12.21.2011
By Terry Flanagan

At Ease: The Setai Club & Spa Wall Street

Markets Media Lifestyle checks out The Setai Spa’s private, customizable treatments, its gentlemen-only Wall Street Retreat, and talks Moroccan therapy with Spa Director Amanda Wells and Treatment Manager Manny Ramirez.

Cloaked in dark wooden trim, dim lighting, and a hushed atmosphere, The Setai Club & Spa provides a discreetly therapeutic getaway for the hard-charging Wall Street set. Tucked into a segment of cobblestone on 40 Broad Street, The Setai exudes minimalist elegance even from its street-level lobby. Ride up a few floors to the Club & Spa floor, and the theme continues, with the same deep reds, dark woods, and toned-down lighting.

At one end of the hallway lies the Setai Fitness Club, a facility rife with strength and cardio equipment, along with a professional staff that offers personal training for a fee of $150 per hour-long session. Should you be in need of relaxation afterward, simply walk to the Spa (connected via a shared locker room–separate between men and women, of course), peruse some treatments, and proceed to unwind from that busy workweek.

My visit to The Setai was guided by Spa Director Amanda Wells, gracefully calm as she walked me through the women’s side of the Spa.

“Each side–men’s and women’s–are mirror duplicates of each other; we just keep them separate for privacy,” Wells begins as she pulls the door open to the sprawling heat lounge, tempered to a keen warmth and moisture. A square, roiling, mineral-infused jacuzzi is raised above the floor and sunken into its shiny tiled platform; turn right, and a set of loungers with towels awaits. Within this area is a steam room, infused with eucalyptus, and next to it is a dry-finish sauna.

“A lot of guests like to come in here to lounge in their bathing suits either before or after their appointments, and regardless of whether a client is just booking a manicure and pedicure or has a full day of services, they have access to this lounge. We also offer day access just to use these amenities, which is $65 for the day.”

A tea lounge, with plush chairs and equally dim lighting, is ready for use pre- and post-treatment, and The Setai’s SHO restaurant provides snacks made by its pastry chef (cookies, brownies, macaroons, truffles), as well as dried nuts and fruits. Aside from tea, water, juices, champagne, and wine are also available at this tea lounge, located within the same set of private men- and women-only rooms as the thermal heat lounge and changing areas.

“When a client is here in the lounge, either a massage therapist or the changing room attendant on staff will present them with a heated, scented neck pillow for that added relaxation–it’s warm, it’s soft, it smells really nice…it’s the little things that we make sure to attend to.”

Details are clearly a point of pride for The Setai, as its even its changing room seems to want for nothing: rain showers are stocked with shampoo, conditioner, and soap, and every client need–from razors and shaving gel to toothbrushes–is met, or can easily be retrieved for a client, though this writer can’t think of what else could possibly be missing in a Spa that also keeps contact lens cases and solutions readily on hand for its clients. Walk into the changing room (shared with the fitness center), and lockers, too, stand at the ready: robes, towels, rubber slippers, plush slippers, and bags for storage are all individually sorted for each client. Indeed, set to a background of hushed ambient music, the spa makes sure to tend to all the senses: a signature home fragrance scents the air, neither strong nor readily noticeable, but certainly soothing, completing the sense of being enveloped in an environment of calm.

Wells guides me through the treatment rooms, of which there are ten in total. “We have two Serenity Suites, and our massage rooms are designed to have a cocooning effect: they have a lot of space, even for its type of suite, but are still very cozy.” Down the dim, hushed hallway, is a manicure and pedicure room, cordoning off its clients so that tired feet and hands in need of attention can be treated in privacy, especially since The Setai has a larger proportion of male clientele than the usual spa (a ratio of about 60 women to 40 men versus the typical 70:30 breakdown). Facials are in another room down the same hallway, fully stocked with June Jacobs skin products–highly customizable according to each client’s needs.

“We don’t have 10 diferent facials on the menu–our menu is very simplistic, because we customize all of our services. There’s no need choose between all kinds of facials–the aesthetician is the expert: she’ll analyze the skin, and then make a decision from there as to which products are best to use.”

Finally, we reach the vaunted Serenity Suite. Doors individually close, but for couples treatments can be left open so that clients can share a soaking bath prior to service. Even while standing in the room, full of light green and bamboo touches, this writer couldn’t help but wish for an hour (or two, or three) in it for some soaking, easing, and pampering. Here, Treatment Manager Manny Ramirez dove in to the spa’s various body treatments:

“From a treatment perspective, our Serenity Ritual is probably our most elaborate. Clients will have the entire suite for a full 3 hours. The therapist will be our most skilled, senior therapist who will have an in-depth conversation with the client on their specific needs. The therapist will then create a whole selection of services which will fill that 3 hour time slot–it will be geared for what that person needs, whether it be a body treatment, massage, herbal soaks, different enhancements such as hot stone, or our thermal hydrating conditioner treatment with paraffin wax. We have a lot of different tools that fit clients’ needs in order to make a most exclusive service.”

While the Serenity Ritual is all inclusive for the three-hour combination of customized services, a la carte treatments are available too, from a Refresher Facial, to a Sports Massage, to a facial or manicure and pedicure. For Wall Streeters, Wells says that the Setai Signature Massage is most popular, as its 60-minute service works well with most busy professionals’ schedules.

And then there is, of course, the gentlemen-only Wall Street Retreat. For three hours, guys in need of a bit more polish and pampering can indulge in a 90-minute Sport Massage, which specializes in deep-tissue rejuvenation and release. Followed by an hour-long Power Ready Facial and a 30-minute Grooming Manicure (or pedicure, should you wish), this treatment is billed by The Setai as “the perfect masculine retreat”.

Those seeking a more exotic treatment can luxuriate in the Moroccan Hammam Experience, a 90-minute journey that specializes in authentic Moroccan ingredients (oils, herbs, goat’s milk, scrubs) in an experience that Ramirez helped develop. With soaks, body wraps, rinses, scrubs, and a massage, this particular treatment sounds like one not to be missed.

Overall, The Setai, with its diligent attention to detail, service, quality ingredients in its food and treatments, and, of course, luxury, is worth every minute and penny. For those of you seeking the ultimate escape whilst staying close by the office, this spa could be it.

To see The Setai’s full menu of treatments, visit setaiclubnewyork.com or call (212) 792-6193.

Related articles