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Massage Today
August, 2004, Vol. 04, Issue 08

Spa Ratings: The Montage Hotel and Spa

Rating: 91 Points

By "The Massage Mice"

This article rates the massage/spa experience using the criteria set forth below. The authors, dubbed the "massage mice," are professionals who do not work in the spa or massage industries; instead, they pay full price for all services and do not disclose their intention to rate the spa's services.

The opinions of the massage mice do not necessarily reflect those of Massage Today.

The Montage Hotel and Spa at Laguna, California - 91 points:

The massage mice received an outstanding massage at the Montage Spa. The massage table, and the massage, changing, waiting rooms and reservations desk all received a perfect score. The reception personnel were friendly and helpful. Clients were given a quick tour of the spa and a good explanation of what was available. Included in the cost of the massage were access to the steam room, a whirlpool with a beautiful waterfall, and large comfortable robes. The massage table was wide and comfortable with a nice, rounded, comfortable face cradle; it adjusted electronically up and down. An unusual but pleasant touch was the aroma from a decorative bowl filled with rose petals placed directly below the face cradle. Clients could hear the sound of the surf softly outside, accompanied by pleasant understated piano solos. The massage itself received 66 out of 75 points. Use of oils, time allocation, and proper questioning were excellent; however, the therapists had trouble reaching the level of pressure requested by the clients. Consequently, the therapeutic effect of the massage was diminished.

Overall, it was an outstanding experience; however, the Montage may want to rethink its policy of automatically predetermining the therapist's gratuity since, in this case, the therapist would have received a larger gratuity than the one preset by the spa.

Service Points
Massage 66 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 5 out of 5
Grand Total: 91 points

Rating Criteria

  • Reservations (5 points) - Evaluated based on the helpfulness, friendliness and promptness with which the task was handled.
  • Waiting Room (5 points) - Evaluated on 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, faceplate, sheets, draping, and 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 Excellent
90-95 Outstanding
85-89 Very Good
80-84 Good
70-79 Average
50-69 Below Average
0-49 Poor


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