I paid a visit to Jari Spa this week using a discount coupon I’d purchased from one of those deal sites. You know the ones that offer you super cheap prices on what might be expensive products, food or services? Well, let’s just say I’m glad I paid the price I paid instead of the price I was supposed to pay!
Jari Spa is located in Solaris Dutamas, Kuala Lumpur. Its a new part of town and no, its not in the same vicinity as Solaris Mont Kiara. Its near enough if you drive but otherwise, no. If you plan to drive there, and are unfamiliar with the place, good luck with the parking. When I went, just 2 days ago, most of the area is still under construction so there is a lot of hoarding around and if you exit at the wrong block as I did (Block C) it was near impossible to get to where Jari Spa is (Block A). Also, the way the buildings are numbered was most confusing. Calling the spa did not help. Told them I was at PappaRich and they told me to go up the escalator. Turned out that it is in fact 2 blocks away from PappaRich, and was not even facing the main road! To say it is hard to find is like saying the sky is blue – its stating the obvious. I ended up taking almost half an hour to find the spa, no thanks to poor directions. I was already a little late for my appointment so understandably I was in a rush and quite pissed at not being able to find the place.
With such an ominous start, is it any wonder that the spa session did not bode well? 😛
I purchased the Jari Spa Royal Spa Treatment which retails at RM280. I paid RM59 with the deal. It was supposed to be a 2 hour session comprising a footbath, herbal steam, massage, javanese lulur (scrub), whitening mask and milk bath.
When I eventually arrived at the location, I was already late by about 45 minutes (including the 1/2 hour to find the spa) – that much I concede. However, the receptionist did not turn me away, but just told me to swap my shoes for their slippers, and I was immediately led to the massage room. The reception area is small so I don’t expect it to be able to hold many people at one go. The ambiance was alright, suitably quiet, although there was drilling to be heard from outside – not their fault.
In the room, I was told to remove my clothes and put on some disposable underwear. That was it. Well, I wasn’t about to prance around in semi nakedness, so I looked around and found a bathrobe that I put on. None too soon either, because the therapist then entered with the foot bath. With scalding hot water. Told her it was too hot (which made her laugh for some sadistic reason – I spoke Malay so there was no chance of misunderstandings) but she did add some cold water thereafter. Oh and why did I say none too soon? I was asked to sit on a chair to soak my feet and it would have been terribly awkward to sit there with practically nothing on 😛
I was then ready for my massage (notice I did not have a herbal steam bath) which I’m sad to say, is one of the roughest and most rushed massages I’ve had to date. The therapist did ask if I prefered a hard or medium touch, and I opted for medium. I felt like I was an old T-shirt being scrubbed on a washboard and slapped around, and there was no skill employed whatsoever. It was a “Lets-get-this-over-with” style of massage. The body massage itself was about 45 minutes max. At this point, I seriously wanted to just tell her to stop and get the heck out of there. But in the spirit of inquiry, I stayed 😛
The body scrub was alright. A scrub was applied over the body and when dried, rubbed off. Its how I’ve had Javanese Lulur scrubs before. Then, a mask was applied all over my body with a brush. It was cold but I was warned. My friend wasn’t and thus was not pleased. They brushed the mask everywhere. How many of you can say your boobs were painted? Haah! Thought so! 😀
After the front and back was done, it got a wee bit strange. I had been lying on the bed wondering how on earth I was supposed to clean it all off, when I was told to put on the bathrobe, collect my things and head to another room for a jacuzzi bath. Erm… ok… You can see that its a room set up with a massage bed and in a corner is a steam chair thingy that pumps in steam with you zipped up in it. Why wasn’t I assigned this room? Hmm…
It was a bathtub style jacuzzi that was the milk bath. I was told to stay in there 5-10 minutes. I’m not sure what products they used, but the scent was very strong and powdery and cloying and I also found I desperately needed the bathroom by then 😛 So I quickly showered, changed and left. That cloying powdery smell lingered on my skin though, and after about an hour or so, my skin started feeling itchy. Fortunately, I was headed home so into the shower I ran and felt fine thereafter.
When I returned to the waiting area, there was a cup of hot ginger tea waiting and my shoes. It was then, I took a look at the clock and realised that my session was only about 1 hour and 45 minutes, not 2 hours. When I checked the pamphlet, I discovered that the Herbal Steam was missing. Asking the receptionist left her flustered and blaming me for being late, and then telling me that it was “only 10 minutes anyway”. Lateness, I concede. But it would only have been right to tell me when I came in, that because I was late, they would have to skip a treatment. Or they could have told me as well, that as I was late, I would have to reschedule. Then it would have been on my own head if I had pushed to proceed anyway.
When I enquired, I found out that Jari Spa is very new – just 2 months old as of this month (March 2011). Giving them that allowance of being new, I will say however that their service level still has a lot of room for improvement. Here are some areas I feel can be improved:-
- If a customer is late they should tell you up front if they cannot give the full treatment, or they should tell you to reschedule, not give a half-hearted treatment and deem it done. I called numerous times to find the spa and by then I was already quite late. They could have told me to reschedule.
- The person answering the phone must be able to give proper directions to the spa. Solaris Dutamas is a very new location and most people would not be familiar with it.
- When someone opts for the spa treatment with wet works, don’t make us walk around clad in nothing but a bathrobe from one room to another. Everything should be in one place. It is the decent thing to do.
- My masseuse needed retraining. I’ve been for my share of massages both cheap and expensive and I have never been kneaded or slapped around so much or so uncomfortably.
- Not sure what was in the bath water or the body mask but my skin felt itchy thereafter.
Ultimately I’d say the Jari Spa Royal Spa Treatment was worth the money I paid for it. All of RM59. If you plan to blow RM280 on a 2 hour spa treatment, I’d suggest you visit either Kharayena Spa or Energy Day Spa where you can get similar treatments at that price or even less, and have a much better experience in a better environment while at it. Oh and the spa looks nothing like the photos on the website. I don’t like trashing a service, but this was really off the scale 😛 I do hope they improve after this. If the whole rushed service was because I’d purchased a discount deal, well that’s just killed any notion of me ever returning there.
If you have been to Jari Spa on a similar deal (it sold out quickly) do share your experience. If you had a better experience than I did, do share too! In fact I think I’m going to book myself a session at Kharayena Spa soon to erase this traumatic experience – its cheaper too! 😛
UPDATE: Read what Xin has to say about her experience at Jari Spa. 2 of us with crappy experiences can’t be wrong!
Note: Jari Spa, on their Facebook page proclaims that we did not get the full treatment because we were late for our appointment. I concede to being late and I have stated as such above. Point to note is Xin was early for her appointment. Our complaints are not solely on not receiving the full treatment, but also for a poorly executed massage and for making us walk around clad in nothing but a bathrobe in a mixed gender spa. For the record, I have not been contacted by Jari Spa for any clarification.
Last update: Comments are closed. I’ve received too many suspicious “positive reviews” within a short period with the same comment repeated elsewhere. Its been treated as spam and deleted. If you are the spa owner, you may contact me directly. If you did truly have a good experience, good on ya. Perhaps the spa has indeed pulled up their socks and improved themselves.
Jari Spa is at A2-U1-5, Solaris Dutamas, No. 1 Jalan Dutamas 1, 50480 Kuala Lumpur Tel: 03-6205 3624 and their website is at www.jarispa.com. The Royal Spa Treatment costs RM280 normal price but I paid RM59 using a group deal.