David Barton Gym Astor Place

Disco ball of the ridiculously ripped gym-club empire, literally. Hero piece mirrored DJ booth rescued from Happy Valley (R.I.P.), now bumping live beats for those who prefer treadmilling by candlelight. Four mega floors of Victorian badass flourishes: velvet chaise lounges, skeleton chairs, complicated wallpaper. But serious sculpting. Bodybuilder Barton recruits best personal trainers in the city—up to 70 at each location. Don’t skip the Shop, in-gym boutique of luxury beauty potions and designer collabs, often spandex-free.


The first right coast location of the California phenom makes a home in Manhattan, where fashionable chicks can slap down a pair of twenties in exchange for fashion model quality locks. DryBar’s secret is that it keeps it simple. No cuts, no coloring, no aromatherapy (we hope), just washes and blowouts and you’re on your way to the restaurants and clubs just a few stilettoed steps away. They call it a “Blow Dry Bar,” but there’s no booze, so bring your cosmo-filled thermos and get glam. That you’ll walk out with cash to spare is a fabulous bonus.

Ancient Baths New York

Spanish export Grupo Aire hosts bath time in Tribeca. Circa-1883 cast iron building ancient by Manhattan, if not Spanish, standards. A pretty penny spent, evident in the immaculate build-out across three levels. Steam baths intensified with aromatherapy, jet-propelled fountains, and cold, hot, and warm pools. Spa services and fresh organic juices. If you can’t get rejuvenated here, it may be time to lay off the speed.

Ernest & Olivia

Retro style barber shop serving up personalized grooming services for male clientele (Ernest), boasting a separate room for ladies hair-care retreat (Olivia). Boutique furnishings include an outdoor lounge and flat screen TV. Retro touches include framed snapshots of Hemingway, 1950s Belmont barber chairs with built-in ash trays, and a free cup of whiskey or joe with a fresh cut.

Chelsea Piers

Colossal sports complex on 28 acres of Hudson riverfront. Miracle of mid-’90s urban planning transfigured decaying docks into five-block athletic heaven. Something for every predilection. Line drives at Golf Club’s outdoor range. Sit spins in Sky Rink. Members-only Sports Center gym harbors city’s finest racing pool, only indoor sand volleyball court, and most blinging boxing ring, known to lace-up your favorite rapper or two. Also: rock wall, bowling alley, gymnastics center, batting cages, basketball courts, sailing school, soccer fields, organic sugar scrubs at the spa.

Exhale Gansevoort

Hotel Gansevoort’s in-house spa sees Exhale dipping its toe in the downtown paraffin. Meatpacking mayor gives over 5,000-square-feet to Zen-luxe chain’s ingenious union of yoga, super-charged Pilates, mani/pedi, and acupuncture. Because getting your jelly right just as key as your chi. Stiletto stumblers trip from signature Core Fusion pain-fests to the manipulative body therapy of Tui Na massages. Co-ed herbal steam room facilitates easy keycard-holder hook-ups. Sorry sneaky yogis, rooftop chlorine pit still for hotel guests only.


Posh Union Square gym molds its members, inside and out. Personal programs of training, nutrition, spa treatments, and Pilates, overseen by an advisor, a fitness and a spa concierge, who will make dinner reservations and walk the dog while you’re getting a facial. In between Reiki sessions and Dance Party group classes, drift among four saunas and two relaxation rooms. Pre-order spicy mango smoothie, quinoa wrap to be waiting, expectantly, at rooftop café post-guided meditation.

Fox & Boy

Sweet co-ed salon from downtown tress vet; named for kids’ freaky imaginary friends. Expert cuts and color achieve the impeccably careless Nolita look. Messy, asymmetrical updo service is always on-call. Antique music cabinets, rolling cookie carts, curly French parlor chairs finished touches that appeal to clients who don’t spend all day smoking cigarettes and drinking the same cup of espresso. Gentle pricing makes everything so much softer and prettier. Owner Julie Dickson works volumizing voodoo magic.

Completely Bare

Hair-hating spa chain hides high-tech lasers behind sweet white-and-gold façade. Lady-only estheticians banish unwanted follicles from anywhere on body via pulsed light. Safely shears suntanned skin as well. Temporary strippers opt for French wax at infamous home of the vajazzle and vatoo. Because nothing adds to the jailbait-factor of a naked hoo-ha like Swarovski crystals and a tastefully airbrushed unicorn. LED facials combat redness, acne, wrinkles; keep you from emerging looking like one of those creepy naked cats.