Unveiled early this year, the SoJo Spa urban wellness retreat is set in a seven-story, 240,000-square-foot purpose-built structure on the banks of the Hudson River in Edgewater, New Jersey. Facilities are expansive and impressive: They include 10 sauna and therapy rooms, each targeting an ailment such as sore muscles or poor circulation; white clay, red clay, charcoal and Himalayan salt saunas; several traditional sauna rooms; and a halotherapy lounge. In addition, numerous relaxation areas feature heated stone tables, comfy loungers and oversized bean bag chairs.
There’s also a large family-friendly area (children over eight are welcome), plus three restaurants. And that’s before you factor in the rooftop infinity pool, 170-foot-long underwater foot massage path and hydrotherapy pool with show-stopping views over Manhattan. For clients so relaxed that they can’t face going back to the city, SoJo also offers 32 guest rooms with a clean, white-and-neutral aesthetic; their price includes spa club access for one person.
“So far, our marketing strategy has been largely digital, but we’re scaling up our operations as we grow beyond our first year,” explains communications and special events manager Esther Cha. “Email marketing has been a major part of our plan and we’re currently working on capturing more email addresses, as well as improving our data collection so we can better understand our guest profile. We’ve also built a strong Instagram presence since we opened, which has been a valuable tool for sharing information.” Because SoJo is located just five miles from the Lincoln Tunnel and George Washington Bridge, and a 15-minute ferry ride from Midtown, most current guests live within a 10-mile radius and opt for the day pass ($65 to $75).
“Mr. Jo works tirelessly to make SoJo the best experience it can possibly be,” comments Cha. “He has visited traditional Korean day spas throughout his life and is extremely passionate about bringing this part of Korean culture to a wider audience. He’s very hands-on in every aspect of the business, and we also have a management team who each contribute their own individual expertise to SoJo.”
The menu spans an array of escapes for both the body and mind— from Balinese massages to antiaging facials—with waxing, mani/ pedis, and express, teens’ and men’s treatments rounding out the spa’s offerings. Top sellers include the Advanced Enzyme Facial (90 min./$275) and Heated Salt Stone Massage (60 min./ $175; 90 min./$225). Services are performed in 12 treatment rooms, including two couples’ suites, while an additional six-table communal pod provides an escape for girls’ weekend groups or bridal parties.
The spa offers products and treatments from U.K.-based brand ESPA, which combines a traditional holistic ethos with the scientific power of natural ingredients.