Indulge In The World’s Greatest Sauna Styles At This 50,000-Square-Foot Wellness Spa

Sweat out your sins at Brooklyn’s World Spa.

A private Venik Platza treatment (World Spa)

A 50,000-square-foot New York City sauna sanctuary is operating as a veritable United Nations of sweat, bringing together Eastern European, Nordic, Turkish, Moroccan, South American and Japanese traditions under one roof for a truly unique luxury spa experience. 

The aptly-named World Spa is a sleek, three-floor facility that sprouted from a former parking lot on a gritty stretch of Midwood, Brooklyn. It notably features what the founders say is one of America’s banyas—Russian-style saunas in which water is poured over scorching rocks to create steam. 

Word Spa’s signature 3,000-square-foot Grand Banya was constructed using coveted Kelo wood harvested from polar pine trees and features state-of-the-art heaters filled with pricy Jadeite stones. The dimly-lit sweat chamber, designed to toast up to 50 spa-goers with temperatures soaring to 194 degrees, further sets the mood by piping in soothing New Age music that you might expect to hear during a massage in the spa’s treatment rooms. 

Grand Banya (World Spa)

“It’s like the Rolls-Royce of banyas,” declares World Spa co-founder Leonid Khanin of his sweltering crown jewel. “To build a banya that big and powerful is very hard. And it’s not just the size—it’s the combination of all those features and finishes that make it special.”

The Brooklyn wellness mecca heats up the standard spa experience with a myriad of other internationally-themed rooms providing health benefits including stress reduction and detoxification, in addition to the pure transportive pleasure of a good sweat session.

In World Spa’s Grand Banya and Event Sauna, on-staff “Sauna Masters” regularly host communal Aufguss rituals—named after the German word for “infusion.” After banging a gong and inviting everyone in the spa to meet in a sauna, guests are handed baseball-sized ices to stave off the heat. The sauna masters gleefully twirl towels over their heads to crank the temperature even higher and spread the scent of aromatic oils while offering platza treatments to the swimsuit-clad crowd. 

A communal platza treatment inside a banya (World Spa)

For the uninitiated, a platza entails getting briskly thwacked with a bundle of leafy wet birch and oak branches called a venik. Getting smacked with the fragrant, broom-like bundles not only feels invigorating, it can improve blood flow and naturally remove toxins and skin-dulling residues.

Moroccan Hammam (World Spa)

Other signature World Spa rooms include the Clay & Hay Sauna, an adobe-walled structure inspired by sweat lodges in South and Central America; a woodsy Aroma Sauna redolent with scents of juniper, cedar and oak; a Moroccan Hammam covered in colorful, handmade imported tiles; and a Turkish Hammam lined with Carrara Blanco marble and boasting a “belly stone” spewing steam, scents and therapeutic colored light.

Infrared Sauna (World Spa)

There’s also a gorgeous rock-walled Himalayan Salt Room designed with healthful salt inhalation therapy in mind; an Infrared Sauna made with curved Alder wood seating that uses light therapy instead of heat; and a Snow Room complete with a faux cliffside and a machine churning out fake snow to cool off flushed sauna refugees. 

Snow Room (World Spa)

The Snow Room is meant to pair with the spa’s sweat-inducing treatments, as are the cold plunge pools and rainfall showers that dispense blasts of icy water to complete the traditional hot-and-cold cycle. Guests can also dip into a salt water hydrotherapy pool or enjoy a jacuzzi across from a glass-enclosed DaVinci gas fireplace. Hot-and-cold Onsen salt water pools inspired by Japanese hot springs are located nearby under a massive mural of Mount Fuji.

Turkish Hammam (World Spa)

World Spa’s hands-on wellness treatments follow a similarly international theme, featuring private massages, platzas, facials and body wrap specials that encompass Russian, Swedish, Moroccan, Himalayan Hot Stone, Japanese, and CBD oil-infused options. The facility also launched a variety of vitamin IV therapy treatments last month. 

Himalayan Hot Stone Massage (World Spa)

World Spa Managing Director Lenny Vays says his team spent two years traveling the globe and planning room designs and treatments before the facility opened in December of 2022. 

“We’re trying to be as authentic as possible,” Vays explains. “It’s Eastern Europe, Nordic, Central Asian, Turkish, before landing in Japan. All with different scents, sounds and experiences. It’s a combination of about seven different cultures represented.”

World Spa’s tiled main floor showers (World Spa)

The pool lounge serves an expansive menu of post-schvitzing snacks, spanning sushi, salads, tacos, pastas, shrimp cocktail, oysters and caviar dip, along with heartier fare like beef stroganoff, borscht and potato dumplings. Beverages include fresh juices and smoothies along with an array of cocktails, beer and wine from a 747-bottle cellar. 

Cocktails at World Spa (World Spa)

There’s also a members-only Birch & Oak club that offers an elevated menu and luxe specials like pairing Louis XIII Remy Martin cognac, Black Sturgeon caviar and VIP spa access for $550 per person. But even the regular World Spa experience feels exclusive. Admissions are scheduled ahead of time, and the sprawling space wasn’t crowded during a recent weekday visit. 

Salt Water Hydrotherapy Pool (World Spa)

If you’re just looking to spend several hours happily luxuriating in saunas, steam rooms and pools, admission starts at just $95 per person, not including treatments or food and beverages. For more information, visit World Spa’s site here.

(World Spa)