By Kaitlin Clark
HAVEN SPA may have the bustling New York City skyline as its backdrop, but inside, it’s the ultimate tranquil escape. High ceilings, exposed brick walls and large windows recall SoHo’s industrial loft roots, but the candlelit hues, soft hum of instrumental music, and stone finishes create a welcoming escape, far from the over-the-top pretension common with lush day spas.
“Maintaining a vibe of a friendly neighborhood place is an important part of our original vision,” says co-founder Gabrielle Ophals. “People would tell us, ‘I love coming here because I feel like I’m hanging out in my friend’s living room.’ We really identify with the ‘local place’ persona.”
And creating a friendly, welcoming vibe is exactly what Ophals and her co-founder Audra Senkus did. Thoughtful pampering touches like robes, slippers, a relaxation room, and rose petals in pedicure basins offer guests an experience, rather than a one-and-done treatment.
“Our newest massage, the Harmony, is an entirely new concept, and we think it transcends the normal massage treatment,” says Ophals. “In fact, we hesitate to call it a massage; it’s an experience.” Incorporating ancient Ayurvedic massage techniques, aromatherapy and sound therapy with tuning forks, the treatment restores the body’s electromagnetic field and balances the heart chakra, marmas, and vital meridian points. Haven’s two new facials, Timeless and All Clear, “focus on the effects of aging and acne, respectively, and we use Eminence products exclusively in these treatments,” notes Ophals, of the natural, organic skincare line. “We will be introducing a new pedicure designed for people who are on their feet a lot, particularly athletic clients, called the Player Pedicure, which uses a unique massage technique with T-Spheres, which work on pressure points,” says Ophals.
The full-service salon offers a range of treatments and therapies, from solution-oriented facials and detoxifying and nourishing body wraps and massages, to more traditional salon services, including hair and hand care and waxing.
“Our most popular treatment this time of year are the ones that include a wrap phase, or what I like to refer to as the ‘marination phase,’” says Ophals. “Our Surf & Turf is a luxurious journey of exfoliation, a mud wrap and moisturizing. The Hammam and Island Wrapture are also popular.”
The spa boasts curated MEs—Mini Escapes— with a busy New Yorker in mind. These express treatments provide a spa experience in a quarter of the time. Guests can also go all in on one of their six packages that offer a full day of indulgence.
“Someone criticized us as ‘just two girls from Queens who own a nail salon,’ and I have to say, I kind of love that!” says Ophals. “We are, in a way, just that. We are native New Yorkers who love the city, our neighborhood, and our clients.” DT