I am an attentive spaist. If the spa director is talking about her spa then I’m all ears.
I like guided tours. (How can I fault a spa if I haven’t seen all that they’re about)
I do not interrupt treatments when they’re being done, for right or wrong. (Even the worst spa experience can turn out to be good blog material!)
And I always constructively complain. (This blog helps put the sessions into perspective.)
Which brings us to the 16 week old, Aman Tokyo spa, site of my second spa treatment in this Grand Tokyo Lunar New Year spaist adventure. I came here without a fuss and hesitation when I heard the famed Aman group was building a Tokyo resort or hotel, even though I typically don’t like coming to ‘rookie’ spas. Rookie spas need time to come together, like AO spa at Andaz Tokyo, but this is Aman and usually they don’t make mistakes.
Aman Tokyo’s spa has enough stone that they probably bought their own quarry. It’s very spacious and accommodating, if not a little cold and sterile feeling. Dark greys mix with Japanese light colored hinoki wood.
Yuki Kiyono, formerly of the Mandarin Oriental Tokyo’s SPA and Grand Hyatt Tokyo, is in charge of the entire facility.
I listen attentively as she gives me a grand tour of the facilities. This place checks every box a spaist would want – Pilates, TRX, Japanese onsen baths, premium spa products from Sodashi and treatments for all needs and seasons.
Here, Japanese meets Sodashi cosmetics in different, but very comfortable ways. It is a grab bag of ancient traditions such as yuzu and sake in winter and camphor scents to harken back to the ways ancient Japanese people dealt with cold. I can sense Ms. Kiyono put a lot of thought into this spa and its concept.
Our treatment room — a beautiful stone room (of course!) with two treatment beds, a stone Japanese bathing furo —sound great on paper but fail in real life. Couples have to share one closet and ours becomes a mess of Mister’s tuxedo and my womanly armada including a purse, ballgown, heels and shopping bag. They really should add another closet or put couples in a true couples room. This is the two of us sharing a single spa room (it seems).
More than two hours after we sit down, the spa director asks for honest feedback on our treatments. Mine was well-done and I said as much. However, my partner felt his massage wasn’t anything that he signed up for and said as much. She took our feedback but it’s insincerely done. She apologies and says she appreciates the honest feedback, that Japanese don’t comment very much on problems, blah blah. Then, we’re ushered out to the reception area and presented with the bill in full. There’s no discussion of a re-do (we have two more days left in Tokyo) and no discussion of a refund or discount. This is where Aman Tokyo fails to live up to their legendary customer service reputation.
After one good spa treatment, one botched treatment and indifference to that, said, treatment, the only nice thing I can say about the Aman Tokyo is that they have the newest, most diverse spaing program in the city with the most square footage.
And that’s all.
We, eventually got a refund and an apology from the GM for their spa team not meeting our expectations.
A very odd welcome to the world’s renown resort and hotelier group – Aman.