An ancient bathhouse hits Tribeca
Sometimes a three-minute post-mani shoulder rub relaxes us. But other occasions call for more--say, two hours, seven pools and 16,000 square feet of pampering.
Introducing Aire Ancient Baths, a Spanish import based on the Roman concept now occupying an opulent chunk of Franklin Street.
Block off a few hours (from $75) to fully enjoy the space: Originally a textile factory from 1883, its recent restoration reveals soaring rust columns, wood-lofted ceilings and exposed brick. Design details like flickering copper lanterns, Pyrenees basins and Marrakech fabrics emit a rough authenticity throughout.
After a rain-forest shower in the sleek locker room, swimsuit up (Aire sells them, lest you forgot) and head to the dark communal bath, where a range of glowing pools encircle a glass-enclosed hammam.
For optimum circulation, dip your way from hot (try the 102-degree Caldarium, saltwater Floatarium and Propeller-Jet Bath) to cold (we could barely manage a toe in the icy Frigidarium). Then soak at your leisure, respecting the “silence is golden” policy, until your masseuse retrieves you for a fragrant treatment (from $95) performed in an overlooking room.
Feeling ultralavish? Book a Red Wine Ritual (it involves a boozy soak and a four-handed massage) in the exclusive private baths upstairs (from $450).
As they say, When in Rome…
Aire Ancient Baths NY, 88 Franklin St.; 212-274-3777 or ancientbathsny.com