Lost for words …Malu Day Spa
I wanted to like Malu Day Spa. Really, I did.
Often times while driving around St. Johns/Portsmouth Neighborhood, I find myself parking and walking around the shops on N. Lombard (80th block) and like the ‘gritty’ yet humbling places there. I’ve walked by Malu several of times -its a little space tucked away off N. Lombard’s Boutiques and Shops. Every time I find myself standing in front of the place and peeking through the windows. The place seems unique, personal and CLEAN. After one of my series of procrastination, I finally booked an appointment for myself and my husband.
Since the spa is open by ‘appointment only’; booking one can be tricky. Often times, you had to leave a message and someone will get back to you. Although, they took their time returning my call (a few days); they were very accommodating and warm on the phone. My husband and I took appointments on the same day, back-to-back.
Once arrived, I stood at the receptions desk, waiting for someone to acknowledge me -although someone (I believe another therapist) was sitting right in front of me. Really -she was too busy on her iPad to welcome me to the Day Spa. So, I stood there waiting and feeling like I would be intruding if I dared said something … Made me kind of sad.
While waiting in non-existence, I had time to gaze around the place. The atmosphere is fairly sterile, and a bit unorthodox in comparison to most day spas I have been in. Space is divided to accommodate spa therapy and yoga & mediation classes. A couple of chairs (my guess to receive a foot soak) located against the wall partitioned by ceiling-to-floor white gauze drapes. Your view -a bright, well-lit yoga room. The only highlight for me was the craft and thoughtfulness that was put in selecting their retail line and products. All organic oils, lotions, toners, scrubs, teas, etc… a brand I have never used, never heard of, and is designed solely for their spa.
Per their website, I am all for the idea to “harmonize the body, breath and mind” -unfortunately, this did not happen here.
Finally, I was approached by my therapist who ushered me into treatment room. The room was clean, well organized and offered seating to change in. Although the design and furnishing lends itself to clean, modern lines -it leaves the place cold and not much warmth. Massage table not the most comfortable or practical -it was a portable table slightly too small for my husband.
My husband and I experienced the same therapist. We thought she had a warm personality and wanted to like her -but that is not enough to save her. The treatment was not good. I would like to be nice, but I was bruised after coming out of there. More then once, I had to remind her that the pressure was too firm. It was deeper than most deep tissue massages I have received in the past. I don’t mind deep tissue, but that was not what I booked nor what I wanted. I asked for mild-to-medium pressure.
Even my husband, who likes pressure medium-to-firm (but not deep tissue), had to stop the therapist and request for less pressure. I don’t want to ice or have bruising after a massage that was supposedly designed for relaxation and to relieve stress. BTW, I don’t bruise easily either.
On a side note, my husband’s treatment was interrupted 3 times while the therapist stepped out of the room to start music that had kept stopping. After the 3rd time, she did not go back out and turn the iPod docking station back on.
In the Hawai’i we say “Kapu” (“offense” or “keep out”). Sorry Malu Day Spa; we experienced no peacefulness here.