2, 3, 4, 5, A, C, J, M, Z at Fulton St.-Broadway/Nassau
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A day at this three-story bath and spa is like visiting Russia by way of Fulton Street. Less trendy (and five times bigger, according to the owner) than the Russian and Turkish Baths on 10th Street, it doesn't look like much from the outside, but the facilities surprise first-time visitors. After checking valuables at the front desk, guests head for the locker rooms to trade street clothes for bathing suits, robes, and Soviet-style plastic spa shoes. The below-ground bathhouse has three main areas: a white-tiled steam room; the Shvitz, a sauna with faucets and buckets for dousing yourself with cold water; and the Russian sauna, built with sixteen tons of granite. In the latter, and for an additional cost, you can experience a Platza, during which a "broom" of oak leaves is slapped onto the body to improve circulation. A cold plunge pool and large indoor swimming pool provide relief from the bathhouse heat. Most customers take a break in the café between dunkings for beer, juice, or tea. Upstairs, Spa 88 offers facials, massage, body and nail treatments, waxing, and tanning at very reasonable prices but by appointments only. Post-steam, you can head to the on-site restaurant for a bowl of borscht, or continue relaxing in the cigar lounge.
Indoor surfing, spinning lovefests, a luxurious pig-placenta facial, and more.