AIRE Ancient Baths
Hello, my West Village wanderers. Treat yourself to a truly luxurious experience at AIRE Ancient Baths in Tribeca. Pictures are not allowed for obvious reasons, so all of the photos are from The AIRE website.
As you walk through the doors of AIRE Ancient Baths, it’s not entirely obvious where you are. It’s subtly nestled in the middle of the block with only a small black sign outside of the building. The lobby is a quiet room with couches, brick walls, and dim lights. It gives off a very industrial, cult-like kind of vibe. If it’s your first time, you’ll need to fill out a few forms before you’ll be directed to the changing rooms.
A heads up for the male/female pairings enjoying this experience together - there are separate changing rooms for men and women, so you’ll have to split up for a minute to change and meet each other on the other side. The changing rooms are what you’d expect for a nice spa. There are separate lockers with lock codes, towels, robes, and slippers provided, as well as a handful of lotions and disposable hairbrushes available for use. Everything is provided for you, the only thing you have to bring is a swimsuit. I always feel super awkward in changing rooms because I’m bad with the locker codes and never quite know the proper protocol. If you’re anything like me, no worries because there is a very friendly attendant in the locker room to help answer your questions.
The ambiance here is amazing. I actually can’t believe it’s in New York City because it feels like you’re transported to some medieval dungeon. Turns out, the building used to be an old sewing factory before it was converted into the baths. Super cool! The room is very warm so it’s completely comfortable to get out of the pools and walk around in your swimsuit. They also limit the number of people during the time slots so that it’s as private as possible and the noise level is very low. Super relaxing!
The Pools and Facilities
If it’s your first time, ask for a quick tour around facilities so that you understand how to best use the pools.
The Dead Sea Pool - This one was my favorite! This pool is loaded with so much salt that you can easily float on your back (hence the name “Dead Sea Pool”). Bonus! The salt is also supposed to be really healthy for your skin!
The Salt Mountain - While we’re on the topic of salt, right next to The Dead Sea Pool is a mini mountain of mineral salt. Go over to the designated salt area and make your skin baby soft by exfoliating. Just be sure to rinse off in the shower before getting back in the pools!
The Jacuzzi - Separated by glass doors is a large jacuzzi pool with a ton of jets. Perfect for a little muscle relaxation!
The Hot Pool - This is the hottest pool of all the baths (102ºF). They recommend only staying in this one for 10-15 minutes.
The Cold Plunge - This one is pretty self-explanatory based on the name. Do a quick dip in these two cold pools (57ºF & 50ºF) after the hot pool if you’re brave enough! I usually hate cold water, but it was weirdly refreshing and energizing!
The Body Temperature Pool - This one is great to start with. You’ll be able to easily walk right in because it’s the exact same temperature as your body! Definitely cool!
The Sauna - Yes, they even have a sauna. Take a little time in here to clear your airways and sweat it out. They even have a drink station right outside the sauna so that you stay hydrated.
I did the 30-minute massage after an hour and a half in the baths and it was absolute heaven. After an hour and a half in the pools, an attendant came and found me for my massage. They led me to a private room where I was instructed on what would happen. The masseuse was completely professional and very attentive to the areas that I specified. For comfort level, you’re encouraged to take off your swimsuit and get under the sheet that they provide. I thought getting back into the wet swimsuit would be icky and unpleasant, but they had warmed it on a towel warmer and it was completely comfortable! I was so pleasantly surprised! I wish it could have lasted longer.
Go with a friend or significant other. I went with my boyfriend and I was glad that I did. Most of the people here come with someone, so I thought that I might feel a little awkward if I had come alone. Besides, it’s such a cool experience that you’re going to want someone to share it with someone special!
When you go back into the locker room to change back into your clothes, ask the attendant to help ring out your swimsuit. They have a special machine that gets the wetness out of your suit and then they put it in a little plastic bag for you so that it’s easy to take home.
Book in advance! This books up at least a week in advance. If you’re planning on booking for a special holiday such as Valentine’s day or New Years, then I suggest you book even earlier.
I would 100% do this again. I even bought the baths + 30-minute massage experience for my mom and dad for Christmas. They loved it! It makes for a great gift or a super relaxing act of self-care. The sessions are pricey which is why I personally consider it a special occasion kind of treat, but you definitely get your money’s worth.
Gossip Alert! They offer a wine bath session. It’s exactly what it sounds like. You bathe in wine. I personally haven’t experienced it but if anyone has, tell me how your experience was in the comment section below!