Ever since SpaFinder and Yelo were mentioned in the same New York Times article, I have been wanting to give Yelo – the nap spa – a try. Late last year when we came out with our list of top 10 spa trends for 2007, “Sleep Health Added to Spa Menus” was at the top of our list. And coincidentally (or not) Yelo was just opening. Yelo is a place in Manhattan where you can go for some quick r & r. Basically they offer foot reflexology and naps – in a kind of sleep cab, equipped with a special sleep chair designed for the most comfortable sleep position, music and lighting, all perfectly conducive to sleep.
Here is my report:
It was late Sunday afternoon as I rushed in a cab to get to my nap before Yelo closed. No one was available for foot reflexology because “they were all booked” which in spa-speak usually means “we don’t have enough therapists.” Indeed that seemed to be the case…but understandable since they just started opening on Sundays. I paid $18 for a 30 minute nap (and was told if I wanted to extend it I could). So I went to sleep cabin number 3 with the attendant and sat in the chair. She gave me a choice of music – or no music – or white noise. I choose a dreamy kind of music, she put a cashmere blanket over my legs, checked my temperature and adjusted the chair so that my knees were bent and my legs were slightly elevated above my torso. She is turned out the lights and let me know I will be awakened gradually with a simulated sunrise.
It takes me time to relax….my mind is wandering, thinking about the financials of this concept, whether or not I chose the right music, etc. Before I knew it, 30 minutes had passed and the sunrise light is coming up and I have only slept a few minutes. I asked for an extension and also for a music change to white noise. As soon as she closed the door, turned the music off, and added white noise, I noticed I was falling asleep almost instantly. 15 minutes and another sunrise later I meandered back to the front desk, payed for my extra nap, perused the retail area(which had various sleep aid products) before heading out to the sound of mid-town Manhattan.
Bottom line? Clever concept. Has possibilities. Could do more for sleep health. Anticipate expansion in other big cities. Not sure how profitable it is.
It will be fun to watch if the sleep cabs catches on…clearly sleep health is an important issue and there certainly have been times (like in airports or at work) when I would love to crawl into a sleep cab for a few minutes.