Mon-Fri, 10am-10pm; Sat-Sun, 10am-8pm
6 at 23rd St.; N, R at 23rd St.
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Despite some tabloid-worthy legal issues in 2007, Essential Therapy is still going strong, thanks in part to its legion of regulars, many of whom have been fans since the late-nineties, when the spas’s signature therapeutic bodywork was offered out of two rooms in an office building. Though no longer doing massage himself, owner Carlos Araque, an ex-dancer and former Mets masseur, is focused on expanding his holistic empire to include spiritual workshops and alternative medicine. The ground floor of this enormous Feng Shui-ed space, which Araque restored with wife Yulia in 2005, features an elegant mix of wood carvings, rich tapestries, and relics from his Far Eastern travels. Behind the main reception area is an alcove for shoes (which clients remove upon arrival), a large yoga studio, and chiropractic and acupuncture offices. The downstairs quarters are cool and spacious—low bamboo ceilings and plush velvet floors notwithstanding—and include five treatment rooms for targeted, customized massage: ET’s signature style combines Swedish, Shiatsu, and deep tissue, though therapists also specialize in craniosacral, medical, and prenatal. In the far back is an immaculate wet lounge with a five-person Jacuzzi, sauna, private locker areas with steam rooms, and a treatment room for facials, where estheticians draw from a pyramid of Eminence products for customizable treatments.Early Bird Gets the Shiatsu
Essential Therapy's Early Bird Special features $75 one-hour massages Mon.–Fri., 10 a.m.–3 p.m.
Essential Therapy’s in-house partner, “Space for Wellness,” offers services with licensed chiropractor Dr. Joseph Caraccilo and acupuncturist Robert Giordano.
Indoor surfing, spinning lovefests, a luxurious pig-placenta facial, and more.