Selecting A Spa


Rick Aidekman, co-owner and co-founder of the Cornelia Brand wrote this article in 2007 and it is still highly relevant. Prior to opening Cornelia Day Resort on Fifth Avenue, Rick Aidekman asked some friends as to how they selected a spa. One said, I love their brownies. I said spa not bakery. Others said, it’s the closest to home, or I’ve been going there for years. Let me remind you of my suggested reasons for choosing a spa:

  1. You pay the same price for an enjoyable experience as you do for an enjoyable experience with results. Don’t be lured in with gimmicky names. I still don’t know what a Sports Massage means at most spas, other than its use to lure in men. Make sure your therapist understands your issues and concerns and listens to you. It’s fine to know where they came from and about their family, but they should focus on you, not themselves. If they are not listening, they aren’t effective. Discuss the amount of pressure on a massage, don’t absorb pain by not speaking up, and if you want more pressure, say so;
  2. Talk to friends about their experiences. Don’t be afraid to try new places. If you have to travel a little further, for a great experience, isn’t it worth it;
  3. It’s important to use a spa that has a comfortable area to relax and unwind before your treatment as well as after to calm down before you face the world. I’m not talking about a bunch of chairs and smelly candles. Look for true comfort, quiet, some nice snacks and most importantly, not to be hurried. Relaxation before and after make the whole experience more beneficial to your feeling of pleasure.
  4. While in the treatment room, don’t feel obligated to talk to the therapist. It’s your time to enjoy the experience;
  5. Read social media and the internet and see what others are saying about a spa. Be careful to discount those that are the odd person out. Some individuals just like to see their views in print, but don’t offer any real value. See what the majority say.
  6. Ask questions of your therapist, especially in a facial, i.e. what do they see as your skin conditions and issues, how do they plan to treat them, what products will they use and why (if they can’t explain what the products’ key ingredients are and how they can help, they are not your best choice of a therapist).
  7. When making your appointment, if the spa is new to you, let the person on the other side of the phone know that this is your first time and you want to have a therapist that can help you with your issues. They won’t give you much time, but don’t forget, you are the client and are paying their salary.
  8. If you have an experience you are reasonably happy with, don’t be afraid to try another therapist at the same location. Might be better, might not be, but will give you another experience to compare.
  9. Lastly, if you enjoyed the experience, if you look and feel better, this might be the place for you.
  10. And, of course, I highly recommend Cornelia Spa at the Surrey Hotel in the Upper East Side of Manhattan.

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