I have to admit, I didn't think that the most wonderful spa experience of my entire life would happen here in Taipei...but the place I went today, Orient Retreat, was absolutely, by FAR, the most awesomely relaxing, stimulating, invigorating, and rejuvenating place I've ever patronized. I was sooooo blown away.
EVERYTHING about them was note-perfect, from the herbal tea they serve you to their facilities to the products they use to the service itself. EVERYTHING. WAS. PERFECT. I am definitely going to be stealing some ideas, big-time. I chose to have the Healing Flower Remedy treatment, which combines Bach Flower Essences with essential oils, color therapy, and massage. A client care coordinator greeted me to help me determine my Flower Essences, first by choosing from a deck of Flower Essence cards, then by looking at a chart that corresponded to my aches and pains, then by choosing a color of the rainbow. When all was settled, we determined that I would need the Vine Flower Essence (they would have had no way of knowing this, but I knew that Vine essence is meant to help us accept others as they are, without trying to change them - i.e., dominance and inflexibility).
I was given a tour of the facilities, which included a spotlessly clean and visually appealing locker room, showers, sauna, steam room, and a relaxation area which included an "herb bar" that had the yummiest herbal tea I've ever tasted (had an aftertaste redolent of red dates, yum yum), crackers, fresh apples, and water. My therapist, "Melinda" (I put her name in quotes because I am sure she has a Chinese name), came to get me and then took me into a room that was softly lit with a purple light. Ding Ding Ding - I had picked purple, hadn't I?
The presentation was also thoughtful and detailed. On the bed was my very own tray with my own flower essence, herbal tea, and aromatherapy diffuser putting out a fabulous, heavenly Jasmine-and-Lemon scent into the air. She gave me a "shot" of Vine flower essence under my tongue, then had me sip the tea, then had me climb onto the table and remove my robe (she held up the blanket on the bed so I could do this in privacy). She then began the service, which called for applying the Bach flower essence to different "chakras" or acupressure meridians on the body, and then on top of that, a relaxing Swedish-style massage with essential oils. I got SO relaxed that I actually fell quite asleep, and that NEVER happens.
After I was turned over, she used a different set of essential oils for my face and decollete, and gave me an awesome scalp massage with a hairbrush - SO relaxing and good for you - and then a hot stone/cold stone massage on my face (I think this was an add-on service, though...). At the end, she sat me up and did some more cold stone work on my back to finish the service. She helped me slip on the robe, walked me back into the locker room facilities, and placed some delicious cookies and another carafe of herbal tea on the table for me. So basically, I was never once left alone in the room, and I was cared from beginning to end. Like I said, AMAZING.
I don't know how much of this would fly in the States, but I definitely know quality when I experience it (having gone to tens of spas and had hundreds of experiences at spas), and I am going to copy copy copy!! Stay tuned...