I love massages. Strong, deep-tissue, painful massages. I have previously boxed (having 6 fights), I cycle every day, run regularly, walk a LOT and also attend a Crossfit gym (recently got a PB in the clean of 40kg so quite pleased with that!) This means my body is pretty tense, and I don't stretch enough. So - the massages, they have to be good, if not there'll be a bad review!
My experience was truly awful. Splash Soho is a hair salon upstairs and downstairs, playing super-loud heavy club music. The ‘treatment’ rooms are basically the broom cupboards at the back downstairs. The waiting area is a couple of large footstools right in the middle of hectic hairdressers and their tightly packed in clients with no offer of a drink, not even water. I was ‘greeted’ by my therapist who literally 'collected' me from the waiting area and showed me into the room for the massage. She closed the door without saying anything, so I guessed I should change.
Then the horror story really began. She’d clearly had a little training, but nowhere near enough. She was stroking me, not massaging me. She used her knuckles on my neck but the palms of her hands on my back, she focussed some pressure on my sides and spine bone but not the muscles of my back. At one point she was only using one hand and I thought she was looking at something on her phone. It was a full body massage, but again she stroked my legs and left me cold and with little dignity by uncovering both of my legs at the same time. To top it off there was definite ‘touching’ of my intimate area which I wasn’t very pleased about. She went from my legs to stroking my back again and then did the front of my shoulders and chest. She didn’t touch the soles of my feet, oddly.
The environment was horrible. The room was cramped, cold and noisy – when the spa music cut out half way through I was left listening to the club-land next door. She didn’t warm the massage oil in her hands, just poured it on me cold, and used it to move my hair out of her way (towel, anyone?!). The poor girl was coughing all over the place, she clearly had a cold and she should have been told to go home and get well.
At the end, I was getting changed and in less than a minute there was a knock on the door and I was told the next client was waiting. When I left, not one person asked me how it was, or even said goodbye. It gives the impression they do not care very much what their ‘health spa’ clientele think, and nor do they care much about the training and wellbeing of their staff. The therapist herself was not relaxed, she seemed stressed and overworked, and this showed in my experience.
I would not recommend the pedicure or the “dry-pedi” (as they call it, confusingly, it is actually the dry hard skin removal treatment). My experience was not relaxing or very enjoyable. Firstly, they only have water to offer as refreshment, no tea or anything else. There are banners and celebration balloons everywhere for the 8th birthday but it seems that is where it ended. They were insistent on me having their marketing material which I wasn’t interested in. I left it in the waiting area (my therapist was running late) but it was given back to me after I moved. All the therapists are lined up factory-style in a single narrow room and you have your treatment in the open – it’s like a large waiting room.
I sat in a chair which I had to move around to suit the therapist and hold my left up her lap (not good in a skirt!) for both the skin removal and the massage and nail filing/painting. It was not comfortable to hold that position for an hour! I could not see that the electric hard skin remover and the manual one had not been used on other people before me, which I found a bit gross. There was no conversation whatsoever, and even when I tried to make conversation (feeling that it would be rude of me to read a magazine while someone is working on my feet) she turned and looked any which way except at me.
The results were not great. My feet were soft for all of a couple of days, the nail varnish was peeling off after 3 days and a week later only a few nails have any varnish left on them. A week and a half later and I need to file down my toenails again because the therapist only did a square end and hardly filed them down at all. When I do my own feet they are soft for weeks, the nails need filing and painting only every few weeks at the very most. Might as well carry on doing it myself.
Hubby and I took a bit of time to ourselves for the rasul treatment. We found the baths easily, but didn't realise the main reception isn't the reception for the spa. Tip: go round the corner and straight downstairs, no need to wait in the main reception queue!
We were slightly disappointed to learn that the rasul treatment didn't include access to the steam rooms afterwards, but after the treatment we realised we didn't need it. Still, if we had paid the full £60 we would have felt the steam rooms should have been included. Fortunately, we only paid £30 for the two of us, which made the whole thing great value.
The treatment itself was good - it was intimate in a non-erotic way, although I cannot see 'friends' doing this together! We stripped and covered ourselves in the soap, washed it off, then covered ourselves in the mud, and sat waiting for the steam to come. It took a while and we thought it was over and we were disappointed when it finally began (with a weird music and light show). The steam was good, pretty warm at times, and the showers after cleansed everything off. The water was boiling though, far too hot for me, so would have preferred an adjustable temperature gauge.
Our skin was positively glowing afterwards, and super-soft. We left feeling nice and relaxed, happy, close, and hungry!
I enjoyed the massage, it was professional and focussed on the areas I needed releasing tension from. I definitely had more movement in my back after we were done!
This is not a spa where you come to be surrounded by fluffy music and nice smells (although there is that too), it's a place where you come to be healthy. They are passionate about the health of your body, both fitness, tension and nutrition. I felt that the massage focussed on my body's needs, not just my mind's! If you have any problems with tension anywhere in your body, they will definitely be able to help.
The only thing which was a little odd was that I booked online via Wahanda but had a call saying this slot was fully booked, I then had to make another appointment over the phone. When I arrived it was the last slot of the day, the masseur was a man, and almost everyone else had gone home. It wasn't a problem at all, I felt comfortable, but I think I would have liked to know if my masseur is going to be male in advance.
I would definitely recommend this place to others.
I came here using a discount offer the salon were offering, I think I paid £37. It was just a haircut but my hairdresser (Alisha) was great. I told her how I'd lost my hair in my teens and have had a couple of bad haircuts recently, and she was sensitive to my needs, we did a consultation and she talked me through what she was going to do. I'm really happy with my haircut, it's a real improvement on the last few that I've had and I'm a lot happier with the style.
Alisha went one further, I started talking about colouring my hair and I voiced all of my concerns. I've wanted to do it for a while but am very nervous about it, given some bad past experiences. She explained different ways of colouring to address my nerves about roots, and put my mind at ease. I'm going in next week to get a half head done!
I was warmly welcomed with rose tea and a lovely chat with the lady doing reception that day. We had a chat about tea whilst I waited for my massage and she gave me a flowering tea-bomb. It was a really friendly way to start my treatment and made me feel really relaxed.
I found my massage therapist to be very attentive to my needs and at all times made she sure the pressure was what I needed. I have a lot of knots in my back so need a fairly strong massage, which I got. It was a full body deep tissue massage. She began with my feet, working up my legs and back followed by arms and neck and head. I left feeling a lot looser, and having had a really relaxing time despite it being a deep tissue massage.
The spa is beautifully decorated. The rooms are in the basement, and it's perfectly warm with pretty drawings on the wall. The music was really soothing and I could hear no other noise except for that. It was the perfect environment for a relaxing afternoon. Even the bathroom was a pleasure to use!
I'd definitely return to the spa, and considering I work round the corner, I may well be popping in for a quick 15 minute back/neck/shoulder massage on my lunchbreaks!
The bootcamp classes are basically circuit training. You start off jogging on the spot, doing star jumps and squats for about 10 minutes, (no stretching, mind) then you get into the circuits. They consist of press ups, sit ups, lunges, free weights, medicine balls (doing the plank or press ups on them), burpees, tricep dips etc etc. There's roughly 20 people per class and you do each exercise for 1 min before moving round to the next one. You have a break, then you do it again. After that there's a larger group exercise of challenging press ups or sit ups or such like.
The exercises are very heavy on the wrists, so if you have weak wrists like me it can be a bit painful toward the end, but it's worth it.
Depending on what your goals are, and how hard you push yourself (yes, I'm talking about the ones who don't put the effort in - despite having paid and attended of their own free will!) - the bootcamp is good for working on body strength, getting a proper sweat on and making you ache like hell for a few days after. You definitely feel like you've done something worthwhile - be it for losing weight, getting fitter/stronger, or whatever.
It's not the most sophisticated class - this is the sort of training you can put together yourself in the park if you wanted to. However, the reason I go is because if left to my own devices I probably wouldn't. Value for money: well the price I paid for 10 sessions was very much worth it. Would I pay £12 per class though? Probably not.
I was a little apprehensive when arriving at the salon - it's above shops in China Town. You climb a fairly grubby set of stairs (no lift, I was pooped when I reached the top) wondering what on earth is going to greet you at the top. However, it's a bussling salon, with the hair bit on the left, the treatment rooms to the right and the reception desk right in front of you. There's a small seating area just by the door also. The staff are incredibly friendly and helpful and I felt myself relaxing and smiling almost straight away.
My massage was simply amazing. I like a fairly strong massage as I have a lot of knots and tension. The massage therapist was a small lady who at times was on the table using her body weight to move me around and release all the tension. I felt completely comfortable if I needed her to go a bit more gently, or to increase the pressure. I left feeling a stone lighter!
Great value: I paid £22 using a Mobdeal which was amazing value, they had a special offer of £33 in the salon and I think the normal price is £40. I'll definitely return, either when they do another offer or as soon as I have a bit more cash to spare!
I went to The Runway in a desperate state. I'd previously had an awful experience at another major salon in the West End and the haircut I'd be given was truly horrendous. I needed some care and I needed to trust someone to fix what had gone wrong.
The salon itself is really friendly, you wouldn't think you were in a central location (near Westminster and Victoria) because it was like being on a local high st. They had coca cola bottles in a bowl by the reception desk and I was welcomed pretty quickly. It's not a fancy-fancy place, but it's also not spit'n'sawdust basic. It's just the right level in between.
I cannot remember the name of the girl who was my hairdresser now, but she was lovely. I explained the disaster hat was my current hair and begged her to please help and fix it! We had a lengthy consultation during which I never felt pressed or rushed. She was understanding and friendly, and really put my mind at ease.
The hair wash was great - they have lie-down chairs so you don't get that awful neck-ache. I really enjoyed that bit, the only danger is falling asleep cos it's so nice! I was offered a glass of wine (I hastily accepted) and she got to work.
I wasn't as pleased with the style as I could have been - but that's not the hairdressers fault. This was because we had to go fairly short to correct the previous style. I think all in all she's done a great job, and now - about a month later - it's growing nicely. I feel that all of my needs were addressed in the style and I left feeling fab. Isn't that what going to the hairdressers is all about?!
Unfortunately - I just couldn't get through to make an appointment. I tried and tried for weeks, then left it a while, tried emailing a few times, then tried calling again - but nobody ever got back to me or answered the phone. I gave up after a couple of months and got a refund from Wahanda. Pity.