When I opened the envelope on Christmas morning to find a certificate for a day at the Lavender Fields Day Spa
in Plainville, Connecticut, I was extremely excited. My mom and sister would be joining me and that made me even more excited to spend a day relaxing with them. I had never been to a spa before and was looking forward to a day of carefree relaxation and pampering. I have always heard from frequent spa-goers how amazing it is to push all the stress and work aside and enjoy a day that’s all about you and your body. The package included a facial, an hour-long massage, as well as a spa manicure and pedicure. What I expected was to be wowed by a peaceful, tension-free environment with soft music and comforting atmosphere.
However, my day at the spa was not as comforting as I expected and even uncomfortable at times. The excellent work quality of the massage therapists, manicurists, and beauticians was not matched by the not so excellent environment of the spa which leads me to believe that spas are great, Lavender Fields Day Spa is not. As I walked into the spa, the potent smell of lavender attacked my nostrils causing me to stop in my tracks. It was as if the oxygen in the air was replaced by the scent of lavender, which was not comforting at all. The scent of lavender might have been soothing except for that it was excessively infused throughout the spa. The establishment was illuminated by bright lighting and seemed to be extremely clean and hygienic. After checking in, we were shown to a small room with a few couches and offered a drink of water or cranberry spritzer. I drank two cranberry spritzers by the time we were finally led to the room where we would be receiving our massages. The room had dimmed lighting, soft music and, of course, the aroma of lavender. The sheets on the massaging beds were incredibly soft and warm, which gave a relaxing feel for the start of the spa day. I was so relaxed that I was starting to fall asleep while the massage therapist was massaging. Just as soon as I fell asleep, however, I was awoken up by a loud car horn coming from the busy street outside. Nothing relaxes you like hearing angry drivers on a Friday morning! However, once I finally blocked out the street noise and my surroundings, I was extremely content and calm. Lying on a comfortable bed and having someone else work out all the stress, knots, and pressure on my muscles was
Again, I lay in another comfortable bed and listened to the soothing sounds of a tropical rainforest. My biggest complaint about the facial was that the lotions the beautician used smelled too strongly of lavender and they gave me a small headache after a while. After the facial, we went back to the waiting room and were given a menu with 6 choices of sandwiches and, again, a choice of water or cranberry spritzer. Now, I am no mathematician, but a one in six chance of liking something on a menu is not very high. My one and only choice was an overly basic grilled cheese and tomato sandwich since I am a vegetarian. If you’re a vegan, or are gluten-free, you might as well forget about eating. This was upsetting because the time between when I ate breakfast at 8 o’clock, to when our massages and facials were completed, was a whole five hours. So when my only option was a small, greasy, grilled cheese and tomato sandwich, it was a huge letdown. It was also unsettling that the table set up for lunches was in the same room where other customers were waiting for their treatments. Trying to enjoy a meal while having 4-5 other people watching you eat is not the most comfortable of situations, believe me.
After we ate our lunches, it was time to get our manicures and pedicures, so we were shown into the nail salon portion of the spa. The amount of nail polish colors in that room made us feel like we were swimming in a bowl of skittles. There must have been over 100 different colors. When I picked the color I wanted, the manicurist started my manicure. A few strokes of the nail file later, I realized that the manicurist was sick because she coughed into her arm throughout the rest of the manicure and pedicure. Word of advice, don’t go to work sick if you are going to be interacting with customers’ bodies all throughout the day. Seven hours, a few car horns, a multiple of coughs and a grilled cheese and tomato sandwich later, my first spa experience was finished, and it’s safe to say that I was happy it was over.
All in all, I would have to give Lavender Fields Day Spa a rating of two stars. The massage therapists, beauticians and manicurist were clearly qualified and I have no complaints about their work. However, the invasive smell of lavender, loud street and car noises and overall lack of comfort outweighed the feel that the employees left me with. Now, if this spa wasn’t so pricey I wouldn’t have been so upset about my experience but it was a whopping $383 dollars for each package! If I were to go to the spa again, or recommend one to a friend, I would invest more time in research of the spas and make sure my day would make me comfortable and relaxed. A place away from angry drivers and a place I would enjoy without burning a hole in my pocket! Images from: image from: http://lavenderfieldsdayspa.com/