Travel Tips: New York’s Best Pampering Spots
Our intrepid business traveler finds the best places in the Big Apple to color your hair, indulge in a massage, and get a little dry cleaning done.
Frequent travel is perceived as glamorous. Sometimes it is, but more often it isn’t. What happens when you’re away and need medical care? Or your clogged pores can’t take it anymore? Knowing where to go for what can be the difference between an enjoyable trip and a nightmarish one.
Global business travelers will inevitably be charged with jaunts to New York, London, and Hong Kong. Over the years, these three cities have been regular routes on GWS’s flight pattern, and I’ve spent what feels like my entire adult life selecting whom I’d deem the best helpers to keep my transient universe running smoothly. Starting with New York, here are my favorite vendors.
Grooming & Maintenance
Hair can be tricky, and expensive. For years I felt spurned by no real relationship with a stylist. And then I was referred to Michel Obadia, co-owner of Pierre Michel on East 57th Street. He is the master. At $175 per cut, he works Monday-Friday and you can typically get in with a few days' notice. He trims your tresses and his assistant Dora blows you out to perfection. I would trust anyone at this salon, especially Ludavic for color. Trained in Paris and with an impressive celebrity roster, he is magnifique. 212-755-9500
Eyebrow styling and maintenance can be harrowing. One wrong pluck and your face feels crooked. Look no further than Mariah Kohn at Lancome. She is young, bubbly, and never would you expect the talent that lurks beneath. A brow series is the way to go—$125 for six treatments. Mariah is also the go-to person for makeup application ($50) and to test the season’s newest colors. 212-362-4858
Facialists adorn every neighborhood in Manhattan. In my experience, many focus on the spa-like environment and lotions and potions they can tack on, but few genuinely get down to the business of a deep clean. Enter Lavinia, the Romanian facial goddess, working at Paul Labrecque Salon. This woman will find pores you never knew existed. Her location is in the basement of Reebok, so if you’re looking for atmosphere this isn’t your spot. From $135. 212-988-7816
For a deep-tissue massage with no frills, find Debra or Laeticia at Reebok. They make it happen. From $130, less if you buy a series. Also at Paul Labrecque.
Nail salons are a dime a dozen in Gotham. One of my favorites is NY Nails and Spa on West 55th Street. Beautiful facility, an army of manicurists, and a calming pedicure room in back. Open seven days a week, manicures from $11. 212-957-3442
Oasis Nails in the West Village also does it right. Open late and on Sundays, this tiny gem serves its purpose. Try the Shellac two-week manicure. The best 40 bucks you’ll ever spend. 212-242-8866
Laser hair removal is the future. Get cracking. Joni at Advanced Derma Laser on Madison Avenue adds some humor to the process and can go the distance. Rates vary. 212-223-2235
To keep you honest with your resolutions, find Jenn Burke at Crunch Fitness for personal training. Don’t let the Minnesota accent fool you—she means business. 668 Greenwich Street, 212-366-3725. For private training at your home or gym, look no further than the glorious Martin Kammler. What is it about a German personal trainer who loves margaritas? He also does boot camps in Central Park. 917-833-5586
Nutritionist Brooke Alpert has a thriving private practice where she leads with practical tips for busy urbanites. Healthy living shouldn’t be a chore. 2 East 76th Street, 646-943-0755
Dr. Steven Margolin founded Longevity Health to provide stellar chiropractic and clinical nutrition care. For back-cracking with a healthy dose of wellness, look no further. 12 West 27th Street, 212-675-9355,
For a doctor that truly invests, see Dr. Tina Dobsevage for Internal Medicine. Her able secretary Janice ensures you’re seen quickly and Dr. D is a true caregiver when it comes to referrals and specialists. Many insurance carriers accepted. 1050 Fifth Avenue, 646-672-0763
Pesky sports injuries require a visit to the handsome and charming Dr. Jordan Metzl. He is nationally recognized as the best (just ask the Radio City Rockettes) and his smile almost makes you forget he doesn’t accept insurance. Hospital for Special Surgery, in New York and Greenwich, Connecticut. 212-606-1678
Sinus problems? Allergies? Seek our Dr. Anna Aronzon, Ear Nose & Throat specialist. Her affiliations are with Mt. Sinai and New York Eye and Ear Infirmary. 212-571-0355
For the gynecologist your mother would want you to see, visit Dr. Michael Harel. No frills, not overly enjoyable but as thorough as they come. Sadly no insurance, but he makes up for it by being reachable just about 24/7. 2 East 77th Street, 212-879-6067
Ladies, for “the breast doctor in NYC” head uptown to see Dr. Marc Greenberg. As a surgeon, he turns the unthinkable into the bearable. He’s the real deal, so take your falsies someplace else. 435 East 90th Street, 212 831 6111
And for the ultimate head case, meet Dr. Frank Petito, neurologist to every bold-faced business name you can imagine. He’s the only guy I’d let shoot dye into my arm and make me endure an MRI. Dr. Petito has a waiting list about six months long, but I bet you can sweet talk him. Affiliation is Cornell University/NY Presbyterian Hospital. 520 East 70th Street, 212 746 2309
My secret weapon is Eleana Galarza, cleaning lady extraordinaire. Think I’m joking? I sponsored her for a Green Card. 646-643-3068
For style and personal shopping assistance, find Jamie Kimmelman at Bergdorf Goodman. She’ll enhance your assets. 212-872-2849
Dry-cleaning a fancy gown or special heirloom can be an anxiety-fueled endeavor. Enter King’s Garment Care. Don’t let the birdhouses in their storefront fool you, these guys and gals mean serious business and will treat your most precious duds as their own. All the quality and half the price of typical high-end cleaning. 212-989-3673
For the best event-planning partner in any time zone, meet Maureen Ryan Fable at First Protocol. She and her troops can transform your event into the envy of all.
Jolie Hunt travels on her own dime for more than 50% of the year. Her recommendations are aimed at business travelers who are short on time but not on taste. She is the global head of public relations for Thomson Reuters, appointed April 2008. She lives between New York and London.