Review: Aqua Spa and Salon

I love going to the spa, I really do! So I’m always up for great deals on spa visits. Not necessarily because I’m cheap (I don’t mind paying premium for great service or products) but because I’ve had bad luck in Toronto trying to find a great place to get my hair or nails done, to say nothing of facials. Using a deal site means I can try a new place without breaking the bank and therefore I don’t feel so annoyed when it’s crap – because there is nothing worse than paying premium for crappy service!

I also have very high standards – I’ll admit it – for manicures & pedicures especially; and so far I haven’t found anything that meets them. But it is fun to keep trying (most of the time anyway). My standards aren’t so high that they’ve never been made though, they aren’t unreasonable. In fact, one of the main reasons they are so high is because I have had fantastic service before and I’m trying to find something that measures up. Living in Seoul was fantastic for the girlie-girl in me as there were some great places to get mani-pedis or just a quick manicure – and at great prices. Ah… Seoul, how I miss you! The other reason is my one true vanity is my nails. I love nail polish and own way too much of it (don’t ask how many bottles, let’s just say I could open my own nail salon). Over the years, I’ve gotten very good at giving myself both manicures and pedicures and I expect something more when I go to a spa or nail salon. If I can do a better job, why would I pay you?

Aqua Spa and Salon

So, in my search for a great spa that does fabulous mani-pedis, my friend Mary & I visited Aqua Spa and Salon. Full disclosure: we found them through one of the deal find sites, and paid $29 for a 2 hour “spa” mani-pedi that was supposed to include “a Deluxe Manicure, a Deluxe Pedicure, Hand and Foot Massage, and a Paraffin Wax Treatment on Your Hands and Feet Exclusively from Aqua Spa and Salon ($95 Value).” When I signed up, I thought “this sounds like a place I could be a regular customer at.”

So we made the appointment for a Saturday so we could go together and have a nice girly afternoon (we did have to reschedule to the next weekend but we did this with lots of advance notice). We arrived a little early and loved the location – it was right at Harbourfront, right on Lake Ontario and there was a lovely view. We were greeted politely, they took our certificates and we were asked to wait a moment for our estheticians. A short while later, we were told they were ready for us. So far, so good. Unfortunately, everything went downhill from there.

We were told that they only had one esthetician on staff and so we couldn’t have our appointments together like we booked. When we stated but that’s why we booked them together they told us they never promised that we could be together for the services. Really, I don’t remember that. Besides, why would you book two people at the same time and only have one esthetician working that day? It boggles the mind. We were informed, when we asked who would be doing the one of us the esthetician didn’t, that the receptionist was. Really??? At this point we should have walked out but we already paid for the service – hence the occasional failing point of deal sites, you are stuck sometimes with very bad service or products.

After some arguing and some extremely unprofessional talk about us while they were setting up the pedicure room (oh yeah, they really weren’t ready yet for us), we finally got started on the pedicures. Spa pedicure my ass (forgive my vulgarity but it sucked!). There was very little buffing, the “massage” (and I’m being super generous to call it that) lasted less than a minute and there was no paraffin wax treatment at all. And the manicure was worse! My hands were never soaked. I was never asked what shape I wanted my nails – square or round – and ended up with an odd rounded square that looks bad. I did get a paraffin treatment, sort of… one bag with a very small amount of wax that only covered part of my hands (more of my right and less of my left). The “massage” and again I’m using this term very loosely, lasted about a minute and was mostly the receptionist rubbing cream into my hands – after the was, not before. They didn’t even do a good job with the polish.

Oh, and the entire process – from us arriving to leaving – with one girl, the receptionist, doing most of the work took way less than 2 hours. Would I recommend them? Hell, no! Would I tell people how much they suck? Oh yeah!

Rating: ½ out of 5 and that’s only because I really like the polish colour, this cool greenish-grey.

And apparently we are the only ones who were severely disappointed in their service! Check out Yelp for more reviews!

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2 Comments

  1. Daniella

     /  March 24, 2012

    I’m a regular client to this Spa/Salon and I go every week to get my hair washed and styled and as well as a polish change. Every time I have been here, I’ve been pampered beyond believed. There is an Esthetician on board at all times and a Manager that sits at the reception. On the weekends they have 2 estheticians, because I bring a friend along from time to time. The view from this Salon is phenomenal and the staff are very friendly and professional. It’s been almost 11 months that I’ve been a regular here.
    I’m not sure weather you are talking about Aqua Spa And Salon on harbor-front or Aqua salon and spa on eglinton!
    This review doesn’t make any sense to me and I think this person is mistaken or wasn’t given a discount that she seems this upset.

    Reply
    • Cindy Zimmer

       /  March 25, 2012

      I love troll comments but don’t often get them on my blog. You do know that all the answers to your questions are in my post, right?! But just in case… yes, this extremely negative review is about the Aqua Spa & Salon at Harbourfront (it’s all one word by the way and spelled with a “u” since we’re in Canada). And no, there weren’t two estheticians on staff that day… that was the problem; along with their lack of professionalism and extremely poor quality work. But you are right, the view is fabulous… unfortunately, I paid for a mani-pedi… not the view. And to clarify your final point… nope, not mistaken… my opinion can be different from yours but that doesn’t mean I’m wrong. :) Oh yeah, I clearly stated I was at the spa on a deal so I didn’t need a further discount. The service just plain sucked!

      Reply

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