Disney’s Resort Massage & Fitness Spa Reviews

Discussion in 'Disney Resorts' started by Planecrazy4dis, Sep 6, 2008.

  1. Planecrazy4dis

    Planecrazy4dis "This is no longer a vacation...It's a quest for f

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    Hi-ya folks!
    Do you guys want to make this the official Spa review? I thought it would be very helpful for spa junkies like myself and spa newbies who want a magical experience. I am personally a licensed massage therapist who works at the Ritz Carlton in Boston and I’m always on the lookout for skilled spa techs when I receive a treatment. I know exactly what I need done and I unfortunately get disappointed more often than not. So I thought this would be a great place to help each other out with a review of your spa experience.

    Niki Bryan Spa is the company that operates the spa and fitness centers at Animal Kingdom Lodge, Boardwalk Village, Coronado Springs Resort, Contemporary Resort, Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa, Yacht & Beach Club, and Wilderness Lodge. Here’s the website:

    http://www.relaxedyet.com/

    The Swan & Dolphin works with a different company called Mandara Spa. Click "activities”.

    http://www.swandolphin.com/activities/spa.html"


    Ok, here it goes…our trip was August 10th - August 16th, 2008 at the Animal Kingdom Lodge for our 15th wedding anniversary. I reserved two 80 - minute massages for my DW and I a month in advance. I scheduled them for the day after we arrive on Monday the 11th. We started the day with room service and then we walked down to Zahanati Massage & Fitness Center for our 10:00 am appointments. I know from my own experience that earlier in the day, means more energy, when you are a MT. Because I need deep tissue work, I hope the MT has enough strength to execute. So I prefer a morning appointment. (a little tip) ;)

    AKL has a small gym. We didn’t work out but it seamed to be filled with good up to date equipment and there was about 4 treatment rooms. We checked in around 9:45 am and a personal trainer behind the desk gave us robes and a massage therapist showed us to the men and women’s locker rooms. I always appreciate a good steam room. This one was a eucalyptus steam room, which I love. I highly recommend going into the steam room before a massage. They also have a dry sauna and showers.

    My DW (Steamboat Girlie) injured her low back two weeks before our trip. She hurt it while picking up our 18 month old DS. So she was in need of some skilled TLC. DW had a very nice talkative female MT that was petite in stature and was struggling to apply medium pressure. So needless to say, DW did not enjoy her 80 - minute massage. :sad2: I felt bad about that. It happens a lot to her. She tells me that I spoil her with the work I give her at home. :goodvibes Everybody always comments about how lucky my DW is because she is married to a MT. Yah right! You know the old saying: “The cobbler’s wife has no shoes.” The same goes for Massage Therapists. :rotfl:

    But I digress…the good news is that I had a great massage with a female MT named Rachel R. Make sure you request Rachel “R”, because there's another Rachel that works there.

    Rachel R. was very nice but she didn’t talk unless I initiated the conversation. Sometimes I mention I’m a MT and sometimes I don’t. I did this time. I’m not a jerk about it or anything. I just explain exactly what I need at the time. I always appreciate it when clients do that for me at the Ritz.

    She was a natural…GREAT HANDS. She was very strong. She used her elbows really well. She was intuitive and got the job done.
    TWO THUMBS UP FOR ME! :thumbsup2 :thumbsup2

    Now what about my poor DW? Well, I called down to the spa the next day and I asked what Rachel R’s schedule for Thursday the 13th. She was scheduled to be at the Boardwalk that day, but she didn’t have any clients yet. I guess she is based at one of them, but I can’t remember which one. She also told me that they rotate her at all the Niki Bryan Spas except GF. GF has a set staff. So they moved her over to AKL that day for me. YES! WE SCORED! DW wanted me to go first so that I could tell Rachel R. what DW needed for her treatment. I guess DW twisted my arm. :woohoo: So I had a 50-minute massage at 10:00 am and DW had a 50-minute massage at 11:00.

    DW was thrilled. Rachel R. didn’t go too deep. She gave smooth medium pressure. Just right.
    RACHEL R. ROCKS!!! :thumbsup2 :thumbsup2

    We hope this will be of some help for those who are planning to go to a WDW spa. I’m interested in the Mandara at the S & D. Please add all your fitness & spa experiences and questions.
    Thanks!
     
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  3. butiflfeet

    butiflfeet DIS Veteran

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    I love your idea for this thread! I've been looking for reviews and of the spas at Disney World for months and it's always just a little bit of info here and there so having it all together like this is great.

    Anyone else have Disney World spa experiences they'd like to share?
     
  4. pooksma

    pooksma <font color=red>Can't help it~there is something a

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    DH and I had the couples massage at the Dolphin in August.

    Began with a 30 minute double tub soak which was fantastic after a crazy park day. The room was fabulous, quiet and smelled great. The MTs knocked on our door to give us a 5 minute warning and we were taken into a double room. DH's MT was male and he says did a fabulous job, worked his shoulders and neck where he holds all of his tension. My MT was female and she was ok. I have had better massages here at home but I believe it is because the masseuse knows me and all my little aches and pains. I am not trashing the MT in any way. It wasn't the best I've had is all.

    I must say that both MTs were extremely thorough in their questioning of areas of concentration, amount of pressure etc. I wouldn't go again (at the Dolphin) but it was an experience for certain!
     
  5. Planecrazy4dis

    Planecrazy4dis "This is no longer a vacation...It's a quest for f

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    Thanks butiflfeet. I've been looking too. I hope this makes it a little easier to get good advice.

    pooksma - Thanks for the Mandara review!

    We've been wanting to try Saratoga Springs Resort Spa. Any experiences with SSR?
     
  6. Planecrazy4dis

    Planecrazy4dis "This is no longer a vacation...It's a quest for f

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    Has anyone gone to a spa lately?:surfweb:
     
  7. Wendy_in_Wonderland

    Wendy_in_Wonderland Earning My Ears

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    I'm really wanting to see some reviews on the Mandara, I really like the sound of their treatments.

    I have to say that my mother and stepfather are both MTs. My mother is a small woman and she can do better deep tissue work than just about anyone I've ever met. She taught for years and often explains that it has little to do with the size or brute strength of the MT but proper body mechanics and technique. She's worked on some very large men (athletes) who are blown away by her.

    B/c of my mom and my being spoiled LOL I always worry about getting work done by someone else. I don't need anything special just basic relaxation. I am more interested in the exfoliation treatments and wraps which include massage.

    Also I will be traveling with my teenage SIL and I really would love to do a spa thing with her while we're there and Mandara has treatments targeted to teens.

    Can't wait for more reviews!
     
  8. JennyDrake

    JennyDrake Darkwing Duck's Biggest Fan

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    I went to SSR in Janaury. I receive regular massages here at home due to lots of back problems. I was disappointed to hear they did not offer any deep tissue. What I got was labeled "medium"--not sure I would have characterized it as such. The girl was very sweetand the facility was great. It was QUITE pricey and IMHO, not worth the dollars ($100+ with tip) if you want/need something therepeutic. But I'm glad I tried it once!
     
  9. becfehr

    becfehr DIS Veteran

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    My DH and I went to the GF Spa back in 05. We only got 30 min massages, BUT I have to say they were good.

    Just to tell you a neat thing... my feet were KILLLLING me after walking at MK all day, so I told the MT guy about it, and so he focused on my feet and legs mostly. I thought it was pretty cool. And felt MUCH better afterwards... we even went BACK to MK for EMH afterward.
     
  10. Planecrazy4dis

    Planecrazy4dis "This is no longer a vacation...It's a quest for f

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    Yeah...I'm with ya on that. Mandara looks amazing too.
    I know what you mean. It’s too much money to be disappointed.

    That’s what I’m talking about. I like to here that about my profession.:woohoo:
     
  11. Planecrazy4dis

    Planecrazy4dis "This is no longer a vacation...It's a quest for f

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    bump...bump...bump it up!!! :surfweb:
     
  12. eandesmom

    eandesmom I'm with Beast

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    Bump!

    I've been looking for this thread. Dh told me I can book a treatment for my birthday, whoo hoo! (which is right before we leave..darn it, no free admission or gift cards but oh well).

    I was looking at Wilderness Lodge and wondering if anyone has gotten the firm pressure massage there as it sounds like several people have been somewhat dissapointed in the firmness of their massages. Definitely a much more limited menu of services than the spa locations though. I can relate to the firmness problems, it is generally my experience at a spa location as well (with a significant magical exception in Napa but I digress).

    WL is much more convenient for me to get to as I'm at the Fort in a cabin and as the Fort's pool is under reno we get to use the WL anyway so we plan to be there one day (assuming the sun cooperates) but I do see that SSR has a hot stone massage...I've had one of those once and really liked it. Has anyone done it at SSR? Wondering if it would be worth the trek not to mention the significant extra $$. At twice as much $$ for only an extra 30 minutes....it would be great to have some feedback!

    Getting a pedicure with DSD earlier in the week at the GF so would like to hit more than one spa or massage center while there and I will post my reviews when we get back. A little bit annoyed with the GF age structure. A child's pedi goes until age 11. At 12 they have to pay the adult pedi rate. But they can't use the fitness center until they are 14! Seems like those ages should match. DSD is bummed about the fitness center, she's 12.

    So hopefully it's worth it, that's a lot of $$ for a 12 year old! But I think doing it at the GF (she got to pick which location) will be a pretty special "girl" experience. We plan to go early, have breakfast and then hit the steam room etc.

    9 days until we leave!
     
  13. Lilolvr

    Lilolvr DIS Veteran

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    My aunt and I had massages at CSR on our first trip. Its not a grand spa like the ones you will find at the deluxe resorts but it's the same people from relaxedyet.com. They were very good and we enjoyed ourselves immensely.
     
  14. KatMark

    KatMark DIS Veteran

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    I agree. I get a massage every year at the CSR about midway through our trip. I get the 50 minute aromatherpay massage and it really does the trick for my tired legs, feet, and I'm ready to go for the last couple of days of our trip. I did one at the GF back in 2004. It was no better than what I have at the CSR every year except for the surroundings are a little nicer. However, I didn't care for the fact that they tried to push products on me after the service.
     
  15. redrosesix

    redrosesix DIS Veteran

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    Thanks for this! My bad neck flared up again (the week before we're set to leave) and I am so used to going to a proper physiotherapy clinic for massage etc. -- soooo spoiled! Was thinking I wouldn't bother trying out the WDW spas.

    So, now I think I'll book in during our vacation.
     
  16. eandesmom

    eandesmom I'm with Beast

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    it just makes more sense for where we are staying. I will post about the pedi at the GF and the massage at WL upon return!
     
  17. k&a&c'smom

    k&a&c'smom DIS Veteran

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    I've had the 50-minute Swedish massage at AKL and the GF, 80-minute Swedish at SSR. They were all good, but I don't remember the names of the therapists, sorry. I liked the GF and SSR visits a little better, but I think that is only because I chose an aromatherapy oil at AKL, and I had oil in my hair for several days after, lol.

    I'm surprised to hear you were pressured to purchase anything, KatMark, that's a shame. I had a great experience at the GF spa, the CMs were extremely friendly and no pressure at all.
     
  18. KatMark

    KatMark DIS Veteran

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    It was almost five years ago. Maybe enough people said something and they stopped (I had other people tell me they had felt the pressure from there as well).
     
  19. Steamboat Girlie

    Steamboat Girlie I WANT TO BE LOCKED IN THE DISNEY VAULT! "Huh-huh.

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  20. Planecrazy4dis

    Planecrazy4dis "This is no longer a vacation...It's a quest for f

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    Thanks for resurrecting this thread. :thumbsup2
    From what I remember, I think Rachel R. travels to WL. If you like firm pressure, she definitely can give you that. Just be very clear about what you want. As a LMT myself, I always appreciate it when a client is honest and clear with what they want. Rachel R. can also go to SSR. But, as of last August, she did not do hot stone massage. She might be trained in it now, I do not know. SSR & GF are the locations for hot stone. We'll be reserving our AKL massages with Rachel R. pretty soon. :woohoo: :cheer2:
     
  21. eandesmom

    eandesmom I'm with Beast

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    Reporting back!

    Grand Floridian Spa Pedicure
    DSD 12 and I had a spa pedicure at the Grand Floridian on Valentine’s Day. Interestingly enough I’d assumed we could just go to the ivy trellis salon and perhaps if I’d have asked we could have but the spa pedicure sounded fine so I went ahead and booked at the spa. The spa is an entirely separate facility, near the wedding pavilion and almost closer to the Poly than it is to the GF. It was a lovely pedicure, we had 3 different treatments beyond the normal nail /foot care and polishing. First, a sugar scrub. Second a honey avocado mask on the legs which they then wrapped with warm towels. It was nice and smelled great although I have to admit, the first time my legs have had a mask on their own. This was finished with a mint and something lotion that smelled heavenly, on both the feet and legs with a nice massage. All in all it was a lovely experience. DSD was a bit disappointed in the colors, it was a very sedate salon and she really wanted something brighter and trendier. I had a French and they did a great job. DSD’s however chipped right away although that was likely from being in the pool so much. My toes still look good lol.

    It was lovely but a regular pedicure would have probably made more sense, I’m not sure it was worth the very high price point.

    Wilderness Lodge Massage
    I headed off to WL early for a belated bday present. Upon arrival I found out they’d had me down for an hour earlier than I had written down. Thankfully they were able to get me in a mere half hour later and it was not a problem at all. I was able to get a little workout in while I waited which was really nice. Rachel was my masseuse (and I’m not sure if it was Rachel R or not, oops!) and I did tell her that I preferred firm. She asked if I wanted deep tissue and I said I’d LOVE that, she mentioned it would be an up charge which I said was fine. I had a 50 minute massage and it was just heavenly. Definitely plenty of pressure, on the verge of too much which is actually perfect as it does the job so much better for me once we are done! I thought she was fabulous and at check-out there was no up-charge and the rates seemed about $18 lower than what I thought I’d seen online so that was a nice treat! I would absolutely go back and it was a nice little gym as well.

    Main Street Barber
    Thanks to reading this board I learned that there was a barber on Main Street. The younger boys were in deparate need of haircuts and loved the idea of getting it done in the MK. It is a first come first serve location and when we arrived, also on Valentine’s Day, there were about 6 people in front of us. It was a ton of fun to watch the cuts, they do a men’s and a boys cut, I did not see any girls get cuts (except for an infant girl). I did however see girls, women, boys and men, all get pixie dust! Girls were also able to get their hair done up in a pony before the pixie dust treatment at a fraction of the cost of BBBB. One family walked in and didn't have time to wait, the CM called the kids over, spritzed them with hairspray and sprinkled free pixie dust right on them while he was in the middle of cutting a dad's hair. One of the neatest things they do there is a baby’s first haircut. If you take your baby there for their first haircut they get a set of ears embroidered with “my first haircut”, pink for girls and black for boys and then a certificate of bravery. So cute!

    We waited maybe ½ an hour/45 minutes and would likely have been stranded somewhere anyways for that amount of time due to the twirlers. The crowds were SO bad at MK that day that I didn’t mind just waiting there for the cuts. Both boys had wonderful cuts. DS8 has really tricky hair and they spent a ton of time getting it right. One of his best haircuts ever. DS went for pixie dust after getting a buzz cut that he really wanted. Probably the best $28 (for BOTH) I spent all trip! I tipped well :)

    DS9 got comments all day and evening about his hair, he was in heaven.

    I will post some main street barber pictures once I get them uploaded.
     

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