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Reviewed by: Christopher Luu
After successful outposts in Seville, Barcelona and Almería, Armando Prados decided to bring his spa concept stateside. What sets it apart? Forget white lab coats and diffused lighting. Instead, you'll be stepping back in time at Aire Ancient Baths. Taking a cue from the traditions of ancient civilizations, including the Greek, Ottoman, Roman and Arab empires, the soothing therapies, soaking tubs and more are a refreshing contrast to the high-tech and sometimes high-stress lasers, needles and more at other spas.
Greek and Roman traditions promote the use of the tubs from cold to hot -- and that's one offering at Aire. But you can also elect to go into the steam rooms (some are private, some are meant for groups) and hot stone rooms a la the Arabs and Ottomans. Only 20 people are allowed in the facility at once, so make sure to book ahead for your one-of-a-kind experience. Inside, take part in the icy hammams or the steamy pools before taking it easy on the heated marble benches or the communal whirlpool tub. The entire space is lit only by candlelight and everything from the basins to the benches and even the hardware are sourced from Granada, Spain, lending the entire place some real old-world clout. No need for a toga (no matter how compelled you are to go the full Caligula), just bring your bathing suit and Aire will provide everything else, including special slippers. If soaking's not enough, book a four-handed massage or an infused bath for an indulgence you won't get anywhere else.