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Painted red by a former nurse named Elizabeth Arden, who opened her first spa here in 1910, the giant door at 691 Fifth Avenue is now a pilgrimage site for many out-of-towners. More than likely, they are familiar with the Red Door brand, since this five-floor flagship location has spawned a burgeoning family of 20-odd spas nationwide. The ground floor of this landmark building is an Elizabeth Arden skincare and color cosmetics boutique; upstairs, at the 5500 square-foot, recently revamped hair and nail salon, bridal parties get updos and Sweet Sixteen parties go for pedicures with warm, softening paraffin (a spa staple that Miss Arden introduced here in 1932). Two floors up a (the spa’s popular gift certificates are sold on the intermediate level) are facials and a full makeup counter, including a computer that scans skin to concoct a customized foundation for each client; blessedly quick hair removal with warm honey-infused wax is also a big draw here. Unique to this flagship are two potent remedies for dry, mature skin: the vitamin-rich, hydrating Oxygen Mist facial add-on, and sessions with the hard-to-find, sag-combating C.A.C.I. machine, which tones and firms by electronically stimulates face muscles. On yet another floor are the serene, minimalist body treatment facilities, including flat screen television-equipped ladies and men’s lounges. All spa guests are invited to have a post-treatment makeup touch-up, gratis—a nod to
This iconic, time-tested salon covers four floors and is an obvious go-to for pre-wedding relaxation. If you’re overwhelmed by the array of treatments, opt for the Bridal Bouquet, which includes a spa lunch, massage, bikini wax, manicure, pedicure, haircut, and styling ($349).
Indoor surfing, spinning lovefests, a luxurious pig-placenta facial, and more.