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female model in white spa robe with hair wrapped in a white towel wearing black sunglasses and chunky earrings, standing and reading a book

Photo: Kate Gundareva

get the FCK out

AIRE Ancient Baths

A fancy traditional Ottoman-style bathhouse in the middle of NYC? Yes, please!

Written On 2/28/2022

Don’t you deserve a good bath today?

Yeah you do. No matter how crappy you feel, a solid soak can take you from a zero to ten in the vibes department. It’s not just that wiped-the-slate-clean feeling either.

The benefits of hanging out at a bathhouse are numerous and go way, WAY, back when. Just living your best life inside a humid, steamy environments relaxes muscles and eases tension. Sweating gives you a much-needed all-over detox and gets your blood pumping, and we like how you can lazily achieve this at a bathhouse versus going to a really hard spin class or whatever. You feel calmer. Your skin looks better and your eyes look brighter. It’s a beauty slam dunk, lol, so to speak.

Now, traditional thermal bathhouses have existed in cultures around the world for centuries, most notably in the Greek, Roman, and Ottoman empires, and continue to this day in many parts of Europe and the Middle East, among others. For some reason, Americans never really adopted this ritual in a big way, which is a major miss IMHO.

That’s why we were stupid stoked when we discovered a seriously decadent, old-school style bathhouse right in the middle of not-so-calm New York City.

So here’s the deal: Stepping inside AIRE is like being transported to an exotic spa scenario that’s frozen in time but has plenty of modern amenities. After checking in to the fabulous front lobby, you’ll be escorted to a chic locker room where you will want to change into a bathing suit. Have public exposure fears? No need. Once you arrive in the bath hall, some of us will be happy to know that it’s dark in there—like, really dark—and the candlelight is obvi uber flattering.

There is a big steam sauna in the middle of the room, and it’s surrounded by different kinds of pools: One is a saltwater float; the others contain waters of various temps depending on your preference, like an app samp for bathing. (Why not just rotate around all of them?) You can also get fancy and book a separate massage and other treatments. You can also totally rock our surfproof pencil and it won't smear. And finally, you can also send us a thank you note for recommending this freakin’ genius spot. Enjoy!

AIRE Ancient Baths

88 Franklin St, New York, NY 10013

Prices start at $125.40 for a 90-minute bathing experience; reservations strongly recommended.

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