David Barton—Now A Spa
Images Courtesy David Barton Gym+Spa
+ Story by Joseph Alexiou
David Barton is the gym-empire genius who pioneered the brilliant slogan "look better naked," appealing to whole segments of the gay community (despite his being straight, and married, with a kid). Now he's moved down south, and brought a spa with him.
This past November, Barton opened a new location at South Beach's beautiful new Gansevoort Hotel. But unlike all other previous locations, the 45,000 sq. ft. DavidBartonGym+Spa, is both a workout center (the first 10,000 square feet) and a beautifully designed luxury spa stocked with products from Sonya Dakar, Ling Skincare, and Jessica Nails. Designed by Studio Sofield, metal lattice covers the domed ceiling, there are Chinese wedding beds, sculptures, and hand-stenciled wall decorations.
Apparently created in the name of vanity, "this spa is for people who need to recover from the night before and get them looking as good as they can for the night ahead." according to Barton. I believe this deep insight into our psyche gets him honorary gay membership.
The tongue-in-cheek treatment names also have great appeal: "the Cougar," is an anti-aging facial treatment (ultrasonic exfoliation, lymph drainage, extractions, light therapy, a customized ginseng mask and a penetrating Freeze Serum, all for $275); "Hot Pants," exfoliates, tightens, and tones your "booty and thighs," ($190); while the "Barton Detox," is a heavy duty massage with elements of shiatsu and Swedish techniques, applied with a "spicy detox oil" ($275).
For those queer travelers heading to South Beach in search of decadence and the good life, the Gansvoort is probably your best bet, and a day in this shrine to "outer beauty" will have you ready for that night time heat.