With views of the Manhattan skyline that can be enjoyed from a variety of outdoor pools, SoJo Spa Club (Edgewater, NJ) is the ultimate urban oasis, offering 19 individual water features, including a rooftop infinity-edge pool, a foot massage path, an open-air hydrotherapy pool, a waterslide, and more. The 240,000-square-foot complex also comes complete with a boutique hotel with 32 guest rooms, landscaped gardens, relaxation areas, a family friendly floor, and a restaurant. After 30 years of working in the hospitality industry, owner E. Rae Jo was inspired to create the multifaceted destination with a global approach to wellness. “I found that many American spas are single-dimensional compared to spas in Asian and European countries,” says Jo. “There are many treatment-oriented spas with fancy dressed-up rooms that try to pamper guests at the highest level possible. But throughout international spa culture, there is a lot more to offer customers beyond physical treatments.” According to him, it was important to incorporate therapies from around the world. “I wanted to bring other elements from across the globe into one place, and that pursuit led me into this mega project,” says Jo. “I wanted to provide a total package experience to guests.”
Offering much more than just treatments, SoJo Spa Club charges a general admission price for adults (starting at $75) and children over the age of 13 (starting at $35) for six hours of unlimited access to the facility’s saunas, pools, and bath areas. Quarterly ($1,500) and annual ($4,800) memberships are also available and include 10 percent discounts on all spa treatments, products, and food and beverage purchases, and two free daily admission guest passes. “The many water elements throughout SoJo Spa Club bring a new dimension to the spa industry,” says Jo. “Some guests want to indulge in a variety of spa treatments, and some truly want to do nothing but relax. With the large variety of plunge pools, outdoor baths, saunas, and relaxation lounges, we truly have something for everyone here.”
Parents and children can also enjoy the facility together on the sixth floor, which is dedicated to family fun. It features a family pool; the Splash Pad; the Spray Zone; a waterslide; the Kids Room, where babysitting services are available for children ages three and up; and the Party Room.
Savvy spa-goers will be especially impressed by the Bath House treatments, which include Body Scrubs ($70, 30 minutes; $130, 60 minutes; $180, 90 minutes), and a variety of sauna and therapy rooms, which include the Charcoal Sauna, the Far-Infrared Sauna, the Ganbanyoku Room, the Halotherapy Room, the Himalayan Salt Sauna, the Ice Room, and the Red and White Clay Saunas. Also located on the fifth floor are 17 treatment rooms, where guests can experience a host of ESPA treatments. The Spa at Sojo Spa Club is the first in New Jersey to partner with ESPA. “Rae Jo’s vision for the SoJo Spa Club is a spa club for all,” says Sandra Sadowski, director of operations for ESPA International. “However, he wanted to take the esthetic, service, and amenities up to a new level of luxury. He found this within ESPA, being a luxury spa company offering consulting services as well as world-renowned treatments and natural, luxurious products.”
According to Sadowski, the two requests she hears most frequently are for results-driven treatments and for natural products and ingredients. Both were kept in mind when it came time to design the treatment menu. “Given this spa club is for all ages and ethnicities, we wanted to create a spa menu in which we consult with guests on their concerns and needs, as well as what they want to achieve within the treatment, and then based on this, make recommendations for our treatments. Therefore, we offer head-to-toe treatments that offer detoxification, warmth, cold, hydration, anti-aging benefits, lifting, smoothing, muscle-tension relief, and more.”
When it comes to the menu’s stand-out treatments, Sadowski points to the Advanced Skin Radiance Facial ($215, 90 minutes), which pairs advanced massage techniques and cool rose quartz with ESPA products to help tone and lift the skin. For men, Sadowski recommends the ESPA Stress Buster ($225, 90 minutes), which involves a thorough exfoliation of the back, a heated massage, and a soothing scalp massage. The spa also offers express treatments, such as a clothing-on Express Massage ($10 minutes); Personalized Express Facial ($85, 30 minutes); and Open Area Massage ($95, 50 minutes), which takes place in a communal room setting.
Social spa-goers will find the spa a virtual playground with amenities of every sort. “We have taken some of the most coveted natural therapies from around the world and have made it possible to experience them in one marvelous location,” says general manager Atif Youssef. “You simply won’t find this variety of international influence and combination of amenities anywhere else in the area.” The eight-story luxury hotel and spa is sure to create some buzz. Says Jo, “We hope to redefine what ‘spa’ means in America and bring wellness and relaxation to a whole new level.”
SoJo Spa Club (Edgewater, NJ)
E. Rae Jo
240,000 square feet; 17 treatment rooms
Dazzle Dry, ESPA, Saltability
Foreo, Gharieni Group, RFID Wristbands, Universal Companies
Virgona & Virgoan Architects (Edgewater, NJ)
Sandra Sadowski, director of operations, ESPA International (New York City)