Last Saturday a group of us ladies went to the Four Seasons Spa in Philadelphia to celebrate yet another friend’s 50 birthday. The great thing about turning 50 (as there really are only a few) is that you have the ability, smarts, sophistication and physical desperation to go to a 5 star spa to celebrate a birthday, which translates as: relax. A spa is safe; there is no over drinking, (unless it is herbal tea or citrus water) no late nights, and no waking up feeling and looking like a 100 years old cadaver. And believe me, there is no facial, body wrap or massage on earth that can reverse a late night with champagne and dancing with a bum shoulder and creaky knees. I know this from experience. Ageless attitude can only get you so far.
The Four Seasons globally is known for grand service, spot on amenities, stunning food, impressive views, flower arrangements, and their spa experience. So imagine my concern when the spa facility was reflected more of a 3 star hotel or local day spa.
Let me first preface my critique~ we had a lovely day, great treatments, great therapist, delicious lunch, attentive service, and was giving an attractive tray of chocolate dipped strawberries with Happy Birthday written in chocolate on the side of the plate. We were made to feel special.
That was dampened when we checked in found out that there is no “relax” area, and no steam room- which I swear was confirmed when I booked the treatments. They have a pool that is smartly used for pre and post treatments. However on this day there were a million children in the pool, and even the receptionist who walked us to the locker mentioned her surprise of the amount of loud splashy children. So that space was not going to be a sanctuary, especially when you have to walk through puddles of water with your street shoes on, past the pool and into the locker. The very cramped lockers. It is strange to change clothes 2 inches from the sink area, where other guests are washing up and walking through. I didn’t know what way to bend for my slippers in fear of “flashing” an innocent guest. We were uncomfortably shoulder to shoulder. There is a dry sauna in the locker room that was not turned on, so it was a cold dry sauna.
The facility is just old and not reflective of the Four Seasons brand or any of their other spas. Again, the therapists are stunning and do a great job. That afternoon, as the four of us ladies checked out, we were talking together at the retail-reception area, and were “shhhh’d” by the receptionist as there is a treatment room right next to the front desk. OK- I just paid $700, drove 3 hours to gett here, and ate lunch in your restaurant- … the old space is a huge problem. There just needs to be a decision made regarding guest flow, and how to work around an old facility… does it match your guest expectations?
The spa like all of us needs: rejuvenation, refreshing and a lot of attention!