Does Bergdorf Goodman’s Salon Yoshiko Live Up to the Store’s Reputation?

by Maxine Wally, Oona Wally, Che Baez and Ivana Cruz

A woman under a round blowdryer
Photo by Daily Herald Archive/SSPL/Getty Images

On the 9th floor penthouse of the tony New York City department store, Bergdorf Goodman, lies a chic and brand-new spa: Salon Yoshiko. There, patrons can indulge in massages, facials, manicures and pedicures, and a full-service hair salon with cuts, colors, blowouts, and special occasion styles available. Four W editors took trips to the spa, and gave their honest reviews of their experiences.

Ivana Cruz, Senior Designer

What associations come up when you think of Bergdorf Goodman?

Bergdorf Goodman is synonymous with Christmas in New York City—at least, it is to me. Standing outside their window displays around the holidays, admiring the details and shameless use of glitter, has always been my relationship with the iconic department store. It never even occurred to me to go inside until maybe two years ago, when paying off my credit cards meant I could—in theory—afford a pair of shoes from their fifth floor (the designer shoe salon on the second floor, however, is still out of reach).

Are you a big salon person?

I am not currently a big spa/salon person, but the fact that my grandmother is a retired Dominican hairstylist means I definitely have it in me. That part of me has been dormant the last decade. The older I’ve gotten, and the further I’ve moved from home, the less time I’ve spent doing any spa- or salon-related activity. I get a haircut once a year, and pedicures twice in the summer. However, after getting a blowout at Salon Yoshiko, I’m starting to think I stopped being a spa/salon person because I forgot how nice it is to have someone spend an hour making you feel pretty.

What was your experience like at the salon?

The salon’s Central Park-facing windows and impeccable hospitality made for an immediately elevated experience. But the best part of my time there was Kenji, the incredible hairstylist who gave me one of the best blowouts I’ve ever gotten (nobody tell my grandma). Despite the heavy rains that afternoon, my hair looked wonderful for almost a week later. Kenji was kind, full of interesting stories, and turned my curly hair into a long mane of soft curls. I felt fabulous.

Would you go back to the Bergdorf Goodman spa again?

I would become a spa/salon person for Salon Yoshiko at Bergdorf Goodman and return again.

The foyer at Salon Yoshiko inside Bergdorf Goodman.

Courtesy of Bergdorf Goodman

Maxine Wally, Senior Digital Editor

What is your history with Bergdorf Goodman?

I cultivated a strange obsession with Bergdorf Goodman after reading the 2004 chick lit novel “Bergdorf Blondes” by Plum Sykes. I was neither blonde nor living anywhere close to Bergdorf Goodman in New York City, but I loved the idea of the glamorous, early aughts socialite lifestyle outlined in the book.

Are you a big spa/salon person?

I am not. My friend, the talented hairstylist Luisa Popovic, typically cuts my hair in front of her living room mirror, and I get gel manicures done every so often at a secret spot in Midtown Manhattan that’s sandwiched between a Dunkin Donuts and a costume jewelry store.

What service did you select at the Bergdorf Goodman spa?

I got a manicure and pedicure, because that’s my favorite big indulgence. Yes, massages and facials are incredible, but nothing beats having nails and toes done for a couple weeks following the service.

What was your experience like at Salon Yoshiko?

I arrived for my appointment at Salon Yoshiko on a Friday afternoon—the place was buzzing with regulars, all silver-haired and vaguely European, getting their highlights touched up or their toes buffed and painted a low-key shade of nude. The staff was incredibly friendly as they led me to a cordoned-off area of the salon where pedicures are done. I chose a garish shade of shimmery purple for my toes and electric blue for my fingernails and Norma, my nail technician, began giving me what’s called at the salon the Mandarin Treatment, which entails a scrub, foot massage, and deep hydrating mask for the feet and legs. Let me just say this section of the entire process was totally divine—I sipped a mug of mint tea and closed my eyes, letting a sense of calm wash over me.

Norma was kind enough to remove my existing gel manicure (a service they don’t usually do at Bergdorf’s) and sat me down in a different region of the salon for the fingernail portion. The views of the city were spectacular from where I sat. I could alternate between zoning out watching tourists take selfies at Pulitzer Fountain, and lurking the conversations taking place between the clients and their technicians. Those in the salon that afternoon clearly went often—employees inquired about people’s family members and plans for the summer, suggesting a sense of closeness that made me feel at ease.

Would you go back to the Bergdorf Goodman spa again?

Most definitely. It’s a bit on the pricier side, so I’d make it a special occasion (a bridal party pamper day, or a birthday treat), but I will certainly be back.

Inside Salon Yoshiko.

Courtesy of Bergdorf Goodman

Che Baez, Associate Visuals Editor

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the words “Bergdorf Goodman”?

I remember riding the M2 bus down Fifth Avenue to ballet class as a child and staring at the grand windows and imposing architecture of the department store. I know now Bergdorf’s building has a storied history, having been built on the site of a home once owned by the Vanderbilts. And the department store was the first to introduce ready-to-wear fashion to ladies-who-lunched but didn’t want to spend hours getting their clothes tailored to their exact specifications.

For beauty treatments, do you go to the salon or do it yourself at home?

I’m a salon person sometimes—I don’t have a ton of indulgences, but the one self-care thing I do is get a gel mani/pedi once or twice a month. I don’t feel like myself when my nails aren’t painted.

Describe your experience at Salon Yoshiko.

The environment was wonderful: it smelled great and the windows made it feel like I was perched atop Central Park. Although I went on a horribly rainy day, it still felt bright and airy inside. For my facial, the salon checked my coat and bag and then gave me a crisp, white robe and whisked me away. The resident aesthetician, Greta, was absolutely lovely. I thought my skin was in pretty good shape, but it became clear that to her trained eye, it was quite clogged and in desperate need of some TLC. She patiently listened to my concerns and needs, and then we embarked on a journey to address them with a lactic acid peel and microdermabrasion treatment. Greta truly has magical hands. I was so relaxed after the treatment, and even as I stepped out onto a rainy Fifth Avenue, I felt calm and at peace. The treatment was a real reset for my skin, and I’m still reaping the benefits, weeks later.

Would you go back to the Bergdorf Goodman’s spa again?

I would definitely return to Salon Yoshiko, especially for a pre-vacation pamper or before a special event.

The pedicure zone at Salon Yoshiko.

Courtesy of Bergdorf Goodman

Oona Wally, Senior Visuals Editor

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the words “Bergdorf Goodman”?

The first thing that comes to mind is iconic New York. I used to visit as a child and the department store represented for me the excitement and luxury of the city.

Do you get your hair done/facials/manicures and pedicures/massages often? Or do you do it yourself at home?

Yes, yes, and yes. I love treating myself to a facial or a massage, I keep up with regular manicures, and, at times, I like to do all of that myself at home. I recently purchased a UV nail curing light and a range of gel polishes and will paint my friends’ nails sometimes, too.

Which service did you choose?

I got highlights. I felt like I needed a warm-weather refresh and lightened my hair.

What was your experience at Salon Yoshiko?

The interior of Salon Yoshiko was clean and modern. I immediately noticed was everyone was happy to be there—employees and patrons alike. It felt like a warm and welcoming space, where the staff got along, laughing and chit-chatting. I sat down in the chair and gave Christopher, my colorist, a very general and unspecific description of what I wanted—a stylist’s nightmare. But he was patient and gentle, explaining what he could do to achieve my vague requests. After our inspo-chat, Christopher was fast and efficient. We had a ton of pleasant conversation, chatting about the hair and makeup industry in the editorial world in New York. I loved my highlights when they were done, it was exactly the brightening summer look I’d asked for. And they even gave me a special Japanese deep-conditioning treatment to help repair my hair! Next, I sat with Angel, who gave me a beautiful blowout.

Would you go back to the Bergdorf Goodman spa again?

Absolutely, I loved my time with Christopher and Angel and I felt very welcomed to come back. So I will!