It’s definitely my own fault for being a cheap-skate, but I have confirmed beyond a doubt that Groupons and day spas don’t mix well. I don’t want to diss Groupon, Scoopon, Living Social or any of their counterparts in any way; just last week I purchased a personalised jigsaw puzzle for only $14!
However when it comes to day spas, I’ve discovered that if an offer looks too good to be true then it probably is. It’s not that they are horrible experiences, but day spas by definition are meant to be blissful, and being treated like a second-rate citizen with a food stamp makes me feel like I would rather be at Australia Post… and you all know how much I hate Australia Post.
One coupon experience I remember in particular was a ‘Body Scrub and Massage’ at one of the wholesome-looking spas off James Street in New Farm. The massage was actually quite good, but the body scrub consisted of salt (from a Saxa shaker) being rubbed into my back for half an hour. Just my back. I came away with a sensation that I can only compare to sunburn. My legs and feet, which could have really benefited from a little salt, mocked me with their crustiness.
‘You get what you pay for!’ you may say, and in the spirit of that I have talked myself into trying several more epic-looking spa deals. I have now thoroughly learned my lesson, but for those still on the wagon, I have some tips gleaned the hard way that will help you know what to expect.
2. Be wary of the term ‘Day Spa’
You can pitch a tent in your back yard these days and call it a day spa. If it is out in the ‘burbs, chances are it is a little salon on a main road with a sign written in overly-flowery cursive.
3. Don’t be late
The ‘day spa’ will cut your appointment short in increments of 15 minutes if you happen to show up late. Time spent sitting down and taking off your shoes is also taken into account.
4. Prepare for the up sell
Apparently purchasing a coupon disqualifies you as a human who deserves to enjoy their treatment in peace, so don’t be surprised if you have a running commentary on every product being used, and how perfect it would be for your apparently shit-house skin.
5. Don’t expect the fluff
After the body scrub fiasco, I took my own advice from point 1., and went for a microdermabrasion treatment that was definitely on the spa’s regular menu. Strange to say, the menu stated the treatment would take an hour, yet I was in and out in 15 minutes. I wasn’t overly surprised, as I kind of felt more like a baby getting its nappy changed (and the first layer of skin scraped off its butt) than a client at a ‘medi health spa’.
If it makes you feel better, compare the coupon-ed spa experiences to a low-cost airline; it still gets you there, but you don’t get peanuts or inflight entertainment. For my part, I have decided that the excellent Chinese men at Chi Link and I have a good thing going.