spa imageOver the last ten years I have worked in a variety of settings including Medical and Day Spas, Yoga studios, Gyms and Chiropractors offices.  This wide and varied experience has given me a very sensitive and shrewd understanding of the spa experience.  I understand what goes on behind the scenes and can spot a shotty establishment pretty quick.  My background and New York State License in Massage Therapy also makes me an extra picky consumer.  Over the next few weeks and months I will be reviewing several New York Spas and sharing my experience for those of you who live in or are visiting the New York City area.

New York City is home to a wide variety of spas with different styles from high end to downtown chic.   The Day Spa phenomena has taken off over the last ten years.  They are seen on every corner now.  New York City is an amazing and stressful place to live and work in.  This creates a never ending need for patrons.  Surprisingly many spa directors and owners (of reputable spas) have not seen a decrease in business since the current economic downturn.  This was also a concern after 9-11 within the spa and alternative health fields but Massage Therapy and other well-being professions have actually seen an increase in business.  Stress is the determining factor and with thanks to organizations like the International Spa Summit and their efforts to promote Spas not as a pampering luxury but as an essential part of well-being.    Recession angst has increased stress level and therefore the need to decompress.  Broadway had a record year in revenue last year and this is largely because of people’s need to retreat into enjoyable pastimes.

These are the criteria I will be using to assess my reviews:

Cost: Depending on session length and other factors  including add-ons such as reflexology, body scrubs etc.

Ambiance: This may include the front desk, changing room, waiting room, and the treatment room.  Observations on lighting, interior design, temperature, music, outside noise levels, comfortable seating, and privacy will be considered.

Customer Service at the front desk: This will be about the management’s graciousness or any lack of it.

Hygiene: The general hygiene of each establishment with emphasis on the treatment room and changing rooms (including bathroom).

Quality of service : Here. the massage therapist’s rapport, communication level, and ability to assess and pay attention to specific issues (i.e. tense neck) will be considered.

Products:  The product used in the session including it’s price and quality.  This may include the scent and effectiveness on the skin (absorption level/lack of absorption).

Overall impression: This will include how I felt the next day and other factors specific to particular spas.

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