Zen and the Art of Cake

The event world in New York City is a non-stop, rollercoaster ride of trials and tribulations:  demanding clients, unresponsive supply vendors, logistical snafus, last minute changes and oppressive Manhattan traffic where it could take 30 minutes to travel 2 city blocks in a car.  It is incredibly difficult to maintain one’s sanity on a daily basis working the wedding scene in NYC and even more difficult if you are a sought-after creator of couture goods.  Just take it from Ron Ben-Israel and Emily Pinon from Bastille Flowers and Events, the world of shindigs in the concrete jungle is not for the faint of heart.

So how do these two juggernauts of high-end creations unwind and shake off the dust of the city?  They journey to the oasis in the stress desert, The Spa at the Four Seasons Hotel New York Downtown. Here Ron and Emily can share their war stories and make plans for collaboration on future events while rejuvenating in style.  Event industry professionals are a tight knit group who rely on each other for support, wisdom, and inspiration so treating each other to a few pampering moments is a welcome relief to the hustle-bustle.

Upon entering the serene and well-appointed spa lobby, one is immediately overwhelmed with a centering of the inner compass.  It is as if a reset button of the spirit has been pushed and calming waves of tranquility are now being deployed.  The chic marble walls, pristinely positioned luxury goods and attentive staff combine to create a welcome synonymous with The Four Seasons Hotel brand, with a little downtown edge.

Ron and Emily kick off their urban detox of the mind and body by relaxing in the Spa’s lounge area where Rishi Tea is served and an array of healthful snacks.  The gently veiled sunlight filtering in through the windows of the indoor relaxation room reflect the healing vibes as the tensions of the New York event world begin to fade.  And while cake is not the usual fare (of course Ron snuck in some cake!) it certainly is not out of place in this sophisticated retreat that is all about nurturing and sweetening the soul.

Unique to the usual spa experience is the ultra-glamorous 75 foot long pool that Ron and Emily have at their disposal.  With its reflective mosaic tiles, crystal clear waters and plush deck chairs, one can close their eyes and almost feel the cool ocean breezes caressing the skin.

A pool day complete with a few hijinks never hurt anyone.

Most spa’s are known for their skin treatments and tension-easing massage therapies but few can compare to the “Haute Couture” concept the Four Seasons Downtown has adopted to ensure they stand head and shoulders above the rest.  They have “partnered with Dr. Burgener Switzerland, the Swiss expert in beauty and rejuvenation, and Omorovicza, from the International Spa City of Budapest, to create customized experiences found exclusively at Four Seasons Hotel New York Downtown. The Pauline Burgener Haute Couture concept, developed by Dr. Burgener, is a revolutionary personalized skincare program, which combines the most sophisticated skin analysis technologies and treatments tailored to individual skin types.”-courtesy of the Four Seasons Hotel New York Downtown.

The toxins have left the building…

Feeling like their old selves again, Ron and Emily finish with a toast on the Spa’s terrace area, just high enough above the city streets to keep their zen intact.  After seeing everything that The Spa at the Four Seasons Hotel New York Downtown has to offer, perhaps they should consider adding a motto above their entrance that reads, “Give me your tired, your poor. Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,” for that is exactly what they offer: a sanctuary for those the city has tried to devour.  The experiences at The Spa speak to the fact that it may very well be its own Ellis Island and instead of welcoming immigrants to this fine land, it is helping to restore a strength and resilience to the residents and visitors of the Big Apple.

Photos by Hannah Soule for Ron Ben-Israel Cakes

Special thanks to Tara Cruz, Director of Spa for The Four Seasons Hotel New York Downtown who was kind enough to open her doors to us, and Georgi Richardson of Maggie Marguerite Studios for her creative mentorship throughout the shoot.

For more information on Rishi Tea or The Spa at Four Seasons Hotel New York Downtown, please visit their websites: rishi-tea.com and fourseasons.com/newyorkdowntown/spa

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