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Massage Today
February, 2004, Vol. 04, Issue 02

Spa Ratings

By Editorial Staff

Editor's note: We would appreciate your comments and suggestions about this article and/or how this rating system can be improved to become a tool in evaluating a consumer's massage experience.

Please E-mail your comments to .

By an Anonymous Spa-Goer

In much the same fashion as Wine Spectator rates fine wines, this article rates the massage/spa experience. The criteria are set forth below. The authors are professionals who do not work in the spa or massage industries; they paid full price for each massage and did not disclose their intention to rate the services to the respective spa.

Criteria for Rating

  • Reservations (5 points) - Evaluated based on the helpfulness, friendliness and promptness with which the task was handled.
  • Waiting Room (5 points) - Evaluated on the general ambiance and cleanliness.
  • Changing Room/Locker Room/Showers (5 points) - Evaluated based on amenities and the general ambiance and cleanliness.
  • Massage Room (5 points) - Evaluated based on ambiance, cleanliness, lighting, music/sound, aroma and temperature, as applicable.
  • Massage Table (5 points) - Evaluated on width/size, comfort, face plate, sheets, draping, bolsters/support.
  • Massage (75 points) - Evaluated based upon proper questions, technique, time allocation, pressure, choice of oils, use of massage devices/aids, proper draping technique, relaxation/therapeutic effect of the massage, responding to feedback from the client, finalization/finishing up, water/refreshments offered to client, and final impression.

Meaning of Overall Grades

Points Rating
95-100 Highest Excellence
90-95 Outstanding
85-89 Very Good
80-84 Good
70-79 Average
50-69 Below Average
0-49 Poor

Who are the "Massage Mice?"

The massage mice are a male and female who have been getting massages for many years. They pay full price for their massages and do not tell the spa who they are. They do not accept any gratuities or complimentary services. Their opinions are strictly their own and do not reflect the opinions of Massage Today. They do not work in the massage industry.

The Spa at Little Dix Bay, British Virgin Islands - 95 points:

The massage mice received an outstanding massage at Little Dix Spa. The massage itself received 73 out of 75 possible points. The pressure and technique was excellent and the therapist did an intelligent job of using feedback from the clients. The waiting room experience was superb. Clients were seated in front of an eternity pool that overlooks the ocean. They are then offered a choice of strawberry or lemon infused water. Each client was also provided with a towel and soaked in herb water.

The changing room was similarly excellent with a private shower and Jacuzzi. It was spotlessly clean. The massage room itself also rates a maximum score. It overlooks the ocean in two directions, with a wonderful Caribbean breeze flowing through it, and soft classical piano music playing in the background. The massage tables were excellent. The female mouse had some trouble with the one-piece faceplate fitting her face comfortably. The only weakness was with the reservations desk. This is not surprising since the Spa had only been open for three weeks. The initial person that answered the phone was not at all helpful and could not even set up an appointment. It took repeated calls to get an appointment set up.

Service Points
Massage 73 out of 75
Table 5 out of 5
Room 5 out of 5
Changing Room 5 out of 5
Waiting Room 5 out of 5
Reservations 2 out of 5

An outstanding experience overall that is only likely to get better once the kinks in the reservation system are worked out.


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