I have been here 3 or 4 times already, if you would like to experience a spa as it's meant to then you should definitely choose the Mandarin Oriental. As soon as you walk in, you are asked to fill out a quick form and offered an herbal tea, which is delicious. Afterwards, you are taken to the locker room, very spacious and nicely furnished. You will be given a Frette bathrobe (super comfy :D) and will be able to use any of the amenities the place has to offer. The steam room almost looks like a cave, very relaxing with soft "natual" light coming from above; the oxigenized pool is amazing, I always try to spend a half hour there before my massage. Complimentary towel service and fruit infused water in every room make the better. You can take advantage of the relaxation room either before or after (or even both) your session, the are four or five nicely cushioned lounge chairs with a view over Manhattan and central park; also infused water, hot tea, fresh and dried fruit is available for you here. Both women's relaxation room and sauna/spa are separated from the men's, so you don't have to worry about carrying a bathing suit on you. The only thing I would change is the room where you wait for your therapist, it's a common area right after the entrance, I would prefer something a little more secluded. All the massage therapists I have seen so far have been amazing, they do a great job and are very careful about deliverying an exceptional experience, to the last detail. It is pricey though, a 50 min massage costs about $230, before taxes and tip (with a 20% tip - absolutely well deserved - it adds up to about $285). But I have tried so many other smaller places and been disappointed so many times that I would rather have less sessions but avoid wasting my money anywhere else. I still have to try the couples suite experience, but for that I guess I will have to wait for a very special occasion, since it goes for about $1500! :)
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