“I’d rather have a sharp stick in the eye”. That’s what my husband would say if I suggested that we try a couples massage this Valentine’s Day, or any day for that matter. You see, he’s not exactly the massage or spa treatment type of guy. And that’s putting it mildly. Since we’ve been paired up for most of my adult life, it’s probably no surprise that I’ve never experienced a couples massage; they’re not for everyone. But Valentine’s Day is fast approaching and if the traditional dinner and a movie seem all too familiar, it might be time to break out of that rut and try something new.
Valentines Day is the perfect excuse to book a couples massage. Not that you need an excuse – massage is more than just a pampering indulgence. Regular massage can provide relief from stress and pain, relaxation and long lasting effects for personal well-being. Can you think of a better way to enjoy quality time with a partner, loved one, friend or someone special?
Couples massages aren’t just offered at fancy spas; there are plenty of options around Central New York ranging from basic to luxury. You can receive a massage at a wellness center, massage studio, day or resort spa or even in your home. You can find independent massage therapists working for themselves or practicing out of a facility that offers massage and other spa treatments.
So what can you expect during a couples massage? A couples massage is generally offered in a private room that is large enough to accommodate side-by-side massage tables or in a special space dedicated to couples massages. Two therapists will work on the couple simultaneously. Every spa or studio will offer different pricing for their couples massage offerings. If you’ve purchased a package or special deal, you might enjoy champagne or other beverage, fruit, chocolate, or other goodies before or after your treatment. Your treatment might start with a foot soak or other add-on. If you want a basic couples massage without all the trimmings, just say so when you book the appointment.
Before the massage, your therapists will step out of the room while you and your partner disrobe to your comfort level. You’ll get settled on the massage table and your therapist will knock before entering. During the massage, you’ll be professionally draped with sheets and/or blankets except the area that is being massaged. You can have a conversation with your partner or therapist or lose yourself silently in the treatment. Gentle music might be playing in the background and can be customized to your liking. Be sure to communicate your preferences to your therapist (deep tissue massage often carries an extra charge): pressure, lighting, music and warmth.
After the massage, your therapists will leave the room while you get dressed or put your robe back on. If there are relaxation facilities, you might be invited to hang out for a while and relax. You may want to shower (if available) or freshen up.
Tips for couples massage:
- Appointments book up fast, especially for Valentine’s Day. As soon as you’ve found a therapist or place that you’d like to try, book quickly.
- Allow extra time. Rushing into or out of a massage can defeat the purpose. Be sure you have a little extra time to decompress before the massage and take time to relax before re-entering reality post-massage.
- Ask about the cancellation policy before booking and make sure you can live with the terms.
- When determining your budget for your couples massage, factor in gratuities for your therapists. Gratuities are typically 15% to 20% of the total cost of your treatment or package, depending on your experience.
Here are a number of ideas for a special Valentine’s Day couples massage experience throughout Central New York:
At Waterfalls Spa in Hope Lake Lodge at Greek Peak Mountain Resort, you’ll feel like a VIP when you book one of the truly decked out suites for your couples massage. Personalization is the key to a specialized spa experience at this four season family resort near Cortland. Except for a small relaxation area, there aren’t any common spaces at Waterfalls Spa. Couples will be escorted to their private treatment suite to change, relax and enjoy time together. All treatment spaces have the ability to change color allowing complete customization of services and harmonization with the individual guest.
You can reserve a specific treatment, like a 60-minute Signature massage for two ($180), or you can reserve increments of time in one of the two luxurious Waterfalls spa suites (2 hours, $275; other time increments available). The suites have been designed to accommodate most spa services; complete with two multipurpose tables, a two person tub that incorporates chromatherapy, sound resonance and vibration therapy, a two person infrared sauna, a shower and lounging area with a flat screen television for the ultimate spa event. You might wish to book a two hour increment, start with a hydrotherapy bath with a customized bath additive, relax in the private seating area for a bit, and then enjoy a side-by-side couples massage. Whatever you can conjure up, the professional staff at Waterfalls spa can work to customize a special experience just for you!
Waterfalls Spa at Hope Lake Lodge
Greek Peak Mountain Resort
2000 NYS Route 392
Cortland, NY 13045
SpaZend in Syracuse has just the answer to an alternative date night activity. If a candle-lit and rose petal strewn spa, wine, cheese and fruit, followed by a 50-minute couples aromatherapy massage sounds like a dream, book an appointment for “Date Night”, a wildly popular offering from SpaZend ($150). The event is held one Friday each month from 6 to 9 pm. SpaZend has partnered with Strong Hearts Café across the hall to offer all Date Night participants 10% off their meal if you’d like to stay for dinner. Guests are encouraged to come early or stay after their treatment to enjoy the soothing relaxation room, have tea or refreshments and enjoy the company of that special someone.
“We love the idea of giving people in Syracuse another option” says spa owner Liz Goldenberg. Former participants have described the event as “a magical evening”. Other patrons remarked how “everything was so romantic!”.
719 East Genesee Street
Syracuse, NY 13210
Jeannine Gettis is a Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT) and owner of Hearts Content Healing who offers massage therapy at two locations throughout Central New York. I enjoyed the gift of a highly customized session with Jeannine at Kelly’s Massage and Holistic Health Spa in Manlius. She’ll pair up with another therapist to offer couples massages in a purposely-designed couples suite with an infrared sauna. A basic 60-minute couples massage is normally $140, but customized packages with add-ons can be arranged for Valentine’s Day. “
Jeannine Gettis, LMT
Kelly’s Massage and Holistic Health Spa
136 W. Seneca Tpke (Route 173)
Manlius, NY 13104
At Mirbeau Inn & Spa in Skaneateles, couples can enjoy a posh resort experience without the added expense of spending the night. Matt Dower, Spa Director at Mirbeau, encourages couples to check in as early as possible, enjoy all the amenities the spa has to offer such as the dry sauna, herbal infused steam rooms, fireside resting area with foot pool and all-season Aqua Terrace with 15 person freeform whirlpool. The workout room features cardio and strength training equipment and the motion studio offers exercise class, all included in the price of your treatment.
Mirbeau is Best for Romance according to SpaFinder Readers’ Choice Awards for several consecutive years, including 2010. Dower tells us the most popular couples treatment is The Art of Living, combining an herbal bath in an oversized soaking tub for two, chocolate covered strawberries and then a luxurious side-by-side massage in front of a fire in one of their signature treatment suites for two. The 100-minute treatment is priced at $400 (Mon-Thu) and $430 (Fri-Sun).
Mirbeau Inn & Spa
851 West Genesee St., Skaneateles, New York 13152
While a couples massage isn’t in the cards for me this Valentine’s Day, I hope you take the opportunity to take time for yourselves and do something calming, relaxing and fabulous for your well-being. A couples massage might just be what the doctor ordered.