Spaahrty On

This year, more and more Long Islanders are wearing robes to parties. Plush spa robes, that is. Intimate and understated, spa parties are 2013’s quieter answer to the decadent all-weekend bashes of the salad days. Spa parties, or “sparties,” are popular for everything from baby showers to Sweet Sixteen birthday weekends, or just as a girls’ night out or moms’ day at the spa. Rather than the traditional restaurant brunch, intergenerational groups of women are now bonding while soaking their feet together.

Kerri Brush, party coordinator at Hands On HealthCare Massage Therapy and Wellness Day Spa in Commack, attributes the rise of the robe and slipper parties to the increase in popularity of spa treatments and massages over the last decade.

“Everybody likes to be pampered now,” she said. Ten years ago, when Hands On first started doing spa parties, professional massages and spa services were still somewhat novel. Now, spas across Long Island have made it a popular service and spa parties are transforming the “me-time” we’ve all come to love into party “we-time.”

Themed packages at Hands On include a Pampered Piggies Party, an entire party in the spa’s “foot sanctuary” where you can socialize with friends during an hour-long foot and leg massage. Sunday at the Spa is also popular, with a one-hour body massage, a hot paraffin hand masque, a foot soak and refreshments of bagels, muffins, croissants and coffee.

Once the treatments start, said Kerri, a hush invariably comes over the party. People are generally too relaxed to chitchat, but that’s the point.

“It’s an alternative to a crazy night out,” she said, and it’s an intimate gathering with no clean up or set up.

At the Village Spa in Roslyn, parties can even have a black humor twist. Divorce parties are the newest theme cooked up by owner Rick Joseph. A punching clown offers some stress relief beyond the massage table.

Rick said the sky’s the limit when it comes to creating a fun theme at his spa, but it always comes back to togetherness.

“It’s something different and guests get to share an experience with friends that’s more affordable and close to home,” he said, contrasting the $175 per head price of a standard spa party with a more costly night in the City.

Parties take over the whole space, including the party room with private saunas and large-screen tvs playing movies.

Any type of food can be brought in like sushi or mini desserts from a local bakery and after the guests finish their massages or treatments, they mingle in the party room for another hour. Six to 17 guests take turns getting treated.

“It’s plug and play,” said Rick. “Just bring drinks and your girlfriends.”

Jacqueline Sweet

Jacqueline Sweet

Jacqueline Sweet is a freelance journalist and writer who covers local news and writes features for local and regional publications. She has published work in national magazines like Salute magazine, Family (military) magazine, Triathlete magazine, regional publications like Long Island Pulse and Long Island Parenting, and reported local news for online outlets like and She has been covering health, wellness, fitness beauty, spa and travel for Long Island Pulse for several years.