7 Bizarre Spa Treatments from Around the World
And you can try them all in New York City
Living in New York City has a ton of perks. You can order mussels Provençal at 3 a.m., attend a beer garden playgroup, eat kale ice cream for every meal and even get a caviar back massage right down the street.
About that back massage… The city is also home to some of the world’s weirdest spa treatments, so whether you’re looking to soak in a tub full of red wine, coat your face in snail slime or get scrubbed with leaves, there’s an NYC spa that does it.
Here are the seven strangest spa treatments we’re dying to try (and, uh, are kind of afraid to).
THE FRENCH CAVIAR BACK MASSAGE
You’ve eaten it on crackers--now get it slathered on your back. Shell out $265 for a 60-minute treatment at the Ritz-Carlton’s La Prairie Spa, and you’ll apparently leave with firmer, smoother skin and increased elasticity. Because if there’s one thing we need, it’s firm back skin.
The Ritz-Carlton’s La Prairie Spa, 50 Central Park S. (at 59th St.); 212-308-9100 or ritzcarlton.com
THE SPANISH RED WINE SOAK
Miami Heat player Amar'e Stoudemire swears by red-wine baths to soothe his sore joints. After soaking in a tub of actual Spanish red wine to rehydrate, exfoliate with a grape-seed treatment, followed by some R&R in the steam room. The three-and-a-half-hour experience starts at $502.
Aire Ancient Baths, 88 Franklin St. (at Church St.); 212-274-3777 or ancientbathsny.com
THE JAPANESE GEISHA FACIAL
We go to great lengths to avoid being pooped on by pigeons in Central Park, so we’re mystified by the fact that people would actually pay $180 to get nightingale droppings slathered on their face. (Some ancient beauty secrets can stay in the past, thanks.)
Shizuka New York Day Spa, 7 W. 51st St. (at Fifth Ave.); 212-644-7400 or shizukany.com
THE RUSSIAN PLATZA TREATMENT
In this $50 traditional Russian ritual at the Mermaid Spa, you’ll lie facedown as you’re rubbed aggressively from head to toe with soapy oak leaves. We’re gonna need a shvitz after this one.
Mermaid Spa, 3703 Mermaid Ave. (at W. 37th St.), Brooklyn; 347-462-2166 or seagatebaths.com
THE KOREAN SNAIL-SLIME FACIAL
The patented EscarGlow facial by Dr. Matthew Schulman uses snail secretions (don’t worry, they don’t actually crawl on your face) to eliminate fine lines and wrinkles and brighten dull skin. One slimy treatment will set you back $375.
Matthew Schulman, M.D.; 950 Park Ave. (at 86th St.); 212-289-1851 or drschulmanplasticsurgery.com
THE INDIAN AYURVEDIC HEAD MASSAGE
Before Indian head massages went viral, this Ayurvedic treatment was designed to dispel negative vibes. For $75, you’ll get a scalp massage personalized to your dosha (the fancy Ayurvedic word for “energy”). Add a shirodhara treatment and oil will be drizzled on your forehead to open your “third eye.”
New York Ayurveda, 32 Union Square E., Suite #1115 (at 16th St.); 212-616-4127 or newyorkayurveda.com
THE, UM, TRANSYLVANIAN VAMPIRE FACIAL?
Finally, an anti-aging solution that combines our fear of needles and our fear of blood into one terrifying treatment. This procedure involves getting blood drawn and having it injected back into your face to encourage collagen and tissue growth. Hey, Kim Kardashian’s doing it.
Halland Chen, M.D., 41 Park Ave., Suite 1C (at 36th St.); 212-464-8772 or drhalland.com