Cavale Tonuzi’s staff of hair colorists and stylists have developed a following over the course of their 18 years servicing Bay Ridgites at 78th Street and Third Avenue. With Robert Cavale specializing in color and Violette Tonuzi in styling, it seemed the duo had a winning combination.
Last year these two colleagues made the bold decision to move into the space once occupied by the Kleinfeld’s bridal shop at 8211 Third Ave. With partners Georgette Franzone and Charbel Elias (who has been with Cavale Tonuzi since 1992), they transformed the space with a sweeping 1950s modern aesthetic awash in white from ceiling to floor.
The haircutting stations have streamlined and stylized MG Bross furniture chosen by Cavale in Italy. Franzone is particularly proud of the cafe and the soon-to-be on-duty nutritionist and dermatologist.
Cavale emphasizes the accessibility of their open hair color station - visible to the customer like an open kitchen. He says the purpose is to make the client feel more at ease with the color process, and feel more assured that the colorist isn’t mixing mysterious potions in a back room. (Cavale says they refer to their customers as "guests," and only "lawyers have clients.")
All of these innovations are reason enough to experience Cavale Tonuzi, but what about that swirling staircase reminiscent of the Guggenheim Museum? In February, those stairs will lead you down to the opening of Cavale Tonuzi’s Tantra spa. Its treatment rooms, which are a far cry from the chilling, clinical environment of other spas, are wrought from rough-hewn, earth-toned tiles.
As we step over cables and around workmen, Franzone verbalizes the still missing pieces. The showers, she explained, are designed to feel like a rain shower. At the far end of the hall is a double-headed rainfall shower room for two (with wet room capability if the guests opt to have their wrap treatments in the room).
This room, with a working waterfall, has been designed for the "Tantra Couple" treatment ($375 per couple), which includes champagne, an aroma wrap or hour-long body massage, conditioning treatment, aromatherapy rain shower (lit with dozens candles), and side-by-side manicure and pedicure. The "journey" ends with a light meal served in the tranquility room.
"It’s very, very different than anything else in Brooklyn, or in the Metro area," says Franzone about Tantra’s ancient Indian theme. "The philosophies are very different. My partners and I have been to many spas in the city, and we wanted an alternative to the typical salon spa."
The spa and the salon use Aveda products (pronounced ah-vay-da, meaning "knowledge of nature" in Sanskrit and derived from the Ayurvedic healing tradition in India). The products’ ingredients are derived from plants and flowers. Cavale Tonuzi features an Aveda Lifestyle store, which carries the entire line of home and hair and body care products.
The products I sampled - from the Tourmaline Charged Hydrating Creme to the Purifying Gel Cleanser - were all effective, kind to sensitive skin and subtly scented with natural aromas. (According to the Aveda Web site, because the aromas are made with plants, the products tend to be unisex.)
Tantra will also be offering facials, waxing, manicures and pedicures, sunless tanning treatments, wraps, body masks and more. The spa offers series discounts - an incentive to keep the customer coming back, rather than having a facial once a year.
As Franzone says, "If you feel good and look good, who’s better than you?"
See Tantra in the Spa Directory.