By Terry Trucco
We’ve been hearing a lot about juice cleanses lately. From celebrity sightings – pictures of Sarah Jessica Parker juice bottle in hand, blog posts from Gwyneth Paltrow – to news stories weighing the pros and cons, those cute, colorful little bottles labeled Drink Me exude an Alice-in-Wonderland mystique and are hard to miss.
Still, we were surprised to learn the Spa at the Surrey Hotel had jumped into the juice,
offering a three-day cleansing package available through December 31, 2011. Priced from $574 a day, it includes a three-day supply of juices from Organic Avenue, Paltrow’s preferred brand, two 60-minute spa treatments, a personal yoga or Pilates session and a room in the hotel. Locals can order up three days of juice and cram the treatments into a day sans room for $750.
The Surrey’s package is the first we’d heard of at a NYC hotel spa. (The Hudson sells a voucher for a $255, three-day Blue Point Cleanse in its lobby vending machine.) Just how does the spa choreograph a juice cleanse? And who’d want a vegetable juice dinner when the multi-star Café Boulud is downstairs? We spoke with Surrey spa director Cheryl Jacobs to find out.
A proponent of juicing – “I just did a five day cleanse and didn’t want to come off it,” she says – Jacobs says the package positions the spa as a wellness center and not just a purveyor of typical hotel fare, like facials, manicures and massages. If you want to hang around a spa drinking juice all day, the Surrey’s glamorous black-and-white backdrop is as good as it gets. But the cleanse, it turns out, requires remarkably little spa time.
Upon arrival, you visit the spa to discuss your treatments and get instructions in juice consumption; the little bottles, selected in a pre-visit phone consultation, await in your room’s minibar, which has been thoughtfully purged of temptations like alcohol and soft drinks.
After that, you’re on your own in the big city. The juices, culled from fresh, raw organic fruits and vegetables, must be consumed in the prescribed order at set intervals, but you can drink them anywhere you like, from a boardroom or a bench in Central Park to a fitting room at Barneys.
“A cleanse lets you multitask,” says Jacobs.
It also increases sightseeing, shopping and theater time since you won’t be camping out at plush restaurants, she points out. But why would anyone visiting New York want to give that up? Jacobs says the package is aimed at the repeat visitor who has been here, done all that and wants to kick-start a cleanse while taking advantage of almost all the city has to offer. “If you’re coming here on business every week, this is a great way to do a detox,” she says. “Not everyone has access to a juicer and fresh organics in the large quantities that go into the juices at home,” she adds. So come to New York!
For information, call 646 358-3600 or visit firstname.lastname@example.org. The spa asks that juice clients cut back on caffeine and sugar 48 hours before arrival.