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My name is: Leonid Khanin.

I live in: Brooklyn, NY.

I’m known for being: Co-founder of World Spa. And for my background in architecture and museum design. 

Before I created this, I was:

Leading large-scale projects with complicated schedules and narratives, from high-rise buildings to presidential libraries. 

My interest was sparked when:  

I experienced the amazing potential of our bodies after being exposed to aqua thermal treatments. I was drawn in by the depth of culture around these practices, along with the beauty of elements of craftsmanship and perfection of processes and ancient rituals.

The idea behind it is:

The main concept was to bring representations of the most popular spa cultures from around the world under one roof. As background, there was significant research, involving intense traveling and studying of the best practices. We decided to order most of the baniya, saunas and hammams from the original sources to be constructed traditionally and delivered to us. We used only natural materials to achieve the effect of authentic journeys for our guests, carefully choreographing every step. 

My favorite lesser known detail is:

There are many. I’d highly recommend doing a “Venik” treatment in combination with honey and salt scrubbing. Experiencing the sauna aufguss ritual—involving music and essential oils—that we hold every two hours in our Grande Banya and Event Sauna is a must, even during your first visit. The Aroma Sauna is full of new scents that combine the aromas of the forest with infused snowballs, meeting on the jadeite stones. Clay & Hay—our temazcal sweat lodge—is an ideal place for meditation. And, with a flip of the stone, a ceremony brings us back to the adobe houses in ancient times. 

A moment of true retreat happened for me here when:

Our team spent six years researching and building this facility. We were close to the grand opening and started to test every room, banya and sauna. We tested a private Chalet rental for four of us. After a couple of hours, I completely converted from the builder to the visitor. I felt like we all were outside the city, in the woods in a cabin. It was so nice and fulfilling to know that we could have something like that so close and available.

Escaping is so important for all of us because:

World Spa is a perfect escape from the stressful and sometimes toxic environments of the megapolis. New Yorkers live a very intense life and deserve the best. Some don’t have time or budget for lengthy retreats, but here they can relax, decompress and recharge within a few hours. So, it is escaping without leaving the city. 

The words I live by are:

Feeling the happiness and excitement of our guests brings the most powerful satisfaction.

One truth that is so important, but people don’t always realize is:

There is no escape. Our journey is never-ending. The best companions are love and kindness.

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