A visit to Aire Ancient Baths in Tribeca is an otherworldly experience.
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Opening any day now, Aire Ancient Baths is a 16,000-square-foot multilevel bathhouse in Tribeca that takes the ancient wellness concept to new heights. The space was painstakingly restored to its original 1883 form and then built out under the direction of Spanish architectural firm Alonso Balaguer. It’s the first international effort for Grupo Aire, which was formed 15 years ago in Seville, Spain, with the idea of reviving Greek and Roman bathing rituals for total mind-body relaxation.
Over the past two years, at a cost north of $10 million, Grupo Aire clearly spared no expense in recreating the distinctly old-world vibe for its Tribeca outpost. That meant importing large amounts of white marble from Spain for the floors of the subterranean level and bringing in antiques like a 16th-century fountain. Copper lanterns from Marrakech provide most of the interior lighting, using as many as 3,000 candles a month. Put it all together and the rooms succeed in metaphysically transporting you out of the bustle of downtown NYC.
Central to the experience are four pools of varying degrees (46 to 104 degrees Fahrenheit), a saltwater pool (to float in, as you would in the Dead Sea), a glassed-in propeller-jet bath, and a steam room. Should you decide to take more than a plunge, there are two multiperson massage rooms for traditional treatments, and two additional rooms upstairs for the über-luxurious “Rituals,” which include soaking in red wine, cava, or olive oil and then being treated to a four-handed massage.
If the company’s other locations are any indication, you shouldn’t expect to be able to casually drop in while you’re out strolling the neighborhood. (There’s a two-month waiting list at the Barcelona location.) The 30-person coed facility—with separate changing rooms and showers—will slot patrons in for two-hour sessions by reservation.
Prices range from $75 for 90 minutes of bath use to $500 for the 210-minute Kerala Ritual.