Today Lisa takes us to Senses at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa. According to Disney:
Rejuvenation awaits you in a serene sanctuary that captures the pastoral beauty of the American countryside. Here, nature meets nurture. Reminiscent of New York’s legendary mineral springs, the spa will transport you to another era—to a time when people looked to the land for health and prosperity.
Senses Spa at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort reopened in 2013 after a refurbishment and change in ownership, along with the Senses Spa & Salons on the Disney Magic, Disney Fantasy, and Disney Dream cruise ships (the Disney Wonder is still home to the Vista Spa & Salon). Senses – A Disney Spa at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort opened in December 2012 after its extensive refurb.
Booking a treatment is a relatively quick and easy process. If you are not available to book your Senses spa treatment in person, you will need to call the reservation line at 407-WDW-SPAS. You will go through two automated prompts before speaking to a Cast Member. I called at around 7:00 on a Sunday evening and a woman quickly answered the phone and greeted me politely. I told her I wanted to book a Swedish Massage at Saratoga Springs for “tomorrow at around 2:00” and she was happy to oblige.
I received a confirmation number over the phone, as well as an email with the details of my reservation. I was told to arrive 30 minutes early to get checked in and enjoy the amenities before my massage.
The spa is located beside the pool, just outside of the main building.
If you are outside looking at the pool with The Artist’s Palette behind you, Senses Spa will be on your right. It is attached to the Disney Vacation Club Preview Center.
Guests are invited into the space with a welcoming waiting area to the left and a Cast Member at the check-in desk to the right. I stepped in to look around the entry space when Cast Member Faith asked if she could help me with anything. I told her about my 2:00 appointment and she brought me over to the front desk to check me in.
She confirmed the service and length of the appointment and asked if I was a DVC member or Annual Passholder. I have learned that CMs will not always ask, so be sure to offer this information at check-in if it applies to you. Faith let me know that as an Annual Passholder I would receive a 15% discount, turning my $234 service into $204.75. A 20% gratuity is automatically added to each spa service.
Faith picked up the phone to request a female attendant, and Cast Member Caroline arrived to escort me up the stairs, back into the spa.
One quick stop for tea before we entered the spa area. There are three teas offered, one for each type of service: Relax, Renew, and Imagine. My Swedish Massage fell under the category of “Relax,” and thus I was offered the only caffeine-free option, Chamomile Mint Tea.
Quiet, low-lit hallways begin the relaxation process.
Immediately to the left is a restroom and the Hand and Foot Treatment Center, where manicure and pedicure services are offered.
Caroline brought me to the co-ed Relaxation Room to show me where I would wait to be called for my massage. In the Relaxation Room are 3 chairs with foot stools and 5 lounge chairs. Large end tables are equipped with plenty of magazines for those unable to fully relax. On the far right end of the room is a small bar with dried fruit/nut mixes, cucumber infused water, and a buffet of Twinings Tea.
After being shown the Relaxation Room, we were on our way to the ladies’ locker room/lounge.
Caroline correctly guessed my shoe size and led me to a locker with a hanging robe and pair of rubber slippers.
Everyone is given a comfortable, oversized 5XL. The belt keeps the robe very secure, and the sleeves are already rolled up for your convenience.
The robes are soft and fluffy on the inside, and smooth to the touch on the outside. I wouldn’t mind having one of these at home.
Caroline set my locker code to 1-2-3-4 and instructed me on how to change it, if I so desired.
Right behind the lockers is one of two “primping” areas.
And the second is just on the other side, closer to the showers.
Disposable combs and brushes.
Deodorant, hair gel, hair spray.
Hairdryer 1, curling iron.
Hair straightener, hairdryer 2.
There are two changing rooms…
…a row of bathroom stalls…
…and a row of shower stalls, including 1 accessible.
Shower caps and razors, for your shower needs.
And plenty of towels.
Onto the whirlpool area.
In this area are three heated stone chairs. These are absolutely heavenly, and I think would be particularly enjoyable after a workout or perhaps a runDisney race.
Cucumbers and washcloths on ice.
The whirlpool can be turned on for a maximum of 15 minutes using a switch on the opposite wall.
Just around the corner is the steam room. Guests are asked to bring bathing suits if they plan to enjoy the steam room and/or whirlpool. Caroline left me to enjoy the amenities and asked me to be upstairs in the Relaxation Room at least 5 minutes before my scheduled massage.
Massage therapist Julie collected me from the Relaxation Room promptly at 2:00 and led me to a small, dimly lit room with one massage table, a chest of drawers, a mirror, a small window, and a sink. Next to the sink were three hot stones in the shape of Mickey Mouse. The music was New Age-y and unobtrusive.
She asked if I had been to Senses, if I had ever had a massage before, and if I had any problem areas that I would like her to focus on. She addressed me by name and made me very comfortable. She was also glad to answer any questions. Before we began she walked me through exactly what was going to happen, step by step. She told me that she would be using unscented oils and offered an Aromatherapy Oil Upgrade ($25). I declined, and she quickly and politely moved on. I appreciated not feeling pressured.
Julie left the room while I got undressed and dressed, and was waiting outside the massage room with a glass of water after the massage. She let me take a look inside the couples room, suggesting that I bring my boyfriend back for a couples massage (lol). She asked if I wanted to go back to the Relaxation Room or head back down to the lounge/locker room and led me to my destination before thanking me and saying goodbye. I was free to use the amenities as long as I wanted.
After about an hour of the hot tub, stone chairs, and sauna, I reluctantly dragged myself out of the steam room, primped, and headed back upstairs. Faith was still at her post as I was leaving. She addressed me by name and made sure there were no outstanding charges or add-ons to take care of before saying goodbye.
Overall, Senses Spa at Saratoga Springs was an incredibly enjoyable and relaxing experience. Every single Cast Member was falling over themselves to make sure my needs were met, and I felt absolutely at ease each step of the way. If it is in your budget, a trip to Senses Spa would be a fine way to unwind and perhaps take a break from the kiddos during your Walt Disney World vacation.
Does anybody have any other spa experiences at Walt Disney World that they’d like to share?