When In Rome, in fall of 2010, is when I first discovered my travel anthem: Spa Eat Party Repeat.
I was on a spa press trip, invited to Tuscany via Twitter to stay at Antico Casale di Scansano, a spa resort in the Maremma. I nestled this rural Italy visit with two hearty weekends in Rome—two weekends with no specific schedule, and waking up each day with the mission to do only four things: Spa. Eat. Party. Repeat. I also blogged every day – the Spa Eat Party Repeat cycle facilitates writing and creative flow like a charm, and I do it as often as possible in New York. Try it! The combo never fails.
And so, when it came across my radar that there is a party 15 minutes away in Brooklyn that’s essentially Spa Eat Party Repeat all-in-one, I lost my shit. And of course, I went.
When In Robe is a spa dance party that takes place every other Sunday at Clinton Hill’s Body By Brooklyn, a chocolate factory-turned-European spa, bathhouse and lounge. The party is organized by Kunj Shah and Justin Charles of Liveforlivemusic.com and has been going on a number of months now, gaining popularity – a decidedly awesome thing for the spa industry.
Upon arrival you receive a locker key, a white robe (unless you BYO robe) and a glass of champagne, thankyouverymuch. Sip on your bubbly and slip on your bathing suit, lock away your phone and belongings, smile at yourself in their spacious well-mirrored facilities, and head out into the spa to choose from a pleasure trove of activities.
First, you may want to take a dip into the Jacuzzi. That was my first move. It was crowded but not overcrowded with a crowd of mostly twenty-somethings – young partiers who were psyched and amazed that they were in a bathing suit on a cold night, drinking beer in a hot tub, about to go dancing in a spa. One girl was there for her birthday. From talking to some hot tubbers, I was pleasantly surprised that this party wasn’t so much for the typical spa enthusiast…. But rather doing its work to bring the wellness wonders of spa to a new demographic, like 22 year old finance dudes in board shorts.
Before you start to prune, you might decide to head to the sauna to dry off, close your eyes and relax on the golden brown furnace benches, or more likely ending up in conversation about a miraculous black lipstick that stays on in hot tubs and saunas (MAC Cypress, girl on bottom left, fyi!). One of the spa attendants will pop in at one point and remind everyone to stay hydrated, and you will feel cared for.
There are water stations everywhere (all dance parties should have this!), so you might heed her warning and gulp down some scrumptious H2O while lounging on a lounge chair. You’ll close your eyes for a moment, listening to the raucous hum of Brooklynites getting wet and wild on a Sunday night. But what’s that urge you’re having? Oh – you want to drink something other than water? Have a bit of food? And DANCE? I thought so. Head to the next room, grab a veggie wrap from the complementary food spread (score! although not quite Italian chef style), get a screwdriver at the cash bar, wrap your arms around a life-size blow up banana or some other pool-like prop, and break it down.
With a variety of DJs through the night, it progressed into a thumping dance party. Dim disco lighting and people everywhere grooving in their robes, you can’t help but giggle, want to hug people, and feel oddly at home. Robes in droves have that power, yes they do.
After a dance you may go for a sizzle in the steam room, if you’re brave you’ll take a dip in the cold plunge, and if you’re there to do what you should be there to do, you’ll treat yourself a spa treatment. For $30, choose between a 15 minute back, shoulder or foot massage, a salt scrub, or a platza treatment, where they smack you with hot oak branches and you hate it and love it all at the same time. So, what are you up to Sunday, April 6th? The $30 advanced rate is over but you can or pay $40 online or at the door for a spa night of the flashing lights