I learned about this day spa a while back, and was very excited to book myself a relaxing day for my birthday. Unfortunately, the day didn't go quite as expected.
The tea ceremony was lovely, and I discussed some concerns about how I'd react to the cedar bath due to my sensitive skin. The attendant suggested I try putting my hand in first to see how it felt, and said she'd never heard of anyone having a reaction. It seemed ok, so in I went. It was incredibly relaxing once I settled in. After showering, I noticed my skin was starting to look red and feel hot in a few places. I didn't think much of it considering my sensitive skin, and figured it would subside soon.
I had booked my massage in a pagoda to be more COVID-friendly, and was led to an outdoor waiting area. There were spiderwebs on every seat, so I had to clear a spot to sit, and kept swatting away insects that may have been drawn to the pretty water feature. I used the restroom a few minutes in, and immediately wish I'd used the one inside instead. There were quite a few bugs inside there, too. When I went to wash up and looked at myself in the mirror, my skin irritation was worse and more wide spread than I had realized. Again, I figured it would subside soon.
I went for my massage, which was SO GOOD. The pagoda is in the back of the property, and it's a nice walk through the trees to get there. The aromatherapy is very relaxing, even through a double face mask. And the bodywork was much needed and appreciated after a stressful couple of years. I felt amazing.
But I was also feeling very hot, and starting to feel lightheaded. I went to get a glass of water, and found a dirty tray with a dead spider next to the glasses. I guess this room isn't used a lot, but for a $200 massage (including the extra pagoda fee), I would think someone could give it a once-over. I asked about the field of hammocks, but was told they were closed. So I wandered over to the meditation garden following my massage to cool off, and found some space to remove my mask and try to get some fresh air. But the discomfort persisted. I took off my sweatshirt and realized my skin irritation had gotten much worse.
I made a virtual doctor appointment, and waited in the garden until it was time for my call. Space was a little tight to spread out, but I was able to remove my mask for extended periods to try to control my reaction. Once I showed my doctor what was happening, I was told to leave immediately, go to the pharmacy, and take 3 prescriptions as soon as possible. He was worried about anaphylaxis. I was warned to pull over and call 911 if my symptoms got any worse. That was a scary drive, as the nearest pharmacy I could find in a hurry was about 25 minutes away. I made it without issues, and felt much more relaxed again after taking my first dose. Even that night, I thought this trip was entirely worth it.
But after 2 full days on Benadryl, I fully regretted this experience. The medications made me incredibly drowsy, but unable to sleep. I wasn't able to work, and it was a struggle to take care of my young kids. I was only on the medications for 2 days, but they didn't wear off for about 5 days. What was meant to be a relaxing day turned into a disastrous week. I fully understand that Osmosis is not to blame for my bad reaction, but if I'm rating my experience, I can't say it was an overall very pleasant one. Perhaps if I'd skilled the cedar bath and done my massage indoors it would be a different story.