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Opal Center for Massage and Allied Therapies
Daily, 9am-9pm by appointment only
Nearby Subway Stops
2, 3 at Grand Army Plaza
It’s easy to miss this diminutive massage center, which shares its Fifth Avenue block with a few of the restaurants that brought fame to this once-barren Brooklyn boulevard. Opal's regulars mostly live locally, though owner Sherry Dietchman, formerly of Tribeca's defunct Hands Spa, still sees Manhattanites hooked on her spine-tingling strokes. Rates are based on length—not type—of massage, so when booking, customers simply choose a 70- or 90-minute rubdown, the only choices offered. Upon arrival, they powwow with their therapist about preferences; deep tissue and pain management are just two suggested approaches, though masseuses can incorporate add-ons like hot stones, aromatherapy, and clay packs for no additional charge. (At other establishments, tacked-on fees for such extras can feel like nickel-and-diming.) Exposed brick and colorful walls bring charm to the tiny-but-tasteful space—just two treatment rooms adjoin a hallway with a window seat—and no one seems to miss the ambient lighting, waterfalls, and relaxation gardens standard at nearby full-service spas. There aren't even showers, though staffers do wipe off traces of the surprisingly non-cloying house-blended oil and offer warm washcloths for do-it-yourself freshening.Booking
Treatments are by appointment only. Opal has no receptionist, so the door and phone are not answered when therapists are in session. Clients' voicemail messages are promptly returned.
Both massage rooms have sound docks for iPods; guests can bring their own or listen to the center's straightforward, mostly classical collection.
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