New York:
Elizabeth Ardenís Red Door spa

TREE ELVEN discovers the legend lives on in this newly-appointed one-stop beauty shop on 5th AvenueÖ


Disgorged by a shiny elevator directly into the reception area of the legendary Red Door spa – New York’s oldest – you step right into the buzz and bustle of the high-end beauty business.

Immaculately coiffed heads turn above chic little uniforms to greet you; freshly beautified ladies and gents chatter against a backdrop of vibrant nail colours and a lively hair salon sound-track.

But Elizabeth Arden’s dictum that “to be beautiful is the birthright of every woman” has nimbly moved with the times since she founded the spa back in 1910, and now more than ever encourages everyone’s inner beauty with an increasing focus on wellness.

Past signature red seats splashed onto a cream floor, I was guided briskly away from the community of manis, pedis, hair and style, and into the newly-appointed spa.

Red Door recently moved a few doors along 5th Avenue from its famous original location, and the legend seems very comfortable in its new premises. Spread over the entire upper two floors of the Ferragamo building, they fully reflect Arden’s avant-garde and holistic approach to beauty.

Here in the spa, the passageway walls are lined with stone and faintly shimmering blue-green mosaic tiles evocative of a deep-sea calm.

Spacious candlelit suites dressed in warm wenge hues open off this serene labyrinth, luring you in to layer upon layer of the latest treatments.

Yet the changing area did give me the upbeat feel of classy gym locker rooms; despite ‘oh wow’ factors like curved marble showers whose de-robing chambers are lined with warm towel rails and rows of soothing unguents, there was a healthy sense that I needed to make some of the effort myself to really connect with that inner beauty.

Maybe it’s because Elizabeth Arden, a woman of her own and our times, was a keen yoga practitioner....

So though I lingered in the nicely-named, deeply wenge Silence Library, I was ultimately seduced by the vibrantly social aspect of this particular beauty emporium. And the ab fab roof deck is the cherry on the social beauty cake: I wanted to gather a gaggle of friends right then and spend the day chilling out above 5th Avenue and living up to another of Arden’s sayings:

“Beautiful is a lifetime of laughter”.

Whether you’re here for inner, outer or whole-lot beauty, this has to be the one-stop shop.

Red Door Spa NYC

• New York’s oldest spa, founded in 1910.
• Spectacular Midtown location atop the Ferragamo building on 5th Avenue, between MoMA and Central Park.
• Spacious roof deck, perfect for convivial girls’/gents’ gatherings or individual musing.
• Red Door’s pioneering founder Elizabeth Arden believed that beauty should be “an intelligent union of nature and science to develop one’s finest natural assets.”
• A full spa menu including the most luxy mud baths in town.
• Red Door has 31 spas across the United States.


The Red Door Spa NYC Flagship is located at 663 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10022.

For reservations and/or additional information, contact Red Door Spa at +1 (212) 546-0200 or visit at

The SPA Traveller Tips

The Dower House Restaurant at The Royal Crescent Hotel was voted “Most Romantic Table in Bath” Good Food Awards 2011

Throughout the hotel there are also many contemporary portraits of famous people who visited Bath, or lived there – Lord Nelson, Charles Dickens, William Pitt, George III, and the celebrated actress Sarah Siddons.

Red Door Spa NYC is great for:

City Spa Breaks

Weekend Spa Breaks

Spa days




Massage treatments

Romantic Spa Breaks

Contact The SPA Traveller