By Pamela Jacobs
In a city in which the very best of everything exists—from art and culture to food and fashion—it’s hard to stand out. New Yorkers are critical for good reason; we know and have the best.
So when I paid a recent visit to Sphatika, a luxurious spa on Madison Avenue, my first question, naturally, was “what makes this place different from the countless other high-end spas in the city?” The answer, I soon found out, was “everything.”
The location is as good as it gets: Sphatika sits just above street-level on Madison Ave., across from Dolce & Gabbana and Valentino, and on top of Jill Sander—yet it might as well be miles from Earth, where the material world doesn’t exist, and it’s just you and your senses.
While certainly a haven for the well-heeled—a place where the hardest-to-impress feel right at home—Sphatika isn’t about being excessive or hip. It goes below the surface, to truly reach all of your senses and restore your innerbeing, both physically and mentally, and leave you feeling as if your body and mind have experienced something special. In fact, when your treatment is over and you’re escorted into the Crystal Sanctuary (no ordinary relaxation room) and invited to spend time on lounge chairs draped in the softest fabric imaginable, you’re not just doing it to relax; you’re there to transition, to “assimilate and absorb what you’ve received,” before returning to the outside world, in the words of Sphatika’s founder/owner, Janet League-Katzin.
After all, she doesn’t want you to just look nice or enjoy your time there in the simple sense; Ms. Katzin truly wants you to receive the full benefits of a holistic approach to wellness, and to achieve restoration and detoxification through the process. She wants you to enjoy the beauty she’s created in the space (and it is quite beautiful) while benefiting from her years of experience—her “journey to wellness” that began as an experiment with alternative treatments and holistic life-approaches, and culminated in her masterpiece, Sphatika.
If your own journey at Sphatika includes the Sphatika Signature Experience—as did mine—then you’ll begin with a personal sauna, enveloped in warmth, where you sweat out 80% water and 20% toxins (roughly 18% more than a traditional sauna).
From there, you’ll enter a tranquil, soothing treatment room and embark on an almost one-and-a-half-hour journey that focuses on detoxifying the lymphatic system and soothing the central nervous system—and feels utterly, wonderfully blissful. Indeed, from the gentleyet-stimulating skin brushing to the heavenly lymphatic drainage massage followed by a body mask and hydrating steam canopy, my body was spoiled during every second of the experience. And while my body underwent said spoiling, my face was treated to a truly unique facial, that hours later still resulted in multiple exclamations of, “you’re glowing!” If there’s anything that can actually, truthfully remove the stress that occurs from life in this city, the Signature Experience can and does.
It was this sense of peace—this unprecedented relaxation—that I contemplated as I lay on the aforementioned heavenly lounge chair, sipping lemon water, back in the Crystal Sanctuary. As I gazed around at the bouldersized crystals that, when catching the sunlight streaming in from the oversized arched windows, create a mid-air rainbow, I felt the “sweet energy” of those crystals—Ms. Katzin’s perfect description of them, and the reason they’re everywhere within the Sphatika space, including inside the walls.
While luxury is nothing new on Madison Ave., the version of it at Sphatika is unique and oneof- a-kind. Sure, there are glistening golden chandeliers and baseball-sized fresh roses,the award-winning 100% natural Sphatika Skincare line, and pre-war architectural details, but the luxury goes beyond that. It lies more in the sense of wellbeing and peace, healing and positive energy that embodies everything they do at Sphatika. Whether you book the Signature Experience, a Goddess Ambrosia Facial, an Age-Defying Micro-Current Facial, or any number of face and body treatments, you’ll sense this. It’s about leaving there looking great but feeling even better; isn’t that what true luxury is all about?
818 Madison Ave. 3rd Floor
Between 68th & 69th St.
New York, New York 10065