At-Home IV Drip Therapy Is the Latest Luxury Building Amenity


About two weeks after Marcell Leon Viragh moved into the Park Santa Monica, a Los Angeles building where residents can sweat in a Himalayan salt sauna or gaze at the Pacific Ocean from the expansive roof deck, he took the elevator down to the spa, where a registered nurse slid a needle into a vein in his arm, sending a liter of saline, vitamins and electrolytes coursing through his bloodstream.

“I barely felt the needle,” said Mr. Viragh, 28, a student at the Los Angeles Film School. “I hate needles, so this was a huge plus.”

This was not Mr. Viragh’s first experiment with intravenous drip therapy, marketed as a hangover cure and an immune system booster. He started getting the treatments two years ago at a wellness and longevity club near his previous apartment in Hollywood. Mr. Viragh now gets them monthly; he said the infusions help stave off jet lag after flights home to Budapest, where he owns a small film production company, and to promote healing from the procedures he’s been getting to remove his 10 tattoos.

So he was thrilled to get the service without leaving home, after he moved into the Park in January. Mr. Viragh pays around $6,200 a month for a one-bedroom in the building, where three-bedrooms fetch as much as $38,000 a month.

IV drip therapy was first popularized about a decade ago as a novelty reserved for vacations and bachelorette parties, but it has since become embedded in the wellness sphere. The 30-to-45-minute treatments cost anywhere from $100 to $1,000, depending on the concoction and provider, and have been embraced by the Hollywood elite — Gwyneth Paltrow, Chrissy Teigen and Harry Styles have all partaken. Today, IV drip therapy is a staple at medical spas, resort hotels and strip malls. Some companies even make house calls.

And over the last several months, a handful of high-end residential buildings in Los Angeles, Miami and Manhattan began offering the treatments in house, allowing tenants to make them a core feature of their personal wellness routine.

At the Park, which started offering the service at the end of 2023, tenants can schedule an IV drip in their apartment or in a treatment room where they can also book massages, Botox or fillers.

“If you are a healthy person, you really can’t do it too often, unless you’re doing it three or four times a day,” said Danielle Remington, director of events and partnerships at Drip Hydration, the service provider for the Park.

Drip Hydration and other providers market their formulas as elixirs that can improve sleep and mental clarity, brighten your skin and boost your athletic performance. However, there is scant scientific research to bolster these claims. Critics argue that at best, IV drips are a wildly overpriced alternative to drinking a glass of water, and at worst, they could harm people with underlying health conditions like kidney disease or hypertension. In 2018, Kendall Jenner was hospitalized after a bad reaction to an IV drip. And last year, a woman died after receiving IV drip therapy at Luxe Med Spa in Wortham, Texas; its medical director’s license was later temporarily restricted by the state’s medical board.

The global medical spa industry is rapidly expanding, projected to grow to $49 billion by 2030, according to Zion Market Research, a company that tracks business trends. Oversight of medical spas falls into a regulatory gray area, and state rules governing them vary. In California, for example, only a physician can own a medical spa, and only a medical professional — a licensed physician, or registered nurse or a physician assistant working under a physician’s supervision — can perform medical procedures like IV drips. But in Florida, anyone can own a medical spa, so long as the business has a medical director and the services are administered by the appropriate licensed medical practitioner.

“Do you really know what you’re getting, where it’s coming from? How do we know what is being given?” said Dr. Claire E. Brown, an infectious disease specialist at the University of California, Los Angeles, adding, “There is absolutely no scientific evidence that these therapies are providing a benefit for the typical person.”

The developers and property managers interviewed for this story said that they were responding to customer demand and that they selected spa providers who were insured and well regarded in the industry.

“It’s really about partnering with the right brand that is reliable and trustworthy and has a certain standing in the industry,” said Bryan Grandison, director of lifestyle services for Extell, the developer of the New York waterfront condo One Manhattan Square, which offers residents IV drip therapy through FitLore, its amenity provider.

Residents are screened before their first treatment and sign a liability waiver. “Then we’re able to offer a seamless service, where someone is getting an IV drip before a sound bath meditation,” said Mr. Grandison, who previously worked at Goop, the wellness and lifestyle brand founded by Ms. Paltrow.

Ms. Remington, of Drip Hydration, said clients undergo a “pretty extensive screening” of their medical history before they get a treatment. “We need to know allergies, any prior health conditions, do you have a history of kidney failure,” she said. “Ninety-nine percent of people get cleared.”

Since the Covid-19 pandemic, the wellness industry has been creeping further into the territory of health care. Whereas the word “wellness” was once synonymous with yoga and meditation, the definition now includes far more clinical-sounding treatments like cryotherapy, infrared saunas, platelet-rich plasma injections and hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

“Wellness used to be more about soul and stress relief. It’s becoming more about M.R.I. scans, and stem cells and IV drip,’” said Beth McGroarty, the director of research at the Global Wellness Institute, an industry group, adding, “Why are people so hungry for wellness experiences that look like hospital procedures?”

At the Continuum, a condo in Miami’s South Beach where a five-bedroom is selling for $22 million, residents can get IV drip therapy from Rejuvaline Medspa by the pool, in the spa or at their apartment. “You can feel it in your blood when it starts circulating — it’s like a turbo,” said Michele Merlo, 66, who, with his wife, owns two Miami Beach restaurants, including one at the Continuum. He started getting IV drips this year, after his trainer suggested adding them to his wellness routine.

As for the prickly delivery method, Mr. Merlo said: “We are warriors. We are not afraid of needles.”

Joe Laresca, an avid athlete who lives at One Manhattan Square, finds IV drip therapy rejuvenating. He likened the sensation to rushing from the steam room to the cold plunge: “You kind of feel like a jolt of life,” said Mr. Laresca, 31, who owns an advertising and marketing agency. He gets treatments in the building’s spa, administered by a registered nurse.

The 815-unit condo has a birch garden, a tea pavilion, a treehouse for grown-ups and five different IV drip formulas — immune and beauty boosters, hangover helpers, a weight control aid and a catchall “recovery” blend. Each infusion costs $300 to $350.

“It gives someone a reason to go down to the spa,” said Mr. Grandison, of Extell.


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