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Mandara Spa at Disney's Grand Californian Hotel

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  • Mandara Spa at Disney's Grand Californian Hotel

    Stopped in yesterday for a tour of the now open facilities. The former arcade has been turned into an expanded exercise area with new treadmills, etc. The spa has a warm, though smallish check-in area with displays of various products and decorations. The locker rooms are cozy with both steam and sauna rooms, and showers providing soaps, shampoo and conditioners. There's a nice room reserved for couples massage with private shower and nine other personal service rooms. The relaxation area has the appropriately soothing vibe with teas, waters and fruit. The nail stations are not yet finished but are scheduled to open in April. The decor features clean whitish walls and lovely woodwork suggesting the hotel's architecture, the spa's archways are very cool touches. Overall it suggests a comfortable boutique-size environment so as not to overwhelm but to welcome.
    "If you don't know how to draw, you don't belong in this building" - John Lasseter 2006

  • #2
    Re: Mandara Spa at Disney's Grand Californian Hotel

    Nice!






    ~ Here you leave today and enter the world of yesterday tomorrow and fantasy
    ~

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    • #3
      Re: Mandara Spa at Disney's Grand Californian Hotel

      We were there last week and popped in to say hi to the CM working there.

      It looks great!

      You did a much better report on it than we could have.

      Thanks for the report!

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      • #4
        Re: Mandara Spa at Disney's Grand Californian Hotel

        This does look great, and I saw it last weekend - has anyone used the Spa services of late?

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        • #5
          Re: Mandara Spa at Disney's Grand Californian Hotel

          Here I go again with another whiny post...I guess I really am a high-maintenance snot!

          I had a massage at Mandara last week. I wasn't going to do it because the prices are so high, but I was on vacation...so what the hey. I get a massage every week (for migraine relief, so insurance pays for it...sweeeet). But Mandara was out of my pocket and while it was a good massage, the experience wasn't anything particularly special. But I really liked my technician; very friendly and not all new-agey (which is a turnoff to me).

          But here's the "rub" (sorry)...a 50-minute massage with the mandatory 18% service charge was $154.00 and when I went to pay, the receptionist asked if I wanted to add on a gratuity for the technician. I looked at her blankly and then she informed me that there is "no way to guarantee" that the mandatory 18% tip goes to the technician. That just seems rather tacky. So I added another $20. And $174.00 for a 50-minute massage seems outrageous to me, especially because the facility isn't as luxurious and pampering as I had expected. Plus, it appears that they require the technicians to try to sell you some very expensive products...another turnoff (but this is a common practice). I've paid similar prices at Bernardus Lodge in Carmel Valley and Auberge du Soleil in Napa, but they seemed more worth it. For comparison, my local Aveda salon and spa charges $85 for a one-hour massage and my medical massage therapist (through my chiropractor) bills my insurance at a similar rate.

          I could have bought another SHAG aloha shirt AND dinner at Napa Rose for that $174 (or almost pay for an extra night at Paradise Pier Hotel). Of all the splurges during my week at DLR, I have to say that the spa was the least well-spent money. Staying three nights at GCH with a premium theme park view was the biggest expense by far, but totally worth it. (And 2 nights at Paradise Pier was an unexpected delight...much nicer than I expected.)
          An Enchanted Tiki Room practically in my back yard:
          www.TheTikiTerrace.com

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          • #6
            Re: Mandara Spa at Disney's Grand Californian Hotel

            Thanks for the info D & pugman. I haven't been in to look around, yet & have only seen it from the outside. I had a feeling it would be overpriced, though.
            <o>

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            • #7
              Re: Mandara Spa at Disney's Grand Californian Hotel

              Thank you very much for the info Pugman. That's great to know! I'll avoid Mandara Spa at the GCH now.

              Personally, I'm a regular at Burke-Williams down at The Block. If you go on a weekday afternoon you practically have the entire mens spa area to yourself and it's a very well-equipped facility. Steam, sauna, cold plunge, jacuzzi, showers, well stocked grooming stations, very nice lounge area with fresh magazines, complimentary fruit baskets and herbal tea and citrus ice water everywhere, and a couple of spa attendants silently bringing new towels directly to you or refilling your glass. And of course there's the services, which always are excellent. Plus, it's a notch down the price scale from what Mandara is charging. I've never gotten the hard sell from Burke-Williams for any products either, just sometimes during a facial the esthetician will mention what she is using in a mask or something. Burke-Williams is a massive facility with what appears to be two dozen treatment rooms and huge spa facilities, and I have no idea what it's like on a weekend. But on weekdays it's very quiet and there are more employees than clients.

              Nearer the Mandara price points, but from the sound of it vastly superior, is my splurge day spa, The Montage Hotel in Laguna Beach. Ultra-luxurious mens facility with a great waterfall pool and a couple of hot tubs and cold plunges that are located in an outdoor fenced garden where the gals can't see in. And the services at Montage are total perfection.

              But the Montage is charging around what the Mandara is charging, and from the sound of our report, and the quick look I took inside, I'm not sure how Disney justifies charging that much.

              The comment about the tip after the added gratuity was very tacky in my opinion.

              Thanks again for the info pugman, I can now avoid the Mandara Spa with a clear conscience.
              Last edited by TP2000; 06-07-2006, 07:32 PM.

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              • #8
                Re: Mandara Spa at Disney's Grand Californian Hotel

                Holy Smokes Pugman!

                I dig massages, but I only pay $80 for 90 minutes here! That includes
                rolf, craniosacral, pretty much any variety I want!

                I thought of doing the spa next month when I'm there by my lonesome...
                NOT!

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                • #9
                  Re: Mandara Spa at Disney's Grand Californian Hotel

                  Jiminy! Thanks for the info Pugman. I love treating myself to a nice massage, but that price is outrageous!

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                  • #10
                    Re: Mandara Spa at Disney's Grand Californian Hotel

                    I would not even be able to enjoy it--the whole time I would just be thinking about how much it was costing!!

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