A Roman Bath Revival With New York’S Latest Spa: Aire Ancient Baths

The newest spa to open in New York's Tribeca neighborhood is reviving the Roman bath as the ideal way to relax the body and mind. Aire Ancient Baths is a spa designed, as the founders put it, as “an oasis of calm that borrows from the past to show us how ancient civilizations made public baths an art for the senses.”

The concept for the spa began 15 years ago in Spain, when founder Grupo Aire opened Aire of Sevilla in a 16th century palace that was home to actual Roman baths. After finding success there, they expanded to Barcelona and Almeria. The newest location that opened in New York on March 15th is their first outside of Spain. Located in a former Tribeca textile factory built in 1883, the 16,000 square foot space exudes intense luxury and relaxation with three floors of gorgeous marble, stone and unending candles for illumination.

Guests can soak in any, and all, of the six communal baths, each one giving a different experience. Along with the saltwater bath and a large tub with aggressive bubbling jets referred to as the “Propeller-Jet Bath,” there are four baths ranging in temperature such as hot (102 degrees), warm (97 degrees), cold (61 degrees), and icy (40 degrees). Although visitors are free to move among the baths, Aire personnel also make suggestions to maximize the experience. The idea is to progress through the baths from cold to hot.

If you're looking for a little more than just a soothing bath, the spa also includes a hammam, which is a glass-enclosed steam room with heated marble benches that offer a great place to rest mid-rotation and sip from the menu of juices and teas. You can also choose to add a massage to your cycle, starting at $20 for 15 minutes and up to an hour long for $65.

Guests can purchase the standard two-hour session for $75 that includes soaks in each of the six baths and complimentary beverages. And to ensure semi-privacy and create an environment conducive to complete relaxation, each session is limited to only 20 people.

For those looking for a more personal experience, there are also deluxe three-hour rituals, which take place in a private bath area upstairs (for one or two) where you're served wine or champagne with your massage.

So next time you're in New York, make sure to take a break from sightseeing and shopping, and head to Tribeca's Aire Ancient Baths. You may not be in Rome, but you can still do as the Romans do.

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