Senses Spa at Saratoga Springs – Swedish Massage

This is a bit of a compare and contrast to the Swedish Massage I had at Mandara Spa in the Dolphin Resort… In a nutshell, Senses at Saratoga Springs was nicer than Mandara and the massage was much better too.

The whole experience started out a bit stressful (my fault entirely) – I thought my appointment was at 5:00 and it was at 5:30, so Nick and I were a bit stressed when I arrived for my appointment AND I continued to think that I was late and that Nick would be sitting at dinner waiting for me to show up AND there was no cell service in the depths of the spa.

Senses Spa wants to connect with all of your senses, thus you begin your experience with an elixir (I chose pomegranate)… So, at first glance, why was Senses at Saratoga Springs better than Mandara?

  • The robes were nicer – the robes here have two layers, the inner terry cloth layer is very soft and soothing and the outer layer is a soft grey brushed satin (very nice)
  • The sauna and the hot tub area in the ladies area were both operational and seemed to be very clean
  • There were two private, curtained off areas for changing for your spa treatment if you wanted
  • The changing area was larger
  • The relaxation area (which I didn’t get to experience) isn’t like a garden (versus Mandara Spa), it’s more like a treatment room at a big spa retreat in an old movie – “beds”, low lights, carrot zucchini muffins, tea, water, apples, and reading materials
  • The treatment rooms (at least the one I was in) was larger and included a hydrotherapy bath
  • The treatment rooms were aligned along a hallway, it felt more professional and less touchy feely to me (and that is my preference, not necessarily everyone else’s)

The actual massage… Melissa started by asking some questions and a run-down of how the massage would proceed…

  • Did I want light, moderate, or firm pressure (I chose firm)
  • After I was settled on the massage bed, she put a hot moist compress on my upper back and then there’d be a bit of aromatherapy with lavender oil to relax me
  • The massage started with my upper body as I lay on my belly, next was legs and feet – then I rolled over and again she progressed from upper to lower body (I really liked the head and neck massage, much appreciated)

Overall, this massage had more pressure and more limb manipulation than any that I’ve received at Disney World. I’m not sure if the difference is because I requested firm pressure or if there’s really that much difference in the massage therapists. I can say that there was a clear difference in the facilities and I’m looking forward to seeing how the Senses Spa at The Grand Floridian and the spa at The Waldorf Astoria compare.

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