City Escapes: The Jade Journey at Juvenex Spa

New York City, Spa & Beauty — By on January 26, 2009 at 11:00 am

When The Lost Girls began our backpacking adventure in South America, we knew we had to trade in certain luxuries (i.e., private rooms, hot showers, meals served without chicken feet) in order to adhere strictly to our $30 per day budget. Some days-particularly the sub-arctic ones in the Andes-it was pretty tough to put our long-term financial goals ahead of our immediate desire for comfort and warmth, but we persevered like hearty travelers should.

That spendthrift martyrdom lasted a few months, but flew out the window almost the moment we arrived in Southeast Asia. In places like Bangkok, Thailand and Luang Prubang, Laos, for example, it was possible to get a private, heated room in a safe hostel for less then $6, a taxi across town for $2 and a delicious meal for under a buck. Because we came in well under budget each day, the three of us opted to spend the cash that remained every night on something truly useful: acupressure and reflexology massages at one of the many excellent spas located within our vicinity. Sure, it would have been more prudent to tuck the extra funds away for some freezing cold day ahead, but where else in the world could we get a 90 minute full-body rubdown (plus jasmine tea!) for less then the cost of a latte back home?

Since completing our trip and returning to NYC, we’ve come to yearn for the days when we could find such deeply restorative, well-priced spa treatments within an easy walk or taxi ride. Just as we were commenting that we’d have to return to Asia to get pampered without breaking the bank, a friend recommended that we check out Juvenex, a spa located in Manhattan’s Little Korea. The facility is renowned in spa-junkie circles for staying open 24/7 (you can get a couple massage at 3:00a.m), for the celebs that frequent it (P. Diddy, Sofia Coppola, Tiki Barber, and the Queer Eye guys have all been there) and for its Jade Igloo-a sauna made from 20 tons of the semi-precious green stone. Best of all: the spa offers treatments imported from around the globe, including the same kind of acupressure bodywork treatments we’d come to love-and miss-from our time abroad.

We’d scheduled our massages for January 3rd-surely we’d need to detox after all of the champagne that would enter our systems on New Year’s Eve-did a two-hour Bikram yoga class just prior to ensure that the toxins would begin their expedient journey back out again. Needless to say, by time we arrived, we were more than ready to begin the Jade Journey-which meant crossing a wooden foot bridge into main part of the spa, plunging into three Japanese style soaking tubs infused with sake, ginseng, seaweed and tea tree, sweating it out inside the diamond-shaped herbal steam room and taking a trip inside the baked clay sauna.

After completing the 45-minute experience, we were lead inside private treatment rooms where each of us received a 60-minute energy balancing massage. The therapists used a blend of therapies from around the world-acupressure, shiatsu and deep sports massage-to stimulate the meridian systems of the body and release blocked chi.

I’m not entirely sure where my chi is located (and if it was successfully set free) but by time we all reconvened at the tropical fruit and tea bar, our muscles had completely melted, and we were as happy and relaxed as we’d been back all those months ago in Bangkok. Taking the Jade Journey in Little Korea might not be quite as exotic as a trip to Southeast Asia for a nightly rubdown-but you’ll use a hell of a lot less frequent flier miles in the process.

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    5 Comments

  • architect ELsee says:

    super cool!!!there are quite a few inca cities yet to be excavated from their wilderness ! hope you find some of them !!!!

  • Emily says:

    I just read another post about cheap NYC spa treatments: http://traveltelegraph.blogspot.com/2009/01/three-affordable-massages-in-nyc.html. Too bad I live in D.C.!

  • Smithveg says:

    Cool! Not a lost girl. But creative photo shooting.

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