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“Title: Uncaring, condescending and unwilling to help staff. Guest services manager on duty very rude”

The Spa at Mandarin Oriental, Washington DC
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Attraction details
Owner description: Honoring Mandarin Oriental's eastern culture, our spa is an oasis of holistic therapy for the body, mind and spirit. Our heat and water experience is like no other, offering guests a serene journey through a muscle soothing amethyst steam room to the crystal freshness of our ice fountain. It's time to leave the real world behind and enter a new dimension of relaxation, which begins with a private consultation.
Reviewed April 24, 2013

I am a DC resident and recently visited the hotel's renowned spa and restaurant as an invitee of a dear friend.

The spa experience was ok. My therapist Theresa was great at what she does and gave me a fab massage and was kind, and receptive. The time was booked for 1hr and 50 min with the massage itself 1 hr 20 min and I noticed it was cut good 10 min short. Overall it was nice though. I loved the steam room but was underwhelmed by the locker room. It was not fully stocked in toiletries.

Sou Wester restaurant was nice. Dinner was good. Waiter was well trained.

This is where the good experience ended. My friend left her IPhone 5 in the pocket of her robe. We were the last to leave the spa for the night. We went to the restaurant for dinner during which my friend realized her phone was missing. After speaking with the host of the restaurant ( who was calling the spa and security in the meantime) my friend located her iPhone with an IPad app and it showed the spa location. She send an alarm to the phone after which the phone appeared to be turned off as it no longer showed on the locator. We went down to the spa with a security guard and searched for the phone. Nowhere to be found. All used robes were still in the locker with an exception of my friends robe. They were unwilling to go any further. We were told the laundry facility was locked and somebody will call her in the morning. The manager was very rude and dismissive to me as I was trying to help my friend politely explain her situation. He aggressively told me off and ignored me for the rest of the conversation. My friend was in shock of the staff being so unwilling to be sympathetic and offer any solution. Nobody at any point offer an apology or was understanding of the situation. We were told that the hotel was fully booked and the spa had probably gone through hundreds of robes that nobody was willing to search through, though sounding the alarm would easily pinpoint the location.

More bad news: my friend drove over a glass bottle in the driveway of the hotel. To add to the bad experience my friend got a very nasty bruise under her eye, a black eye, from an aggressive acupressure on her face. I felt terrible for her and terrible for the fact that she wanted me to have a good time and everything was ruined. The hotel definitely did not stand up to its name, fame and rating. Hospitality was unacceptable. I will not return nor recommend this place for anybody

3  Thank JinxandJava
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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30 - 34 of 38 reviews

Reviewed March 17, 2013

Massage - 5 stars
Spa/Pool area - 3 stars

My husband and I decided to stay at the Mandarin Oriental hotel for a night and indulge in the spa/massage treatment. This spa does not have the facility for a couple's massage, so we both ended up going to separate sections.

- The spa automatically adds a 20% gratuity for each massage. I prefer to choose how much tip I give my massage therapist, so even though I would have given 20%, I still feel it should be my choice.
- The Vitality Pool DOES NOT have hot water. The water was lukewarm. I was shivering once I got out of the pool. Most of the jacuzzi's have hot water. I had read about this in Yelp reviews, but didnt believe it. Oh how I wish the spa management reads the reviews and makes sure the water is hot (even though the board says max temperature to be 124 degree Fahrenheit).
- They ask you to be in the Relaxation Room 5 minute prior to the massage. However, the room only has 5 beds. When I went to the Relaxation room, all the beds were taken, so I just hung around the lockers for a bit.

Now to the best part of the experience - the MASSAGE. My massage therapist was Elena and she was fabulous!!! I had the 50 minute Oriental Essence massage. Even though its supposed to be a light and relaxing massage, she asked me where she should focus on. She realized there was a lot of stress in my shoulders, and spent a lot of time there sometimes hardening the pressure. After the massage, I was so relaxed. I thought the massage was totally worth the $170.

If they fix their spa facilities, I would rate this place as 5 stars. Go there for the massage and dont have high expectations from the spa facilities itself.

My next appointment is going to be with Elena!!!

Thank Ani J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 10, 2013

One of the great advantages of staying at this hotel is the terrific spa amenities! Even without taking a treatment, the hotel guest can experience the luxury of the pool, jacuzzi, steam room, and showers.

Thank Handle_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 5, 2012

One of the nicest spas in downtown DC. Very luxurious. It's everything you want in a hotel spa.

Thank DCAviator
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 25, 2012

I visited the Spa at Mandarin Oriental after receiving a special offer through Travelzoo. While the treatments were excellent (an exfoliation and a bamboo massage), the spa overall was poor.

The men's spa itself was in poor condition. The furniture had chipped paint and looked cheap. The plunge pool had rust stains and rotted grout and tiles, making it appear dingy and unsanitary. The steam room had missing tiles on the benches. When I pressed the button to refresh the steam, it didn't work. The "relaxation room" was so dark that one couldn't see anything...when I turned on the reading light, not only did it spotlight the whole room, it also had a short and flickered brighter and dimmer...quite annoying and not relaxing at all.

Apparently the lap pool also doubles as the hotel's indoor pool, meaning adults who want to swim laps also have to ensure kiddie splashing. Again, not a very thoughtful plan.

Then there were the little things that just shouldn't happen in minimally competent spas. There was no male concierge, so the woman at the front desk had to show me around -- but she didn't feel comfortable going into the men's areas, so she pointed and let me figure it out for myself. There were no combs resupplied in the bathroom. There was no deodorant available after showering. There is apparently no break room for the men's attendant, because he was sitting in the corner of the men's locker room, drinking water and playing with his phone. Even when I tried to dress, he didn't leave to provide any sense of privacy. They were even doing construction in the main reception area during service hours...again with apparently little understanding of why people actually come to a spa in the first place. Do your construction and maintenance work when the spa closes, please.

While the services I received were great, the overall experience was poor and extremely disappointing. I expected much...MUCH...more from a luxury property like Mandarin Oriental. Sadly, I learned that lesson too late and several hundred dollars later. In a city with a lot of very good spas, the Mandarin has a long way to catch up.

5  Thank TravelsforBiznPleas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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