Hi. I've had massages from many practitioners over many years, and always had to ask for deep tissue as my muscles are extraordinarily tight. I am also a geriatric nurse, so used to handling people intimately. This was the first massage where I actually went home with badly sore areas and yes, multiple actual black and blue marks. She was nice so this isn't personal, but I observed that she doesn't seem to understand or at all empathize with human anatomy, in that she tried to dig as hard on bony prominences, i.e. ischial bones and shins, (areas that have no flesh to protect them,) as she did in calves and fatter areas. I had to stop her multiple times from doing that or I'd be even more black and blue than I already am. Deep Tissue does NOT equal "deep bone." I felt that possibly she resented either my overweight body (which I realize makes it harder to massage!) or my request for deep tissue massage. Probably the most frightening aspect though was her utter disregard for people's joints....never in all my years of massage or medical treatment has anyone else EVER slammed and yanked my body parts like that....I am VERY serious. She picks up legs and arms and slams them into place, yanks and JERKS them. HARD. I've never seen anyone treat a body like that and if I ever did that to a patient, handling patients like my joints and limbs were handled, I'd lose my license. This is a very strong woman who simply does not understand other people's bodies or the working of slightly older human joints. I'm sure she means well but I observed a complete disregard for age, joint safety, and simple esthetics. You simply can not grab someone's calf and YANK it upward, because I'm sure plenty of people have knee issues as I do. And you don't slam down arms, then JAM the sheet around them hard with your stiff fingers....shove arms into positions....massage is supposed to be relaxing, soothing, kind....But this was so over the top opposite that I worried about injury and had to say something multiple times. And the statement used frequently was spoken condescendingly, to "RELAX, I promise I will give it back when I'm done" or something ridiculous sounding along those lines, but actually, that WAS as relaxed as my tight muscles can be until they're relaxed by skilled massage....it simply didn't make sense, as if she thought I was fighting it, but I wasn't. (my daughter stated she got the same line repeatedly from a different practitioner at the same time and didn't like it either!) 3 days later I have spots on my back and bruises that can't be touched. That's pretty bad considering how many highly enjoyable "deep tissue" massages I've had before over the years, from a variety of practitioners both male and female in a variety of settings. This has never happened before. Highly recommend this young woman be retrained in human anatomy and what people actually want, as well as reasonable techniques and pressures for deep tissue massage. Putting a 5 on the pressure scale does not mean we want to be in actual agony for 1.5 hours, and people's joints must ALWAYS be protected from injury. We mustn't EVER yank on limbs, or shove people into place as she does....bodies should always be treated with respect, and kindness at all times, this I know as a good nurse. I will say that the spa staff over all was exquisitely polite and tried to make our experience pleasant. It was nicely decorated, people were kind, tried to spoil us with beverages, hot towels, etc...., in other words, I don't blame the entire facility for the lack of skill and finesse of one person.
I will say one thing, and that is we aren't rich people, nor even particularly well off. It was debatable whether we could or should try to afford to do such a luxurious thing for 3 of us, something we've never done before. So when I was called the day before our appointment and informed of the mandatory, automatic 15% "gratuity" that would be posted on my bill, I was completely taken aback and upset. I nearly cancelled because of it, because you were talking about 108.00 tacked on top of the 239.00 per person X 3 bill. Had someone informed me of that ahead of time, in time to find something else, frankly, I would have found somewhere else to go, but by then it was simply too late and I'd have horribly disappointed my girls, who have a tough time getting time off demanding jobs. The reason given is how tough the setup is for the girls there, however, I maintain that the hotel makes good money and should pay their staff appropriate salaries, not perform highway robbery on people coming through. Perhaps for many of the Hyatt's clients that extra $108.00 is a mere drip in a bucket, but for this ordinary family with a lot of bills, that spa experience represented a huge expenditure and rare experience. Insisting 15% "gratuity" (which isn't at all "gratutious" incidentally, but rather a "fee") on a nearly 800.00 bill seems pretty demanding to me, particularly given just how awful my eagerly anticipated massage actually was...basically their aggressive policy means that the terrible massage got the same tip as the good ones did, which seems inherently unfair. My one daughter enjoyed hers and had no complaints about body part slamming, for instance. Over all I like the packages they offered, great variety of them, facility is dainty, nice decor, pleasant staff, and if you are a well off person, you might enjoy going there as long as you don't ever ask this particular person for a massage.