A visit to the Mandara Spa at the Dolphin Resort

The only times I’ve been to a spa in the past was when we were on a cruise ship – the Norwegian Sun in March 2012 to be exact. We’ve talked about me going to the spas at Disney World, but for various reasons, I never got around to giving one a try until recently.

It turns out that Mandara Spa is the corporate spa that operates on the Norwegian Cruise Ships AND at the Dolphin Resort – so, it seemed like a logical place to start – I’ve never had a Balinese Massage, I liked the description, aha! A choice.

Balinese Massage

Relax, close your eyes and float away to a world of tranquility. Utilized for centuries to strengthen and heal the body, this traditional therapy combines stretching, long strokes, skin rolling and palm-and-thumb pressure techniques. Flowing and graceful, the Balinese massage relieves tension, improves blood flow, eases stress and encourages harmony…….50 minutes

We had walked nearly 17 miles the day before – I got up the morning of my visit to Mandara Spa and my calves were aching, so, I called at 8:00 for an appointment at 5:00 same day with Davida….

They tell you to arrive 15 minutes before your appointment, I was running a bit early (like half an hour early).

An attendant took me back to the ladies changing area and explained how the safe lockers worked, gave me a robe (it was huge) and a pair of plastic slides for my feet. She also showed me around (bathrooms, showers, meditation room, and the tea garden waiting area). The changing area was very nice (except that one sink faucet was broken, but the other one worked fine). There was organic hair spray, organize spritz deodorant, mouthwash, sanitized hair combs, blowdryer, and plenty of large clean towels. The whole area smelled very nice without being overpowering.

After I got changed, I went to the tea garden.

It took me a little while to find the magazines – actually, I only found two (not much of a selection) – I had such a long wait that I made it all the way through “InStyle” holiday issue. Next time I go to a spa at Disney World, I will definitely be bringing along my kindle or my own magazine. The “couches” weren’t really that comfortable, they were more like wooden benches with covered cushions, I think the chairs would have been a better choice.

When it was time for my massage, Davida came out of one of the treatment rooms and invited me in. A few details…

  • the massage table was heated, not too hot (Davida asked if the temperature was okay) – unexpected, nice touch, greatly added to my comfort
  • the massage went from back to front, feet to neck
  • the Balinese massage uses frangipani oil and it smelled wonderful, also left my skin very soft (at the end, Davida suggested that I simply wipe off the excess and let a light layer on my skin overnight)
  • Davida started by applying warm, moist towels to my feet and rubbing and massaging them, that was wonderful to my tired feet
  • the overall impression of the massage was soothing with lots of shushing noises and long but not intense strokes
  • I particularly liked that the massage included thorough hand and foot attention

Overall, I enjoyed the experience and plan to try out other treatments at Mandara Spa and at the two Senses Spas at Walt Disney World (Saratoga Springs and Grand Floridian)

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