829 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10022
Wheelchair Accessible: No
By Appointment Only: Yes
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I wish I could give a lower review than 1 star. Don't go here unless you want pictures secretly taken of you during your treatment. I am confused as to how their website talks about integrity when Aqualia allows their employees to secretly take pictures of their clients during waxing jobs. I am not sure what kind of sick entertainment value this provides, but it is unacceptable and this place should be shut down.
My experience was shocking. I went for a facial and the girl who performed my facial SECRETLY TOOK PHOTOGRAPHS OF ME WITH HER PHONE!!!
Here is what happened...
After I put on my robe and layed on the table, the girl performing my facial told me I am very hairy (she was looking at my arms) and said to me ""Aren't you embarrassed?"" How completely rude and unprofessional! Is that the way she tries to sell more services? By insulting her clients? And that wasn't the worst part.
Halfway through the facial the girl was giving me a facial massage with a cloth covering my eyes. All of a sudden the girl turned on a light (this is atypical for this part of the service) and seemed distracted. I could tell she was distracted because she started massaging me with almost no pressure using a few fingers of one hand instead of using two hands and a lot of pressure. Then I heard her cough loudly and the unmistakable sound of a cell phone camera shutter going off. I thought to myself that I must be going crazy and hearing things because she couldn't possibly be taking a picture of my hairy arms with her camera phone. I tried to ignore my suspicions and tried to relax, but I felt uncomfortable, embarrassed and ashamed. Because of those negative feelings stewing in my head I agreed to an arm waxing when she again offered it at the end of the facial.
While I was relaxing with a mud mask on my face and covering my eyes, the girl performed the arm waxing. After she was done with the waxing and was about to leave the room to let me relax for 15 minutes with the mud mask, I heard her cough loudly again (she hadnt coughed since the first suspicious cough at the beginning of my facial) and again I heard the phone camera shutter going off. I now knew I wasnt going crazy and that she had just taken an ""after"" picture of my arms. (She should have timed her cough better because there is a delay between when you press the camera button and when the sound goes off) I was completely embarrassed at this point and was left for 15 minutes thinking about whether I should confront her or not. I kept thinking about why she would take secret photos of me...was I that much of a freak? Did she want to laugh about me with her friends or coworkers? Ultimately I decided not to confront her...by the time I was leaving I was feeling too depressed and not angry enough to start an argument.
Then when I was paying, the girl who did my facial actually had the nerve to ask me for gratuity. (I was going to tip her when I was done paying for the service. I'm not used to be ASKED for a tip) It is also true that all of the girls there are very pushy in trying to get you to buy more packages and services while you are there for one service.
The girl who did my facial was completely unprofessional and rude. And unless you want your flaws secretly photographed and laughed about while you are trying to relax, DO NOT GO HERE.
Followup...my sister was so angry that this happened to me that she called the spa and reported the incident to the manager. The manager called me and told me that she confronted the employee, who claims to not have taken any photos, but admitted to sending text messages during my session. Something sounds fishy here. Since when do cell phone text messages make the camera shutter sound? Additionally, I heard and felt her cell phone vibrating during the session. If your phone is on vibrate, usually texts are also on vibrate...but camera noises are not. The manager offered me a free facial since I am a ""valued"" customer and she regrets that I was uncomfortable during my facial. I will not be going back.
10/22/2010Provided by Citysearch -
Made 2 appointment during spa week for my friend and I. I wanted a spa however this was a 2nd floor nail salon. Facial therapist never asked me one question about my skin or if I had an issues. If you're looking for spa experience to enjoy hanging out before and after this is not the place for you. There is No changing room and the treatment room is so small your head is in the sink. I think when the mask was on she was braking cardboard boxes in the room. It was so noisy and not a relaxing experience. The woman gave me a face massage with limited products vs. a facial. I don't even know if she was trained. She kept leaving the room coming back in. Save your money and go somewhere else.
10/14/2010Provided by Citysearch -
I have been going to this spa for a few years now. I would not let anyone else give me a pedicure. Kathy is the best at everything but all the girls are good. I had gotten lash extensions for the first time at another spa and when Kathy saw them she said I do those and I will give you a full set - the place had only given me a few crazy ones. They might try to sell you a package but they are a business and if you know you are going to keep coming back - why not! I have been to a lot of spas in NYC and I will always go back to them.
10/04/2010Provided by Citysearch -
So I went to this spa last week with my girlfriends and they were sooo friendly when i made an appointment and when i got to the door. When I walked in i got this feeling of being cozy right away. I got a facial and a massage and the girl that help me was very nice. She clearly knew what she was doing and it felt great!!! Me and my girlfriend both enjoyed out time because it was so stress releasing. It was truly a great experience everyone should go there!
06/06/2010Provided by Citysearch -
I booked a facial for me and my sister during Spa Week. The facials were decent, but there are other Spas that are better for Spa Week if you want to be pampered.
The facility was small and cramped - there are no lockers or changing rooms. Afterwards they tried to get me to buy more facials at the $50 price and were very pushy about it, along with trying to sell the products.
I'm not sure how much the nails cost, but I wouldn't come back for spa services, but maybe to get my nails done if the prices were reasonable.
03/07/2010Provided by Citysearch -
I experienced the best massage in a long time at this simple, clean, no frills place. Reception staff is friendly and appointments run on schedule. The masseuse did all the right things. I left feeling really good in body and spirit. I've already made my next appointment.
01/29/2010Provided by Citysearch -
This spa is about average maybe 2 1/2 - 3 stars. It's clean and decent if you want to get something quick. One thing that is really bothersome is their tactic to cross-sell, they are very pushy about it. If they didn't try to push packages and make me (client) feel uncomfortable, I might try other treatments but because they are so pushy and almost relentless with making you buy a package, it becomes a complete turn-off. I wish they would tone that down a bit because I can see it scares off other customers too. It seems they are too eager to get a hold of my credit card to charge it extra things.
10/24/2009Provided by Citysearch -
went for spa wk. I was looking for relaxing spa but this place looked more like nail place with some rooms for massage/facial. Massage therapist proceed to just beat me up! I've had massages before, this lady didn't seem like she had prof. massage touch. If you're looking for spa experience to enjoy lounging before & after treatment, this is not it. No changing room, you change in a very small treatment room. Receptionist was pushy about selling packages to me, became sully after I declinied. Just was not a relaxing experience.
10/12/2009Provided by Citysearch -
I booked the appointment for Spa week and she seemed friendly enough. When I got there, the women at the front desk also seemed friendly. I thought the masseuse would be friendly as well. I was on time for my appointment and she was late. They gave me warm water to drink instead of cold. I guess they do not have a water cooler. They must have gotten the water from the tap. They lead me inside a room that looks clean enough but small. I asked where to put my bag and she pointed to the floor. Then, I asked where to put my clothes and she pointed to the wall hangers. My masseuse did not introduce herself or ask if I have any health problems. Where they got her I have no idea. It was apparent to me that she has no knowledge of the human body or even how to do a massage. It seemed like she was just rubbing my skin with the oil. She also did not do a good job in keeping me modest. I felt the towel was not properly placed on my body. At the end, she EXPECTED a tip with no thank you. I gave her the lowest possible tip.
I DO NOT recommend this place to anyone. I felt like it was a waste of my money. I would rather pay more for a professional massage than to give my money to an amateur.
01/17/2009Provided by Citysearch -
My roommate and I found this spa on lifebooker for a cheap $52, 60 minute massage and I ended up going for a $27 dollar mani/pedi while I was at it. The ambiance was ok - seemed pretty clean and nice enough, staff was friendly (aside from trying to push services on you), but the place was absolutely FREEZING. The pedicure was terrible - no massage chair or whirpool in the foot bath, not to mention there was no hot water and my feet felt like icicles. The pedicurist didn't seem trained and was extremely shakey - causing me to opt for clear nail polish on my manicure that followed after seeing how she painted my toes. Manicure was similar, all while enduring the added pain of a fan (no heat lamp) on my cold, wet, pedicured feet. Seriously not worth it. The massage, however, was surprisingly good. Despite still being cold throughout, it did last the entire 60 minutes as promised and the therapist seemed to know what she was doing. Cons - the room was small, there were no intros or instructions as masseuse did not speak English aside from ""clothes off, lay down"", and there was soothing background music but could still hear all the noises of the spa. Pros - price, quality of massage. Overall, I would go back for a massage ONLY and would steer clear of ANYTHING else.
11/28/2008Provided by Citysearch -
This conveniently located spa offers a lot of facial treatments that are comparable to spas like bliss for a lot less money. The staff is very friendly and personable and very apt to recommend products and give out lots of free samples. Staff is very knowledgeable about what the best type of service is best for your skin type, even if you're new to facials. I recommend the under eye treatment for anyone who has very dark coloring under their eyes.
11/03/2008Provided by Citysearch -
I recommend staying as far away from this salon if you want quality for your money. My boyfriend got me a 'Salon Manicure' for $50 during spa week. It took him some convincing to 'squeeze' me in and they made it clear that if i was late I wouldn't be taken. I get there, and I am the only one there. They seat me at in a manicurist's chair with no back, which is in the waiting area and very awkward (in the 1 foot space in front of the beaded curtain in the pic). Then they switch between over complimenting me to the point where I am uncomfortable (in an effort just to upsell me, like of your skin is so nice, but you should really get a facial) and criticizing my cuticles (she actually said 'oh my god my hand hurts I cant believe how much you have') and asking me when the last time I got my nails done was, which was one week before, and she couldn't believe it. I was so insulted, because I do keep up my manicures and general grooming. Also, they were speaking in their own language the ENTIRE time, I mean they did not pause, it was dizzying. Then the actual 'spa manicure' was subpar to a regular manicure anywhere else. She kept stopping to take phone calls and the only difference was the paraffin wax. I have never had polish applied in a more haphazard way either, a 5 year old could have done better, it looked awful. Then she complained her eyes hurt from concentrating so hard, and kept fishing for compliments on it, admitting to me that she wasn't actually a manicurist but was trained only in facials. To top it off she kept trying to up sell me the whole time so that I finally bought some facial products, which I did not want. Oh, and when a woman who also had a bad experience tipped low, they asked her if she knew what a good tip was, which of course she did. Awful Awful Awful manicure experience. DO NOT THROW YOUR MONEY AWAY!
10/23/2008Provided by Citysearch -
I went to this spa this past Tuesday as part of their extended Spa Week promotion to get a facial. I arrived a bit early because I thought my appointment was for 7pm but it was really at 7:30 and then it was delayed till 7:45, but they were very accommodating. I ended up getting a manicure and the spa pedicure, which were AMAZING!! I highly recommend the spa pedicure. You get to soak your feet in green tea extract and your legs get a greet tea mask and exfoliator as well. My legs and feet were so soft after that pedicure. The facial was great as well. The customer service was excellent. The ladies were all friendly and nice. By the way, the decor of the spa is cute and pretty. I will definitely go back to this place.
10/17/2008Provided by Citysearch -
I booked a massage for spa week on wednesday with one of my girlfriends. I have never been to this spa so i didn't know what to expect. The reviews on Citysearch are good but really focused more on facials. I got there a little early, and was warmly greated. My massuer was named Jenny and she was REALLY great. She used this oil that smelled like roses and it was just lovely. The massage was terrific and i was so relaxed afterwards i almost fell asleep waiting for my friends to get done. Also, it was for a full 60 minutes. I hate places that you book 60 and get 45. They were right on the money. I would defintitely use them again. I think that the owner told me that regularly the price is like 80 for an hour which is still really inexpensive for a nice spa. I highly reccommend Aqualia and Jenny!!
08/13/2008Provided by Citysearch -
Very convenient location. I was looking for a spa that I could go to after work. I bought a half-year membership which allows me to get a facial once a week for six months. One facial takes about an hour and a half and afterwards my face looks bright and smooth. I try to go as much as I can so that I can maintain my skin in good condition. I recommend Rebecca, she is a certificated esthetician who has great technique.
08/02/2008Provided by Citysearch -
There are many spas in NY at various price ranges but I challenge anyone to find better value in NY City. Why pay double the price in trendy salons for the same if not better professional (i.e., qualified), knowledgeable, friendly staff providing top service in serene, clean environment with top line equipment and products. Trust me, this is the best spa in NYC.
My wife and I have known 2 of the estheticians (Shelly and Cathy) for more than 7 years and have followed them wherever they went (2 previous spas before they settled on this one for good). We have been getting mostly facials from them. Their facial technique is nothing short of exceptional and they have a great deal of knowledge and experience having done this for a very long time.
I have always had a very bad skin but they have given me my baby face back (sounds like one of those infomercials but this is true). They carry top line products and equipment with full service, fully equipped individual treatment rooms. Instead of giving you a generic facial, they will customize treatment based on your OWN needs and skin condition. I recently took my 60yr old mother there when she visited us from out of town; they customized a treatment for her that included full body massage, facial, manicure and pedicure. In addition to being pampered for a full day, which she really enjoyed, my mother told me that everybody in our home town thought her skin looked great and rejuvenated, and she looked much younger.
In addition, what differentiates this spa from others places is that it is spotless, conveniently located in midtown, and offers a serene retreat from the daily stress, at least for a few hours.
Finally, the entire staff is courteous and knowledgeable as they carefully select and hire qualified professionals with tons of experience.
Every penny you will spend there is worth it and would probably be worth double in any other trendy spas.
05/01/2008Provided by Citysearch -
I went to Aqualia to have eyelash extensions for the first time and the results were amazing. So much so that I have been back several times to have them replaced. The staff are friendly, relaxed, offering you an informal atmosphere in order to make you feel comfortable. The space is small, but very cosy. On one of my return visits I had a facial, which was excellent. Not only was it relaxing but the results were great and my skin has been much better since. If you're looking for a personalized experience where your custom is valued, then go to Aqualia.
04/23/2008Provided by Citysearch -
I had went to this spa during spa week. I've never been here before but they had the availability on accomadating all of us -- me, my husband and my parents. Although the place is small, it was clean. Decor was nice, simple and classic. We all had facials done. I had Kathy (the owner). She was amazing! She did the full 75 minute facial, she was very informative on what she was doing and very friendly. My husband and my parents had Rebecca, Shelly and Lily. They all love them. My mom even bought the package to come back again! They did mention the packages that they have but who doesn't try to sell you their product when you visit a spa--especially during spa week. They didn't push us to buy and didn't repeatedly mention it, it was casually brought up. For myself, I disagree with the other bad reviews. The staff was friendly and knowledgeable. In fact, I made another appointment for May and so did my mom. I will follow up then.