In March I booked a spa package to celebrate my birthday and was hopeful. The marketing for the Debbie Elliot Day Spa is impressive. After my visit though, I wondered how they managed so many past write ups in the papers etc... I had first visited there for a haircut and was sorely disappointed in receiving the second WORST haircut of my adult life. The stylist seemed to be intent on giving me a new style instead of what I asked for. Despite this experience I thought that their salon decor and calm atmosphere was rather nice and unfortunately assumed it would carry over into the spa.
I booked my "The Works" package which included a massage, body scrub, "birdcage shower", and a facial. The room I had my treatment in was separated into two areas by a standing screen. The drafty room was poorly heated and I was cold for the duration of my body scrub. My facial essentially felt like I was being dabbed with wet cotton balls for 15 minutes and left to air dry. So far the experience had been a sorry comparison to other spas I had visited. It got worse. The famed "Birdcage Shower" had a varying effect depending on how high the water pressure went. Low and it was like getting spit on from all directions, higher and it was more like being needled all over your body. After my shower I was escorted past another spa goer who had taken my place on the first table and was mid-treatment. I was shown to the second table behind the screen. I was not impressed to have both of us exposed to each other mid treatment. Not the picture of privacy or comfort. My massage was the best part of the treatment and thankfully the provider was skilled. This did not wholly make up for the fact that I was still COLD!
My spa experience ended with a spa lunch which was essentially a small mixed green salad dressed up with a few nuts, cranberries and goat cheese. This added about $20 to my bill for something I could have made straight from my home fridge.
The whole experience lasted about 2.5 hours and cost me over $300 when they added on tips automatically. By then I was to annoyed to bother fighting it, I just wanted to get home and get warm. The soak I took in my own tub was the best part of the day.
The staff obviously believe that they are working in the best possible place and providing fabulous treatments that are above and beyond anyone else in the area. While the treatment staff was nice. The older gentleman I believe was the spa manager strutted around lauding their facilities and how great the services were like a puffed up peacock. It took great effort for me not to tell them that I felt like I had completely wasted my time and money and could have had 2 days all inclusive at my favorite canadian spa for roughly the same price. The facilites were poor, the treatments were substandard (except my massuese's technique which was on par with what I hoped for) and I would not return to this spa if I were given a free pass to try my package again. I left with the distinct impression that the Debbie Elliot Day Spa operates under the belief that they are a big city salon catering to small town crowds who don't know the difference and think that "the spa" is a luxury to be bragged about regardless of the poor quality and inflated price.
I will be trying another spa next time around and hope to have a better report!
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