On My Mind - THE
EXPERIENCE - Part 3
by Julie Register
Something personally encountered, undergone, or lived through.
I've been thinking about the spa experience again. This time it was due to my decision to change where I get my pedicures. Personally, I've classified pedicures and manicures in my mind under grooming - much like getting my hair cut or my teeth cleaned. Not really relaxing. Not really a spa experience.
A few years ago I started having pedicures at a local hair salon that had a small area in the back for their "spa" - a 2-station pedicure area next to a treatment room. One of the stations had a chair with built in massage. The other didn't. I had to walk through the entire salon - hair washing stations on the left and stylists' stations on the right - to get to this spa. The main reason I went there was that the nail technician does an amazing job. She spends an incredible amount of time on each toe. I leave with fabulous results - the skin on my feet is soft, and the polish stays on unchipped for weeks and weeks. It was and is still the best pedicure technically that I have ever had. But after a couple of years, the receptionists at this salon still don't know who I am. I sit in a noisy waiting area next to the reception desk if I arrive early (techno music, hair dryers, receptionists greeting and talking to clients on the phone). The technician talks during the entire pedicure. If I want to leave a tip (and it clearly expected), I have to have cash. I can't add it to my credit card with the cost of the pedicure. I rarely carry much cash. It is always a pain to remember to get some before the pedicure. This is not relaxing. It is not a spa experience. That was OK. Remember, I didn't consider pedicures to be a spa experience.
Last year I received a gift certificate for a spa service at a local day spa that I had gone to a long time ago - before I moved to my current house. This spa is exclusively a spa. There is no hair cutting or styling. It has a large boutique and reception area, a quiet lounge, eight treatment rooms including a lovely couples' room, an open and bright 4-station manicure area, and a large and airy 3-station pedicure room. The entire spa is nicely decorated. Soft music plays. It has a "spa atmosphere."
I decide to use the certificate for my birthday and get a pedicure. When I arrive, they know my name. They invite me to select a nail polish, escort me to the lounge and ask if I would like a Mimosa. Why, yes, that would be lovely! The lounge is private and comfortable. The nail technician does not force conversation while she works on my feet. I sit quietly and enjoy the back massage the chair provides. The pedicure is just fine (although not remarkable). When I check out, I have no problem using the gift certificate. I have been to spas that won't take gift certificates for nail services. I could add a tip to my credit card even though they don't make it seem like a tip is expected. They make it easy for me. I really appreciate that. I am relaxed.
I've been back for two more pedicures since then and, although each was with a different nail technician, the experience was the same. The receptionist knows who I am. I am offered a Mimosa or water if I prefer (I usually take the Mimosa). I relax in the lounge. I get a good pedicure. I intend to return. I guess pedicures really can be a spa experience.
That's my opinion of The Experience.
Thanks for "listening." I am interested in your opinion. Share it with
me at jar@DiscoverSpas.com.
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