This month, Haven Spa in New York City debuts the Rule Your Own World treatment series, a Game of Thrones-themed extravaganza made up of a “Fire and Ice” facial, a “Geek Massage” to relieve the kind of lower-back tension with which office- and Dragonstone-dwellers are equally familiar, and the “Mother of Dragons Pedicure.” The trio of services unites not quite seven kingdoms, but at least two of our deepest passions—Game of Thrones and luxe spa experiences. We appealed to Julie Schott, ELLE.com’s fearless beauty Khaleesi. We had to try it. Benevolent queen, she made it happen.
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Upon arrival, we find we’re not in Westeros, and there are no thrones over which to war. Instead, we walk into Haven on Mercer Street and are greeted by an India.Arie-ish soundtrack and wall-to-wall mirrors. It’s been a brutal few weeks—deadlines, too much fun, too little sleep. The effect is less Sansa and more White Walker. Mattie jokes that the combination of her blue eyes,”flesh as pale as milk,” and the sense that she’s aged approximately a millennium in less than a month has turned her into a creature that could be used to scare children. It’s not true at all, but that’s how she feels.
Luckily, we’re here to test-drive three services that explicitly cater to the exhausted, the run-down, the Game of Thrones–obsessed.
We are quite ready to have our dull pallor scrubbed into oblivion. We’re whisked into a dark hall, through some heavy, velvet curtains, and into what the receptionist says is the “women’s salon.” It’s not the Iron Throne, but it’ll do. Haven has tossed some jewel-like, pointy rocks into all the sinks and a very plush robe into each of the lockers, and once we slip them on, we do feel rather charmed. And perhaps royal.
We lock up our few possessions and beeline for the couches where we’re meant to wait for our aestheticians. We haven’t even had anything done to us yet, but the faux candles are used to remarkable effect. Looking better already! A table between us is laden with various coconut-laced elixirs and squishy dates in a translucent bowl. Of all the amenities, the best is surely a refrigerated drawer packed with pineapple juices and four flavors of Polar seltzer. There’s no La Croix in the the North.
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The Geek Massage
Ten or so minutes later, a man whose voice sounds like melted butter arrives to take us to treatment rooms for the massage. First, the masseuse focuses on the upper back, accompanied by a suggestion to move once an hour at work, and to drink more water. (Honestly, true and true.) The massage is so good that one of us is lulled to sleep in approximately five minutes. They should try this in Game of Thrones—massage your enemies into defenselessness. When it’s over, it’s safe to say we feel like queens. Maybe even the ruler of seven kingdoms? If Donald Trump can be elected president, surely I can unite Westeros.
The Fire and Ice Facial
Then, it’s on to our faces—which, unlike Arya’s victims, we’re hoping to keep for a long time. The facialist explains that the service’s name refers to the two different masks we’ll receive. The “fire” mask contains glycolic acid and kaolin clay to resurface the skin. Its name is no joke—it really does burn, but not in a “I’ve just been sacrificed by the Red Lady” way. More in a “my skin is going to look so dope after this” way. Plus, the steamer is going, making the whole experience not unlike roasting in a dragon’s maw.
Luckily, the mask—which has an off-white greyscale-ish cast—is only on for a couple of minutes. Then, it’s to the deep freeze. The “ice” mask features hyaluronic acid, aloe vera, and rosemary, to chill everything out. Next, the facialist uses bulbs filled with icy cold water to close up those pores and massage the face. Haven recommends this service for “aging skin” and a glimpse in the mirror does indeed reveal a newly baby-like visage. Maybe this is something Melisandre should get into?
The Mother of Dragons Pedicure
It’s hard not to feel personally attacked by the final stage in our Game of Thrones beauty gauntlet. If we have crusty, dragonish feet, that’s NOBODY’S business. But the idea is to try to fix that, probably. Sigh. After a relaxing warm bath featuring dragonfruit powder and pink Himalayan salt, there’s an “antioxidant-rich dragonfruit” scrub—as well as a very pink cocktail containing even more dragonfruit. It tastes like cotton candy, and it’s delectable. And what do you know? After the scrub and bath, our feet really do feel fresher than a Greyjoy pulled out of the roiling ocean. Finally—the claws themselves. (Or what you non-dragon types call “nails.”) What shade to choose? What would Daenerys do? To be honest, she probably doesn’t care about cosmetics—she’s kind of busy trying to conquer the Seven Kingdoms. Red it is.
As seductive as a GoT-themed spa package might seem, does it live up to the hype of the cult show? While you don’t have to be a Westeros wonk to enjoy it, this combination of treatments did leave us feeling as anointed and pampered as queens. We went away having a better understanding of why Cersei is so het up about this reigning-over-the-lands business. If this kind of luxury is what it gets you, then so be it. But as fans know, not all royals are created equal. The upshot: We went in looking like the Night King, and came out looking like Khaleesi. We didn’t even have to walk through flames to do it.