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“Not what we expected”
Review of Sundara Spa

Sundara Spa
Attraction details
Reviewed 19 May 2014

We booked an overnight stay at this spa based on the high ratings it has received in several magazine articles, but it was not what we expected. The photo on the website shows a beautiful infinity pool. In reality, this pool overlooks part of the driveway, and you have a view of cars as they drive up the hill to the property. It was very crowded at the pool and my travel companion and I were not able to sit near each other, which was disappointing.
The room was comfortable, but the layout had no rhyme or reason to it. The tv was a decent size, but it was so far away from the bed that it seemed too small. The bathroom has a weird setup too, with the toilet in an alcove, but no door on it. There is a door to the main bathroom, but the far end of the bathroom does not have a wall -- there is an open area next to the whirlpool bathtub that only has a curtain over it -- like the kind you would see in a hospital room. Very strange setup. The sink is pretty, but it is so high that it is difficult for a person of average height to even wash your face.
The checkin area is small and cramped. There were many people checking in and out at the same time, with multiple people in groups all filling out their spa medical forms at the front desk, which made the checkin/checkout process take a long time. At checkin, you are asked to sign a Peace & Quiet Pledge, which basically outlines general spa etiquette. It is a little off-putting to have that be the first impression of the spa, and experienced spa-goers will think it's overkill. The problem is that the policy is not really enforced, so in some areas, there's lots of talking -- even in the purifying bath area and no one really seems to monitor the situation. It seemed like if you were there with a group, then it was okay for you to "break" the rules, but if you were a couple, you were expected to use your spa voice or whisper.
Be prepared to tote your luggage from the parking lot. There are a few spaces where you can park your car while you register, but even using the luggage carts is difficult because the spa's courtesy vehicle is parked right in front of the ramp you need to roll the cart up to get in the main door.
The property is very well maintained and is clean. The locker room/lounge is also clean and has products available to use. Something with a sunscreen in it would be a nice addition, since most people sit out at the pool for part of their stay. The staff was helpful and friendly. The beverages and snacks that were available were fresh and plentiful. The adults only atmosphere is enjoyable. The turndown service with tea and carmels in the evening is a nice perk, as is the ability to continue to use the pool and purity bath areas before and after checkin/checkout.
My expectations were high based on the publicity and rating of this spa and my prior spa experiences at other highly rated properties, but I think Sundara misses the mark in several areas.

2  Thank MTraveler50505
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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45 - 49 of 94 reviews

Reviewed 22 April 2014

April 18th I enjoyed a spa experience at Sundara Spa. Carmen was the Massage therapist and performed an excellent massage service. Her calming energy and massage pressure was excellent. I am not a fan of "talkers" during the massage and she was just right in asking the right amount of questions and just giving me time enjoy the experience in calm and quiet setting. Following Carmen, I had Andy who do a Shea Butter wrap. He was also, "over the top" great with his deep tissue pressure and nailed, "to perfection" the areas that needed work. Both of these therapists are EXCELLENT and I would recommend both of them for services! The locker room attendant who worked the day shift and was there when I left around 8:30pm was fantastic as well! Thank you to all for a great spa day!

Thank constancew436
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 March 2014

There are four things I love about Sundara: the Spa Misting spray, the comfy robes, the shuttle service/driver and the bathing ritual. Those are why I returned for a second time. All services offered are double or triple the cost of the same offerings closer to home and the rooms are OUTRAGEOUSLY priced! The front service desk ladies act snooty (both times I visited). However, the ladies working in the locker room and the shuttle driver could not be more nice. This time, I received an upper body massage (35 minutes for $90; I am used to paying $60 for an hour long, full body massage) called a Champissage (sp). It stated that it was a "loving touch". It was just a so-so, regular style, upper body massage. There was NOTHING discerning or made it stand out as it was hyped/described in the brochure. On the flip side, my three friends enjoyed their organic facials and could not say enough good words about them.

1  Thank Naisy88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 March 2014

Girls Getaway booked in room 2308 and stayed from 2-28-14 to 3-2-14.

1. There was no doorman to help us with luggage, we ended up pulling a cart to our car
and bringing our own bags to our room.
2. The parking lot is quite far when it is so cold outside and we were expecting valet.
3. We got to our room and the upstairs bathroom toilet was clogged, even after we called for
it to be fixed, we continued to have problems throughout our stay.
4. Towels in our room all had frayed edges, all our robes had holes, and the downstairs bathroom garbage was never emptied once during our stay by the cleaning staff, not to mention we had feminine products in the trash.
5. Breakfast in the rotunda was mediocre at best, I wish there was hand sanitizer for people
to use before heading through the buffet line. My friend was burned by the oatmeal due to a decorative plant obstructing the way of getting oatmeal out of the container. Also, when we did sit down the tables were never cleaned.
6. On Saturday we went to the spa and the meditation room was so overcrowded with
day guests that there wasn’t even a place to sit down. We did the spa ritual and went to the
hot tub where we were told a server will come take our drink order. Over an hour later of
spending time in the pool and hot tub we never saw a server.
7. All three of us received 80 minute massages and were very unhappy, we are avid spa goers and know a good massage from a bad one and we all agreed they were just okay.
8. We went out to dinner Friday night (drove ourselves) since food quality and selections were
lacking at Sundara. Saturday we also went out to dinner and had your driver take us to Fields at the Wilderness, it was the best part of our trip and the food at this restaurant was exceptional. However, the car that took us over was freezing cold, coming back the same situation-freezing cold car. I would expect being from Minnesota or Wisconsin for a car to be warmed up for the guests.
9. I found at least half of the staff looked unprofessional with wrinkled clothes and poor hygiene.

What we had expected to be a wonderful trip at a 5 star luxury spa was a nightmare. We are all well seasoned travelers having been to many parts of the US and abroad so we know what 5 star luxury is supposed to be like. It is so sad when the highlight of our stay was dinner at The Fields restaurant, which wasn’t even on the property we were staying at.
We were expecting excellence knowing that in 2011 this spa was #17 of the top 250 spas
poll in Conde Nast Travel Magazine. I assume Conde Nast has not been to this spa since 2011 or our stay was a big exception, however based on the issues at hand I think not. What has changed so much that they have gone from a 5 star to a 2 star but have stayed at the 5 star pricing?
My recommendation is to stay away from this resort, you will pay way too much and be disappointed with your stay and services.

1  Thank Jennifer A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 December 2013

My husband and I stayed at Sundara Dec. 6 and 7th to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary. I am expressing my disappointment in Sundara. Our 20th wedding anniversary was a momentous occasion for us and careful consideration was given to where we wanted to celebrate. Having stayed at Sundara at least five times over the last 6 years I chose to stay with you again. I regret my choice and wish we had chosen The American Club where I have always received five star service. We spent $1000 for two nights in a standard room and three spa services for myself. That is a large amount of money for a weekend stay that was satisfactory but NOT exceptional in any way. Our room was fine, services fine, but only 1 person wished us a happy anniversary , only 1! Had I made a better choice and we stayed in Kohler every service provider would have recognized our special day. There was no welcome note, wine or dessert, which in a previous stay for a friend's 40th birthday at your property we were given all three. We also found your breakfasts to be lacking in taste on Sat. am despite literature claiming everything was homemade. The eggs tasted processed, the juice was poured from a jug and the pastries stale. Sun am things were slightly better. Your year round heated pool was closed part of Sat due to low temps, despite no fine print on your website stating that until that day. Upon checkout the clerk did not credit me the correct amount when I adjusted my gratuities and I had to leave two messages before getting a call back to have things adjusted. I let that person know these same complaints but have heard nothing. Six years ago my first overnight visit to Sundara blew me away. Now I'll be certain to tell others that their money will be better spent at the American Club and Kohler Waters Spa. As a side note this review was sent via email to the GM of Sundara ten days ago & I've not received a response. I'm saddened that this resort has slipped so far in its service.

1  Thank Pursestolove
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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