Much like how I find most of my obsessions, I first came across Chillhouse on Instagram. Take one look at my own Instagram, and you’ll know that I love any location with palm wallpaper or a neon sign. And Chillhouse is just about as Instagrammable as it can get, featuring not just a neon sign, but colorful lattes, nail art and a minimalistic seating area complete with cacti. However this coffeeshop-spa isn’t just a cute place to snap a pic: The space offers a menu of luxe spa services, nail art and trendy drinks, and Chillhouse’s founder, Cyndi Ramirez, is no newbie to the business. Ramirez also founded the blog Taste The Style and Den Hospitality, the group responsible for chic spots like Dinnertable, The Lately, and The Garrett (another good spot for a neon sign pic).
Ramirez says she started Chillhouse out of pure necessity. She wanted to create a go-to space for relaxation that wasn’t intimidating. “My husband and I were trying to get massages one day and were very underwhelmed with our options; in NYC, the gap is so split between super low or super high end massage options. There’s a major void there. Then we just started chatting about ‘spas’ as a whole and realized there wasn’t a place to go unwind without the pressure of fully immersing yourself in a spa-like environment. They’re intimidating and they almost always break the bank! As the daughter of an esthetician, I always knew the industry needed an update. It became so obvious to us that now was the time—we landed at a cafe/spa boutique that focused on manicure and massage services.”
For my own trip to Chillhouse, I opted for the Chill Pill, a full-body massage that focuses on relaxation. The massage area traded the usual lyric-less spa sounds for a playlist of chill Frank Ocean-style songs that I had to resist jumping up from the massage table to Shazam. The massage itself definitely lived up to its name, and I left thoroughly de-stressed. Ramirez’s favorite massage option is the Stretch Armstrong, which stretches muscles to enhance fitness, with the addition of aromatherapy. Other choices include The Express Focus, which targets a specific zone of the body, and The Hangover Cure, which aims to do just what its name suggests.
As for nails, patrons can choose from a book of nail designs, curated by Lady Fancy Nails. Choose from options like Latte Life (feminine ombre), Discoteca (’70s printed), or Tan Lines (reverse French manicure). I went with DPI, a tiny dot pattern suggested for nail art newbies. Says Ramirez, “I’m a Matisse girl for life,” referencing a squiggly, conceptual nail design.
My final step in experiencing all of Chillhouse’s offerings was the coffee bar. The cafe is worth stopping into even if you aren’t there for spa services. “[It’s] modern, uncomplicated but thoughtful. We wanted to make it clean, easy on the eyes, and most importantly, relaxing and welcoming,” says Ramirez of the design. The cafe’s menu is split into drinks that either energize or relax, with categories aptly named Turn Me On and Wind Me Down. I played it safe with a (delicious) Nitro Cold Brew, but the more adventurous can choose from the Beet-Chata, Golden Latte, Ube-Bay Latte, or the Black & Green. “I’m a matcha girl, through and through,” says Ramirez, when I asked for her go-to.
Chillhouse completely lives up to its goal of being a luxurious, yet unintimidating, space to destress. Whether your splurge is an herbal tea in the bright cafe or a full-on 80-minute massage, you will leave completely chilled out. Just don’t forget to Instagram.