Who knew that merely steps away from one of the busiest places in NY is home to one of the most serene and tranquil getaways you will EVER experience! Barely a block away from Penn Station lies a true gem at the Aspire Center for Health and Wellness (located at 248 W. 35th Street). I had the extreme pleasure of benefitting from their Floataway Tranquility tank. The ONLY spa in all of NY to have two float tanks, the Aspire Center took incredible great care of me, and they will do the same for you!
Common users of float tanks suffer from physical injuries, like athletes, since it reduces tension but also benefits people who just need some relaxation! That being said, let me paint this picture for you: As soon as I walked in, I was pleasantly greeted by the receptionist and escorted upstairs. I entered the warm and deliciously scented room that housed the float tank, a welcome surprise on a cold and windy November day!
The stress reducing smell of lavender and lemon filled the dimly, yet perfectly, lit room. Ice water infused with lemon awaited me next to a comfortable chair along with towels and flip-flops. Marisa showed me around the clean and comfortably decorated room. She instructed me to help myself to the water and use the robe and flip flops for a quick shower. It was explained that showering prior to entering the tank is necessary in order to maximize the experience.
The tank was filled with warm water and 850 pounds of dissolved Epsom salt. Yes, you read that right, 850 pounds. That’s equivalent to the weight of a shark! For those of you who are worried about the “what ifs,” the staff is very helpful and explain everything. Walkie-talkie like monitors are placed securely on top of the tank and are always on so all you need to do is talk if you need help!
Once undressed and washed up, step into the tank wearing only the provided earplugs that are individually sealed (there are safety bars if needed). As mentioned on their site, the buoyancy will keep you floating so no need to prop yourself up or worry about rolling over. Once in, you should shut the door of the tank. Your session will start when the interior lights turn off leaving you in complete darkness.
This may sound a bit alarming, but it’s necessary for the complete experience and you definitely get used to it! If you’re like me and tend to feel claustrophobic, the door of the tank can be opened at anytime. I’m not a fan of the pitch-black darkness but I only needed to open the door to grab the spray bottle of fresh water provided since I got salt in my eyes (they thought about everything!)
As I floated in what felt like a mermaid wannabe’s heaven, my mind quieted down and the wheels that constantly turn in my head slowed down. For an hour I was at peace. It was an escape like no other and I didn’t even need to travel far! When my time was up, I reluctantly opened the door of the tank to hear a staff members voice welcoming me back to reality.
I showered more thoroughly using the shampoo, conditioner, and body wash provided. When out of the shower, I asked for a hair dryer through the aforementioned monitor on top of the tank and was promptly brought one. I dried off, combed my hair, and then got dressed. I walked downstairs, said goodbye to the attentive staff and started my way back home.
Nothing seemed to faze me as I walked the streets of NY with a huge smile on my face. I HIGHLY recommend making a trip to the Aspire Center. I feel like a new person (baby soft skin and all!) and, trust me, you will too!
Some advice: Read the guidelines on the website prior to your first float. As stated there, do not shave or tan prior to entering the tank as the salt can irritate your skin. Also, I suggest you bring with you what you would normally use after a shower such as Q-tips and deodorant, but no need to overdo it. A comb and fresh towels along with scented lotion are provided as well.