In a city as big and bustling as New York, it’s sometimes hard to make a mark. But Ink48, the hip new hotelin Hell’s Kitchen, has done just that. The 222-room, 17-story retreat is getting great press as the neighborhood’s first upscale hotel, being touted for its “killer skyline views” and for “breaking the mold” in a city where hotels are a dime a dozen by reviewers from CitySearch, Essence, and others. The hotel was designed by award-winning architects David Rockwell and Carlos Zapata, who were inspired by the city itself. It is home to a collection of spacious loft-style accommodations; Print, a farm-to-table restaurant that is also garnering rave reviews; and the Press Lounge, a 16th-floor bar with unobstructed views of Manhattan and the Hudson River that has become one of the city’s most popular cocktail establishments due to its spacious outdoor deck. The latest Ink48 offering making an indelible impression on The Big Apple is InkSpa, a 2,000-square-foot, three-treatment-room escape owned and managed by Suzanne and Conan Owen of Relax & Rejuvenate Hotel Spa Solutions. “There is nothing quite like this for many blocks around on the midtown West side of town,” says Suzanne.
The spa, which opened in July and is located on the second floor, pays homage to the hotel’s printing house roots in a number of ways. Each of the three treatment rooms, dubbed Brush, Quill, and Stylus, are named after publishing implements, and the menu is filled with cleverly titled treatments that do the same. The Press Room section of the menu features a selection of therapeutic massages, such as the Indelible Expression Massage ($135, 50 minutes; $190, 80 minutes) using aromatherapy oils; the Emboss Hot Stone Massage ($160, 50 minutes; $240, 80 minutes); and the Imprint ($125, 50 minutes; $180, 80 minutes), during which guests can choose between a Swedish, a deep tissue, or a sports massage. The Type Faces Facials are equally inspired, with services for all ranges of skin types.
Ink48 is a Kimpton Hotel and, like all of the properties in the brand, has adopted a green approach, particularly in the spa. Each of the treatment rooms features an eco-friendly Living Earth Crafts table, and most services are performed using all-natural Kerstin Florian products. “We developed Kimpton Hotel’s company-wide In Room Spa Services program in 2004,” says Suzanne. “Because Kimpton is one of the most eco-friendly companies in the U.S.—not just in the hotel industry—we built that program around the Kerstin Florian line and have extended that relationship to the spas at Kimpton Hotels. Kerstin Florian has sustainability practices that parallel Kimpton, which we thought was the right match.”
Suzanne says that most of the spa’s clientele are business travelers, because the hotel is located conveniently near the city’s biggest convention sites—the Jacob Javits Convention Center and Piers 92/94. As such, they are looking for services that help them unravel from travel, flocking mostly to massage and relaxation-themed treatments like the Jet Lag Recovery ($135, 50 minutes), which includes a dry-brush exfoliation and a warm lavender wrap. The spa also caters to travelers with its policy of offering free shipping on purchases of more than $50 to avoid the hassles of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). “Because so many spa products are more than three ounces, we did not want carry-on baggage restrictions preventing our clients from experiencing the benefits of a home-treatment program,” says Suzanne.
But the Owens don’t count on these traveler-friendly benefits alone to attract clients. Spa menus are featured in every guest room and on the hotel’s website, where guests can book services online. Hotel reservations also include a confirmation email that provides a link to the spa’s website, and members of In Touch, Kimpton’s frequent guest program, receive $30 off spa services. Additionally, spa specials are featured on the hotel’s social media sites as well as the Kimpton Hotels corporate social media sites. Further extending their marketing initiatives, employees of the hotel’s key accounts are sent monthly offers, as are residents of some local apartment and condominium complexes with which the company has a longstanding relationship. InkSpa is also available for private parties. According to Suzanne, the relaxation area is perfect for groups of 15 or less, making it an ideal escape for bridal parties, girls getaways, and more. As for the Owens, they plan to continue making headlines in the spa industry by creating iconic spas at Kimpton Hotels in other cities, as well as under their own brand, Neroli Spa & Apothecary, where they hope to create even more lasting impressions.
Spa Director: Kristie Orosz
Opened: July 2010
OFFERINGS: aromatherapy, body treatments, couples’ treatments, facials, hand and foot treatments, makeup application, massage, nailcare, prenatal services, reflexology, waxing