B, D, F, N, Q, R, V, W at 34th St.-Herald Sq.
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There are just a few differences between this K-town bathhouse and its traditional forebearers back in Korea. For one, it’s not 24 hours; for another, you can opt for robes instead of the Seoul-standard baggy pink shorts and a T-shirt. Regardless, Aura is Manhattan’s first high-style jjimjilbang, a thermotherapy lair with four primitive-looking grottos constructed from mineral-rich soil. The unisex hwangto sauna is lined in red clay, salt blocks, and oak charcoal (said to cleanse the blood), and the walls of the neighboring space are inset with a colorful mosaic of stones (quartz, onyx, and jade), which have a calming effect and magnify the temperature to 160 degrees. Those who can’t take the heat may skip the herb-infused steam rooms and stagger into the crystal ice room, chilled to a cool 40 degrees. Patrons may also ascend the lime-green stairwell to get skin-sloughing body scrubs, wellness consultations, and acupressure-targeted body massages in rooms equipped with remote-controlled LED color therapy lights.
Indoor surfing, spinning lovefests, a luxurious pig-placenta facial, and more.