Sanctuary Spa Covent Garden review: From a Non Blogging Viewpoint
I recently received a gift voucher for a Sanctuary Spa 50 minute treatment massage. I was happy to get the voucher- I’ve previously been to the Sanctuary Spa Covent Garden on a press trip and was looking forward to getting more of the same pampering. I’d had a great time last time- as an official member of press/blogger- so expected the same treatment this time around.
I know that being a member of press does sometimes get you better perks/treatment, but I was unaware how much of a difference it would make at what I thought was a five star spa.
Booking in was easy enough I called up, gave the appointment code and then was told when to come in and to make sure I had an extra 15 minutes to get ready. I was also ‘softly’ sold the idea of paying for staying for the rest of the day at the spa, but politely declined.
I arrived with around 20 minutes to spare before my appointment. The spa was very busy and crowded (it was a Sunday) and it took around 20 minutes for me to be seen at the front desk- at which point I said I was running late for my appointment.
‘We’ll hurry you through’, I was told and was taken through the changing room to get my locker key. I then waited another 5 minutes before 2 more guests were shown in and we were all handed keys at once from the overworked bathroom attendant.
Products in the changing room to use
I quickly robed up and went to wait for my massage. My therapist was a lovely smiling woman but immediately chided me for being 15 minutes late for my treatment, I explained I’d arrived perfectly on time- with time to spare in fact- but that there had been queues.
Smiling I was told that my 50m treatment massage would have to be cut because of the time, so I had to choose an area to miss out; shoulders, back, neck, arms. I opted to forgo the arm massage part of the treatment and settled down for the rub. I also didn’t fully fill out the health and safety form till AFTER the treatment, as we were short on time.
The rest of the service was exemplary, the therapist kneaded out my tender spots, carefully worked around my back injuries and made me feel amazing.
Amazing.. but in a short moment of time. Post massage I was told as I only had the treatment passage I had to leave within 30 minutes- no lounging out at the pool to recover.
I don’t blame the therapist- the staff had clearly scheduled in too many appointments that day, but it left me with an icky feeling in my mouth. I know that had I been there in an official capacity I’d have had the full 50 minutes and my aftercare would have been more relaxing and less one in one out.
It left me with a bad feeling about what was meant to be a ‘blissful retreat’ – I still think the Sanctuary employ great people to work there, but the booking system needs a lot of work and I wasn’t happy with how they treated me like I was late- when I was on time.
I’ve heard before that a ‘press review‘ and a ‘real person‘ review of spas can differ, but this was the first time the comparison has been such a shock. This is part of the reason I like to be anon on this blog- and the first time such a major contrast has happened at a spa.
Check out the Sanctuary Spa here.. if you dare.