There are various ways to sweat at the Mermaid Spa, including three wood-paneled Russian steam rooms, a tile-lined Turkish bath, a Russian dry sauna with large, exposed stones emitting heat, and a big hot tub. There are several ways to cool down between the scorchings, as well. When I called Boris Kotlyar, the owner, a few days after our visit, he told me he has owned the Mermaid Spa for nearly 20 years. The place had a disastrous fire in The less moist sauna rooms are maintained at temperatures of , and degrees.
This is a Ukrainian-Russian community center, a blustery twenty-minute walk from the subway, as traditional as banyas get in New York City, with a clientele that takes its sweating very seriously.
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There is, happily, also a restaurant, which serves some solid Russian classics. The dining room, guarded by golden mermaids, is built around a hot tub. There are older men in groups; younger, shiny men in groups; and fit couples throwing back plastic pints of beer. Everyone is wearing towels, and most are in felt hats that, counterintuitively, help with the heat.
Pull the chain and a torrent of ice water rushes over you. Then go to the steam room and get lost in the fog, before plunging into the ice pools.
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Jump out, gasp for breath, and feel your head pound with shock and relief. Many tables stick with giant bottles of water and platters of fresh fruit. But you came for the food, so go for it. The large meat dishes — lamb leg, beef stroganoff, chicken tabaka — are hefty in a way that seems ill-advised in the setting. The hot appetizers are a better idea. The borscht is rich and thick. Even more traditional are the pelmeni, filled with beef, lamb, and veal, and topped with mushroom gravy, which are addictive until they congeal at room temperature.
Luckily, the dish is too good to leave for long. The best, though, are the cold appetizers, especially the pickled herring or, if you dare, the salo — raw pig lard, frozen and sliced thin. The procedure is half the fun: Layer it over some brown bread. Salt it. Pick up a raw garlic clove. Salt that. Bite one, then the other.
The sharp fire of the raw garlic gives way to the sweetness of the bread, and to the soothing fat as it melts. The steam rises off your skin. The coastline extends as far as you can see, populated by no one.
What a gift the quiet is. The combination of Birch and Cedar exudes unique aromas creating a relaxed and pleasant atmosphere. The Birch Room is integrated into a large resting area and is only a few feet away from all Banyas, Steam Room, Plunge Pools and Whirlpool, yet still provides privacy for your group. It has its own air conditioning and independently operated TV. The deposit can be refunded provided that the reservation is canceled within 24 hours prior to the scheduled reservation.
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An authentic Russian room with a stove made with granite rocks heated overnight to radiate intense heat. The stove has a hole to throw the water into. By throwing water on stones heated to extreme temperatures behind metal doors, steam droplets of exceptionally small size are created; this makes breathing easy and enjoyable.
Here people often hit themselves or others with bunches of dried branches and leaves from white birch or other suitable trees called venik in order to get a message and improve the circulation. In winter, branches that have been dried and then moistened in hot water are used. Felt hats are used to protect the head from heat. Pads are used to sit on as the hot, dry wood can be uncomfortable for bare skin. A real wooden Finish sauna with dry heat low humidity and a constant F temperature. Finer control over the temperature experienced can be achieved by choosing a higher level bench for those wishing a hotter experience or a lower level bench for a more moderate temperature.
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This steam room offers the added health benefit of steam inhalation. Fresh eucalyptus and mint are added to the steam. A perfect place to sit and rest after a visit to the steam room.
Traditional Russian platza inside of a steam room with soap and venik a leafy bundle is available. The restaurant has authentic Russian dishes that you would not want to miss. The dining area is cozy. A quiet and relaxing resting area with trees, grass and comfortable beach chairs. Massage 15 min. In order to continue providing you with the best spa environment, our banya will be closed from August 1st to August 31st for a renovation and beautification. Thank you for understanding.
Dear Valued Customers! Also, please Notice! According to our Certificate of Occupancy by the Department of Buildings of New York our last admission time is pm sharp. After pm no admission to our Banya will be allowed. We are continuing our efforts to make Mermaid Spa ever more convenient and accommodating. Starting at the end of April and trough the end of July we will be renovating our banya.
A center for healing and rejuvenation
Mermaid Spa will remain open for the duration of this work. We may be closed just for a few days, but not more than that. Our goals for this renovation are to add an isolated and ventilated smoking room that will have heated floor. We will add more beach beds, chairs and tables to our backyard. Additionally, we will expand our reception area and add a new massage room. You can review an architectural drawing below.
The Swedish shower is a blast! Three columns of cold water jets leave you squeaky clean. You can also visit our Redwood Sauna, Sun Deck, and dine in our restaurant. Massages and body treatments are also available X Feedback. Sorry you're having a bad experience. Tell us how we can improve Suggestion Question Problem. No, Thank You. Thank You and Enjoy! Thank You You have already subscribed Close. Oops, We need your Phone. Deals Coupons Gift Cards About. Full Value. Buy Now!