Bath of the Kings

I recently had the great pleasure of visiting Aire in Tribeca, a thematic bath house which provides a thoroughly relaxing and indulgent opportunity to participate in the ancient art of bathing and to let a hectic city life melt away. This is a place where you can really “get your Zen on.”

A tradition of bathing has its genesis with the Greeks and Romans, who prided themselves on luxurious and decadent bathing rituals that had a far reaching influence on other cultures throughout history. And many cultures continue this custom today and understand the advantages and healthy consequences of such activity. Aire has beautifully capitalized on this ideal and provides a place for promoting health and well-being through the process of simple bathing and steaming in an environment that is inviting, mysterious and something akin to a whispered secret.

Upon entering one is greeted by a darkened woody interior with Eastern accents, soft, dusty colored flower arrangements, scents of warm spice and nearly complete quiet. Upon checking in you are ushered to a changing room and given a stylish locker and sleek black rubber RFID bracelet with a bathrobe and special cotton bathing shoes. Once changed you proceed down a flight of candle lit stairs to an enormous underground brick-walled bathing room with sky high wood beam ceilings and meditative music.

There are many baths to choose from and all are available to sample and enjoy. The salt water bath provides pyramid shaped piles of salt on the perimeter for a pre-exfoliation before entering the pool where one effortlessly floats in contentment.

There a three warm baths, each increasing in temperature. The first is the Tepedarium, the second is a whirl pool with jets pulsating so hard it feels like you are in the middle of a violent ocean storm and the final is the Caldarium, with water heated at 97 degrees.

The Calidarium--at 97 degrees it was my favorite!

In addition to the warm baths, there are two cold water plunge pools, both very icy and brisk (one at 57 degrees; the other at 50 degrees). These are for the bravest of bathers or those with Scandinavian blood!

The glass box steam room is a terrific experience as you sit on marble cubes and the steam provides complete privacy, shrouding the glass perfectly.

Lastly, there is a large tiled sitting area with radiant heat for moments when you want a quiet break. Small tables hold warm tea in Moroccan pots and water to stay fully hydrated.

You simply can’t help but to let everything go here. Maintaining a strict code of silence and no cell phones, the bathing room is an oasis of calm and tranquility and escape. The staff is friendly and helpful and the hushed tone lends itself completely to an immersive experience.

Aire offers various packages that include massage and a new, private red wine bath. It’s a real treasure for New York City to have this retreat. But beyond the extrinsic services, Aire offers peace of mind, and that alone is worth the price of admission.

The icy plunge pools.