Wednesday, July 13, 2011
As my friends (facebook and actual) know, Erik & I took off yesterday morning to spend the day at Sundara Spa in the Wisconsin Dells. I didn't have it in mind to write a formal review of our trip, which was, meant to be purely without thought, work or itinerary, however I was unable to ignore the following bits of interest.
Now, when you sign up for an expensive spa treatment (and I would categorize this in the $150+ per treatment range) you expect certain luxuries. When you sign up for couple treatments, or multiple couple treatments, you definately expect them. So, I went in anticipating the best, but knowing that like last year, Sundara would likely fall short in several categories.
The first failing that this spa will not be able to overcome is design. The whole thing is built just wrong. I hate to tell you, but whatever architect you hired that designed the infinity pool to overlook the drive, and the outside patio / bar to sit adjacent to the truck/supply loading dock should never work again. A spa is meant to equal tranquility and peace - hardly achievable when there are UPS trucks delivering and new guests pulling up every 30 minutes.
Additional facility issues relate to lacking poolside lounge chairs to small locker rooms. The locker room is a labyrinth that makes it quaint and annoying. The redeeming feature that kept us coming back? The purifying bath... ah....
Additional disappointment on our trip. We had booked a Spa Together package as follows:
Our Asara Spa Together room has a faraway feel to it, from the shimmery walls to the quarter moon windows. Along with the spa services in this package, enjoy the room's spectacular body spa, large enough for two, with 10 powerful water jets and a cascading waterfall.
$--- per person.
Sundara Signature Massage - 50 Min.
Sundara Sandstone Polish
Now, reading this description I made the following assumptions. First, that we were having two treatments in the same room. I don't think I am far fetched also in thinking that based on this description that we would have use, or time to use, the baths desribed as residing in the Asara room.
Not so. We had our massage in the Asara room. The baths were empty and taunting me. Our massage was over, we were told to meet our attendants in the hall. We returned to the quiet room and then had our second treatment in another room. Ultimately, I know that we had to be in the second room because it had the shower necessary for the Polish treatment, but the package was not as advertised. Had I known, I would have booked a couples massage only and skipped the package deal and the thought that were going to be able to enjoy the bath.
I noted a couple of additional curiosities while at the spa yesterday. As with most spas, the locker room is stock with products either from the featured line or the spa's own product line. The same is true here. However, the most used item - Body Lotion - was totally absent from the ladies room. The bottle was there with a nice little sticker across it that said - "Temporarily Unavailable." Another bottle, a product sold in the lobby was there. It was also empty. So, post spa with no lotion. I asked Erik if the men's locker room had body lotion. It did indeed! If I were Sundara, I would get some body lotion in the woman's locker room pronto cause there were some dry-skinned grumpy women in that room yesterday. At worst, if you have no other options, steal the one in the men's room, cause frankly, they are men, and they don't care about body lotion....
No face lotion at all. I know a lot of gals are picky about face lotion, but at least, have an option for those of us that aren't. I remembered this from last year and thankfully brought my own this year.
Not enough trash cans in the meditation / quiet room. Strange but noticeable. When drinking water/tea and noshing on granola you acquire a lot of cups. You even feel sillier looking around the damn room when your attendant comes and gets you and you can't find the trash to put your cups.
The ladies locker room attendant spent more time talking to her colleague about her hours than she did check to see that there was at least one toilet that was running low on toilet paper.
And my last gripe, if you are going to drop $13 on a cocktail poolside at least make it drinkable. The Pina Colada was ok if a bit weird. My husband's pineapple mojito was good. I splurged and ordered a champagne cocktail that was made with pineapple juice (instead of the listed cranberry) and I got to tell you, this was painful to drink. Take a hint from PF Changs, when at the spa, us girls want to drink yummy concoctions like this - aptly named "Poolside".
Oh, and they were out of fish tacos. Huh? When you only offer about 6 actual entrees, how can you be out of one of them?
And to sum up, lets just be clear, Sundara Spa is no Grove Park Inn. And for what we dropped in cash at Sundara we could have at least afforded the airfare to North Carolina, and maybe the rental car...