Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Ink Spa: Loving Every Minute Of The "Freestyle Facial" And Tranquil Surroundings!

By: Anne M. Raso

What sets the Ink Spa at the Ink48 Hotel apart from the numerous and fabulous hotel spas in midtown Manhattan? Two words: FREESTYLE FACIAL! This 50-minute facial (priced at a reasonable $125) is as customized as a facial can get and features not only Kerstin Florian products fragrant with the scent of lavender (it's the line commissioned by the Kimpton Hotel chain and is featured in all their spas across the globe) but massage on the hands, feet and chest while peels and masques are doing their magic. Facialist Karalyns Schuck makes grand efforts to address every issue your skin is having with treatments that exfoliate, renew and finally, add a youthful and dewy look that some clients have probably not seen since they were 16. From the beginning of the treatment, where Schuck used Kerstin Florian's rehydrating Neroli Cleansing Milk to the Clarifying Exfoliating Scrub to the Rehydrating Neroli Water spritzed onto my face at the very end of the service, I gleefully inhaled the most wonderful all-natural "aromatherapy" while getting every cell on my face renewed. Schuck does the traditional steam during the FREESTYLE FACIAL as well, followed by gentle extractions. Manager Suzanne Owen is proud of the fact that the spa staff created the FREESTYLE FACIAL themselves and notes, "It gives us an opportunity to analyze the skin and customer the perfect treatment."

The Ink Spa is streamlined, modern and full of sunshine thanks to floor-to-ceiling windows. There are modern spiritually-oriented statues, exotic teas, luxurious terry robes and rubber sandals that work the pressure points on the soles of your feet. Clients are welcome to relax in the posh locker room or in the front office with a cup of tea or bottle of water, and walk out with generous samples of Kerstin Florian products to use at home. I just had to find out why this particular line of skincare chosen for Ink Spa when there are so many with a "green spin" these days. Owen states matter-of-factly, "We chose KFI for the quality of ingredients and their organic approach to skin care."
Clients feel that the Ink Spa gives a little extra--and not just the samples they take home, either. Owen reveals, "Clients wear spa sandals that massage the feet. The rock garden was designed to have a meditative effect while a client is waiting. A client can order from the restaurant's room service menu if they are a guest at the hotel. The spa is state of the art in terms of equipment and furnishings. Guests find it very relaxing and sophisticatedly contemporary." We would definitely go back and try some of the other services offered at Ink Spa, even though we think it would be hard to beat a facial created just for us! By the way, Schuck also does waxing and body treatments, and she was such a friendly and competent aesthetician that we think we will take her up on both of those types of services in the near future.
Spa-crazy friends of ours have done the Aroma Reflection ($190 for 80 minutes) and Jet Lag Recovery ($135 for 50 minutes) body treatments at The Ink Spa, and had nothing but great things to say--and they looked like new people from the time I saw them last! Other services that are listed on their "spa menu" are the Emboss Hot Stone Massage ($160 for 50 minutes), Indelible Expression Massage ($135 for 50 minutes), Footprint Reflexology ($125 for 50 minutes) and the Cleansing Back Treatment ($125 for 50 minutes).
For more info on the Ink Spa, go to; phone number 646-572-7440.

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