This review is provided from my husband’s point of view. I was unable to make the spa appointment.
Six Senses Spa
You may recall that we visited this hotel and spa a year ago. We were there for a stroll then as we had heard so much about the Sharq Village hotel and the Six Sense spa. The hotel and spa is rated as one of the top hospitality and spa venue in Qatar.
We had made a point that we must visit and try out the Six Senses Spa one day. We finally did.
You know, sometimes I hate to review brand-name spa such as Six Senses Spa. It is a high class establishment and it comes with a high price tag. Hence, the moment I walk into such a spa, I switch into review mode straightaway and I’m not sure I was really there for work or pleasure.
I always want my reviews of such brand-name spa to be good because I know they have invested much time, money and effort into upholding their brand. I also know spa management sometimes read my reviews and I was always worried staff may be blamed correctly or wrongly for a bad review.
Tough call. But I insist my reviews must be true to the spirit. Sometimes, all the more for brand name spa.
Six Senses Spa main entrance
We walked into the spa and asked for a spa menu. There was a Thai massage available and my husband opted for it. Co-incidentally, the January promotion was for Thai massage and he could get a US$30 discount off the price. I walked away then for my other personal appointment.
My husband was assured that it was a Thai therapist but was available only at 10pm. There was a 1 1/2 hours interval and he agreed to use the facilities in the meantime. While he was at the reception desk making the appointment, the male Indian receptionist was at the same time picking up phone-calls, talking to other colleagues and attending to customers who were there to drop off keys or payment. Obviously, he was either overworked or did not understand the concept of personalised attention to a standing customer. In the meantime, 2 other of his colleagues were hovering around in the background.
Anyway, my husband asked that should an earlier appointment be available, that it be arranged. The answer back was a fast ‘no’ and the receptionist was quickly back on the phone again.
No luck, he decided to enter the facilities area with a waiting attendant. He was shown around the facilities area which was done up in a myriad of small alleys to recreate the feel of an old Arabian souk. (Market place).
And then, he found out that shorts were not provided to customers. How would a first-time customer know he had to bring his own shorts in a high-class spa? And this being a conservative Arabian society, even males were not supposed to be seen in the flesh! Luckily, the attendant was apologetic and did his best to hunt down a pair of shorts. He had to make several attempts before he was successful and a good 20 minutes was wasted.
With shorts worn, he was able to explore the facilities. The hardware was there but the ‘heartware’ seems to be missing.
- The steam room was extremely hot. No one was able to use it.
- There was a hot pool and a small swimming pool. No hooks/towel racks were provided and towels were strewn all over the floor, sofa and flower pots
- The quiet(rest) room was also a common corridor area. How does one rest and make peace with people walking by all the time?
- No jacuzzi?
- Minimal signboards for the myriads of corridors. If there are any, it’s brown words on brown signboards on brown walls in dim warm light.
- No attendants in attendance in the wet area. Hence, strewn towels, misaligned sofas, dripping taps…
- 6 shower stalls but 3 provide cold water only. There were no sign to say that it was a cold shower and so a few customers were confused why there was no hot water…
In the meantime, my husband was approached 3 times that his appointment had been changed to 9pm. In other words, he had less than 10 minutes to enjoy the facilities after wasting 20 minutes hunting down for a pair of shorts. He obviously refused. Apparently, the staff was not prepared to take ‘no’ for an answer because he was asked a total of 3 times to change his mind!
Granted it was 9pm and it must have been a long day for the spa’s staff. However, this is still a 5-star spa and you would expect more. Also, obviously the management had not reviewed the spa’s shortcoming or may have chosen to ignore them. Anyone familiar with spa management should have picked up these minor but niggling issues straightaway. The facilities were great; all it need was management and staff to put some ‘heart’ into managing it. Otherwise, what makes it different from the ordinary spa and massage shop?
Luckily, the rest of the time passed without incident. The massage room was big and comfortable and the Indonesian masseur was good with the Thai massage. Peace has been made.
Location of Six Senses Spa, Qatar:
Ras Abu Aboud Street, P.O.Box 26662, Doha, Qatar
Size of Spa: Large, with private treatment rooms
Facilities: Suana, Steam room, Hot and Cold Pool, Gym. Separate man and woman facilities as well as common facilities
Pricing: Single treatment and packages available. Also facial and reflexology treatment. Prices starts at US$125 for single massage session. Membership scheme available.