Ottoman Opulence

Since joining her father’s company in 2005, Ivanka Trump has been tasked, among other things, with creating an iconic luxury hotel brand for discerning travelers. Under her direction, the company has opened decadent hotels in Chicago, Las Vegas, and Waikiki, HI, all of which boast sumptuous spas. There, her penchant for lavish indulgence is clear—the spas feature treatments using gemstone therapy, as well as skincare services created specifically for the brand by celebrity skincare guru Kate Somerville, in addition to other extravagant amenities. Her most recent labor of love, Trump SoHo New York, features yet another stunning spa, this one inspired by her travels to Turkey. Opened in August, the latest Spa at Trump brings a Middle Eastern appeal to downtown Manhattan by offering one of the city’s first luxury hammams, where guests can experience the traditional social and cultural bathing rituals of Turkey and Morocco.

Created by the award-winning firm, DiGuiseppe Architect, the 11,000-square-foot, two-level spa features Middle Eastern design details throughout. Guests enter the spa through a portal of Macassar ebony into an entry fashioned after a Moroccan courtyard and graced by a fountain carved from Calacatta gold marble. Other highlights include Assyrian-shaped ceilings tiled in Capiz shells, woven-mesh chandeliers of nickel and crystal, and most-notably, men’s and women’s hammams fashioned in the style of those in Turkey and Morocco. “Our spa is unique in the fact that we are only the second in the U.S. to offer authentic Turkish/Moroccan style hammams,” says Leigh Smith, director of spa operations. “It allows our guests to experience a sense of well-being that most have not had the chance to try. Ivanka Trump was the real inspiration for the hammam, having experienced it firsthand during her travels to Turkey. She instantly loved the way it made her skin feel rejuvenated and silky smooth and wanted more people to be able to experience it.” With this mission in mind, DiGuiseppe Architect principal and owner Anthony J. DiGuiseppe, AIA, RIBA, started researching the hammams of Turkey and Morocco and teamed with Hammam Consultants, a company that specializes in creating classic hammams and Turkish baths. “We wanted to create a modern, soothing, and calming environment that fulfills all the operational requirements of a five-star spa, while providing the level of quality that all Trump properties are known for in the finishes,” says DiGuiseppe. “The main emphasis was to introduce the hammam feature and follow through with influences of Turkey and Morocco in the artwork, shapes, and feeling. We researched the right way hammans were heated and the way the treatments were done to provide the same experience as one would feel in a temple designed by famed Turkish architect Sinan in 16th-century Istanbul, but obviously on a smaller scale.”

According to Smith, the goal was achieved with gusto, and guests are flocking to sign up for either the Turkish Hammam ($100, 45 minutes) or the Moroccan Hammam ($160, 75 minutes), both of which include the guidance of a dedicated Hammam Attaché. The Turkish Hammam treatment features an oil-based castile soap applied with a traditional handmade Kessa mitt while the spa-goer lies on a heated belly stone of Calacatta marble. The Moroccan Hammam treatment incorporates authentic Moroccan black soap in a full-body exfoliation, followed by a detoxifying warm rhassoul clay application. Beyond the hammam, Trump SoHo guests can also enjoy various other Middle Eastern-inspired treatments in one of the spa’s nine treatment rooms, including the Balancing Ayurvedic Massage ($160, 60 minutes; $235, 90 minutes), Shirodhara ($120, 30 minutes), Threading (starting at $35), and Henna body art applications (prices vary based on area, size, and design). Still, aficionados of The Spa at Trump brand will find their tried-and-true favorites available, as well. Every moment of the SoHo spa experience caters to the individual guest’s desires, expressed through a Trump Personal Intention: Balance, Calm, Heal, Purify, or Revitalize. For each intention, there is a corresponding Trump Signature Gemstone Spa Treatment featuring Shiffa’s precious gemstone-infused oils, including diamonds for balance, emeralds to purify, rubies to revitalize, and sapphires to calm and heal. Spa-goers also benefit from the personalized services of a Trump Spa Attaché, who guides them through each step of the experience. An exclusive arrangement with Somerville brings her skincare products and treatments to the spa, including the Ultimate Kate Facial ($350, 90 minutes), a hydrating oxygen treatment that uses skin-plumping dermal boosters followed by Somerville’s Dermalucent light therapy. Rounding out the menu is an array of massages; sauna and steam rituals; facials, including two exclusively for men; hair, hand and foot therapies; and salon services. The spa also offers a number of spots to relax pre- and post-service, including cozy relaxation lounges and a 6,000-square-foot landscaped outdoor space with comfy lounges, private cabanas, a Bocce court, an outdoor pool, and Bar d’Eau, where guests can nosh on gourmet snacks and enjoy an alfresco cocktail while enjoying views of downtown Manhattan.

Since opening, the spa has been making headlines and garnering the attention of Big Apple spa-goers, but Smith and her team of 28 are still working hard to promote the spa and introduce the hammam to the American marketplace. Hotel guests receive key card inserts and monthly spa promotions upon arrival, and during the month of September, a complimentary 30-minute Turkish Hammam was offered with the first booking of any 60-minute-or-longer face or body treatment. “We have also been reaching out to area corporations and businesses to offer incentives to book treatments,” says Smith. “We continue to offer value-added services, like a complimentary hammam treatment with a guest’s first service.”

As for Ivanka, she’s thrilled with both the new spa and the hip hotel overall. “The Spa at Trump at Trump SoHo is the ultimate urban retreat, providing relaxation and rejuvenation from the busy city,” she says. “From the decor to the treatments, guests can enjoy a rare and authentic experience inspired by my travels throughout the Middle East.”

(New York City)


OPENED: August 2010

65% female, 35% male

11,000 square feet;
11 treatment rooms
plus two hammams

aromatherapy, body treatments, chromatherapy, cosmetic dentistry (teeth whitening), couples’ treatments, facials, fitness, hair and scalp treatments, hammam, hand and foot treatments, LED therapy, makeup application, massage, microdermabrasion, nailcare, outdoor treatments, prenatal services, reflexology,
salon services, waxing

Turkish Hammam
($100, 45 minutes)

Soul to Soul Body Massage ($350 per couple, 90 minutes) and the Ultimate Kate Facial ($350, 90 minutes)

Alexa Rodolfo, Arimino, Deborah Lippmann, Kate Somerville, Germaine de Cappuccini, Gewohl, La Bella Donna, Milbon, Macadamia Natural Oil, OPI, Shiffa, Tara Spa Therapy, SweetSpot Labs, Velectra Paramount Paris

Design for Leisure, Design X, Electric Mirror, Hammam Consultants/Wellworks, Living Earth Crafts, Majestic International, OKA b., Spa Biz, Technogym, Universal Companies

DiGuiseppe Architect (New York City)

WTS International
(Silver Springs, MD)