The Ultimate Wellness Guide to NYC, Including Spas, Gyms, and Crystals

For New Yorkers, self-care comes in many forms.

Alt Tag: Spas, Gyms, and Wellness Things to Do in NYC
Photo courtesy of AIRE Ancient Baths New York
Photo courtesy of AIRE Ancient Baths New York

Sometimes, daily living in New York City calls for additional self-care beyond the local tradition of minding our own business. Because along with the hustling and busyness, the burnout is also so real—and we’re all in need of some downtime to recharge.

Self-care has come to mean many things for many people, but what’s most important is that we make time to prioritize it. Along with booze-free activities, from sleek saunas and float studios to hot new workouts or hotel packages dedicated to sleep, here’s the ultimate wellness guide to NYC.

Aire Ancient Baths
Photo courtesy of Aire Ancient Baths

Look out for: Massages and candlelit ancient baths
Soak in candlelit pools with wafts of orange blossom in a Tribeca space that harks back to the ancient baths of the Roman, Greek, and Ottoman empires. Located in a former textile factory, AIRE Ancient Baths is a total escape lined with exposed brick walls and wooden ceiling beams to admire while floating without a care in the world. While massages are optional, they’re an integral part of the experience before exploring the hot and cold plunge pools, saltwater pools, hammam, and glass aromatherapy steam room. This spring, a second NYC location is set to open in the Upper East Side.

Ailey Studios (Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater)
Vogue with Luz Guzman at Ailey Extension. Photo by Whitney Browne | Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

Look out for: Dance classes for all levels at a prestigious institution
Founded by the legendary dancer and activist, Alvin Ailey, The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater is a prestigious modern dance company located in Hell’s Kitchen. Within their gorgeous homebase, The Joan Weill Center for Dance, sign up for classes at Ailey Extension, a special program offering dance classes of all types and levels. The lineup ranges from ballet and voguing to hip-hop and salsa, along with workouts like pilates.

Acu-Healing at Win Long Center
Acu-Healing with Dr. Gan Lin Li | Photo credit: Tae Yoon

Look out for: Acupuncture, cupping, and Chinese herbs
As a licensed NYC acupuncturist, Dr. Gan Lin Li has been practicing his craft since 1985. Head to the third floor of Win Long Center at 90-92 Bowery for a session to address any issues or ailments in need of attention, from allergies and sciatica to headaches or just overall general health. After a consultation, Dr. Li will help tackle it via acupuncture, cupping, and/or massage. Some insurance is accepted, otherwise, sessions are $100 (cash or Venmo only). Call 212-431-6537 or his cell at 646-872-8218 to book.

Baby Cobra Yoga
Photo credit: Thomas Northcut, via Getty Images

Look out for: Pay-as-you-wish yoga
Founded in 2021, this yoga studio is a favorite for anyone on a budget. With locations in both Bushwick and Williamsburg, Baby Cobra is walk-ins only and on a donation based payment system which includes free mats, straps, and blocks. For classes ranging from Slow Flow to Vinyasa, they offer the following suggested contributions depending on your income: $5-$10 if earning up to $29k, $10-15 if earning up to $59k, $15-25 if earning up to $99k, and more than $25 if earning more than $100k.

Bathhouse Flatiron
Photo credit: Adrian Gaut, photo courtesy of Bathhouse Flatiron
Look out for: Super sleeks saunas
The Flatiron location of Bathhouse marks one of New York City’s latest sleek bathhouse destinations, and the second branch after the brand’s first in Williamsburg. The 35,000-square-feet space was once an underground parking garage and now features everything from saunas (dry and infrared), a banya, Bitcoin-heated pools, and 19 treatment rooms to pamper yourself with massages and scrubs.
Boisson
Aplós, one of the many brands available at Boisson | Photo courtesy of Aplós

Boisson

Cobble Hill

Look out for: A zero-proof booze and non-alcoholic wine shop
Dedicated non-alcoholic wine and drink shops are now a thing. Boisson (pronounced "bwah-sahn") has the largest reach across the Big Apple with five locations in two boroughs including Cobble Hill, Upper East Side, Upper West Side, West Village, and Williamsburg. Peruse and shop the brick-and-mortar storefronts or order online for products ranging from spirits, wines, and beers, along with cocktail kits, mixers, and hemp-infused drinks.

Brooklyn Bouldering Project
Photo courtesy of Brooklyn Bouldering Project

Look out for: Indoor rock climbing
Previously known as Brooklyn Boulders, this indoor rock climbing gym recently reopened after undergoing a major renovation and rebrand by the Bouldering Project, a Seattle-born company with locations across the US. Now dubbed as Brooklyn Bouldering Project, the inclusion- and community-driven Gowanus center added 60% more space and has over 6,000 square feet of terrain to climb. Also on offer is yoga, gym equipment, cold plunges, and a coworking space.

The Class
Photo courtesy of The Class

Look out for: Somatic workouts
With our attention spans hanging on by a thread, this Tribeca gym helps strengthen those mindfulness muscles through the practice of somatic workouts. Through strength training, guided meditation, and cardio, classes take place on mats and are music-driven. Choose from 45- or 60-minute sessions and leave with a deeper connection to your physical and emotional self, along with greater appreciation for the present moment.

ELOREA
ELOREA | Photo credit: Tae Yoon

ELOREA

Nolita

Look out for: Korean perfumes with an onsite cafe
Step off the sidewalks of Spring Street and into the centuries-old olfactory traditions of Korea at Elorea, a modern Korean perfumery with cool downtown vibes. Along with the brand’s signature de parfums collection, The Elements (Heaven, Earth, Water, and Fire), peruse the airy shop for candles, diffusers, and hand care products while checking out art from emerging artists. Afterwards, the back cafe has whimsical drinks with ingredients like black sesame and purple sweet potato, in addition to artisanal chocolates made in partnership with Vesta.

Glowbar
Photo courtesy of Glowbar

Glowbar

Union Square

Look out for: 30-minute facial treatments
With locations across Manhattan and Brooklyn, Glowbar streamlines the experience of facial-treatments through easy 30-minute sessions. Each visit with an esthetician counting over 600 training hours under their belt helps assess any skincare needs without the overwhelming pressure of having to opt for more treatments or add-ons. General treatments include dermaplaning, extractions, and chemical peels, along with facials like LED, high frequency, and microcurrent.

Gotham
Photo credit: Christopher Coe, photo courtesy of Gotham

Gotham

The Bowery

Look out for: Cannabis goodies
For those taking a break from alcohol and other vices, sometimes, dabbling in a bit of cannabis is still considered okay (West Coasters even dubbed it “California Sober”). The women-founded dispensary and concept store, Gotham, has cannabis goodies, fashion items, and plenty more within the two-story shop and gallery.

The Granola Bar
Photo courtesy of The Granola Bar

The Granola Bar

Upper West Side

Look out for: Elevated homemade granola
The suburbs-born Granola Bar recently opened its first NYC location. Expect an all-day menu with their signature namesake homemade granola via baked treats, parfaits, and more, along with health-conscious dishes, smoothies and mocktails like Chile-Lime Pineapple Soda. However, the spot is far from granola—also on offer is a full dinner menu of robust dishes like Fried Montauk, Truffle & Wild Mushroom Pappardelle, and Steak Frites.

Gui Fei Spa
Photo credit: Mapo, via Getty Images

Gui Fei Spa

Flushing

Look out for: Scalp treatments at a TikTok famous head spa
Chances are, you’ve seen this head spa in Flushing, Queens pop up on your TikTok feed since going viral last year. Known for its affordable scalp treatments, the services at GuiFei Spa start at $48 for the 40-minute Scalp Treatment and Massage and go up to $178 for the 90-minute Special Scalp Care Treatment which focuses on dandruff, dry scalp, and hair loss prevention. Body acupuncture and foot massages are also available. Cash only.

Harlem Pilates
Photo credit: FreshSplash, via Getty Images

Look out for: Intimate pilates classes
Founded by Tiffany Lauren, this boutique pilates studio continues to expand its footprint within the Harlem community, now with three neighborhood locations within walking distance. Head to branches like Harlem Pilates 129th, Harlem Pilates 118th, and Harlem Pilates 116th for small and intimate classes that run 45 minutes like Intro Reformer, Mat, Pilates Suspension, and Pilates Tower. Group and private sessions are also available.

HigherDose
Photo courtesy of HigherDose
Look out for: Infrared saunas sessions with privacy
Forgo sweating it out at a crowded sauna for a spa of private infrared saunas at HigherDOSE. Located on the third floor of the 11 Howard Hotel in SoHo, their perspiration sessions utilize state-of-the-art infrared technology that’s reported to promote improved circulation and decreased inflammation. Slots are available for 30 or 60 minutes and take place in your very own hotel room with a shower.
ModernHaus SoHo
Photo courtesy of ModernHaus SoHo
Look out for: One-stop private pampering
ModernHaus SoHo offers private pampering sessions in a room on the hotel’s 17th floor. The limited-run wellness collab through April includes an infrared sauna followed by a cold plunge and then spray tan to cap off the sessions with a tropical glow. The joint program between HigherDOSE, Edge Theory Labs, and TAN-LUXE is available in 30- and 60-minute appointments for up to two people.
Park Terrace Hotel
Photo courtesy of Park Terrace Hotel

Look out for: A hotel wellness package dedicated to sleep
A stay at the sleek Park Terrace Hotel and its unparalleled room views overlooking Bryant Park is already relaxing on its own—but they also take good sleep very seriously here. For some next level R & R, book Hypnotherapy at Park Terrace Hotel, a special overnight package that includes time with HMI certified hypnotherapist, Ginger Gibson. Through a hypnotherapy session tailored to your specific needs, her guidance aims to help internal rewiring and encourage improved sleeping patterns that bypass the typical 21 days that’s thought of as needed to form a new habit. The wellness bundle also includes access to the 24/7 gym and sauna, and dinner on the ground-floor restaurant, La Pecora Bianca.

Pendry Manhattan West
Photo courtesy of Pendry Manhattan West

Pendry Manhattan West

Manhattan West

Look out for: A state-of-the-art hotel wellness package
This chic California-inspired hotel in Midtown with 164 rooms offers a health and wellness experience showcasing state-of-the-art features both on onsite and in the privacy of your own room. The Relax and Revive package includes access to the 24/7 fitness center and Movement Studio for personal yoga and Peloton bikes, and Reset by Therabody facilities for red light therapy, cryotherapy, and more. Receive a 50-minute facial at Silver Mirror Facial Bar, and then head back to your room for Therabody’s Theragun, SmartGoggles, and RecoveryAir JetBoots.

The Spa Club
The Spa Club in Koreatown | Photo credit: Tae Yoon

The Spa Club

Koreatown

Look out for: A Korean-style spa and bathhouse
This jimjilbang, aka Korean-style bathhouse, is located on the 4th floor of a nondescript office building in the heart of Koreatown. Spread across two floors, the modern space has all the elements you’d see in your favorite K-drama, from traditional rounded stone huts and an onsite eatery serving popular Korean dishes to the standard uniform of shorts and a tee that’s given to you upon check-in. Spend an entire day into the late hour of midnight here with visits between various spas, the hot tub, resting room, and common area with board games.

Stick Stone & Bone
Stick Stone & Bone | Photo credit: Tae Yoon

Stick Stone & Bone

West Village

Look out for: Crystals and gems
This West Village shop has been a Christopher Street mainstay since 1990. Dedicated to offering “spiritual uplifting” to its community, Stick Stone & Bone is the antithesis of retail spots that showcase just a few products per shelf. Instead, every nook and cranny here is overflowing with crystals, gems, and goods for holistic healing, so be mindful when navigating any tight spaces. The store also specializes in crafts and art made by Native American artisans.

VAURA Pilates

Upper East Side

Look out for: High intensity pilates
This workout style from Australia recently just opened their first US location in the Upper East Side. VAURA Pilates is all about high intensity pilates in 50-minute sessions across four different class styles. Total is the popular all-in-one class, Stretch is a hybrid of pilates and yoga, Circuit is high-energy with 12-16 rounds of 90 seconds at various stations, and Fusion is full-body workout based off the reformer and mat.

Vessel Floats
Photo courtesy of Vessel Floats

Vessel Floats

Greenpoint

Look out for: Deprivation tanks
As one of the East Coast’s biggest float studios, the chic Vessel Floats calls Greenpoint their homebase. The aim of each 1-hour session is to block out all noise and light and promote mindfulness while weightless in spacious tanks with 7.5-foot ceilings. If you need to doggy paddle before you butterfly, feel free to flick on the gorgeous light system that resembles stargazing or play some bops through the speakers. Napping is also encouraged.

Washington Square Park
Washington Square Park | Photo by Jutharat Pinyodoonyachet for Thrillist
Look out for: Fresh air and prime people-watching
Sometimes, there’s no better self-care than some fresh air and people-watching. Over the past few years, Washington Square Park has become the homebase of downtown culture for a generation enduring nonstop societal shifts and social disruptions. Whether it’s to rally over a cause or simply just hang, the gorgeous park and its signature arch is where the action happens. Also, look out for independent vendors selling everything from pre-rolls to handmade crafts and art.
Rooftop Spa At The William Vale
Photo courtesy of The William Vale

Look out for: Outdoor spa sessions with the Manhattan skyline
During winter, The William Vale’s fourth-floor terrace transforms into an outdoor wellness haven. Against the Manhattan skyline in the background, take a deep soak in cedar hot tubs against or book a session in your private panoramic barrel saunas with natural light peeking in through its window. This al fresco experience is available until the end of March.

World Spa
Photo courtesy of World Spa

World Spa

Midwood

Look out for: A gorgeous and spacious spa ideal for group hangs
Some spas are ideal for recharging solo, but others are just too good to experience it alone. Gather the crew to detox at the many experiences and saunas at World Spa, a must-try spot that’s both massive and gorgeous. You can easily spend a day hopping between the array of spaces like a grand banya, Turkish and Moroccan hammams, Japanese onsens, and sizable swimming pool. Afterwards, grab food at the onsite restaurant and cool yourself with a cold plunge or make snowballs in the super fun Snow Room.

Tae Yoon is the Senior Editor of East, Local cities at Thrillist. He was born and raised in Queens, New York.