I Got a Gum-Scented Massage for Valentine's Day
For the second year in a row, Mars Wrigley’s Candy Spa has popped up in New York City.
When Mars Wrigley opened a pop-up candy spa in New York City last year, over 1,000 people showed up during the two day period—with good reason. It’s Instagram-worthy, offers fun candy-themed treatments including minty blowouts and Skittles manicures, and, unlike most spas, everything is free. Yes, free—and of course, that includes the candy too. So we were pretty excited to hear that Sweet ReTREAT is back for round two this year, just in time for Valentine’s Day. If you’re interested, the spa will be open for two days only—February 13 and February 14.
While last year’s theme was more chocolate-centric, Sweet ReTREAT 2019 is all about gum and mints. Right when you walk in, you’ll see an Altoids sculpture of a mouth (captioned “mint to be”) on one side of the room and a heart-shaped sculpture made of gum packets on the other. Three beauty stations in the back are also covered in gum packets, touting “Let’s Get Fresh” slogans; if you visit one of the many candy bowls strewn around the “spa” you’ll find Orbit and Hubba Bubba gum ready for you to bring home, in addition to Snickers, Dove Chocolate, and other Mars Wrigley products.
According to Hank Izzo, Mars Wrigley’s General Manager of Gum, Mints, and Ice Cream, SweetReTREAT went with gum and mints this year based on survey findings—one out of four people polled associate gum and mints with Valentine’s Day (which feels appropriate, given the context). Another 60 percent grab them before heading out on a date; 63 percent felt that “kissing someone with bad breath would be worse than kissing no one at all,” according to a statement. Thus, the whole spa is catered as a place to “refresh,” whether you’re heading out to a special dinner after or bunking down at home for a cozy date with Netflix.
I got to check out Sweet ReTREAT myself and opted for the mini massage, which lasted about 20 minutes. It was pretty effective (think light deep tissue), working on my back, shoulders, arms, and hands—all the while, a diffuser was emitting a pleasant minty scent that helped me relax. If massages aren’t your thing, there are three other options: the “Minty Fresh Blowout Bar,” “Mars Chocolate Make Up Bar,” and the “Skittles Mani.” Each have different candy-inspired services—like “Big Red” lips at the makeup bar and the “Bounce and Shine” blowout, inspired by Hubba Bubba bubble gum—so pick your favorite candy and give it a try.
Tempted? The spa is located at 111 Grand Street in Soho, and will be open from noon to 8 p.m. The Mars-Wrigley team expects even more people to visit this year, so try and beat the crowds by getting in early. All reservations are sold out, according to the site; however, the Sweet ReTREAT team said walk-ins are welcome. At the very least, you can walk out with some free gum and M&M’s.