When in need of a relaxing day off in the tri-state area, self care queens and wellness gurus shouldn't underestimate the experience fifty dollars can provide! Sure, you can add a 10-minute massage to your nail appointment this weekend (and stare at the beach photo on the wall, as you let your mind wander perhaps?); But for a real day of bliss, think beyond your local nail salon, or the overcrowded bathhouses of Manhattan.
Whether or not you've heard of it yet, Sojo Spa Club in Edgewater, NJ is exactly what you picture when thinking about a hidden gem of a spa with a killer view of the New York City skyline. Keep reading for a play-by-play rundown and review of my Tuesday afternoon experience.
Outdoor Hinoki Bath via Sojo Spa Club
As a self-proclaimed workaholic, let me start by saying that actually finding the time and place to unwind took more dedication, budgeting, and research than I'd anticipated! I procrastinated the ironically unrelaxing task all summer, but when my birthday rolled around this year, I figured it was time.
Transportation from NYC & Pricing
Sojo Spa is a 30 minute drive or train ride from the city, but an extra 2 minutes on their website revealed the first wonder of the day– The Sojo Shuttle. It picked us up at 2pm in Manhattan, and rode us over to the spa in NJ– for free! We arrived at 2:30, reserved our shuttle ride back home, and were ready to start the day.
Compared to nearby spas, where just 1 service can cost $200+, Sojo’s affordable admission price covers more than any other spa I’ve ever experienced. Fall season weekday pricing is $50 per person. Massages, facials, waxing, hotel rooms, and other treatments are available at an additional cost, but for budget and research purposes, I challenged Sojo Spa to give me the best experience just $50 can provide.
Being that the locker rooms and bathhouses are the only non-coed areas in the facility, I was alone for this short portion of the day. However, after being greeted with a warm robe, and pointed towards a huge shower room and well-lit vanity area, I almost forgot I had even come with company! I took advantage of the hot tub for a few seconds before heading out.
First thing’s first– The Relaxation Room for a quick nap. Let's just say I started my birthday off with a little too much bang *insert champagne bottle emojis here* and not enough bed. This nap was vital. In my best Kris Jenner voice, I'm doing ah-mazing, sweetie.
I like my saunas how I Iike my showers– hellish, thank you very much. I specifically chose the Red Clay Sauna, which was 170°+ inside and felt like the cozy clouds of heaven were enveloping my body and soul. Yes, I did say cozy, not sweltering, despite contrary opinions. My aching muscles loosened almost instantly, and I was so comfortable that I could've drifted off to sleep at any moment– again. I meditated silently for 5 minutes and proceeded onto the next.
Rather than making my way to the top of the building in floor-order, I couldn't resist the rooftop photo-op any longer! As expected, the luxurious infinity pool was heated, beautiful, and had a view that was to die for (especially once it got dark out).
The Ice Room
Benefits of this room include revitalization of the skin cells, improved skin elasticity, and the smoothing of fine lines and wrinkles. If only I’d enjoyed the freezing cold enough to stay longer than 27 seconds…
Foot Massage Path
If you’ve ever ditched your shoes on the water path of The Highline, this area isn't such a foreign concept to you. Sojo’s foot massage path is complete with ankle-height water, walls of bamboo, and smooth stones to massage the trigger points in your feet. I skipped most of its length out of sheer excitement for the huge fairytale garden-esque area next to it.
The Japanese Silk Bath is a steaming pool that “infuses hot spring micro-bubbles directly to the water to nourish body tissue and improve skin elasticity”. The Carbon-Rich Bath is known to increase blood oxygen levels and improve circulation. I rested on one of the large rocks and took a sweeping video of the area’s flawless environment (for the ‘gram). The lemony-scented Hinoki Bath was filled with steaming hot water and “a natural antibacterial oil that tranquilizes the body and mind.” I sat there– neck-deep, might I add– for about 15 minutes and left feeling super recharged.
At this point in the day (6:30pm), I wanted nothing more than a meal and a rest from all of my rest. We stopped back at the locker rooms for dry robes, freshened up (which for me meant moisturization, makeup, and hair care), then headed for the cafe. A quick crispy chicken sandwich (which was far from being the fanciest Asian cuisine on the menu, but satisfied my french fry craving) was $14, and held me over until dinner later that night.
By 7:45pm we were ready to roll again. I’d been dying to see how the infinity pool looks after sunset, so we made that our last stop of the night. The 9pm shuttle rode us back to Manhattan and I couldn't help but to start writing this review before I even fell asleep for the night. Perhaps, you don't have to travel so far to get away!
What are your favorite tri-state area spas & relaxation spots? Share on Instagram, or in the comments below!