Guest post by Mr. Spaist
One of the region’s and city’s best hotels should be found in Hakata-ku, Fukuoka, when the words Grand + Hyatt come together. Unfortunately, the spa didn’t get the memo.
It’s not everyday Mr. Spaist is without Miss Spaist but here in Hakata is one of those times. I’ve spent enough time in 5 star luxury hotels to know when a hotel truly cares about spaing or when it is an aberration and/or afterthought.
Nagomi spa at the Grand Hyatt Tokyo was conceived, midwifed and brought into fruition as a starlet in the Hyatt world spa crown. The swimming pool, facilities and spa treatments show the love and care put into its creation. Nagomi is so good infact that the Prime Minister Abe even goes there to work out and perhaps swim a few laps. The Grand Hyatt Seoul’s apt named “spa” also shows great consideration, thought and effort put forth from the Korean godmother of spaing in director of spa, Sue Yoon. Both use top cosmetic brands, linens, beds, put forth comprehensive treatment options and accordingly charge top dollar. It has ever been thus and so it shall remain.
The Fukuoka Club Olympus fitness centre and spa was most definitely the latter as an afterthought in the designer’s eye. It’s mindboggling as Grand Hyatt Fukuoka has the space for a REALLY decent spa and the hotel is not ancient either (built in 1996).
Maybe they were going for an integrated fitness club and spa concept but it feels more like a physio’s room in a minor league locker room.
My treatment was fine. The therapist did long strokes and no Shiatsu poking like what happens in Korea. What really boiled my cosmetics was the staffer who gave me a map to the treatment area. The least any Grand Hyatt staffer could do is escort you in to the common areas on a first visit.
She also didn’t come out from behind the desk at the end. She didn’t look THAT busy on 11/11. #omotenashifail
Next, the treatment room linens. Crunched up towels under the leg and a limp pillow make for an uncomfortable session. Remember folks, spa sessions last 1.5-2 hours and that’s being on your back and stomach. By the end, I kicked off the leg towel because it was chaffing my under legs.
To finish my laundry list, Club Olympus really needs to upgrade their foot soak ritual. Soaking my feet in hot water is a disservice to both of us. They should have at least scrubbed my feet or put some salts in there.
Oh, and a glass of water or hot tea at the end would be nice. Don’t tell me the changing room has water and expect me to lounge there.
I know Fukuoka is not Tokyo but a little more effort would go a long way.