Last summer I had one of my best facial treatments ever, at the Hotel Erika,which is located high above Merano in Northern Italy in a village called ‘Dorf Tirol”.
The beautiful rooms with grand balconies offer spectacular views on Merano valley and the surrounding mountain range (ensure room is located valley-side when booking!).
Restaurant outside area, cuisine and wine list are also sensational!
The modern and well tended spa area at the Hotel Erika is well spread out without giving the feeling of being anonymous. Various smaller areas with different facilities provide an ambience of comfortable intimacy. There are different heat experiences that provide great variety, I particularly liked the Kneipp-basin-area and the various fantastic relaxing areas, even outdoors. You will find the fitness area well proportioned and professionally equipped. All employees have always been utterly courteous and professional.
My spa treatments were exceptional. I had the choice between the product lines St. Barth, MEI and QMS of which I chose MEI since I did not know the brand. MEI is a small and well established Italian company for natural skin care (www.casamei.com) and I made a good choice as I enjoyed the products during my treatment.
But why were the spa treatments at the Erika so special? For one, I was having a ‘good’ day, meaning I was able to let myself fall into the situation, allowing the service provider and myself to relax. This I feel is one important aspect for a good experience, to be an unstressed guest and to appreciate the professional care and allow the business to achieve -or even exceed- guest satisfaction.
Secondly the entire ambience of the spa area worked well, the facilities (starting from the passageway into the spa reception to the treatment room) were pleasing to all senses. There was dim lighting, agreeable temperatures, soft music, and delicate deco, with the colour white being dominant, providing an overall feeling of a modern and clean look without seeming sterile.
But now to the most important aspect: the beautician herself. She was charming, well-mannered, experienced, and was perfectly able to engage with me and my needs. She took her time and never gave me the impression of having to follow a tight schedule. She kept checking on me, my sensitivities, if everything was fine, if I was cold, if I wished a glass of water, if the lights were disturbing, if the massage pressure was ok… She understood her handcraft very well, managed her techniques, had done her homework by knowing and explaining the products well, and above, she was notably diplomatic and careful:
When she asked me to enter the treatment room, she explained how to lie down on the treatment couch and what to do with my robe. She then left the room for a couple of seconds in order to wait, so that I could install myself comfortably and cover myself up. Don’t you dislike standing around half undressed and freezing because the room has not been set up properly? Although I am not one to blush easily…
She did the same after the treatment, she was courteous, no rushing, and allowing some time for resting after the treatment and then a couple of moments on my own to get up and put on my robe.
For me it is understood in a 5-Star environment during a spa treatment for the service provider not to leave the room during a treatment step, such as the “mask”. Unfortunately this is still done in many spas until now, that the beautician leaves the guest on their own, wrapped up tightly in a blanket, half blind (with eye pads), with more or less stiff mask product in their face all by themselves… I always wonder when this happens what could be more than looking after their guest…). I find this impolite behaviour and not offering any value to the guest, which detracts from the overall experience (once – in another spa, not at the Erika – I was ‘forgotten’ for about 35 minutes alone with my mask on my face and boredom…). Yet not at the Erika which was pure heaven!
The next day I did have a foot-reflexology at the Erika which I also enjoyed greatly, however for some reason the facial treatment was my favorite.
The entire team at the Erika managed to make me feel very welcome and comfortable by a pro-active and friendly approach, I never felt anonymous but instead very comfortable, even as a single traveller. I was under the impression that my needs were already anticipated, already discovered, and satisfied even before I could voice them. I enjoyed my stay at the Erika very much and have actually been back since!