I got my first real-paying-I’m-part-of-the-workforce-job when I was 20 yrs old. I was going to ASU at the time and I’d found a part-time job working at an ASU satellite office off-campus. I have to back up a little and say that my parents were paying for my education at the time and wanted me to focus on that.
Which is how I was allowed to finally get my first real job at the age of twenty. Now that I think about it, letting me get a job may have been a strategic move, seeing as how they had to gently kick me out of the house five years later. LOL
Now that I had money of my own to spend, I started a yearly self-celebratory tradition: SPA DAY. Every year on my birthday, I would treat myself to a day at the spa. Me, myself and I would take off (especially if my personal holiday fell on a weekday) and check in for a half day (usually) of #alltheservices: mani/pedi, facial and body treatment. I’m not a fan of massages, so I always get a body wrap or scrub.
I’ve rarely deviated from this tradition and after Babendude and I started dating, he would sometimes pay for the services. For the past few years, I’ve done something different to celebrate. Last year, however, I wanted to get back to my roots. So to speak.
After making the change to go Aw Natural, I wanted to find a spa that used natural skincare/bodycare products in their services. Located inside the retro-chic Hotel Valley Ho (yes, that name is fo’ real. No, you will not find any ho’s there. LOL) in downtown Scottsdale, I’d read about Vitality Spa in an article about natural spas in Arizona and decided to check it out.
I chose the following treatment:
Helsinki | Nature
90 Minutes – $185
Envelope yourself in a mist of cloud milk, white peat exfoliant and a wild-harvested Arctic berry wrap that delivers active nutrients and plant hydrosols to replenish skin to its fullest. Once renewed, enjoy your choice of a heated massage featuring birch wood or collagen boosting red flower facial that utilizes omega acids to increase collagen and elastin for a fresh, toned appearance.
Since I’m not a fan of massages, I picked the collagen boosting red flower facial. I chose this particular treatment because it was a 2-in-1 dealio and I wanted to do #alltheservices. And it was a really good price for the services, especially since facials are usually an a la carte thing.
For my mani/pedi, I brought my own nail polish and chose the following:
Hi/Lo Deluxe Nail Service
90 Minutes – $100
The full twenty get the royal treatment as both fingers and toes are elevated to grand status.
Straight from the VH website: “All nail services are performed in a private room while you recline on a memory foam massage table. A heated pillow soothes your neck and a cooled eye pillow blocks light, allowing you to relax and drift away.” I lurved all this shit. Let me say that again: I. LURVED. THIS. It was the absolute BEST EVAH form of pampering. In all my years going to spas and getting mani/pedis, I was never put in a private room. I think all spas should implement this idea.
I had a whole hour to myself in between treatments, so I ate a simple BLT for lunch in the hotel restaurant, while checking out the retro decor of the place. I wish I had been able to see a hotel room because I wondered if the 60-70’s theme carried over.
However, I was not a fan of the wrap. I loved what it did for my skin afterwards, but when my attendant spread that white peat exfoliant on my body and then wrapped me up, I started to itch. That meant the product was doing it’s job of pulling out the toxins, but for about 3 mins, I couldn’t stop twitching. It didn’t get to an unbearable level, Thank God, but it was uncomfortable enough to the point that I didn’t enjoy the experience as much as I’d wanted to.
I lurve facials, but I don’t like the feeling of drowning. And by drowning, I mean when the steamer invaded my personal space. LOL. It had a vaporizer effect, but it was so in-my-face that I sometimes felt like I couldn’t catch my breath. This is how I always feel when I get facials, so I guess that’s on me.
Another aspect I didn’t care for was the removal of blemishes. Thank God I didn’t have a lot for my attendant to squeeze, because lemme tell you, THAT SHIT HURTS. Whether I’m doing it or someone else is. LOL
Part of the spa experience in general that I’ve never liked is the not so subtle upselling. When I was completely done with my services and went up to the counter to pay, the cashier handed me a card and a container of the cream or something that my aestitician used on my face.
Now, the card I liked. I feel that’s a great marketing tool because it’s obvious they do that on the regular, and there’s handwritten notes in there from the people who worked on you. I wish I’d kept it. However, I assumed that the container of cream was a gift. Bless my heart, but no, it was just something extra to pay for. Whah-whah.
You can ask me if I want to buy any of the products—or I will happily let you know if I want to buy something because I’ve done that before—but don’t make the decision for me. Don’t assume straight out the gate that I’m going to want to buy anything. Especially not after dropping $285 plus tax and 20% tip that’s automatically included.
Overall, I would definitely make VH Spa one of my Special Me Day places. Between the treatments and the lunch, I was there for six hours! It really was a SPA DAY and believe it was the best six hours of my life. LOL
If I was the type to do the mani/pedi thing on the regular, VH Spa would be the ONLY place I’d go. In fact, if I ever want just a mani/pedi, I will ONLY go there. You heard it here, peeps. I’d get another facial as well, but definitely try a different body treatment.
Do you have a Special Me Day tradition? What has your Spa Day experience been like? Do tell in the comment section below.