I randomly came across Exhale Spa today whilst en route to Columbus Circle, and decided to book their 60-minute Deep Tissue massage ($130) on a whim. In hindsight, I wish I'd given the decision a bit more thought...
My initial feelings of regret came when I opened the door to my little locker in the changing room. There, waiting for me, was an uncomfortably stiff robe and a pair of awkward plastic sandals. After resisting the urge to keep my own clothes on, I went to wait in their 'relaxation room'. The name of this space is highly misleading, as it's really an excessively dim area with no reading materials, plastic cups for water, and the echo of instructors leading their fitness classes nearby. Needless to say, it wasn't exactly what I had anticipated.
Thankfully, my massage therapist (Jean) was a sweetheart with skilled hands, so the actual treatment was quite pleasant. Place Jean in a different environment, and I'd probably go back. Unfortunately, considering my overall experience, the chance of a return visit is slim to none.
If you're seeking a yoga center that happens to also provide spa services, Exhale may be the perfect sanctuary for you. But, if you're looking for a tranquil, solely-spa experience (as I was), I'd reserve elsewhere.
150 Central Park South
Nr. Sixth Avenue
(212) 561 7400