Heather Hannig, spa director at Mandarin Oriental, New York
‘I love walking with my camera, I go everywhere and take pictures of everything. In New York there’s so much to see and explore,’ says Heather Hannig, a 20-year spa industry veteran and Mandarin Oriental, New York’s spa director, who has spent her career sharing wellness with her guests and clients. As Hannig reveals here, she never stops exploring the healthy side of NYC living.
Madison Square Park
What are your favourite places for inspiration or mindfulness?
Mindfulness and inspiration can happen anywhere, you have to let it come to you. That is why you’ll find me on any given day walking through New York’s neighbourhoods, popping in and out of boutiques, bookstores and restaurants. My favourite walk is through Madison Square Park, west of the Highline off of 23rd and south of the Meatpacking [district]. I like to keep my place for inspiration a secret, but follow #NYCYouInspireMe [part of Mandarin Oriental, New York’s project to document, on all social media channels, the places, people and experiences that inspire New Yorkers] – I’ll be giving away my secret soon!
Health club Equinox
You are an avid yoga practitioner. Which New York studios do you go to?
I started my career as a personal trainer and I still love cross-training – a mix of spinning, running, weights and yoga. With my Equinox pass I can access the clubs all over the city – I practise my routine four times a week. I also do yoga at YogaWorks and Pure Yoga.
Yoga wear from Lululemon
Where are the best places to buy workout gear?
I absolutely love Phat Buddha’s sports bras and I get them at Equinox. A New York favourite, Lululemon, has great tops that fit well and stay put. And my yoga pants are from Hard Tail – I usually buy them at yoga studios.
With your intense New York schedule, how do you maintain a healthy diet?
My mantra is that you have to prioritise yourself, so I focus on treating myself well with healthy food, meditation and yoga. Luckily, New York is brimming with healthy-to-go options. Near the hotel, I usually choose Whole Foods or Juice Generation.
Whole Foods at Columbus Circle
Where would you grab a healthy bite?
The Butcher’s Daughter on Kenmare Street has a unique and creative approach, with a healthy menu that can be adjusted to any dietary need.
How do you feel about New York City’s juice trend, and where do you find the best juice?
I think juice is a fantastic way to balance energy and reduce internal stress. Again, I love The Butcher’s Daughter, for its unique juice menu – specifically the Rubies in the Dust (beet, carrot, ginger, local berries, plum, flaxseed oil, rosemary). The ingredients are rehydrating, which helps my body respond to all the exercise I do and my busy lifestyle.
The Butcher’s Daughter eatery
What are your top three wellness tips?
Wake up 15 minutes earlier, as I have recently started doing, to have a silent moment in bed to meditate before the day begins. Then have a glass of room temperature water – it is easy for your body to digest and kick-starts your metabolism. Before going to bed, plug your mobile phone in in the kitchen, so you won’t be tempted to check it during the night. It is important to give yourself some time to disconnect.
Follow Heather Hannig’s New York journey on Instagram @raehh
Heather’s NYC address book
The Butcher’s Daughter, 19 Kenmare Street
Equinox, 10 Columbus Circle
Juice Generation, 979 Eighth Avenue
Lululemon, 1928 Broadway
Pure Yoga, 204 W 77th Street
Whole Foods, 10 Columbus Circle
YogaWorks, 37 W 65th Street