Namaste Spa, Provincetown

Despite its well-deserved standing as one of North America’s great gay vacation spots, Provincetown, and it’s white-picket fences, starched local accents, and 19th-century architecture make it seem an unlikely location for the Indian statuary, breathy flute music, and Ayurvedic treatments of an New Age–styled spa. And yet, there, like a vision of Ganesh hovering over a lobster pot, is Namasté.

Tucked away in a garden behind the formal front parlor of the Carpe Diem Guesthouse, where decanters of sherry and port are preferred round a hearth, Namasté offers unexpected respite from the seaside honky tonk of the Commercial Street strip, just a block away.

The spa’s manicured outdoor patio area, with comfortable chaises and a hot tub is the perfect spot for naked napping, especially given recent reports of police anti-nudity enforcement on nearby Herring Cove beach. While the spa’s clientele is primarily gay men, women are welcome; so make sure your immodesty is gender neutral. The garden, two dry saunas, and a mosaic-tiled hammam-styled steam room are available for pre-and-post treatment relaxation.

The hammam experience can be enhanced with a spritz of one of four complimentary aromatherapy essences that let you sink into a mist of eucalyptus or lounge in a cloud of lavender. Except for overnight guests at Carpe Diem, who have free access, there’s a $15 surcharge beyond treatment fees to access the common facilities; well worth it considering Namasté has surprisingly modest prices for some of the most outstanding massages this writer and his partner have ever experienced.

Licensed therapists Robert and Matthew provided powerful deep tissue work as part of the signature one hour Namasté Fusion massage, showing the influence of traditional Thai techniques as they occasionally applied pressure with full forearms and elbows for a pleasurably intense, but never painful, experience ($270 for two, including amenity surcharge). Other featured offerings include reflexology treatments (30 min/$85), a Tibetan crystal sound bath (60 min/$120), and a two-hour Marrakesh Glow session, incorporating a sugar skin polish and argan oil massage ($285). www.namastespaprovincetown.com

                                                                                              — Jim Gladstone

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