Hello and a happy Monday to you! I hope that you all had a lovely weekend.
This was the sunrise that I woke up to this morning in Glasgow. Fingers crossed its not a shepherd’s warning as I’m off to the opening gala of the Glasgow Youth Film Festival tonight and so could really do without hat hair!
Last week was pretty hectic, culminating with two very sleepless nights and one big life defining moment that I might tell you about some time.
Thankfully, I didn’t mind a bit of a bumpy ride as I knew that come Saturday, I was booked in for a hot stone massage at Cream Beauty, Glasgow. I couldn’t wait for a bit of well earned “me time” …but did Cream Beauty deliver?
First, a bit about me.
In all my “tried and tested” reviews, I aim to cover:
– my impressions of the salon’s aesthetics and vibe (e.g high end, cheap “n” cheerful, stressy, relaxed etc);
– whether the treatment meets my objectives (in this case: serious stress busting and relaxation);
– my service experience from reception onwards; and,
– value for money as pitched against the foregoing; and
It should be noted that I have no technical knowledge of beauty treatments and so base my opinions solely on my experiences as a consumer.
The salonCream Beauty is conveniently located on Great Western Road (at the Byres Road end) where there is ample and cheap on street parking.
This treat comes courtesy of my in-laws, who kindly gave me a £40 gift voucher for my birthday. The price of this treatment is £48 for 55 minutes and so I had a small balance to pay myself.
Initial impressions of the salon were that the price is in line with the image that the salon seeks to portray to its clients. I would class Cream Beauty as a high end day spa visually. It is clear that the owners really care what clients think of them (more on that later) and the salon is very bright, clean and impressively kitted out which is always a promising start. The decor is very modern and I noticed that the client’s pedicure stations were fancy electric massage chairs, which again shows investment in the client experience.
I arrived ten minutes early for my appointment to find the door locked and a sign apologising that the therapists were all with clients. I was slightly surprised at this but just took it to mean that the salon were obviously doing a roaring trade on pay day Saturday and was quite happy to browse in the shop next door.
At 3pm, a therapist appeared from her previous appointment to let me in. She was concerned incase I had been waiting long, promptly apologised and then invited me to have a seat on the comfy sofa in the reception area. I was offered a lemongrass infused hot towel and a hot drink to warm me up which set the tone straight into relaxation mode. It was around ten minutes before I was taken up to the treatment room and so the salon was running approximately fifteen minutes behind schedule.
I always make a mental note of start delays just to make sure I get my full treatment time as I have experienced some salons playing catch up in the past, which is a big no-no in my book.
This type of treatment is to be savoured and I was in no rush to get home so thankfully this minor delay was of no real consequence to me this time.
The treatment room was lovely and decorated in earthy neutral colours. It was quite small and it might have been nice if there was a chair to drape my clothes and bag on as opposed to a hanger but no biggy. The low level lights and relaxing music created a warming cocoon like environment. I was pleased to see that the massage table had a “head hole” so as to avoid sunbed neck syndrome. Amazingly, some salons still do not have this type of bed.
My therapist asked if I had ever had hot stones done before (I hadn’t).
She explained that the treatment would be a full body massage of my front and back with Elemis oils and that it would combine traditional hand massage with muscle manipulation using the hot stones. We established that I prefer a firm massage and that she should work on killing knots and tensions as and when she came upon them. I personally think knot popping is a key part of feeling rejuvenated post massage but was impressed that she asked if I wanted her to do this as it can be uncomfortable and is not for everyone.
I started off face down and the treatment commenced with the placing of the four stones down my spine and the cleansing of the soles of my feet with a hot towel. The next step was massage of my legs with oils and then the stones. At first I didn’t realise that the heat element was the stones as they are so smooth. This was extremely relaxing and quite an interesting sensory experience. The stones were then manipulated over the soles of my feet. This verged on tickly at times but again I felt myself melt further into a deep state of relaxation. I must admit to falling into such a state of relaxation that most of the rest of the treatment is fuzzy but the therapist worked hard on my neck and shoulders as this was where she found most of my tension along with, slightly curiously, my feet. All too soon the treatment was over and I was offered a glass of water as I came to. As I got dressed I had a sneaky check of my watch – 4.30pm – full treatment time and some – tick!
My conclusions are as follows:
– the treatment itself is quite unique in the massage field. I really enjoyed it and it was extremely relaxing. I’m not going to make this my regular massage of choice as I think it’s one just to be kept for a very very occasional special treat and on the whole a conventional massage is just as effective from a end result perspective.
– my therapist, Louise, was very skilled. She conducted the treatment confidently, despite it striking me as a bit of a faff to administer slimy hot stones! She was also extremely professional and calm under pressure given that it was clear that the salon was extremely busy. The most admirable aspect of this was that there was no back office stress being off loaded on to clients which is key.
– the salon is simply lovely, the staff are friendly and I really like the fact you can book online and get appointment reminders via text message. They did not know im a beauty blogger and so, in my view, the typical treatment experience is overwhelmingly positive and value for money taking everything into account.
– BONUS POINTS. I received an email from the salon leader in the evening after my treatment apologising for any inconvenience caused by the delay to
my appointment and explaining that there was an unforeseen staffing issue that would not arise again. I have been offered a complimentary treatment of my choice as a result. I can only assume all clients got this as I certainly passed no comment about the delay on the day. What a brilliant approach to customer service.
Cream – applaud you. You are easily up
there in my top three favourite salons – and I have been to A LOT of salons over the last twenty years!
I hope you enjoyed my review. I always welcome feedback and so would love to receive your comments and suggestions, particularly should you have any suggestions for future reviews.
I have lots of Glasgow lifestyle events in the diary for this week and so watch this space.