Tue-Fri, noon-7pm; Sat, noon-6pm; Sun-Mon, closed
C, E at 23rd St.; 1 at 23rd St.
American Express, MasterCard, Visa
After decades spent in salons from London to Miami, and an extended stint at New York’s John Dellaria, April Barton was burnt out on the high-end hair scene. In 1995, she ventured out on her own and opened Suite 303. Hidden in a converted apartment in the Chelsea Hotel, the salon boasts fabulous original fixtures and a terrace overlooking 23rd Street, but the real draw is the laid-back, ultra-creative vibe. Thanks to the Chelsea’s storied history—and Barton’s work on everyone from U2 to Willie Nelson—the salon attracts artists, actors, and rockers craving that just-so bedhead. Hotel residents and neighbors stop by, too, both for the distinctive, wearable cuts and color, and just to see what’s going on. You never know when Elvis Costello might show up to strum a tune on the Lauryn Hill-autographed guitar that sits by the (working) fireplace. When not off styling the latest Rolling Stone cover, the personable Barton supervises five stylists whose services are priced on a sliding scale that’s a little vague, but still falls in the typical upscale salon range. An appointment with the proprietress herself comes with a bill that could make a Bergdorf blonde’s head spin, but the experience of getting coiffed among rock royalty in a New York landmark is priceless.Extra
If a session with Barton sounds too pricey, never fear: The owner has created a process she calls “tagging,” during which she will consult with new clients who are seeing her junior stylists (or even finish their cuts).
Indoor surfing, spinning lovefests, a luxurious pig-placenta facial, and more.