I liked Shapes the minute I walked in and saw the spa waiting area. Next to the deep chairs sat a plate of butter cookies, a bowl of apples and bananas, a pitcher of ice water, a selection of herbal tea, and beauty magazines. Soft purple walls were covered in faux-painted tropical plants. A wall-mounted waterfall trickled gently. I was sorry I had signed up for only one service and had no excuse to linger.
Shapes, like most good spas, had me fill out a one-page health questionnaire. Then it was off for my $75 chocolate massage, one of the spa’s more unusual offerings. The massage felt fine, but I must say was disappointing: It was not one of the better ones I’ve had, and the massage therapist sniffled throughout the treatment. The hot towels on my back were a nice touch.
As an editor, I’ve received a few recent complaints from readers about the service at Shapes, so I wanted to see the place for myself. One reader hated a rough facial that produced skin rashes and pimples; for another, a poor makeup job left a bad taste; and one woman found the hot-stone massage overpriced.
When my massage ended, I wandered back to the sitting area, disoriented and in my robe. There, I found two chocolates waiting for me—they’re part of the chocolate massage. I steeped a cup of chamomile tea and enjoyed the weekday afternoon serenity.