Mon-Fri, 10am-9pm; Sat, 10am-7pm; Sun, 11am-5pm
F at Seventh Ave.
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
After finishing cosmetology school, Maria Oblow had plans to open a hair salon in her native Park Slope, but, realizing that the neighborhood was already saturated with beauty parlors, opted for a tanning salon instead, drawing mainly on her experience as a longtime customer. With slate gray walls, exposed brick, and seven cozy tanning rooms set along a hallway, her brownstone salon has a relaxed, residential vibe, and is refreshingly free of the neon color schemes often associated with bronzing centers. (Another welcome change: The staff doesn't work on commission, so patrons aren't pushed into purchasing extra sessions.) Offering four different types of Ergoline beds, Oblow has built-up a loyal, locally based clientele: On a typical day she might see a couple looking to build a base tan before a winter trip to the Turks and Caicos; a mom using the Mystic UV-free spray booth to freshen up for a party; and one of her year-round bakers who can't get enough of the Excellence 850, the salon's most powerful capsule (it delivers a tan in twelve minutes, and has individual climate control). Customers who get claustrophobic—or just want color in those hard-to-reach areas—opt for the Lounge, a stand-up booth with its own dressing area. Though it has a built-in stereo system, clients have been known to bring in their iPods and spend their twelve minutes channeling their inner go-go dancer.
Indoor surfing, spinning lovefests, a luxurious pig-placenta facial, and more.