Home » Activities, Travel » NYC Part 3: Russian and Turkish Baths

A few months ago, I received an email from a friend ,with a link to the Russian and Turkish Baths and I knew that I HAD to visit this place on my visit to NYC.

I spent some time looking at the website and knew that it would be an adventure. I wasn’t wrong – it was indeed a great experience. I have never been to anything quite like it.

They have separate hours for women and men. Plus there’s co-ed. My schedule only allowed me to go to the co-ed option. So I packed my bathing suit and off I went.

I was given a key for my locker and told to put my valuables in their safe. (which I did). Then I went to a locker room to get into my bathing suit. I also told the staff at the front desk that I wanted a platza treatment. (no appt necessary – how awesome)

When I walked out of the womens locker room, a RIPPED GUY (did I just say that?) approached me and said “I am Dennis and I’m here to give you your “platza oak leaf treatment”. I honestly was expecting a big fat russian woman but hey – the ripped guy will be just fine. LOL

Dennis told me to experience the different steam rooms and that he would find me later on..so I did.

Lets review what I experienced:

  • The Russian Sauna: According to the website, the oven is filled with 20,000 lbs of rock which are cooked overnight. During the day, these rocks give off intense heat. Apparently only a handful of places have this type of room in the United States. When you walk in – its really dark – kinda like a cave and there’s these white plastic buckets (like the type you use for mopping your kitchen floor) and a large basin filed with water. When YOU CANT TAKE THE HEAT, you take the bucket and throw COLD COLD water onto yourself.  I loved this room the best.
  • Turkish Room – I liked this room too. Kinda like a wet steam room but with a shower inside so you could cool yourself off without having to leave the room (how brilliant).
  • Steam Room – this room had so much eucalyptus scent that I started to cough and had to leave. However I returned later on – and got use to it.
  • The Redwood Sauna – typical dry shvitz. Not complaining but not my favorite.
  • The Ice Cold Pool – I’m not kidding – this is a pool with ICE COLD WATER. I felt the cold IN MY BONES. This is serious Sh*t. I shook my head when I saw people swimming or dunking their whole bodies into this water

Now let’s talk about the people: Not once did I feel uncomfortable even though at 2 p.m on a Sunday there were 15 men and 4 woman there. People were shmoozing away in each room unlike the QUIET ZONE I am use to at other spas. I liked it. One guy was even sharing his home made salt scrub with a whole bunch of us. Nice!!

As for my platza oak leaf treatment. Dennis found me, and then led me into the Russian Sauna (didnt realize it would take place in a public room – but hey – I just rolled with it). He told me to lie on my stomach on one of the benches. He put a towel over my head and then proceeded with the treatment. It felt like I was going thru a car wash. (not when the hard spinning bristles hit the car, but when those long soft ribbons hit the car). I loved it. I really did. Between the heat, the oak leaves hitting my body, and the buckets of cold water splashed on me – it was indeed SUPER RELAXING. I felt like a wet noodle afterwards. I even said “I could do with a nap now”.

I was drained even though the treatment wasnt that long. Then I had a shower (to rinse off the oak leaves) and had a quick head massage and shoulder rub to relax me even more.

Would I go back again? In a heart beat. Would I get a platza oak leaf treatment again? in a heart beat.

PS if you go to YouTube – do a search for “platza treatment” and you will find a video.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

, , , ,

5 Responses to “NYC Part 3: Russian and Turkish Baths”

  1. Sidman
    May 26th, 2011 at 21:03 | #1

    Love it Vicky,
    Your words brought me right back to my many visits there. I love going from the sauna to the cold pool and back to the sauna….,,oh and the Platza rocks there, no wussy treatment.
    I’m so happy you had a great experience,

  2. Rob
    May 29th, 2011 at 03:22 | #2

    A visit to the Russian & turkish Baths was one of the memorable experiences of my trip to New York last year.

    It was incredible to come out of the snowy Sunday morning, and experience the old world feel and camaraderie of the Baths, and then, when my internal thermostat was completely ruined, head back out into the excitement of Manhattan!

  3. May 29th, 2011 at 13:44 | #3

    Very Nice! Did I mention that my all-time dream job would be to go all the spas in the world and rate them? I know there was a show on that already. But they didn’t do it the way I would! Thanks for this post. I’ll definitely check that one out and hopefully I’ll get Dennis. I wonder if they offer other services…. Ooops did I just type that out loud.;)

  4. October 4th, 2011 at 14:57 | #4

    That’s funny. I was there about 6 years ago when we were in NYC for the weekend. And it was quite an experience!! Not to mention that we were with some friends that were looking for a truly, elegant spa experience… Do they still give you the brown towels, brown body wraps and brow flip flops? If they were dirty you wouldn’t have even seen…The Cave alias Russian Spa was awesome, the Platza, a bit too much for me…:) But I will go again in a heartbeat.

    • admin
      October 5th, 2011 at 05:27 | #5

      Thanks for leaving a comment. Yup – I would go back in a heartbeat as well Despite the brown flip flops and towels!!

Add reply