By Kylie McKenzie
With wellness and healing arts practices that inspire “The simplicity of self,” Shou Sugi Ban House, in the Hamptons, is a unique gated thirteen-studio spa and wellness retreat.
Opened in May 2019, Shou Sugi Ban spans three acres in Water Mill, a lovely area just two hours from New York City, celebrated for its sprawling farms, chic vineyards and lush estates. Founder Amy Cherry-Abitbol’s retreat includes plant-rich meals and immune boosting vitality immersion programs alongside advanced skincare treatments like a Parisian micro-needling facial and deep tissue massage with In Fiore cupping.
The custom-designed Shou Sugi Ban clad reception area of the stand-alone spa leads to five treatment rooms, a thermal suite equipped with a far infrared sauna for highly effective body detoxifying and a chromotherapy shower that uses coloured lights for relaxation and stress relief. Ashiatsu massage rooms, a relaxation lounge and outdoor solarium deck with Watsu and hydrotherapy plunge pools, complete the offering.
Shou Sugi Ban House’s culinary philosophy is born from the belief that true health is grounded in nature, and food is medicine. Designed by chef Mads Refslund, a co-founder of world-famous Noma restaurant in Copenhagen. Along with the House’s resident nutritionist, Refslund has created balanced and hyper-seasonal menus that are inventive, plant-rich, and locally-sourced. A tea lounge invites visitors into the ceremonial world of teas, tonics and elixirs, allowing for individual consultations and customized creations.
The House is a truly a reflection of Cherry-Abitbol’s life- long connection to Japanese culture and appreciation of wabi-sabi principles, in ethos and design. Guests connect with the natural world in Japanese gardens with winding pathways, reflective pools, fountains, and a landscape inspired by the local dunescape. Their 400-square foot guest studios each have their own private entrances and floor-to-ceiling windows, fireplaces and private garden patio for meditation or massage.