My unfavorable experience at this place happens over 2 sessions. July 19 and 21, 2012.
My first appointment went ok. I was a little unsure, but I found the setting clean, calm, and at a comfortable temperature, not too cold or hot. The Ayurvedic therapist 'Hareesh' was excellent. He seemed well trained. He was pleasant and professional. I was so pleased I immediately asked him if he was working 2 days later, so I could re-book him to follow up on a painful back problem. He said yes. After finishing, I went to the desk, paid for the session, and specifically asked to book with Hareesh again 2 days later. The person at the desk opened the appointment book which was blank at the time. I asked for 10:00, he said that was too early, and suggested 11:00am to me. I agreed. I have the appointment card for it. Happily, I left thinking that finally Corfu had a reliable and professional spa where I could get a quality massage. My only problem was that the cost was a bit higher compared to what I am used to paying from professional University trained Ayurvedic doctors. But I treated it like an imported rare wine and accepted that.
On Saturday, I dutifully showed up early as they request. I was given a welcome tea but nothing else was mentioned to me. I sat there as people came and went. Another woman came in 5 minutes later, sat down and got her tea. Within moments Hareesh was standing there and disappeared, the receptionist welcomed the woman back... and my suspicions made me wonder if she had gone to Hareesh since I was still not being escorted anywhere. at 11:15 (15 minutes after my appointment should have begun, I asked the receptionist(the same that had made my appointment, what I was waiting for. He said don't worry, my therapist is coming. I said I had just seen my therapist. He said it was someone else I was waiting for who was just late. (Strike 1, therapist is late on a small island in a slow season). He tried to convince me that I was waiting for someone else(Strike 2, despite written confirmations), but I knew better because it was only two days ago. With my therapist nowhere in sight, I asked when Hareesh would be finished. He looked at the appointment book and said there was no availability for him until 3:00pm. (Strike 3... Despite screwing up my reservation- I would have to wait until after everybody else was finished?!.. 4 hours of therapy... I did not expect to drag the poor woman off her therapy session, but why was I put to the end of the que?). I left, because there did not seem any point in waiting for an unknown and I was furious for the way my own therapy reservation had been handled.
I can not recommend a person to book here for the sad and simple reason that they do not honor their booking reservations. The front desk organization really lets the qualified staff down. You, most likely would be visiting Corfu on a 1 week holiday and interested in a great spa treatment. You commit a lot of your hard earned money, you take the time to schedule, show up, and as the minutes pass, your appointment comes and goes, and you are still sitting there without your therapy. Its a stressful experience you did not plan on for your one week holiday. Save yourself the stress and spend the therapy money on the most expensive meal you could possible find on the island(it will be cheaper). I am writing this with obvious bias. I have been wronged, and all they could do was shrug for my lost time and frustration. Nobody is going to compensate me for this. No offer was even remotely made. All you can hope is to avoid unprofessional establishments like this in order to avoid frustrations.
I am genuinely writing this to help anybody else avoid the frustration.
(Note to admin: Receipt and copies of appointment cards can be scanned as proof.)
Oh, the Asian Spa-aaaaaaah!
I live on the lovely island of Corfu, and the Asian Spa in the sweetly picturesque, historic harbour town of Gouvia is my haven.
Upon entering, the scent of lavender essential oils washes over you, immediately setting the mood for some serious pampering and relaxation. The Great Room is everything you could wish for in a luxury spa: it's posh, decorated beautifully in muted colours, with natural wood accents, beautiful candles and soft lighting.
Once checked in, from seemingly out of nowhere, a little tray with tiny teapot, matching hand-made teacup appear (along with a hot cloth and a fresh flower). The magical ginger-lime elixir inside is a closely-guarded recipe secret...and for good reason. Let's put it this way: I'd be willing to pay a yearly fee just to come into the Spa to fill a thermos of The Tea to have with me for special occasions!
As soon as the lovely tea is whisked away, the treatments begin. I've had quite a few different treatments. The facials are my favorite: world-class.
I've been fortunate to have visited some of the most posh and exclusive spas in the world, and the facials at the Asian Spa are on par with the best of the best. The products are luxurious, every step is practiced, effective, and implements the best and newest technologies and techniques. The technicians are so skilled, your skin becomes immediately luminous and ultimately, scrubbed, hydrated and buffed to utter perfection. After my facials, I return to "life" with clear, fresh skin...no redness, no post-facial breakouts. Divine!
The massages are similarly euphoric. There is such fluidity and efficiency of movement on the part of every technician...not a single movement is wasted. Every phase of the massage is perfectly synchronised and aimed at relaxing the body while still managing to feel rejuvenating. Amazing! Although...one might be advised a designated driver after the hot stone massage. That's so relaxing, they should bring you out in a wheelchair! And no sore spots afterward...the hallmark of a perfect massage, in my book.
The nail services are special, extra-luxurious, and I was very pleasantly surprised at the choices and products used. The scrubs and buffers renew even the most winter-tortured footsies, and all the polishes are from the best luxury lines, like OPI, Jessica and Essie...the current collections, not just random bottles of old paint. There's excellent selection, whether you're going for summery corals, fashion-forward shades, or a nice, basic neutral, like blood red (or black :) or ballet pink.
I try to avoid the sun at all times, but one day, if I ever get caught in a sunburn, I intend to give the apres-sun treatment a go. Might have to cheat it a bit and "forget" my SPF 45 for an hour one of these summer days!
I can't recommend the Asian Spa in Gouvia more enthusiastically. It's a beautiful, peaceful place that works in harmony with its surroundings: the island itself is lush, posh, beautiful and relaxing...the Spa is the perfect place to go and completely maximize the benefits of our Ionian paradise. The staff are gracious, lovely, efficient and accommodating. Get thee to the Asian Spa! It's a perfect complement to your Kerkyra experience (even if you live here...or...ESPECIALLY if you live here).
post-script: I adore that there's a tip of the hat to "Charity: Water" on this site! It's a fantastic charity, bringing much-needed water technologies to remote villages and places who so desperately need what we take for granted...clean water. And they don't just ship it in, they teach the indigenous people how to keep clean water flowing. Cool!
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