I know that there is a lot of confusion about what is an “authentic spa experience”. A “true authentic spa” would have all facilities available such as a sauna, a jacuzzi and a steam room. Burke Williams for example, was one of the first main stream spas and is still in business to this day although not quite the same as when they began undoubtedly. In 2005, a lot of companies added the work “Spa” to their company name. For example, on Main St, America, you will see “Nail Spa” and “Massage and Spa”, a very loose definition of the word spa! There are many chinese spas that are “foot spas” but actually do a lot more than feet!
This article is only to inform and not to deter anyone from having a massage experience anywhere, in fact, it is amazing that so many more people in this world are enjoying massage more than ever! This is a great for everyone as massage is so beneficial for the body, mind and soul. In this world, we spend more time with our phones/computers and our cars than with people, the advent of the human touch by massage being so popular as it is now can be a transcendant experience on any level when the mind and the body is ready.
This article will also inform you about the very, wide and varied experiences that you may enjoy as a client. They really are very different and as with most things, you get what you pay for especially with a massage experience. You may dispute that because you once visited a “massage supermarket” and the massage therapist was great however as you get to experience more massages and more locations and different therapists, you will find an array of quality. On a second visit to the “massage supermarket” you may find the therapist is no longer there (the pay is futile) and you are booked with another therapist. You feel like walking out of the massage about 30 mins into it but how can you really do that??? You are quiet in the hope that it may be feeling great at the end of the session. This can be worse as you signed a contract for a year and they are up-selling you for aromatherapy and more!
On another note, we have the bargain websites that sell the Spas services at 50% off. They also pay the “Spa Owner” 50% so that is only 25% of the price to pay the massage therapists, pay for the products, the taxes and overhead that a small business needs to cover! How can you as a client decide what is a one person business with one tiny boxy room and no shower or a corporation spa or a hotel spa (which can usually mean you are sharing all the facilities with the other hotel guests who are partying or chilling) or a boutique spa or a location spa or even a destination spa and there is exactly only one destination day spa!!!
You can check the website of the spa you are thinking about booking but are those “stock pictures”? I came across something that looked like a “spa” in the Los Angeles Valley and because of my knowledge, I saw that he was a chiropractor and the pictures at the beach was not his spa! He is in the valley…no beach there.
Where do we go next? Well there is “yelp”. These days people go to the “spa website” and sometimes the phone, address and the hours of business are not in the “immediate headline” which is all we really initially need to know! In the search engines “yelp” is so easy to search for this info and in addition, you get a “birds eye view” of the companies reviews and depending on the “yelp truth algorythym”, I will explain this in a minute, you may get good, bad and the super ugly! Whatever happens in the car on the way home to the “one star haters” would be an amazing insight! Perhaps, they have a argument with their significant other and it throws the whole experience into a bad light taking away from the enjoyment. For instance: the price was quite expensive and now after this argument, the whole experience is cast as a bad experience!
Where do we do from here then? Well, I did some extensive research 6 years ago and nothing to date has really helped inform clients on how to shop for a spa experience. This is the beginning of a number of articles to explore and to be sure you have the “spa experience” that you desire. For instance, there is a “russian spa” in Hollywood that also serves “alcohol” and “food”! That is a major change in the “spa arena”. The nice thing as you will discover about this “russian spa” is that they do have an “authentic spa” experience with eucalyptus branches being used for spa therapies in the sauna areas.
It will be an exploration into the location of the spa experience. Think about if you are looking to stay in the area to eat dinner or looking for quiet nature areas such as the beach or a location such as a hotel that you are staying. Stay-cations and spa therapies really do address the need to keep our stress levels at minimum as you know disease is directly related to over 80% of stress related issues!
Spa Love is coming your way in part one of the next article. “Part One” of Spa Shopping Comparison 3.0!