This (extensive) review is for the Rosewood Sense Spa Maternity massage. Back in November, my husband and I took a babymoon to Vancouver and stayed at the Rosewood Hotel Georgia. Prior to going I reserved an 80 min prenatal massage at their spa and was totally blown away by their attentive service. Please note that I am not used to going to five star hotel spas and this was the first of this type of experience for me. Back home in LA, I'm more used to going to Korean spas in downtown which are a little more DIY-ish and I have been to a Burke Williams Spa once before. I would have to say for sure compared to Burke Williams, which in my opinion is pretty mediocre for their prices, this experience at Sense spa was amazing.
The Sense Spa is a little bit more boutique-y feeling spa but the facilities are all clean, modern, and cozy. They use aromatherapy essential oils that you can smell right when you walk up to the front desk that immediately gets you into a relaxed mood.
After I checked in for my appointment, they showed me to their locker/shower room to change and where the lounge area is to wait for my masseuse. The locker and shower room is small with no steam or dry sauna but I did not really mind that since I was just there to get the massage. They provided a comfy robe and slippers to change into and I saw that there were many other amenities there provided if you did want to take a shower (e.g. razors, shaving cream, brushes, etc.)
After changing I headed to the lounge area which again is small (seats about 4) but super comfortable and cozy. They provide tea, water, and other little snacks (e.g. nuts) for the spa guests. I was greeted promptly by one of their staff to fill out a brief sheet/survey for my masseuse letting her know what areas to focus on for the day and where I might need some more attention on my body. They also greeted me with a little warming tea and a warmed hand towel to get situated.
My masseuse (Maria) came to get me pretty promptly after I submitted my filled out sheet and she took me to the massage room where she spent 5-10 minutes asking me thoughtful questions about how I'm feeling in my pregnancy, how much pressure I might want, what oil she will be using, etc. I was really impressed with her thoughtful questions.
After brief question time was over, she left the room for me to situate myself. She showed me a cool panel where you can pick whatever sound/music I wanted (e.g. Air, Water, Fire) and she showed me how to position myself on the maternity cushion they had so I can lie face down. The whole massage experience was amazing and Maria would occasionally ask me if the pressure was okay during the massage and allowed me to completely relax.
After the massage, Maria greeted me outside with a cup of cucumber water and my hair tie. She escorted me to the lounge area where she also placed a heated neck and shoulder herbal pad on me to relax me. I spent another 20-30 min there just unwinding and reading before I changed to leave. When I checked out, the receptionist showed me some recommended items from my masseuse that I could purchase. I ended up picking up a herbal neck/shoulder pad as a souvenir and something useful for my pregnancy as well as some yoga balm to rub on my neck when I get headaches.
The whole experience was so amazing that I booked another 50 minute session several days later since we were staying in Vancouver for a whole week. This was definitely the most expensive massage I have ever paid for but now I'm a believer in the 5-star hotel spa experience and why people might pay the big bucks to treat themselves every now and then. If you are currently pregnant I highly recommend checking this spa out for a prenatal massage!
$$$ Hôtel8800 Vistana Centre Dr
Orlando, FL 32821
We have just returned from a week in Orlando at the Sheraton Vistana Resort Villas and unfortunately, it was a very disappointing experience. I don't think that I have ever received such poor customer service at a resort in my life like I did at this one. Overall, the rooms are very nice and it was everything we needed, but there was a certain turn of events that was just so poorly handled which is why I'm giving this resort one star.
Myself, my husband, and another couple stayed in Orlando for a week to go on a trip to Disneyworld. As a Disney employee, I had the option of staying at a Disney resort at a discount which I had considered but found an incredible deal that I couldn't pass up at the Sheraton Vistana resort. Booking this hotel was easy and I found everything leading up to the trip to be a great experience.
Arriving at the resort, the front desk check-in was fine but then we were directed to the "welcoming" team which basically is a "welcome, here's some free stuff, now buy timeshare". It was a little annoying to basically get buttered up to go to their timeshare presentation which we politely passed up.
The rooms at the Vistana resort were very much to our liking and is pretty much like staying in your own apartment. It was clean and had everything we needed for our trip. We wanted a full kitchen to cook our breakfasts and they had that with everything you need to cook. There was a washer and dryer in our unit which was really handy. We stayed in the 2-bedroom/2-bathroom villa which was perfect for traveling couples. The bathrooms and showers were clean and nice to use.
If you would like to shop for groceries, there is a local Walmart superstore nearby which was perfect and had everything we needed to purchase in way of food, snacks, toiletries, etc. We rented a car and the resort provides free parking in front of your unit.
Everything was going peachy until unfortunately there was a main water line break, and we were one of some rooms that were affected. We were returning from Animal Kingdom and had an hour to shower and get to our dinner reservation. We noticed the water was out and there was a voicemail on our machine notifying us that the water will be out from 1PM-until further notice. We listened to that voicemail at 6PM meaning that our room as well as other families basically had no access to water or could use toilets for at least 5 hours.
There was no offer given proactively from the resort to change rooms or to even use a vacant room's facilities. We had to take the initiative to call and find out what was going on and whether we could use another room's facilities. Initially they told us that they could bring up some bottled water which was laughable because it doesn't really solve anything like being able to take a shower and use the toilet.The manager who was working on site did tell us later that we could use the communal locker showers which we found to be insulting. Eventually the resort did let us use showers in another empty room.
The following morning, someone from the front desk called to see how we were doing and I politely expressed frustration at how they handled this situation so poorly. When I asked why we were not given any opportunity to change rooms, the front desk person just gave some excuse that they were told that the whole resort was out which was so inconsistent with the voicemail that we listened to stating which units were affected (e.g. 21-29). The whole resort was clearly not affected and I'm pretty sure that if it was, it would be a bigger issue for them. There was no apology given from this front desk staff person in this conversation, just lame excuses.
Eventually, we were comped that night which was the right thing to do from their management, but I was so frustrated at the fact that we were the ones who had to ask for proper service. Great customer service is always proactive and anticipates the guest's needs or wants which in this case were really necessary things like being able to take a shower and use the bathroom. All they needed to do to avoid all this was to proactively offer a change of room or using a vacant room's facilities.
The rooms were pleasant, we had fun at Orlando and Disneyworld, but do not expect customer service here. You have to ask or work for it per our experience. We know that we dealt with things like a main water break which was no one's fault, but it was up to the resort to take responsibility of the situation to make it affect their guests as least as possible which they failed to do. If they had properly done that, this would have been a 5 star review.
This review is for Jai Mays who a spin instructor at Equinox.
I visited Equinox to take a spin class with Jai Mays as the instructor who was AMAZING. I am new to spinning and Jai is very good at explaining and guiding the class every step of the way. It was an intense workout and I was drenching in sweat after! Everyone else in the class could feel the challenge too--even those that seem to come week after week. Definitely recommend Jai for spin!
A few weeks ago I visited the Pasadena Equinox gym for the first time--it was my first time ever in an Equinox gym so I don't have much to compare it to but I received a great first impression.
The gym is very clean and the shower rooms were particularly impressive with all of the amenities (Kiehls products) and towels.
I visited the gym to take a spin class with Jai Mays as the instructor who was AMAZING. I am new to spinning and Jai was very good at explaining and guiding the class every step of the way. It was an intense workout and I was drenching in sweat after! Everyone else in the class could feel the challenge too--even those that seem to come week after week. Definitely recommend Jai for spin!
I am a loyal Nordies customer and moved this past year closer to the Glendale Galleria. Prior to moving, I was going to the Topanga Nordstrom which had excellent customer service and I have to admit, I was spoiled by the large range of brands they carry there.
I primarily purchase beauty and cosmetics from Nordies so I cannot speak for the clothing department, but I have to say that this Nordies is so disappointing in customer service and I like to think of myself as a pretty patient person, so me writing this review is really saying something.
Every time I visit, there are either no sales reps at counters, or there are not enough which results in me waiting for a while in order to get help. This location is definitely not consistent to the customer service that I am used to at other Nordstrom locations where there's always someone approaching you right off the bat to see if you need help, or if they're busy, they at least acknowledge you to let you know that they'll be with you shortly.
I went to this location just today, on the hunt for getting some foundation samples to try since I'm on the market to purchase a new one. I went to the YSL counter to try to get a sample, and there was an Estee Lauder sales rep who asked me if I needed help. I told her I was interested in getting a foundation sample from YSL and she told me that the YSL sales rep was not in today. Seriously? It's Sunday...not Tuesday at 3PM. You would think that they'd be at least staffed up 100% for the weekends when it's most likely the busiest time of the week.
Regardless, the Estee Lauder sales rep was not helpful at all. It seemed like she didn't know how to really make a sample at first, and her swatching was off.
For now, this Nordies will have to do but I'm looking forward to the new Nordies location opening up across the street at the Americana this Fall. Hopefully that location will be better and will also carry more brands.
I started looking into juicing for a while now and trying out some juices from Juice Farm has already given me some great ideas on what kind of ingredients could go well together. It's also a great way to test your taste buds on what kind of ingredients you like!
Juice Farm is right across from the Bar Method studio in Old Town which makes it convenient for me since I go to that Bar Method studio.
The juices are really fresh and the staff are helpful if you have any questions about juicing or the ingredients. The prices might seem high but the amount of juice you get (20oz) is substantial and I can keep one drink for about 2-3 days to have depending on how much juice I'm wanting to drink in one sitting.
I am knocking off one star though for their short hours. They are only open till 5:30 on the weekdays which for those who work, is inconvenient if we want to stop by to pick up some juice. I am only really able to pick up juice over the weekend because I would never be able to make it before 5:30 with my work hours. Wish that they were open till 7:30.
I've been on the search for a waxing place for a while and I'm so glad I came to Skintuition.
Prior to Skintuition, I tried the European Waxing Center which was okay. They use a pull-off wax where it dries on your arm and they just pull the wax off after it hardens. I found that it didn't really pull off hair right from the roots that effectively and I was left with just chopped hair that grew back too quickly.
So after trying that I was browsing around and I decided to try Skintuition based on the great Yelp reviews. Katie, who is the owner of the Skintuition did my arm waxing for me and it was fantastic. THE best waxing experience ever.
She first put a paper sheet over me to not spill any wax on my clothes and applied the wax from a standard wax heater. Let me tell you that her waxing was the quickest, most effective waxing service ever. I got both full arms done in about 10 minutes. She's very thorough and wants to make sure that all hairs are completely off.
Katie's also really knowledgeable about different skin products to use on your arms and recommended a certain type of exfoliant for me.
The overall ambiance is so pleasant at Skintuition. It's a very zen/spa feel and it's very calming once you walk in. The prices are really reasonable. Other places charge like upwards to $45-50 dollars for full arms and Skintuition does it for $35 sans tip.
This is my new go-to waxing place. Their menu also includes some really nice sounding facials.
I went back to Skintuition just a week or two ago but this time to try out a facial and massage. I treated myself after just getting promoted at work. =) Both the facial and the massage were awesome. Reader, upfront this is going to be an extensive review so beware! More information, the better I say.
Facial Review (5 stars!): Please note that I am not the type of person to get a facial every single month or on a consistent basis so I don't really have much to compare it to. I can only speak to my overall experience on its own.
The facial was about an hour long and Katie really made the experience comfortable and easy going. We were chatting as she was doing everything but really it was initiated by me, meaning Katie will really let you dictate the talking levell which is great. If you don't really feel like chatting and just relaxing, she won't start it. I told her when I first arrived that I wanted a classic facial, but she let me know that she just personalizes it for each person. Unless you want a special treatment from the menu which might incur additional cost, she will customize the facial according to your needs at the "classic facial" price. I'm sure you can call prior and ask though if you have any specific pricing questions.
My facial consisted of (as far as I was paying attention, again was chatting), a peel, steam treatment, extraction, mask and some light shoulder/head/hand massaging. I walked out of the facial feeling very refreshed. I can tell Katie is a pro at what she does, and knows what is best for your skin. My skin was really benefiting from her services post-week after the facial as well. My skin was smooth, vibrant, and it just felt/looked healthy.
Massage Review (5 Stars!): I was massaged by Deanna who is the masseuse for Skintuition and she is absolutely fantastic. Deanna has been doing massage for about or over 15 years and she really knows how to focus on your body's muscle needs. Some of her clients have stuck with her for 15 years which I think says something.
As a new client, she asked me what areas to focus on which are typically my shoulders and neck. She did a lot of deep tissue with me which is what I needed and let me know that she is very much a therapeutic masseuse meaning she will get out those knots if you have them! (which i really like). She worked on my shoulders most of the time because I have the most knots there and worked on my legs, arms, and lower back.
The experience overall was very soothing and relaxing. Deanna takes the same approach as Katie in terms of letting you dictate the level of chatter.
All in all, I loved my entire 2 hours of facial and massage at Skintuition. Skintuition is easily becoming my go-to spa for everything now. I will definitely be coming back for more facials and massages when I want to pamper myself every now and then which I think is important to relieve stress. The prices are also very reasonable considering what you get. Sure, Skintuition isn't a fancy luxurious spa, but it's clean, neat, relaxing, cozy, private, and you're really taken care of by experienced professionals.
Looking forward to more Skintuition sessions! Hope these reviews are informative for anyone else interested.
P.S. I got 20% off each service when I went for a facial and massage because I mentioned the subscribed email deal from Katie, so if you want to become a more regular customer, make sure you're on her email list. Sometimes you can get good deal!
This review is both for hair and eyebrow shaping/waxing since Bigoudi is my go-to place for both!
Ever since moving to Woodland Hills two years ago I was on the search for a good hair stylist and overall salon. Prior to Bigoudi I was going to a Korean hair salon in K-town since, I am Korean and I've been used to Korean stylists. I would not doubt that Korean stylists in K-town have skill but it was their way of styling my hair I did not like.
Reason why I kept on going to K-town is because whenever I try other places, they just don't get my Asian hair. Asian hair is different in texture and shape.
Eventually I got a haircut in K-town that I did not want and I ended up looking super fobby with super tapered ends making me look almost like McGyver.
After that I was on the search for a closer salon and after reading some reviews I booked an appointment with Sandra. I am happy to say that Sandra is now my new go-to stylist. She is extremely skilled and is always attentive to all of my thoughts about my hair. Sandra was able to fully understand my hair concerns and how it naturally behaves since her hair is also similar to mine--thick, a little more course, and slightly wavy.
She's recommended really great products for me to use to get the type of hair look I want. She's also so approachable, friendly, and great to talk to. I always have a pleasant experience when she cuts my hair. With a shampoo, condition, cut and blow dry the total comes about $70 sans tip. Since I typically go to get my hair done though every 4-5 months, I'm willing to shell out that much.
I've been also on the hunt for a great eyebrow shaper and was considering going to the Anastasia Brow Studio in Nordstrom. UNTIL, I found out on Yelp (yay!) that one of Nordstrom's Anastasia brow people moved to Bigoudi (Rachel). I was really excited when I found out not only cause Bigoudi is so close by to me and I also get my hair done there, but it's $10 dollars cheaper! Nordstrom Anastasia costs $30 for shaping sans tip and Rachel charges $20 at Bigoudi for basically the same exact service. She uses the Anastasia method so $20 is a real bargain.
Rachel is really friendly and eager to help you get the brow look you want. She's knowledgable about different products and overall I was happy to know that she recommends a lot of low-end products for brows like a brow gel. She can tell you what's worth it and what's not for brow care.
Hope this helps anyone looking for a great hair stylist and brow shaper!
I visited this Bouchon Bakery location while I was visiting a family member in New York. I've been to the original Bouchon Bakery in Napa Valley, CA and I am just in love with all their pastries.
This Bouchon Bakery location is on the 3rd floor of the rockefeller plaza and is not a stand alone store like the original in Napa. From what I can tell, they have quite a variety of pastries here but maybe not as extensive as the other Bouchon Bakery stores.
You can't really fail with any pastry from Bouchon. I used to just get the macarons but everything is good. The pastries are a little pricey but if you want to try just one thing you have to try the macarons. They are amazing.
My favorites are the pistachio, vanilla, and PB & J. I tried the PB&J for the first time when I was out in NY, and it was PB&J heaven in your mouth. If you are a peanut butter and jelly lover, you will not be able to resist this.
The macarons are a pretty decent size. About the size of your palm. I've tried other macarons before that are just dry, flaky, and mediocre. Bouchon's macarons are FULL of flavor and are chewy in the center. From what I hear, they are comparable to macarons from Paris.
TRY THEM. NOW.
This is the local Sephora that I go to near my house. I would agree with some of the other reviewers on here that the customer service is kind of hit or miss.
Sometimes, the customer service is great and you get somebody who is knowledgeable and eager to help out. Other times I feel like I have to really track somebody down to get a sample or to ask a question about something. What commonly happens to me too is that someone would ask me if I need help right when I walk in but when I'm browsing around and actually want to get a sample of something, there's nobody available.
Another thing to note is that this Sephora is a little smaller than the other ones and I do find that it is a little disheveled. I personally do not like to go to the make-up stations at the kiosk ends to find that there isn't tissue available to wipe something off or the trash bin is dirty.
I would like to give some credit though to this Sephora. There are associates here who are very nice and helpful. The trick is just getting one when you want one.