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SHA Wellness Clinic
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Reviewed August 14, 2012

I picked SHA as it fit perfectly the requirements I’d given to the travel agent (no more than 3 hour flight, no more than an hour transfer from the airport, guaranteed sun, spa services to include massages and exercise possibilities). SHA arranged airport transfers & I was met by a smiling member of staff in a cool Japanese-inspired uniform. Transportation was a white Mercedes, air conditioned, water provided. It was the perfect beginning to a week's pampering. As was the thoughtful light supper brought to my room at 2250.

SHA is a beautifully-appointed edifis set in a smart residential neighborhood just 35 mins from Alicante airport. The hills behind & the immediate vicinity have (thankfully) not been savaged of their fragrant pine & palm trees, olive & citrus groves to make way for monstrous, dominant high rises like those in nearby Alicante & Benidorm. The views of mountains & Mediterranean sea are lovely. The height creates a haven away from the crowds. Rooms are perfectly described in reviews prior. Rooms terraces are not – each room has one. Mine was completely private. There are sunbeds & outside tables & chairs provided.

Every member of staff here works incredibly hard. I was there 7 days & did not once see a person standing idle. Guests come from all geographies & staff do an excellent job of communicating with them. I heard fluent English, Portuguese, French and Italian spoken here this week, as well as best efforts at Russian. If not all staff are fluent in English, but should they be? The spa is in Spain, after all. And I'd take an excellent Shiatsu treatment over a word-perfect explanation of what it is.

Attention to detail is obvious. Essential oils burn in most common areas & are changed daily. Lighting is beautifully set in all areas, including rooms. Gardens tended to lovingly. Furniture is white, peaceful and good quality. Color scheme is cool greys & white. Water runs everywhere to subliminally inspire calm. Bottled water is provided everywhere, cleansing tisanes are also on tap in the spa. Cleanliness is of the highest order. Housekeeping visited my room 3x a day. There is an army of black-clad, smiling, silent workers freshening seemingly endless supplies of towels in all areas (spa, pool, rooms). The 4th floor pool is serviced by the busiest person ever. He was too quick for me to ever catch his name, but he deserves special mention – he is tireless & took care of everyone!

I really struggle with Trip Advisor publishing guests’ personal conflicts with a venue, rather than actually reviewing it. Clearly, spa clients are a demanding lot. Why should a used, damp towel be left by a guest on a communal spa bench when, literally, 30 cms away is a bin for it? Why are plastic water bottles left to be chased down in the breeze by the staff instead of being placed in the recepticals provided? Is it not the guest & the hostelry’s joint responsibility to review & agree the bill in good time before departure? As for a guest being left in a near-death state in their room …well, that is just preposterous. Just because you pay quite a bit to be a guest here, it doesn’t mean common sense & basic courtesy should desert you.

That said, some of the points made in previous reviews have been attended to, for which I am grateful. I had more appointments than I care to mention in a week & I was not kept waiting more than 2 minutes in all. All staff in the spa Reception area have spoken the above-mentioned languages easily as they dealt with clients’ queries and requests. My used tea cups were removed every day without fail. But, then, I did greet & thank members of the housekeeping team when I saw them.

For the management & potential guest’s consideration, my 2-cents-worth is:
- Explain more about macrobiotic on the website, in-room & in-menu. I am open to all cuisines & have been really impressed with what has been prepared, presented (it is art on a plate, people) and served for my enjoyment. But I left surmising that macrobitiotic means no meat, no dairy, organic produce & not a lot else. Share more with us, please. Potential guests – if you’re unsure, read up on macrobiotic before visiting to see if it’s for you. There are no other options at SHA.
- Explain portion sizes on the website, in-room & in-menu. They are small (perfectly formed, I’d say, but they are clearly smaller than many guests expected) & why. Explain that menus offered are limited (1 starter, 2 main course options, 1 pudding) & why. This was explained to (often negatively) surprised guests several times a day. Potential guests – be aware of the limited offerings, especially if you’re planning to be here with children (no chicken nugget options here!) or growing teens (with keen appetites).
- Sort out the Restaurant service. The food is divine. The staff work hard. But a system is sorely needed to make the service efficient, less erratic. Getting more than a quarter glass of water at breakfast was like asking for a cup of liquid diamonds. I ended up bringing my own liter bottle from my room 4 mornings. Breakfast coffee was like sourcing a cup of liquid gold – it could take up to 30 minutes to be served, was then sometimes wrong or, on one occasion, I got two of the right one. Twice, I was not shown a menu, just given food – that is really poor. Once I waited 45 minutes between first & main course at supper. When mains arrived, what had clearly been an amazing shiitake pasta was burnt on top & had the texture of a concrete block. Tragic. Two nights later, I hadn’t finished my starter when my main course was served. As is, the restaurant service is an injustice to guests, staff & the excellent chefs. Potential guests – eat a cracker & drink water before any meal and, until SHA sort this out, be prepared to wait. & wait. Or speed eat. Depending.
- Serve the guests on a detox or diet regime as a priority. I can’t imagine how hard it is to see food falling around you while being kept waiting for an age for your small bowl of miso soup & thin amaranth cracker. That’s just cruel. Potential guests – the diet regime may be meager, but all around me, kilos were falling off guests. It clearly works.
- Give more sight online and definitely in-room into the superb options you offer in your spa & clinic. Potential guests – there are literally hundreds of fabulous treatments from which to choose. Upon arrival, be sure you view the full spa menu carefully. Be very sure to attend the (pre-arranged) appointment with a Spa Coordinator who will help you organize the schedule best for you. There’s no ‘hard sell’ here, it’s just good advice & time well spent.

SHA was a relaxing, soothing, super-spa break. It’s a warm and positive atmosphere in which to recover, relax & rejuvenate. Enjoy!

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
10  Thank rjjohns30
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AnthonyValen, Director of Sales at SHA Wellness Clinic, responded to this reviewResponded August 17, 2012

I would like to use this reply as an opportunity to express our gratitude for the nice and instructive comment you wrote about your experience at SHA WELLNESS CLINIC.
Our team is always very sensitive to feedback from our customers.
I also noted the last part of your comment about the improvements to be made on our website.
I have already asked our Marketing Manager to reflect on what we could add to the site with some information on MACROBIOTIC. Our chef, Pablo MONTORO, is a very talented chef : we are proud of his presence at SHA.
As you know, our hotel has a special policy in regards to CHILDREN. All persons who contact us to book are informed of these conditions; our reservations team, very experienced, provides instructions to all our customers prior to their arrival, in terms of food menus.
We apologize for any inconvenience you've experienced at the restaurant and I also convey your comments to our team to help improve service and bring the best to our customers.
We look forward to seeing you in the near future and assure you that every effort will be made to make yours and SHA guests' stay, as pleasant as possible.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 22, 2012

Perched high on a hill overlooking the Costa Blanca and the Mediterranean, the SHA clinic offers magnificent, almost 360 degree views from it's stunning roof top terrace, which also houses the lovely indoor and outdoor restaurant, and their gorgeous infinity pool surrounded by ample terraces dotted with chaises loungues for sun bathing between treatments. Lunch on the terrace under the large white canvas market umbrellas was wonderful, no sense of being in a detox clinic but rather in a sexy restaurant in St Tropez. The standard rooms are spacious and very pleasant, furnished in keeping with the clean minimalist design of the clinic, offering a large walk in wardrobe plus additional closets and a semi-separate sitting area opening unto a lovely large furnished terrace. As some of the reviewers have complained, it appears that most of the reception staff are young trainees, however I found them friendly and willing to accommodate the constant changes in appointment schedules requested by the guests, myself included, as the spa menu is pretty vast and can be a bit daunting at first, requiring adjustments as one familiarizes with the offer. I found all the therapists excellent. Some of the consultants, although very polite and friendly, unless they are of Northern European background, do have a rather rudimental English vocabulary, I can only image it would make it quite difficult for someone without any knowledge of Spanish to have a clear picture of what they are being told or taught. The food, I had chosen the most restrictive diet, was at times absolutely delicious and varied, albeit the minuscule portions. Sadly, midway the quality and variety changed drastically, resulting in a repetitive offering of boiled carrots, broccoli and zucchini without any attempt at creating something interesting which was exactly the opposite of what I had experienced during the first three or four days. I can only surmise the chef was on leave, taking with him the innovative cuisine that SHA is renowned for, if that was the case I do hope he returns for the sake of the next wave of guests. All the waiting staff were friendly and multilingual, except for one sneering young waitress who derided me when I requested the apple and carrot juice the consultant had prescribed in addition to my miso broth and two rice crackers breakfast. This happened two mornings in a row. It has been a pleasant and relaxing stay, the surroundings and tight treatment schedule definitely helped in taking my mind off the hunger pangs. I'm happy to report that I lost 6.6 pounds during my stay.

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank FA920
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AnthonyValen, Senior director of Sales at SHA Wellness Clinic, responded to this reviewResponded May 29, 2012

Thank you on behalf of our entire team for the delicate comment you have posted on this site.
We are pleased that your visit has given you full satisfaction and hope to see you again in our beautiful concept clinic.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 20, 2012

Nice view, good location, spacious rooms, some interesting team activities. That's it. The rest is quite poor.

SHA positions itself as a top wellness clinic, but does nothing for this.
1. The personal hardly speak english (including doctors, cosmetologists, masseurs, etc).
2. Room and restaurant service is awful (three days a dirty cup of tea was not taken away from my room, in the restaurant I had to wait for my breakfast/lunch/dinner at least for 30 min. Even a glass of water was a huge problem for waiters.
3. The medical consultations are absolutely useless. The dermatologist, instead of conducting a skin test which was declared in a brochure, tried to persuade me to do a kind of laser peeling (in May!) which would cost me EUR1 000.
4. The computer system was broken, therefore the nurse did not manage to give me a comparison "before and after". She promised to send me it by email. I am still waiting for it.
5. The vast majority of people, including me, were short-changed. A range is from EUR 200 to 1500 (at least cases I know about). If you did not ask your bill at least a day before leaving, be sure you will not be able to do anything to correct mistakes and get your money back when you are leaving. You will be told to speak to a manager, to a spa receptionist, to a dozen more people to discuss the problem while a taxi is waiting for you and you are delaying the flight. Of course, finally you will give up. In my bill the "sea view" was included which I had not booked. I was told that they decided to upgrade my room but forgot to tell me that they decided to increase my room rate as well.

I definitely do not recommend you to waste your money and time with SHA. There are a lot of places in the world which deserve your attention.

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
17  Thank DaryaU
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SHAWellness, Gerente at SHA Wellness Clinic, responded to this reviewResponded April 15, 2013

Dear Madam,

We have read your comments very attentively and they will be extremely useful to help build and improve our service levels for the future. We deeply regret that your stay did not meet your expectations and we sincerely apologize for this.

Regarding the problems you mentioned, we would like to answer them point by point:

1. We are constantly working to get our staff speaks not only a good English but also other languages so they can communicate better with our guests but, if there is any problem, we always offer a translation service.

2. We apologize for all these inconvenience. You came in a really busy time and we had some problems with this but we are always learning from our mistakes and now we can guarantee that this will not happen again. We have increased our staff and they are all prepared for meeting the highest expectations.

3. Our medical team is well-prepared and they are internationally acclaimed. They all recommend treatments they consider that would be good for your health or beauty but we apologize just in case any of them make you feel uncomfortable.

4. We also apologize for this problem you had. At the time you came, we obviously had plenty of unexpected problems that were hard to solve. Now we are working on improving all our system so this kind of things cannot happen again.

5. Fortunately, the problems with the bills are not as common as you describe but we apologize again for all the inconvenience you suffered. The insistence that you speak to our team members is only a great example that we care a lot of our guests and we are always trying to solve the problems that may happen quickly and efficiently.

We reiterate our apologizes for failing to make your stay satisfactory and we would like to welcome you back in the future so you can see our improvements. All members of our team are working every day to improve and deliver the excellence that our guests deserve.

Best regards,
The SHA team.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 19, 2012

i consider sha wellness clinic the worst experience i have had in my life considering i have travelled in resort and clinic spa all over the world from italy, spain, france, switzerland, greece,australia, usa, canada,japan maldives, seychelles, mauritius, dubai, slovenia, and more.
room is nice but the spa and the reception is a really messy.
masseurs arriving late and treatment made in adjusted room with noisy and mostly with unprofessional personnel. the romanian spa director is not prepared to adviceclients for tretments and not able o use good manners. he is not reaaly competent. should do another kind of work.
mostly of the employes of the spa reception were not able to speak and understand english and not professional. they were doing stage for few months and after change.
recetion employes too were not professional and not able to speak and understand english.
they talk back with unpolite words too.
detox package i have done caused me health problem and when i got back home i was still sick for few months. during that stay i got sick cause of the diet and none helped me, there is no medical control during the night if you got sick you should wait till the morning if you survive.
i was calling all the night the reception for a doctor and the talk me bad the nurse arrived in the morning around 8.30 after i called 10 times.
i asked for a taxi to go in the hospital and the reception guy said me were not possible and close the phone. i felt alone and really worried and i pray to see the next day.
to be in a wellness clinic you should be checked and controlled 24 hours especially if are doing a strict and dangerous diet.
i spoke with the owner but he didn't look helpfull or interested on what happened.
i left before my booked staying but they didn't refund me for a part for all problems caused me from the diet and for the poor treatments i payed and they are not cheap compare to the quality.
i paid a shiatsu massage and because the spa rooms were full the masseur brought me in the yoga classe to have that massage, it was really cold and people were screaming and knocking outsise the yoga door because they have to start the lesson so i paid the hole amount for a only 20 terrible minutes of shatsu massage.
they forgot me also during the walk time in the morning at the lighthouse area, after many hours they came to pick me up.
this sha clinic is a nightmare and i advice to avoid it.
there are wellness clinic really professional in other parts of the world that give good results.
sha wellnes is advertised because the owner pays famous people and famous international magazines.
i got back home sick and more stressed than when i left my home.
food was ok for some dishes but the peolpe were in diet complained many many times for the quality and the quantity.
in general when i was there i heards negative comments especially for the spa and the reception but also for the food and the general behaviour of the workers.

  • Stayed: May 2011, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
37  Thank caterina r
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AnthonyValen, senior Director of Sales at SHA Wellness Clinic, responded to this reviewResponded May 30, 2012

It is with great attention that I read your comments and I am truly sorry that your stay was not up to your expectations.
Clearly every individual has a different idea of "perfection" and this is a very subjective matter. Although we strive for "perfection" and do our utmost to meet all our customers requirements we may, on occasion, fall short of this goal. In these cases we welcome feedback such as yours so that we can build on our service levels and improve for the future.
Please feel free to contact me so that I can answer your questions and respond to your comments.
Yet again, SHA WELLNESS CLINIC tries to bring the best to our customers. Our team is committed to bringing our clients and visitors the best of ourselves.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 14, 2012

“The ultimate in rest and wellness with a myriad of services devoted to your wellbeing. I couldn’t have asked for a better, more relaxing experience. The Spa was divine – I especially loved the deep-tissue massage and specialized beauty treatments like oxygen therapy for my skin. I left feeling like a whole new person, relaxed and rejuvenated. I have recommended this place to all my girlfriends looking for a soothing escape where you are absolutely pampered.”

  • Stayed: May 2011, traveled solo
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Consigliera-S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AnthonyValen, Senior Director of Sales at SHA Wellness Clinic, responded to this reviewResponded May 29, 2012

Thank you on behalf of our entire team for the delicate comment you have posted on this site. We are pleased that your visit has given you full satisfaction and hope to see you again in our beautiful concept clinic.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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