719 EAST GENESEE STREET
SYRACUSE, NEW YORK 13210
(315) 424-3SPA (3772)
If you can’t afford to get away to Asia, SpaZend may be the next best thing in Syracuse, NY. SpaZend is an innovative holistic day spa situated just outside of downtown with free parking behind the building.
In the “spirit of the sacred”, I was invited to remove my shoes before entering the spa and was supplied with spa sandals. I completed my spa intake form in a comfortable waiting and reception area at the front of the spa.
SpaZend’s owner, Liz, welcomed me and asked if she could answer any questions before my treatment. I had so many. SpaZend opened in 2004. I asked Liz what made her decide to open a day spa. Liz’s husband is a massage therapist and together they own the Onondaga School of Therapeutic Massage (OSTM). You can read my post about the student clinic at the massage school here. The Syracuse branch of the school is located in the same building as SpaZend. I toured OSTM and it is a lovely space, filled with lots of windows and natural light, bright colors and cozy wood floors.
It seemed like a natural fit and progression to open a spa. While traveling, Liz sought out spas in each destination. When she opened SpaZend, she incorporated her favorite touches from the spas she had visited during her travels. For example – hair ties in the women’s locker room. Many of the touches are small and subtle, but they really personalize the business.
I loved hearing about the SpaZend’s hiring practices when filling an opening for a therapist. First the therapist is interviewed. But the turning point of the process comes when the interviewee gives a massage to SpaZend’s Lead Therapist, Angela. Giving a good massage is not enough. The massage has to be a good “fit” with SpaZend. If it’s not, the candidate isn’t hired.
One of the spa mangers, Christina, gave me an informative tour of the spa before my treatment. There are 6 treatment rooms at SpaZend:
1 couples treatment room
3 treatment rooms (1 with shower)
1 facial/waxing room
1 foot treatment room with a manicure station and two foot treatment stations
The ladies locker room features a changing area with dark wood lockers, a vanity area with a really good variety of spa and personal hygiene products and a shower area. I loved the lemongrass ginger lotion and hand soap. Waffle weave spa robes are provided for guests.
The Asian theme is carried throughout the entire spa. The decor includes fountains, statues, candles and dim lighting – with a mixture of antiques and modernism.
The relaxation area serves tea, ginger cookies and fruit-infused water. On the day of my visit, the water was infused with fresh watermelon cubes. Not only did this make for a simple but pretty display, it surprisingly added a lot of flavor to the chilled water. The fresh-fruit infusions change regularly – a perfect way to keep things fresh for repeat guests.
When talking to Liz about what treatment I should get, I left that up to her. I told her it’s best to pick a signature treatment that is unique to SpaZend, something that would highlight the skills of the therapist and the creativity of their treatment menu. Liz’s choice did not disappoint. I had a 50 minute green tea and ginger wrap ($95). Here is the treatment description from the SpaZend web site:
“Experience a luxurious massage with lemongrass ginger oil, followed by a wrap of hot linens infused with green tea. As the tea imparts its healing properties, the lemongrass and ginger warm and strengthen the body, and refresh the spirit. Your scalp, face and neck are gently massaged as the herbs and extracts work to relax tense muscles, hydrate dry skin, and release impurities. This nurturing treatment is finished with cleansing hot towels infused with green tea, followed by a hydrating lemongrass mint ginger lotion massage to leave your skin soft and your body refreshed.”
My therapist, Angela, found me in the relaxation room and let me know it was time for my wrap. She answered my questions about the treatment and educated me on the purpose of each of the steps. SpaZend is introducing ZendBlends, 5 customized aromatherapy oil blends. Angela offered me my choice of ZendBlend for the massage and lotion portion of my treatment. I choose the lemongrass ginger because I loved the scent from the products in the women’s locker room. I was glad I did.
The first part of the treatment was a full body massage with the lemongrass ginger oil. It was one of the most thorough full body massages I have ever had, literally from head to every finger and toe. After asking me if there were any specific concerns, she spent a good amount of time working my upper back and neck…a product of spending way to much time at the computer. She explained that she would be using heavy amounts of the massage oil, which would seep into my skin during the wrap.
After the massage on the heated table, I was wrapped in layers and layers of warm towels, blankets and plastic. It was so comfortable and toasty…like how a baby must feel when they’re swaddled. Warmth was radiating from the top down (warm towels) and the bottom up (heated table). When Angela was finished wrapping me, she massaged my face, neck and head for about 10 to 15 minutes. This would give time for my pores to open and for the oil to hydrate my skin. Angela worked with me the entire time. I’ve been to spas where the therapist leaves the room while the client is wrapped and I can say that I much prefer SpaZend’s approach.
And so the wrap portion of the treatment had to end. The unwrapping of the layers began as I emerged out of my heated cocoon back to reality. But it was not over yet. For the next step, Angela used hot towels that had been soaking in green tea to remove some of the oil from the skin. The best part was when the towels are wrung out over the body and you can feel the trickle of warm water cascading over you. It was really heavenly and unique to me – I had not experienced this at any spa before. It felt like a really nurturing sponge bath.
The last step of the treatment was a lemongrass ginger lotion massage as a final hydration of the skin.
I thought I was dreaming when I heard the faintest sound of a bell ringing at the end of my treatment. Angela explained that she does this to signal renewal. I was definitely renewed.
The treatment was like no other I’ve experienced. The full body massage at the beginning of the wrap was an unexpected but unique change of pace. Most wraps begin with algae, mud or another substance being applied to the body. Since a massage is my favorite treatment (hot stone, to be exact), I had the best of both worlds – a relaxing massage and an indulgent wrap.
Angela is naturally nurturing and knowledgeable. She is a favorite therapist among SpaZend’s clients. The comment cards glow with positive remarks about her work. I was really in good hands.
Here are a few things I appreciated about SpaZend’s service:
- Appointment confirmation. I’ve been to a lot of spas and that number is growing. Surprisingly, it’s not all that common for a spa to confirm an appointment. I’ve had this happen a few times – when staying at large hotels in Las Vegas or when booking spa treatments for a group of friends. SpaZend confirmed my appointment the night before. It’s a small touch – but it left an impression.
- Comment cards. Guests are encouraged to fill out comment cards at the end of their visit. I did. I also had the opportunity to review some of SpaZend’s comment cards for the past few months. Customers just love it there, love the therapists, and it shows in the comments, some which are displayed as you enter the spa. The comment cards encourage satisfied guests to consider writing an online review. I’m happy to do just that!
- ZendCircle membership – by providing your email address, clients can become a member of the ZendCircle. This entitles you to special offers and promotions. SpaZend is also on Facebook, where you can learn about events and specials, or just to keep in touch before or after your visit.
SpaZend is offering a Mother’s Day promotion to ZendCircle members. The Zend Sampler includes:
A 25-minute ZendBlend massage, an express facial and a First Rain Foot Treatment for $120 ($150 value)
I’d like to thank Liz, Angela, Christina and all of the SpaZend staff for their generosity and hospitality during my visit.
Disclaimer: This review was made possible by a complimentary treatment from SpaZend. The management and staff did not influence nor edit this review. I want to thank SpaZend for seeing the long term benefits of a neutral review for their business and for their clients.