Everythingspa’s Blog

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Spa Review: The Art of Massage at The Spa at 500 (Syracuse, NY) August 2, 2009

Treatment room at The Spa at 500

Treatment room at The Spa at 500

500 West Onondaga St.

Syracuse, NY 13204

(315) 475.9164



Spa Overview:
The Art of Massage has two Syracuse area locations: Marshall Square Mall on the SU Hill and The Spa at 500 on West Onondaga Street. I recently visited The Art of Massage at The Spa at 500. Both locations are minutes from downtown Syracuse and within close proximity to each other, making it convenient for therapists to move between locations as needed.

The Spa at 500 is housed in a circa 1880’s Victorian mansion that has been lovingly restored by owner and LMT Ed Griffin-Nolan and his family. The emphasis here is on health and wellness. “We are becoming the place that caregivers come to take care of themselves”, according to Ed.

Authentic woodwork, elegant stained glass, and fine craftsmanship touches are evident as soon as you enter the building.

The Spa at 500 is completely handicapped accessible. Plenty of convenient free parking is available.

The reception area, located on the first floor of the spa, features a small retail space with The Spa at 500 signature soaps, scents, scrubs and robes. Home paraffin treatments are also available.

Bathrooms/Changing Area:
The second floor houses a restroom with shower, lockers, and changing area with robes, slippers and towels. Standard vanity amenities are available for guests to use post-treatment for freshening up.

Treatment Rooms:
Three treatment rooms are located on the second-floor. Two of the adjoining rooms can be configured as a couples treatment room. Privacy between the couples treatment room is achieved by closing a sliding door between the two rooms. One of the treatment rooms can accommodate two treatment tables. Total treatment capacity is four guests at a time.

Each treatment room has a fireplace with plans to convert to gas fireplaces.

I enjoyed the earth-tone flannel sheets on the massage table.  It was a nice departure from traditional white linens and the perfect weight for a summertime treatment without the bulk of a blanket to stay cozy.

Lemon infused water and crispy coconut cookies for refreshment. Water was replenished regularly.

Other Spa Facilities:
The best part of the spa – a Jacuzzi lounge. A modern 7-person Jacuzzi is tucked away in a large yet cozy room, adjacent to the couples treatment room and also accessible from the main hallway. The Jacuzzi features a waterfall, colored lights and built-in drink holders, which came in surprisingly handy when my therapist handed me a chilled glass of lemon water. The area surrounding the Jacuzzi is “landscaped” with unique touches normally reserved for outdoor spaces – sand, rocks and redwood.

The Spa also features a redwood dry sauna with a great story behind it – it was purchased at the local Habitat for Humanity store and was completely rebuilt onsite.

Spa guests can add a soak in the Jacuzzi and use of the sauna to any treatment for a $10 facility fee-, which also includes the use of a robe and slippers.

For $125 annual membership fee, guests can enjoy unlimited use of the Jacuzzi lounge and sauna, discounted massages and one free yoga class.

The treatment menu is simple and is designed to reflect the health and wellness focus of The Art of Massage. Massage therapies include relaxation/Swedish, sports, deep tissue, couples and hot stone. A one-hour massage is $70. At The Art of Massage, an hour-long massage is 60 minutes of table time – a bonus in a world where hour massages are normally shrunk to 50 minutes.

Other treatment options include a salt scrub or sugar body polish, a green tea body mask and a paraffin treatment for hands or feet.

The signature treatment is called Total Bliss. The treatment lasts 2 ½ to 3 ½ hours, depending on the needs of the client. “It’s a very intuitive treatment”, according to my therapist Tim, who designed the treatment himself.

“Our signature treatment is designed to stimulate each of the five senses. Rooted in traditional Indonesian Massage from Bali, this massage is a total indulgence. Begin with a rose petal foot soak, surrounded by fresh flowers. Enjoy a lavish body treatment, aromatherapy massage, and paraffin treatment. Finish with a cup of special Indonesian tea. It’s an experience you or a loved one won’t forget.”

I left it up to my therapist to customize a treatment for me that I called “mini bliss”. A soak in the Jacuzzi, a 60-minute aromatherapy massage, a paraffin treatment for my feet during the massage, sauna time and a balancing Zen Blend salt scrub (lavender, cinnamon). The treatment was designed to experience the full spectrum of The Spa’s offerings. It was nice, really nice.

Pleasant Surprises:
The Spa uses PerfectSense paraffin infusions rather than a traditional multi-use paraffin dip that can be unsanitary. PerfectSense gloves and slippers are filled with paraffin and heats without electricity, batteries or microwave to produce the perfect temperature every time. The paraffin heats naturally with food-grade minerals, salt water and pure essential oils. A traditional paraffin dip is over after just a few dips in the warm wax. The PerfectSense slippers stayed on for quite a while, adding an additional pampering component to my massage.

The Spa at 500 offers Yoga classes three times a week. When the classes aren’t in session, the Yoga room becomes a multi-purpose room available for rent for $150. This is a great place to host performances, concerts, meetings, parties, charitable events and bridal or baby showers. Better yet, you can rent out the entire facility for $450.

The Spa at 500 sells locally made signature blend products in the retail area. The products are utilized in many of the spa treatments. The 500 Signature Blend soap is a light, clean smelling fragrance made with an exclusive essential oil blend.

Final Words:
The Spa at 500 has plenty of room for expansion. An esthetician would be a welcome addition to The Spa at 500, according to Ed. A natural skincare line would fit in nicely with The Spa’s retail area.

Plans are underway to add an Auto Spa concept to the current offerings. While you’re pampering yourself at the spa, couldn’t your car use a little pampering too?

Go Again:
Absolutely! When the weather in Syracuse turns cold, the sauna and Jacuzzi lounge will be hard to resist.

Recommend to a Friend:
Yes. Dedicated therapists, a sense of community, strong ties to the neighborhood and high quality massage.

Disclaimer: This review was made possible by a complimentary treatment from The Spa at 500. The management and staff did not influence nor edit this review. I want to thank The Spa at 500 for inviting me to experience their facility and for seeing the long term benefits of a neutral review for their business and for their clients.

Treatment room at The Spa at 500

Treatment room at The Spa at 500

Dry Sauna at The Spa at 500

Dry Sauna at The Spa at 500

The 7 person jacuzzi at The Spa at 500

The 7 person jacuzzi at The Spa at 500


9 Responses to “Spa Review: The Art of Massage at The Spa at 500 (Syracuse, NY)”

  1. […] The Art of Massage at The Spa at 500 […]

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  4. Great review. It sounds very inviting and I think that is a really good deal for a 60 minute massage. I also like the price of a membership.

  5. everythingspa Says:

    It was very inviting. And the massage is fairly priced for our area. Thanks for the comment, Madison.


  6. slippers Says:

    Thank you so much for your review spa there… If you have a free time, let you take a rest and have nice spa in Thailand.

    I’m definitely going to bookmark you! Thank you for your info. And this is slippers site. It pretty much covers slipper related stuff.

  7. Hey, I really love the blog. Love what you’ve done with the layout and everything else. Good writing too! Take care now!

  8. Freddy Says:

    I think the idea of renting the whole facility is really cool. Let your car visit a spa while you do, genius marketing. Massage is such an amazing way to help prevent disease. 90% of doctors visits stem from some stress related illness. Maybe if we learned to stress less as a society then maybe we will also get sick less.
    i wonder if they have therapists for Rolfing. I read a great article about it as well as other types of massage at
    A natural skin care line shouldn’t be hard to find either.

  9. john3baldwin Says:

    Do You Want To Learn More About Aromatheraphy?
    You can visit :

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