Real Estate

While there will hopefully be many lessons learned from this pandemic—how to make a sourdough starter, how to keep houseplants alive, how to practice gratitude—none is perhaps more important than how to take care of one’s mental and physical health.

Maintaining mental and physical wellness can be done in a variety of ways—anything from meditation to exercise to a steam shower—and now more than ever these activities are being done in the home. This is perhaps why many new homeowners are making self-care amenities like fitness centers, luxury bathrooms and spas more of a priority.

Nowhere in America is there a greater need for a relaxing and rejuvenating home than New York City where the hustle and bustle that makes the city such a thrill to live in can also begin to tax both body and mind.

New Yorkers may have notoriously tough resolves, but even the most tenacious need a little respite here and there.

Many of New York’s most famous residential buildings have been renovated to include state-of-the-art gyms and indoor swimming pools. Iconic pre-war buildings like the Essex House in Midtown or Stella Tower in Hell’s Kitchen can now feature amenities like 24-hour fitness centers or spas.

These facilities are not your average basement gyms or saunas. Fitness centers often include modern equipment like pilates machines and smart bikes, but they also don’t leave out classic essentials like kettlebells, heavy bags and olympic barbells. Spas can offer body and beauty treatments like facials, body scrubs and, of course, massages.

Broker Cecilia Serrano of Warburg Realty offers the JW Marriott Essex House at 160 Central Park South as an example of how residential towers are approaching wellness in 2021.

“They recently renovated as part of the maintenance, and it is really lovely with permanently free individual water bottles in the refrigerator and green apples,” Serrano said. “But what’s best is that they always keep it very attractive and super clean, particularly the sauna, steam room, and showers, which are a pleasure to show to potential buyers. JW Marriott does a terrific job of maintaining its standards.”

Newer developments also have implemented many health-based and recreational amenities into their designs, like the colossal Moma Tower which includes a stunning indoor lap pool, a golf simulator and a “cold plunge” pool.

While building amenities offer convenient opportunities to exercise and relax the body, self-care must also take place in the home. This starts with simple design features like huge tilt-and-turn windows that let in natural light and fresh air to brighten rooms and moods or open-concept floor plans that give spaces an airy openness.

One of the most important rooms for self-care is the bathroom. Homes that offer spa-like comforts can change a room normally used for utility into an oasis for relaxation and revitalization.

Luxury amenities like radiant heated floors, steam showers and soaking tubs allow residents to enjoy all of the soothing pleasures of a spa retreat right in their own homes while aesthetic choices like lacquered cabinets, cast iron tubs and Black Zeus tile add a calm elegance to the space.

Skin-care and grooming become further opportunities for wellness and more than just routines with the addition of large, marble vanities, backlit mirrors and brass fixtures.

Penthouse properties can many times include expansive terraces that offer gorgeous views of the city skyline and a place of outdoor refuge in a city where such spaces are few and far in between.

As mental and physical wellness become increasingly important in our chaotic world, a future where self-care amenities are offered to all New York residents is hopefully around the corner.

Warburg Realty is a founding member of Forbes Global Properties, a consumer marketplace and membership network of elite brokerages selling the world’s most luxurious homes.