A behind-the-scenes look into the serenity of Moon Palace Jamaica’s Awe Spa reveals a team of 72 staff members who, before COVID-19, catered to the every whim of 300 guests on busy days. Now they’ve topped half that number at the Ocho Rios property, but the level of service provided has remained first class.
The team includes 24 therapists; 18 valets, equally split between the genders; 10 team members who staff a full-service salon, and a few white-lab-coat-wearing product controllers who ensure each guest gets just the right amount of the potions needed to make visiting the spa a truly awesome experience.
“Let’s say you have a body wrap or body scrub, we do have a product controller who gives you that exact amount of product that you need, depending on body size. So, at the end of it, there is no waste,” explains spa Manager Francine Pinnock-Gordon. “So, for example, for our chamomile wrap, the recipe gives you the exact amount of scrub, balm, mist, everything that you need for one guest. We’re not working directly from a bottle so it also minimises having any cross-contamination.”
Guests have no idea of the minute attention to detail that goes into their time at the spa, and that’s as it should be. Their job is to relax and soak it all in as Pinnock-Gordon and her team work their magic.
Pinnock-Gordon keeps an eye on operational costs but, well aware of the importance of the spa’s role in promoting the hotel and by extension Jamaica’s wellness tourism market, very little expense has been spared in creating the space and treatments that leave guests weak in the knees.
COVID-19 safety protocols have been seamlessly woven into the luxurious experience and, up to November 18 when the rules were relaxed, facials were being replaced by other equally fabulous options. Pandemic or not, a visit to the Awe Spa is an experience not easily forgotten.
Guests are greeted by a receptionist who does a temperature check and ensures hands are sanitised. You’re then placed in the capable hands of a same-gender valet who will be your guide at vital points throughout the experience. After a quick shower to remove any lotions and oils on the skin, it’s off to the cinnamon-scented dry-heat sauna. Cucumbers are placed over the eyes and a cool rag is also provided. After five to 10 minutes experiencing temperatures between 60 and 80 degrees — in-between sprits of hydrating mist provided by the valet — it’s time for a visit to the ice room. This is where, following the valet’s instructions to begin at the soles of the feet and work your way up to the crown of your head, you apply shaved ice.
The thermal lounge awaits next, where seats heated a comfortable 36 degrees provide the perfect spot to while away 20 minutes or so as you nibble on healthy snacks washed down by beverages that range from plain to flavoured water to detoxifying liquid chlorophyll.
Twenty minutes in the eucalyptus-scented steam room, a stint in the colourful chromotherapy rain shower followed by a chance to experience nine different massages provided by 16 jets of the Swiss shower and even the tensest of guests should be relaxed at this point.
This is when, if you arrived as a couple, you’re reunited with your other half in a co-ed space. Just in time for a soak in the hot tub, a quick dip in the 18-degree polar pool before slipping into the much more comfy sensory pool where you get three unique massage experiences for the shoulders, lower back, as well as glutes and legs.
If you need a minute to just revel in the sensations experienced so far, an attentive valet will happily provide a robe and sandals so you can sit in the relaxation area. When you’re ready, a therapist will escort you to one of 23 cabins — named after the elements — for your massage, facial, body scrub, and the list of options goes on. Treatments can last anywhere between 25 minutes to two hours of bliss. Products are all-natural, plant-based, as well as animal-cruelty-free.
The experience continues after the heavenly treatment with nibbles and drinks to refresh, rejuvenate, and hydrate.
If you have a hot date and need to get your hair and nails done, the salon is just a few steps away. With six pedicure stations, four for manicures, two for shampoos plus four for hair and make-up, you’re guaranteed to emerge from the salon looking fabulous. The nod to health and wellness continues here with vegan nail polish Dazzle Dry. No UV light needed and it’s dry enough after three to five minutes to pull on your sneakers for a game of tennis.
That was just a quick glimpse into the wonders on offer at Moon Palace’s AWEsome spa. Of course nothing beats experiencing it for yourself.
More details available at https://jamaica.moonpalace.com/en/activities/awe-spa