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Sunday, August 9, 2009

Missing Massage at the Monastery

Here's a contribution from my friend Melanie about her experience at the Spa at the Monastery this week:

"Terrible experience at Spa at the Monastery this week. Went there Thursday with two of my bridesmaids, we were booked for the Vitality Day Pass and a massage each. One of the girl's massage (I'll call her BM1) was cancelled a few days in advance because of the of the massage therapists was in a car accident (acceptable and forgivable). We checked in at 1:00 on Thursday, spent a few hours soaking in the pools and such, the time came for BM2 and I to have our massage but noone came to get us as promised. We went upstairs on our own, while BM1 continued on in the pools. We were seated right away and given forms to fill out. BM2 was called in for her massage very quickly but I waited 5...10.....15 minutes at least and then found someone and told them that I hadn't yet been called for my massage yet. She asked my name, looked at the computer, and then said she would have to go downstairs to talk to someone. A supervisor then came upstairs and asked if I was with the Bridal Party. I said that I was indeed with a bridal party (there were several there). She then said "Oh, I'm so sorry, didn't anyone tell you?"

Tell me What????

She then proceeded "Oh my love, I'm so sorry, the bride was in here yesterday and cancelled everything, the whole spa day."

I informed her that I WAS the BRIDE and had been here since 1:00 and had double checked my massage appointment when I arrived. She seemed confused by this, double checked some things and then came back and said that I did indeed have an appointment, but that there was noone available for it. She offered me another treatment, Hydrotherapy...which would have been great if I hadn't spent several hours soaking in a jacuzzi prior to this. But since it was free I did it anyway...and hated it.

Now, I always thought the purpose of a spa day was to relax, however this Hydrotherapy made my visit a little stressfull! I am so short that I spent the entire treatment time trying to keep my head above water - I was holding on to the bars on the tub like I was on the craziest roller coaster at Six Flags and praying that the timer would soon shut off...

When I finished my "treatment" I went downstairs to meet BM1 and BM2. BM2 was there (her massage had finished up just before my horrific tub time), but BM1 was nowhere to be seen. We waited about an hour and she finally came back downstairs; apparently they had an opening for a massage at 4:15 (about 5 minutes after I began my "treatment") and they offered it to her because hers had been cancelled a few days before. I fail to see the logic in this!

When we were checking out the supervisor asked how I enjoyed my "treatment" and I let her know that although it was free I didn't enjoy it very much and actually found it rather stressful trying to keep my head above water for 20 minutes. She seemed genuinely concerned and said that the manager would get back to me the next morning with a solution, as BM1 was equally concerned that she had booked this Spa Day as a gift to me and the whole day was messed up.

Friday morning I was there for a pedicure (which peeled within 8 hours because of an air bubble so I will be calling on Monday to have this fixed as well...stay tuned) and I asked if she had spoken to the manager yet. She said that she had mentioned it briefly, but would speak to him in detail later that morning and I should hear back by the end of the day, Monday at the latest. I am wondering if she thinks I will forget about it and just drop the issue, but I definitely will not. It's sad to see that in an industry that is designed to make people feel good you can still walk away with a terrible customer service experience!"

Thanks for sharing your story, Melanie. Just as you are amazed that a feel-good day could turn into such a pain, I'm once again surprised with what some brides end up dealing with when they're spending such a huge chunk of change on their wedding and pre-wedding affairs! Make no wonder we hear so much about the "bridezilla" phenomenon!


  1. Wow, some things never change.

    I was given a booking for a massage at the Monastery as a birthday gift seven or eight years ago. Upon arriving I was put in a robe and slippers and placed in a waiting lounge where I was told my massuese would be with me shortly. After about 20 minutes I began to wonder if I'd been forgotten. I had to flag a staff memember in the hallway down to ask what was going on. Another 10 minutes later someone came to apologize - my masseuse apparantly got a call and had to run out, but no one thought to check and see if their appointment (ie me) had been looked after.

    I was given a shake, treated to a couple of treatments I didn't care for that night and given a pass for two to the pool area downstairs for my troubles.

    Hard to believe they're still pulling the same stunts all these years later.

  2. Wow. I've only ever been there once. Nothing really bad happened (outside of a long wait time), but I do remember feeling a little "meh" about it when I thought it should have felt more like extravagant self-indulgence.

  3. My friend and I booked a "girls" day at the spa several months ago. Having 5 children between the two of us...we figured we deserved a day of self indulgence!

    My pedicure was also ruined after a day due to an air bubble and I was not overly impressed with the set up of the building. Our pedicures were downstairs on the main floor of the building. When it was time to do our facials, I had to walk through the building in my robe, past other (fully clothed guests) and waiting husbands. I was a little self conscious to say the least.

    When we got to the facial room, there was a line up of staff outside my door having a break. I needed to manoever my way through at least 5-6 staff members in order to get inside the room. Once inside, I could hear them talking for 10 minutes directly outside my door. Sooo, not relaxing. My friends and family know never to buy me a gift certificate at the Monastery again!