My blog gets *so* many hits from people looking for the Alluvian Hotel in Greenwood (my last visit there is posted here). I took lots of pictures last week, so they’re below – and at the bottom of this post I’ll write about the new Alluvian Spa, which was both wonderful and terrible.
Here’s the tour:
I think these are those great Ann Sacks tiles!
…now for the Alluvian Spa
Av and I went downstairs to check out of the hotel (our stay was wonderful, wonderful, wonderful, just like always), but they were having some kind of problem with the printer that generates the final bill, so we told them that we would just pick it up on our way back from the spa. We walked across the street for our appointments at the Alluvian Spa.
When you first walk in, you’re given a locker…inside (just like all spas) are the robe and slippers (although these slippers are a tiny bit nicer than usual). There’s plenty of room to hang up your clothes, and there’s a little drawstring bag to put jewelry in that has a Godiva chocolate inside. One nice touch is that you don’t have to keep a key with you for the locker – you make up a four digit code, and you just press that code in to get back in your locker.
Once you get all changed, you go to the Tranquility Room.
The Tranquility Room is really nice. There are several places to sit, and blankets to wrap up in. They serve lemon water, cucumber water, a warmed drink (I think it might have been a fruit-flavored tea, but I’m not sure), and some small snacks. I poured myself a glass of the cucumber-flavored water, which was good. I noticed that the glasses were really cute – they had double-thick walls and had a nice shape- so I looked at the bottom, and they said “bodum”. Just two days ago, I got my DWR catalog in the mail, and there on page 5 were those bodum glasses!
Av says the Tranquility Room for the men was different – for one thing they had a plasma tv in the room. The men are given camoflage robes with the A in Alluvian embroidered in that safety orange color. He also says that for the men, to get from the men’s area to where the manicures and pedicures are done, they have to walk back through the spa’s entrance where the main desk is.
Av started with the 90-minute Alluvian Custom massage – it’s Swedish, deep tissue, Asian pressure point, and light energy work. He gets *lots* of massages and thought it was really good. Afterward, he took a shower (they have those wonderful multi-head showers).
While he was getting his massage, I had the 90-minute Alluvian Allure facial. Here’s how it’s described in the menu-guide:
This facial includes deep pore cleansing, exfoliation, steaming, delicate extractions, and a nourishing specialty mask. An eye coutour and hydrating lip treatment along with a soothing massage ensures a blissful meditative state, which warmed mitts infuse hands and feet with moisture.
I don’t remember the warmed mitts, but everything else was just wonderful. The person that did the facial – she was really nice and the whole thing was just great.
She didn’t realize I had a manicure next, so she asked me to get dressed and go to the front desk where she would go over all the products she had picked out for me. I told her I thought I had another appointment, so she led me back to the Tranquility Room and put the products on the front desk for me.
The way the whole thing was supposed to have been set up when Av made the appointments for us a few days in advance was that we were supposed to get everything at the same time so that we’d be finished at approximately the same time. Somehow this got messed up, because the person that was doing Av’s pedicure came in (after Av asked her where I was) and said she was scheduled to do my French manicure *after* his 45-minute pedicure. She said that she had someone else that could do my manicure, though, so shortly after I was led to the manicure/pedicure room.
Av’s pedicure was going on, and he was in the same room with me (at some spas, there are private rooms for each manicure or pedicure, but here it’s all done in a common area). He really enjoyed his pedicure (and that person did a great job – I don’t recall her name, but she had blonde hair and was just really nice).
BTW, the manicure tables have those neat Artimede Tolomeo lamps.
If I could have done it all over again, I would have just left after my facial.
This is how bad my manicure was (I asked for the Sweet Tea (which is their signature scent) French manicure):
– it started out so bad during the prepping part (cuticles, etc) that I told her I changed my mind from doing a French manicure to just a very light polish…
– she asked me what I did for a living and when I told her that I work for my husband, she spent a lot of time talking about how rich I must be and how I must have so much more than she does…very uncomfortable.
– when we actually got to the part where she was polishing my nails, she put on two super-thick coats (and I actually asked her very nicely when she was putting on the first coat if it wouldn’t be better to do two thin coats so that they dry a little quicker and aren’t so easy to damage). An hour later, when we were in search of a drugstore so I could buy nail polish remover, some of them were *still* wet, and this is after I had been through four resets of the nail dryer?
– during the polishing process, she asked me if I went to church, I told her I went to a synagogue, and it eventually got to the part where she said “so you don’t accept Jesus Christ as your personal L-rd and Savior?” (right.). (I didn’t say this to her but I was thinking, “uh, no. That’s kind-of the funny part about being Jewish.”) Actually if it was anybody else in any other situation, this really wouldn’t have bothered me, but I don’t think that trying to missionary to somebody should be part of one’s manicure experience.
– she actually painted *over* my cuticles. I don’t think she understood that you’re supposed to paint right up to the cuticles, but not actually paint them. Nice.
– the polish didn’t dry after four dryer resets because it was on there so thick, and when she pushed into my thumb to see how dry it was, I was left with her thumbprint on my still-wet nail.
– she said “I think it’s dry enough now” so (and I was really SO ready to get out of there) I went ahead and got dressed…and even though I was super-careful not to get it on my clothes I somehow still rubbed most of the polish off my right hand middle finger.
ANYWAY. To be honest with you, that really tried to screw up what I had planned as a little blissful day. When I went to the front desk to pay, there was a desk-full of products (I think that the management puts too much pressure on the people who do the services there to sell things, and I’m not wild about the hard sell. If you want to suggest something, that’s fine, but I have really good skin that I take good care of – I use Creme de la Mer for goodness sakes!! – I think that it’s because of this big push that they feel the need to sell every single thing in every single line.). Usually when I go get a facial, the person will say they think that I might like this particular sunscreen they have or this toner or whatever, but’s one or two things I might like to try, not you need the whole entire line of everything we carry like it was there. I didn’t buy anything.
I think I might have told the front-desk person that I didn’t really care for the whole manicure thing, but the manicurist was right there at the desk so I was little chicken-girl and didn’t say anything.
Then, it was time to pay, and I asked if she had the little envelopes for tips…if she could put the people’s names on them and I would put the money I had inside. Here’s the deal – I always tip **at least** 20% – but she said that they don’t do that. The person that was ringing us up said that they take the total bill, add 18% to it, and that’s your final bill. So, really, you can’t reward someone better if they do a really good job. I think that’s totally tacky! Also – where’s the incentive to do a really great job if you know that no matter how wonderful or terrible you are, you’re going to get 18%? That’s the first time I’ve ever heard of it being done that way.
After we left, we went to a store and Av bought me a little bottle of nail polish remover, so I sat outside and took all that yucky polish off my fingers.
I felt so much better afterwards, and we still had a fantastic day.