Insider's Guide to Spas
Spa Nalai, Park Hyatt New York

Hotels

Spa Nalai at Park Hyatt New York

Rima Suqi


I am not one to gush, but I am headed into serious hyperbole territory when it comes to Spa Nalai at Park Hyatt New York. This is, hands down, the best spa in Gotham.

New York City is a tough town for spas, because real estate is at such a premium. Hotel spas are often subterranean or might as well be, as many are in windowless, uninspiring, cave-like spaces.

Spa Nalai, on the other hand, is spread over 13,000 square feet on the 25th floor of the Park Hyatt and has not only plenty of windows and natural light, but city views from the treatment rooms and partial Central Park views from the locker room and most of the six treatment suites (which also have balconies). There is one, very large, couple’s treatment suite, with an 18-foot shower room, a massive soaking tub, and a sitting area, facing 57th Street.

Fun fact: The name “Nalai” means “serenity” in the language of the Lenape people, the original tribe of Manhattan.

You step off of the elevator and into the Yabu Pushelberg designed space, which houses the reception, spa lounge, and retail area. The walls are wrapped in water-color-painted canvas, and custom area rugs were designed to mimic a “cloud dappled sky.” There is comfortable seating, a choice of teas, and also chocolates and other goodies one might not normally associate with a spa environment, some served on a super-chic 1950s bar cart by Brazilian architect Jorge Zalszupin.

Fun fact: The name “Nalai” means “serenity” in the language of the Lenape people, the original tribe of Manhattan.

Let’s get the one negative thing about this place out of the way: The shop (do I sound like a broken record?). It has a very random and oddly merchandised selection of beauty products, Belle Fleur candles, some food items, and (surprise!) minaudieres by my good friend Rafe Totengco. I realize that when staying on 57th street some of the world’s best shopping is just minutes away, but Nalai really needs to step up their retail game. It is the only thing out of sync in the entire place.

Back to the spa tour: On the way to the beautiful locker rooms, with fantastic lighting, floor-length lockers, and Le Labo amenities, you’ll pass the pool. Good luck just walking by—it is absolutely stunning. Strategically placed in a three-story glass and stone atrium, with windows overlooking 57th street, the pool has underwater speakers playing a soundtrack created for the spa by Carnegie Hall. Another nice touch: the lantern-like chandelier hanging above the pool. The same area has plenty of chaises for lounging pre- or post- treatment, and a hot tub. If room service is delivered here (and they might, I didn’t ask), one could easily hang out in this space all day and night.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rima Suqi

Rima Suqi

An avid world traveler raised in an international home, Rima has explored and covered emerging destinations in the Middle East and Africa, far-flung luxury resorts in French Polynesia, as well as those closer to home, and the burgeoning arts scene in Marfa, Texas. Rima has traveled to over 30 countries, writing about the trends and tastemakers for leading travel and lifestyle publications, and subjected herself to innumerable spa treatments — sometimes under very odd circumstances — all in the name of journalism. A weekly contributor to The New York Times Home section, Rima held the envious position of Best Bets Editor at New York Magazine for six years, and is regularly published in national magazines including T Magazine/The New York Times, Departures, Architectural Digest, Elle Décor and American Way. Her last book American Fashion: Designers at Home (Assouline) in partnership with CFDA, sold out three printings.