… it was a truly unforgettable spa experience. Two things on my list: 1, Go to an actual hammam in Turkey. 2, Go back to Trump SoHo in the summer when th pool is open and this deck is filled with chairs and cabanas. Who’s coming with?

The Spa at Trump
246 Spring Street
New York, NY 10013

Current deal via Spa Week’s spa deals: Receive 20% off on any Kate Somerville Facial. All Facials include complimentary Eyebrow Shaping.

Most photos taken by my blackberry; bubble photo courtesy of Trump SoHo.

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