One of my New Year’s Resolutions is to take better care of myself so that I can take better care of others. That includes taking time for myself and treating myself to massages, facials, meditation and good healthy food.
The first item on my list was to get a massage and a facial. I came across an online special for the Beauty Jewel Spa located in Greenwich Village, NYC. I’d read several of the reviews posted on their site from reputable beauty authorities like Allure.com so I decided to give it a shot. I immediately purchased a package that included a 30-minute massage, a 30-minute body scrub and a 30-minute facial.
I booked my appointment for the next day because I wanted to start my New Year off on the right foot. The next morning I had a light breakfast and mentally prepared for myself for a day of relaxation otherwise known as my spa treatment. I took the subway to lower Manhattan and arrived at the West 4th Street subway station. I walked a short distance and noticed the Beauty Jewel Spa right away.
Yep there it is right next to the dry cleaners. Fancy.
I proceed upstairs where I was greeted by a friendly gentleman who asked me to fill out some forms and have a seat. I informed the receptionist that I was probably going to write about my experience on my site and I handed him my business card. He told me I was a VIP and told my massage therapist that I was a very important client.
I was then escorted to my changing room where I received a robe and plastic slippers, yes plastic.
After changing, I waited on the couch for my masseuse to retrieved me to begin the first part of my treatment, the massage.
My masseuse gave me a much needed Swedish massage with essential oils and firmly worked out the spasms in my back. With a combination of her hands and hot towels my back was feeling much better not to mention my hands and my feet. I do love a good hand massage.
Now it was time for my body scrub with Dead Sea Salt. The masseuse applied a rather rough sea salt mixture to my skin massaging everywhere but my breasts and bikini area. The treatment took about 10 minutes to apply and I was then told that I could shower and get ready for my facial. The shower stall was complete with body wash, shampoo and conditioner. I took a look in the stock cabinet and I saw VO5 shampoo and I was completely unimpressed, the shampoo costs $1 and frankly it’s not very good.
As I stood there naked, the shower water just would not get hot. It was way too cold to get in and the masseuse had to go somewhere else to check on the water temperature. After a few minutes the water was finally warm enough to hop in. Now sooner did I rinse my body off did I hear the masseuse asking if I was done. I took a few more minutes, got out and dried off.
It was now time for the final part of my package, the facial. I was taken to another room by my masseuse who was also the esthetician.
The esthetician took a look at my face briefly but sh did not use the magnifier. She then concluded that I have combination skin, oily and dry. Wrong, my skin is not dry at all. She then gently washed, exfoliated and moisturized and that was it. The facial was more of a 3-step face washing. The esthetician suggested that I get a Japanese Mushroom Peel but she could not really explain the benefits of this treatment so I declined. I later found out that the treatment that she suggested would have been an additional$185. During my facial I asked if the spa offered eyebrow threading and she replied yes, when I asked for the price she responded “$10 or $15, I don’t know ask the front desk.”
My facial was now over but skin was oilier than when I went into the spa. I told the esthetician that my face was rather oily and she touched it with her finger and clearly saw a grease mark on her fingertip and replied “it’s fine”. With skin as oily as mine I would never apply an oil based moisturizer. I then asked her which products she used and all she said was Sonya Dakar, she never got into specifics.
Overall my experience with Beauty Jewel Spa was mediocre at best. The staff was rather pleasant but during my visit both people that I came in contact with tried to upsell me with added services. Even as I was leaving the receptionist tried to get me to purchase a “Limited time offer that was expiring at Midnight”. I asked if I could take some photos of the reception area and manicure/pedicure area and I was told that no, use the photos on the website.
When I arrived home I took another look at one of the reviews and it was dated in 2007. Beauty Jewel Spa could use some renovations, art work (Sonya Dakar posters don’t count) and perhaps a little touch of luxury. The luke warm water that I was offered after my spa treatment (in a Dixie cup no less) is not quite the embodiment of luxury that we hope for when we visit a spa. My esthetician, although polite, was not very informed on the services of the place where she is employed. And I could really do without all the pushy sales pitches. Needless to say I will not be returning.