Mermaid Spa located in the Sea Gate area of Brooklyn has a reputation for being the best Russian baths in New York. Besides three Russian steam rooms, this bathhouse has a scorching dry sauna, a Turkish bath, two tile pools that are machine-fed with chopped ice and a circular Jacuzzi inside a lodge-like wooden hall. The entire facility is finished with wood and slate. Owners Zina and Boris Kotlyar, Joseph Feldsherov, and Aleks Khlebopros say they wanted to create an environment that was similar to an old style banya in Russia . "Marble is so cold, wood helps you feel warmer." The great quality of steam also helps to feel warmer. Mermaid Spa also offers Swedish and deep tissue massage in addition to traditional Russian massage with soap or venik - a leafy bundle of birch or oak twigs. The restaurant is great with authentic Russian dishes that you would not want to miss. Traditional Russian vodka, cold beer and freshly squeezed juices are also available. The resting area is cozy. In the summer visitors appreciate the fact that Mermaid Spa is located just a 5-minute walk to the beach. Russian steam room: An authentic Russian room with a stove made with granite rocks heated overnight to radiate intense heat. The stove has a hole to throw the water into. By throwing water on stones heated to extreme temperatures behind metal doors, steam droplets of exceptionally small size are created; this makes breathing easy and enjoyable. The temperatures usually do not exceed 80C/180F. Here people often hit themselves or others with bunches of dried branches and leaves from white birch or other suitable trees (called venik) in order to get a message and improve the circulation. In winter, branches that have been dried and then moistened in hot water are used. Felt hats are used to protect the head from heat. Pads are used to sit on as the hot, dry wood can be uncomfortable for bare skin.