There are dozens of day spas in or near Manhattan. But the SoJo Spa Club rises above all the others for innumerable reasons.
This multi-story spa is just a short 20- to 30-minute complimentary van ride from Midtown Manhattan. What greets guests is a Korean spa that mostly revolves around water amenities that are so numerous and so varied, especially in terms of their temperatures, you could easily spend an entire day at this barefoot facility in Edgewater, luxuriating.
To avoid crowds, arrive early to mid-week before noon. It’s no wonder crowds flick here, after all, there’s a water amenity to suit just about anyone who enjoys plunge pools, saunas and soaking pools, which are all included in the day rate as are other amenities.
One of my favorite activities was walking along the foot massage path on the fourth floor. This long rectangular pool is lined with a variety of different sorts of rocks, some smooth and flat, and others more bulky and substantial, but all are set under a shallow layer of water. This is a reflexology path that I delighted in, but it was surprising that few visitors gravitated to this pool.
Also on the fourth floor are a variety of outdoor, therapeutic soaking baths, including my favorite, the Hinoki bath that’s constructed of white cedar wood, which provides a lovely scent. This pool sits in a corner of the outdoor space, surrounded by foliage that makes the vibe quite peaceful.
The Japaneses bedrock sauna, referred to as Ganbanyoku, is on this floor as well. This is bedrock bathing where you lay on a heated black mineral slab in a room with 70% humidity
Gender segregated bath houses offer myriad baths and plunge pools that allow you to slip from a cold plunge pool into a warm or hot bath or a wet or dry sauna.
SoJo has more than half a dozen sauna rooms, including the charcoal sauna where the charcoal is made from Korean oak wood; the Himalayan salt sauna whose walls are made of salt bricks exported from the Himalayas; and the red clay sauna with the clay imported from Korea. The temperatures of the saunas range from a low of 100 degrees F in the far-infrared sauna to the hottest (charcoal sauna) with temperatures of up to 200 degree F..
Additional amenities include the volcanic sand bath with temperatures of 128 degrees F to 132 degrees F, and sand important from Japan. This is the only U.S. spa that imports its volcanic sands from Japan. You lay with other guests in a communal area where you are covered in the sands, up to your neck atop a robe, with a cool cloth around your neck.
The Halotherapy room allows guests to inhale air that’s been aerosolized with salt. This mimics what people experience in natural salt caverns in Europe.
Don’t miss the heated, rooftop infinity pool that offers postcard perfect views of Manhattan and the Hudson River. This venue gets particularly crowded for the Instagram worthy pics.