NYLON Tried It

Therabody's NYC Spa (And -117-Degree Cryotherapy Chamber) Rewired My Brain

You’re only 2 minutes, 30 seconds, and -117 degrees away from enlightenment.

A typical luxury hotel spa experience involves a massage, a facial, maybe a steam room. But at Pendry Manhattan West in Midtown, a different kind of wellness experience greets you the second you wave your key card over the door. Thanks to the hotel’s partnership with Therabody, my 16th-floor room was stocked with top-of-the-line health tech: RecoveryAir JetBoots for leg massage and pneumatic compression, SmartGoggles for a heated eye massage, and a TheraGunPro for percussive massage. Immediately, I slipped into my bathrobe and slippers and collapsed onto the king-size bed, massaging my calves with the TheraGun while my boyfriend was already thigh-deep in the JetBoots, which were slowly ballooning up to offer gentle compression.

The hotel is situated in Manhattan West, a luxury mall including Reset by Therabody, a wellness center offering spa experiences using Therabody products. Recently, Pendry Manhattan West has launched a new Relax & Revive package for guests, which includes not only in-room Therabody gear, but a pass to Reset by Therabody. I only needed to walk about 50 feet to reach the Reset Center, where I booked a cryotherapy session and a percussive massage. (There are also red- and near-infrared beds for those who crave a warmer option.)

I have to admit: I was initially skeptical of Therabody, assuming it was an overpriced gadget destined to gather dust in the basements of former believers. While the Theragun offered me an immediate, welcome moment of repose in the comfort of my hotel room, it wasn’t until I visited Reset by Therabody that I understood the tools’ full potential. For my percussive massage, my technician dug the Theragun’s head into my tight hip muscles, which were sore from my overzealous Stairmaster workouts, and I felt an unclenching I hadn’t experienced in months. The technician artfully changed the speed and intensity of the gun, responding to when I was ticklish or when certain muscles needed extra attention.

After the percussive massage, it was time for the cryotherapy chamber — essentially a stand-in freezer cooled to -117 degrees Fahrenheit. “I am not doing this,” I told my technician, who laughed and said, “That’s what everyone says, but it’s going to be fun.” I was given wool socks, slippers, a towel, earmuffs, gloves, and a mask to keep my extremities safe for the two-minute-and-30-second experience. Once the door closed behind me, Ariana Grande’s “yes, and?” started pumping through the speaker so loudly I could only remember to control my breathing as instructed as condensation from my breath turned immediately to tiny wisps of ice.

When I emerged, my internal body temperature had dropped 30 degrees, but I felt like my insides had been inserted into a spark plug. I didn’t even feel cold, so much as an electric, vibrating sensation of well-being. “I told you,” my technician said. “You all say the same thing.” A robe and less than three minutes in the cryotherapy chamber truly rewired my brain for the better — and I’d do it again.

When I think of a hotel spa experience, I think of relaxation by way of overindulgence in luxury. But what I got from Reset by Therabody was not a lulling, sedating experience, but the opposite: an energizing one that kept me vibrating long after checkout.