Chelsea’s unique twist on the New York City spa (the secret is salt)

by The Lost Girls on March 2, 2010

Salt cave at the Halo Air spa in New York City

Salt cave at the Halo Air spa in New York City


If New York City wants to get healthier, our Mayor has informed us, we’ve really gotta to lay off the sodium. It’s a message that Ron Rofé, president and founder of Halo/Air Salt Rooms hasn’t exactly taken to heart. Last month, the native Israeli opened up the country’s very first salt therapy spa around the corner from The Chelsea Hotel and The Four Points Sheraton Chelsea and is now inviting guests to sample a therapeutic spin on this oft-misunderstood mineral.

Halo contains a series of five treatment rooms designed to mimic the exact microclimate of Eastern Europe’s ancient salt caves. Over a century ago, workers who inhaled the salty particles experienced dramatic relief from their breathing issues. Later on, doctors discovered that these environmental conditions might also improve skin conditions like acne and eczema, and play a role in de-stressing and detoxify the body. Today, people seeking these benefits visit salt therapy rooms all over Europe and the Middle East—and now, you can do the same in Manhattan.

After checking in at the front desk, you’ll be asked to don a pair of blue medical slippers and will be led to a room encrusted ceiling-to-floor with a propriety blend of salt crystals. The space, while small, is equipped with a lounge chair, a flat-screen television and Wi-Fi—you can relax or amuse yourself any way you like as a machine softly blows atomized gusts of saline air into the room. The concentration can be dialed up to your specifications, depending on what you’re trying to accomplish with your treatments that day.

While consistent visits are recommended for those looking to experience long-term medical benefits, Rofé assures that even a single session is powerful enough to do one thing: “If you’ve had a really big night out in the city,” he says. “An hour in a salt room can really cure your hangover.”

- Amanda Pressner of The Lost Girls

Photo courtesy of the New York Times

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