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“Expert Massage, Luxurious Seting” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Guerlain Spa

Guerlain Spa
301 Park Avenue at 50th Street, Waldorf Astoria Hotel, New York City, NY (Manhattan)
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Ranked #486 of 808 Activities in New York City
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Owner description: Every treatment is transformed into a unique and personal occasion, a moment created especially for you - this is the essence of the Guerlain experience, the perfect union of effective know-how and aesthetic expertise.
New York, NY
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Expert Massage, Luxurious Seting”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 25, 2014 credit card Amex Card Member Review

Calm, serene, luxurious setting for great services. I could get used to this. I felt totally relaxed when the massage was over. Clients are treated with courtesy and friendliness.

Visited March 2014
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35 reviews from our community

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English first
New York City, New York
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“A Total Disappointment”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 2, 2014

Where do I begin? Maybe it was my incredibly high expectations of what has been touted to be one of the best spas in New York City. I should let you know I am a spa aficionado, and have tried many many spas all over the world. This one was very disappointing.

The day started with my arrival, whereupon the person at the front desk did not know exactly what to do with me, even though I had arrived 30 minutes in advance, which is what I had read one should do upon the first visit to the spa. The woman seemed a little baffled as to where I should sit, what I should do, and what I would do with my time. Maybe it was because she actually knew that the person giving me my 80 minute massage would be 20 minutes late. Thus I had to sit for 50 minutes waiting for my treatment, but I will get to that later. I was given a tour of the facilities, after I actually had to ask to do so, and was put in a "quiet room, to have some tea and relax before my treatment. I was asked what I wanted to drink. The only choices for tea were green tea and black teas They did have a decaffeinated green tea, but when I asked for things like chamomile or peppermint tea, I was told they do not provide those, and they do not have any herbal teas whatsoever. Most spas have a very nice selection of caffeine free teas, in particular because the point of being there is to de-stress, and to purify your body. I think this is something that the Guerlain Spa doesn't understand.

I had read on a website that I would be given a footbath and a small massage while I filled out some forms upon my first arrival. None of this happened. I sat with my tea, was not offered a footbath or a massage, and if I choked on my cookie that they provided me, there was no attendant anywhere in the vicinity who would've been there to give me the Heimlich maneuver. Shortly after I started drinking my caffeinated tea, three people who were together arrived in the quiet room. They proceeded to laugh and talk together and suddenly my quiet room was no longer a quiet room. I should add that I was fully clothed during this entire experience. Normally one would go and change into a spa robe and slippers and start to unwind a bit while there waiting for their treatment, but I was not offered any of that. Instead I sat fully clothed, drinking caffeinated tea, and listening to a very noisy group of three. This was going downhill very quickly.

After about 10 minutes of dealing with all the noise, I did find an attendant, and whispered to her that I would like to sit somewhere else that would be a little bit quieter before my treatment. Mind you my treatment was supposed to start in only about eight minutes, so I thought I didn't have much more waiting to do. I was told that there was really no where else to sit, but I could sit at the reception area, or I could sit in the elevator bank area where the people arrive, but which would be quieter. I opted for the elevator bank area on a long cushioned bench. Ridiculous.

Shortly thereafter, a woman who had seen me at reception earlier, said that in fact there was yet another area that would be nice and quiet for me to sit in. She took me into the women's locker room where there was yes in fact a lovely beautiful quiet seat that had a footbath with rose petals sitting on it and some nice magazines stacked up. I realized that in better days this may have been the area I had read about where they would have put me and had me fill out my forms when I first arrived. Instead there was no water in the footbath, and I simply sat in an area all by myself reading a magazine. I looked at my watch at which point I realized it was time for my treatment, so I was getting rather excited that I would be taken into a state of bliss. Five minutes after the scheduled appointment time I was getting a little bit nervous. I heard noises from the attendants nearby, but no one came near me or even walked up to me to tell me that my spa treatment was obviously a little bit behind. Ten minutes later, I started to get a bit annoyed. I seriously have never had any spa treatment in my 25 years or so of going to spas be later than 5 minutes after the scheduled start time. At minimum I would have expected at such a fine spa for someone to come up to me and explain to me why my treatment was now over 10 minutes late, and that they remembered that I was sitting in this quiet little spot all by myself because the quiet room was not quiet. Nevertheless I continued to sit. After another five minutes I considered getting up and leaving, but I decided I would wait a little bit longer. Finally, almost 20 minutes after my scheduled appointment time, a woman came up to me and asked me if I was waiting for a spa treatment. I told her that I was, and somehow I figured out that I was supposed to go along with her to a room to get a massage. She did not ask me my name, and finally when we walked in the room, she asked me what kind of treatment I had signed up for. She continued to say that she wasn't sure that I was the correct client, and then she asked me if I'd signed up for a deep tissue massage. Quite frankly I couldn't remember what I signed up for so I simply said yes. She then nodded and said that yes I definitely was the person she was supposed to be seeing. I later realized that I did not sign up for deep tissue massage. She had no list of names, and I could have been anyone. All she knew what she was giving someone somewhere an 80 minute deep tissue massage, and crossed her fingers that I was the right person. I had waited so long, but I wasn't going to give up this opportunity to actually start my treatment, so I just went with it.

She showed me around the special room that I had heard all about on line, which has its own bathroom facilities and it's own shower. I was rather excited that finally I would get what I was paying for. She left me alone in the room. As I started to disrobe, I realized there were neither slippers nor a robe in the room, which was freezing at the time. So, unlike even the cheapest spot that I've gone to I had to walk around in a small towel with no slippers and no socks on a marble floor. This was terrible. It was about 20 degrees in New York City that day I might add. I quickly ran under the sheets and got onto the very warm and quite lovely table, I must admit. I proceeded to be massaged by a woman who certainly was adept at deep tissue massages, but unfortunately due to the intense activity that it may require of the masseuse, although I did have some lovely smelling oils on me, I continued to smell her body odor. I'm not sure if this was the highlight of my experience, but it reeks pretty high, oops, I mean ranks pretty high as one of the more depressing parts of my "special treatment". The massage was actually good, and the massage therapist did her best to make sure that I enjoyed my time. She also gave me the full 80 minutes, even though she was 20 minutes late. I was then told that I could use the room for myself as long as I would like. I wasn't quite sure what I would do in the room all day, but I was specifically told I could use it all day. In any event, I decided not to use the shower facilities, in part because I had no robe and slippers, but also because, as I looked around the room, I realized that it didn't look particularly clean. I poked around in the closet, and saw that there were forms that clients had filled out giving their background, and why they were coming to the spa. There were literally about 100 filled out forms in the closet I had never been given such a form. In addition, I realized that the room had not been made up in a manner that suggested they were expecting another guest. The drawers were in disarray, for example there was a hair dryer, but no corresponding brush. There was also a nice bottle of mouthwash, in a pump bottle, but there were no cups anywhere in the room at all for me to use the mouthwash. These are small examples, but at a place that is as fine and expensive as this spa, when would expect a great attention to detail no such details simply existed here. I was made to feel as if I was quite an afterthought and not treated as if I were a guest who was there to relax and spend time being taken care of.

I got dressed and then decided that I would take them up on the offer they provide to every client for a free makeup touchup, at the end of the service. I went to the reception area and was excited to say that I wanted to do this. The woman looked at me as if I had seven heads, and said that I would have to do this downstairs in the lobby, and couldn't do this in the spa area where they did have a cosmetician, and where I was specifically told before my treatment that I would get a free makeup touchup. They then phoned the place downstairs, at which point they told me that I would have to wait at least 20 minutes in order to get my makeup touchup since the person downstairs had just started on someone. I was feeling particularly nice yesterday and decided that I would not mention to them that had they given me my spa treatment on time, I would have actually been done 20 minutes earlier, and would have taken the spot of the person who had just gone down and taken mine.

I did not say a word while I was there about all of the various complaints I had (other than asking to move out of the not so quiet room), since there are just too many to tell them about. A place like this is not going to be able to change all if these problems, unless management changes, and I suggest they do so rather quickly. When I spend money on a nice spa, I know what it means to be treated well. This spa fell incredibly short on many many levels, and my spa experience goes down as one of the worst I've had, not because it was such a complete disaster, but because the spa holds itself out as being such a fine and elegant spa, and in the end they were actually not interested in any way in making my day there special. I really did feel while I was sitting there waiting for my treatment, with no one coming by to even give me any indication as to why there was a delay, that I was truly unimportant to them and an afterthought at best. I will never go back to the spa again, and I will not recommend it to anyone I know. They need a manager there, at all times, and they need much better customer service, to be at the level that they profess to be at. I've had much better treatment at almost any spa in New York City that I've gone to, even ones that are far less expensive than this one. Save your money and go somewhere else!

Visited March 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
College Station, Texas
Top Contributor
311 reviews 311 reviews
25 attraction reviews
Reviews in 75 cities Reviews in 75 cities
63 helpful votes 63 helpful votes
“Unbelieveable massages”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 30, 2014

Second visit and both massages were among the best ever after having visited some of the top spas around the US.

And the suites are a great added benefit - much more private and luxurious than just changing in a locker room. And they are great if you have to check out before you want to leave the hotel - you can shower and change before heading out

The prices are exorbitant, as to be expected, but if you book the Suite and Spa upgrade, it is a great deal, or you may receive a coupon with your room that can alleviate some of the sticker shock.

Visited January 2014
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Los Angeles, California
20 reviews 20 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“Great service”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 30, 2014 credit card Amex Card Member Review

I worked with a lovely sales person Amanda who spent time with me finding the right makeup, the right color for my complexion.

Visited January 2014
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New York City, New York
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“bait and switch”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 16, 2014

purchased a gift promotion for a massage in a suite at the "Waldorf Spa" in a "Suite"
called and after 45 minutes they told me it did not include a room at all! What a disappointment. Don't go.

Visited January 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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