« Feedburner! | Main | Movin' On Up...? »

February 23, 2007

Spa H 2: This time it's personal

At Club H, I took a spinning class on Wednesday. I didn't mean to take the class. I was at the gym, like normal, working out. I wanted to run for about 25 minutes, as part of my workout. But most of the treadmills were occupied. So, I decided to go into the spin room and just ride the bikes for a bit. After 10 minutes, a few people started to enter, including some very cute girls. I asked a guy next to me if a class was starting, and he told me that one was starting. He also said if this was my first time I better get a large bottle of water and a large towel from the locker room. He said that I will dehydrate really fast and sweat a lot.

I was cheerful about it, so I ran out and grabbed a water and a towel. I got back inside and more cute girls were in there and I was very aloof about the whole thing. I figured I had been working out for the last 3 years and wasn't terribly scared about the class. I figured it was going to be hard, but I would be able to keep up.

Did I mention i'm 35? Did I mention that I had fairly major leg surgery 2 years ago? Did I mention that my highschool yearbook pegged me as "Most likely to die from laziness"? I kid about the yearbook.

My friends, let me enlighten you. Spin class was first designed in 1818, by the Germans and lead by the aerobic instructor Karl von Drais. He was no pansy, folks. The dude knew how to whip those krauts into shape. Its true! I swear!

Not much has changed since then, and the class is basically sado-machoism on a stationary bike. They play music, the instructor I had was Robert from Club H. Has anyone seen the movie The Fifth Element? Remember the character played by Chris Tucker, "Ruby Rhod"? Ok, imagine a more fit, muscular version of him leading this class. I told Robert in the beginning of the class that I was new. I think he translated that into, "Fuck with the new guy".

I tried to keep up with them, but couldn't. I had to take a few breaks and I downed the entire liter of water. After the class I wasn't too bad, but wondering how sore I would be the next day.

My groin was killing me. My thighs were very tight. My lower back was a bit sore, but not too bad. My friend Tina laughed at me over email and told me that I was basically an idiot for taking the class and if I expected to take more, that I should get a gel seat cover for the bikes. It helps.

Thursday was a tough day at work. I was very sore. I tried stretching a few times, to the amusement of my co-workers. It really didn't help.

I had a gift certificate to Spa H. It was given to me by a friend for my birthday, and it was for an hour long massage. Perfect day to use it, I thought. I called the spa, and scheduled an appointment for Thursday night.

I have been to Spa H before, but it was 18 months ago. I really haven't been back, because of their prices. I usually go to Body Balance because it is cheaper, here's a comparison of prices with also the higher cost sports massage from Spa H, also:
30 minutes: Spa H: $60 (sport $65) / BB: $45
60 minutes: Spa H: $90 (sport $100) / BB: $75
90 minutes: Spa H: $125 (sport $130) / BB: $100
2 hours: Spa H: n/a / BB: $130

Even with my 10% discount from Club H, Body Balance is still cheaper. I reviewed Marma Day Spa, also. Marma was about the same price as Club H. Interestingly enough, and what I didn't know, is that Spa H charges more for deep tissue (sport) massages.

I get to Spa H, and it was just as I remembered. They did change a few things. Gone was the shower & changing room. Before, they had me change into a robe and go into the room. This time, I did my changing in the massage room. I found that rather clumsy, for such a steep price. I liked having a private changing room, rather than just dumping my clothes on a chair in the massage room.

The massage was really good. The massage therapist, Samantha, was a petite woman with a very good touch. I really enjoyed the massage and found myself dozing off a few times during the hour.

Once it was done, they didn't have (or offer) the shower to use. I missed that. So I put my clothes back on, and tipped Samantha $20 for the massage. She offered me a glass of water, and I drank it while I went outside to give them my gift card.

The receptionist rang up the card, and asked how I felt. I felt great.

The interest in my massage quickly turned to interest in my payment. The person at the desk informed me that there was a problem. She said that the person who bought the card for me paid for a 1 hour long swedish massage, not sports massage. The second problem was that the person was charged $81, not $90, based on the idea that since I was a member of Club H that she could get me a discount. According to the receptionist, this wasn't right.

So, I owed $20.

$9 extra for the difference of the 10% discount that was voided. And $10 more because it was a sports massage. Also taxes made the cost $107, but she was a bit frustrated with the whole thing and was like, "Oh just give me $20."

Now I didn't go to Spa H in the last 18 months because of the price. An hour long massage I saved $12.50 with Body Balance, which doesn't seem like a lot, but to me it is the principle. Now here I was, at Spa H again. Up until that point I was really impressed with everything (albeit slightly disappointed I couldn't have the post-massage shower, and walk home with moisturizer sticking to my clothes).

I wrote before that you never have a second chance to make a good first impression. This was my second time at Spa H. Their first impression was good, but not great. The prices were a bit of a put-off. I was back again, and after my experience with the receptionist (she could have been the owner), I don't think I will be back there anytime soon.

I think Spa H needs to do two things:

1. Lower their prices.
2. Learn the essential art of making a customer feel welcome.

I think they fail on both counts. In my humble opinion what she should have done was just say that a mistake was made, but not have me pay for it. The gift card was a BIRTHDAY GIFT. I certainly don't expect them to know that, but normally when someone is given a GIFT CARD, it was for something special. Like a birthday, an anniversary, for a job well done - or to get over something (like an accident, a breakup, a funeral).

Both jobs I have in my life, my Manhattan job and my bartending job, customer service is our #1 priority. Nothing gets under my skin more when I hear someone had a bad experience with a coworker of mine at either job. I take pride in my work. I take pride in where in work, also. I want people to either get off the phone with me or walk out of the bar with a good experience.

In the bar, I can give buybacks. If a customer didn't like their wine, i'll pop open a new bottle and of course not charge them for the first glass of wine they had. If a customer doesn't like the food, its going to be off their check. That's customer service. That is a lost art in today's day and age.

When I was leaving I asked them if they ever read my first review of their establishment, and they didn't know who I was or that I ever wrote anything about them. When i'm done with this, i'm going to email them both of my reviews. I figure that they should know what someone out here thinks of their spa.

Posted by Furey at February 23, 2007 12:46 AM


I just thought I would give you some feedback on my experiences at both Spa and Club H. I have been a member since day one and can't stress to you how happy I am with both places. I thought I would touch a little on your comments you chose to publicly make on two well established businesses.

I think Robert is by far and away one of the best trainers and instructors there is out there. I have seen many instructors and trainers in my day as I have been a member of NYSC, LA Fitness and Spa Lady for many years before I ever joined Club H. Just a lil tip for you- Being sore is your own fault for not being in shape. When you leave any class and can't walk the next day it sure as hell does not mean that the instructor was bad. It more or less means, Get yourself to the gym a little more often!!!! Any instructor that pushes you in a class or training session is DOING THEIR JOB!!!!!

As far as Spa H goes....I personally think it is the best spa in Hoboken and in the surrounding area. If you also check other high end spas, the prices are comparable! EVERY spa has a difference in price for Swedish, Deep Tissue, Shiatsu or Hot Stone or whatever the massage may be. I recommend that next time you look into this before you make a blog to the public that shows how cheap you are....I also want to tell you that I have bought and received many gift certificates for Spa H. If I buy for someone else, why would they receive MY 10% discount? And if someone buys for me, why would they receive MY 10% discount? I would receive it when I come in and get MY service.... Your friend who got the 10% discount was not supposed to and they probably did them a favor because they probably were as cheap as you!!!!! Lastly, I can't stress to you enough how customer friendly EVERY single employee of both the Spa and Gym is. You should probably learn something about yourself! You should probably stop being so negative!!! Life is too short to rip people and places apart!!!!

Posted by: BokenCHick at February 23, 2007 1:15 PM

I think my favorite part of that tirade was, "You should probably learn something about yourself!" Perhaps BokenCHick should learn something about the proper usage of the exclamation point!!!!!

Posted by: Michael Ferrario Author Profile Page at February 23, 2007 1:25 PM

Also, define irony: BokenCHick spends three paragraphs bashing Sean's gripe with Spa H while affirming that "life is too short to rip people and places apart."

Posted by: Michael Ferrario Author Profile Page at February 23, 2007 1:27 PM

Boken, actually do appreciate the comments, but a few things:

1. I don't think I bashed Robert in any way, except expressing that it was a tough class. I thought I expressed how I thought I was in shape and even showed how out-of shape I was.

2. Check the links I provided to Body Balance and Marma, both have the same rates for all massages.

3. I don't think i'm cheap, you must be new to the blog. I was simply pointing out that Spa H did a great job until I got to the one person who ruined it. I'm sorry if you feel differently. I have been a member of Club H from 2004. I have had a few gripes about the place, and even wrote about them on here (search for "Club H" to read).

4. Michael - glad to see someone has an eagle eye on irony... :)

Posted by: Furey Author Profile Page at February 23, 2007 2:17 PM

You know what? Club H sucks. I had a member buy you the gift certificate. They said to him, "Is this a gift for another member?" He said "Yes, why." And they said that they had to take your name to ensure you didn't get discounted twice (once on the sale and then once on extra minutes because you were entitled to a discount.) They had NO RIGHT to charge you for that discount. Ridiculous.

Furthermore, to ms. "your friend is cheap" I say F YOU. There's nothing wrong with spending $81 instead of 90, or 86 instead of 95, which is what I believe it was. This was a birthday gift from me to Sean, and I don't think it matters much to him if I saved a WHOPPING $9 on his gift when it's the thought that counts. It's not like I regifted to him or something (which I've done to people I don't really care about in the past). :)

Posted by: mel Author Profile Page at February 24, 2007 1:18 PM

Spin classes are EVIL!!! I took few- the first time I took one, I passed out in the locker room shortly after. I was dehydrated. So, I thought I would try again - I couldn't do all the stand up and downs but eventually got used to it, but my knees started to bother me more then usual so I had to give up spin classes.

Yes, rude people when you are paying for a service is a major turn off!!!!

Posted by: Kathleen Author Profile Page at February 24, 2007 4:39 PM

I agree w/ bokenchick everything she said. "I'm going to take a class cause there are cute girls there" well you deserve to get your ass kicked for that comment alone! I bet you were really checking out the instructor though. I feel sorry for all the girls in the class for having Frankinsien attend their class. what a fucking tool you are Sean

Posted by: Tonybareknuckles at February 25, 2007 2:59 PM

I feel bad for the people who have nothing better to do than post negatively about Sean on here, especially over the weekend.

If you don't like what he says, rather than a personal attack, why not just disagree with his point of view? Or better still, don't read his site.

People like njguido.com-Tony and Boken-Old-Dried-up-Hag have serious issues if they're going to take the time to read a site, make up a username, hide behind said username and make fun of the blogger. Talk about pathetic.

Posted by: mel Author Profile Page at February 26, 2007 2:19 PM

I'll be sure to steady my irony-radar in the future. But for now, I think I should probably learn something about myself.

Posted by: Michael Ferrario Author Profile Page at February 27, 2007 3:47 PM

Wow, I don't understand all these haters... Sean, I agree with you completely on this... It would piss me off if that happened to me.. And no, that does not make me cheap.
The fact that people would call you cheap for this is somewhat entertaining... If they'd prefer to be taken advantage of and ripped off at every turn, then so be it..
I'm actually surprised you didn't make a bigger scene out of this - I think I would have refused to pay the difference in a situation like this on principal, alone...

Posted by: rapperd Author Profile Page at March 1, 2007 11:29 AM

Post a comment

Thanks for signing in, . Now you can comment. (sign out)

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)

Remember me?