Lillian Macko, a Touring Plans researcher, is a retiree from Vermont who moved to Orlando with her husband, Richard, in 2003. Some months later, she fell in with the wrong crowd – us – never guessing the variety of work that was to come. Lillian has inspected hotel rooms and tested touring plans, rode buses for hours, measured ride wait times at the parks, and assisted with resort photos. She’s also reviewed spa treatments at WDW and Orlando-area spas.
I had my first “journey” this month at the newly renovated spa at the Grand Floridian Resort. The spa is now called “Senses” and I call it a “journey” since that is what they have named their customized treatments: Relax, Renew or Imagine “journeys.” I wanted to have a facial, manicure and pedicure and certainly wanted to relax so that’s the journey I chose.
Beginning with my appointment phone call to the end of my journey, the Disney staff was extremely friendly, professional, competent and kind. Disney did an excellent job with their renovations maintaining some of the Victorian feel of the resort plus updating treatment rooms, showers and lounges to be very modern yet comfortable. The mosaic work in the Wet Room is amazing.
An added touch at this spa is the offering of a small glass of a fruity elixir. Each journey has its own flavored drink and this flavor carries through to the end of your journey when you receive a very small gel that contains the same flavors.
A cast member described the spa as small and intimate as compared to the spa at Saratoga Springs which is much larger. I would agree with this description. That can be a pro or con dependent upon your likes or dislikes.
The lounge where you wait for your treatment is somewhat small. It receives a lot of traffic as everyone must come and go through this room. Therefore, it is not quite the relaxing area that one would like it to be. For instance, the Relache Spa at the Gaylord Palms has a separate Tea Room, Lounge Room and Locker Room so there is no through traffic so one can actually relax prior to having a treatment. Senses’ guests are asked to turn off their cell phones but, sadly, all guests did not do this so again, the “relaxing” part was not so easy.
The facial was delightful and includes a paraffin treatment for your hands as well as a massage of your neck, shoulders and décolleté area. The treatment bed was very comfortable and the new silky-feeling sheets are divine. Special ceiling lighting and soothing music play a large role in the overall “relaxing” feeling.
The Hand and Foot Spa has been totally renovated and was formerly a part of the entrance Lobby which was walled off to create this area. The treatments were excellent and included hand/arm and foot/leg massages. You also receive a goody bag at the end of your treatment which contains all the implements used plus the bottles of nail polish.
My second Relax journey was a week later when I had a Swedish massage. The very comfortable treatment bed was heated this time and at the end of the soothing and invigorating massage, I was delighted to find that my robe had been warmed. What a nice finishing touch!
A 20% gratuity is automatically added to your bill but if you mention that you are an Annual Passholder, 10% is taken off your treatment price. You do have to be sure to mention this, however. There was absolutely no mention of purchasing their products on either of my visits but I was asked if I wanted to put “add-ons” to my visit when I called the second time. You have use of the spa for the whole day should you choose to do so but it was on to other projects for me! I would give this spa an excellent rating and would highly recommend taking a magical “journey” there!