Whenever you’re planning to try a new restaurant, gym, bar, museum, or really anything, it’s likely that you take a quick look at their customer reviews before making the decision to go ahead. Google, Trustpilot, and many other websites allow visitors to leave a number of stars and a comment. You’re likely to avoid parting ways with your hard-earned cash at any place that shows an overwhelming amount of negative reviews, and we don’t blame you.

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But this got us thinking – what if we could learn something from negative reviews, even if a place only has a handful of them? Specifically, what if we could learn something from 1-2 star spa reviews? We had a look at the Google reviews of ten spas across central London to try and work out where they are falling down, and here are what we found to be the common denominators…


Across hundreds of spa reviews that we read through, a common denominator in unhappy reviews was a lack of cleanliness; in particular, unwashed Jacuzzis and grubby equipment. Spas must maintain impeccable levels of hygiene, not least because visible grime can be very off-putting to your guests, but it can also pose a health threat and is generally unpleasant. This mistake is very easy to make because some people just don’t notice building levels of dust and dirt, and this can lead to the daily cleaning being thought of as unnecessary and being skipped – but never allow cleaning to be skipped. It should always be a priority.


Individual spa employees are rarely referenced in reviews, but when they are, it is often in a complaint about poor communication, and this took two forms: not smiling, and not giving guests all of the information. Spa guests need to feel welcomed and informed in order to feel relaxed. When greeted by an employee who doesn’t even smile at them, guests can immediately feel wrong-footed and like they are an imposition on the employee. Otherwise, spa guests can be vulnerable and should never be confused about how long they will be left alone, or where they should go after each spa service.

Phone Manner

A general complaint across many business reviews, spas and otherwise, is that when the guest rang up to make or confirm an appointment, they were greeted by a seemingly hostile receptionist. It’s imperative to train your employees in appropriate phone etiquette. Poor phone manners can upset guests and even lead to them rethinking their appointments. A cheerful employee answering the phone can make all the difference.


A surprising number of luxury spa reviews indicated that they had been expecting something else, whether they expected the treatment rooms to be larger, equipment to be different, or services that were no longer on offer. Never over-promise or misrepresent services to your guests beforehand. Your promotional material, including your Instagram page and your YouTube channel, should show clear images and video tours of your spa and equipment – that way, none of your guests can be misled.


Last but not least, the complaint we were most surprised to see kept cropping up was: the massage was no good! Many spas offer a range of massage styles, some involving equipment, some involving specialised techniques, and everything in between. Don’t overburden your staff with treatments that they are not fully trained in and cannot properly carry out. Choose high-quality treatments that your spa can adequately complete, and encourage employees to communicate with guests during their massage to make sure that they are comfortable.

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Hopefully, these five complaints that we have highlighted can give you a solid idea of where to focus during periods of retraining. The main advantage of working with a spa consultancy and full service is that we understand where and why most spas don’t quite reach their full potential. When you’re operating a customer-service-oriented business, word of mouth is everything, so your spa customers leaving with a smile on their faces has to be the number one priority.

In order to not make basic errors such as offering poor quality services and letting hygiene standards slip, team up with a full-service spa consultancy like Spa Creators early on. We can help you to navigate the usual pitfalls and we can offer you decades’ worth of industry-tailored advice that could help turn lukewarm customer reviews into glowing customer reviews that you are proud to have showing up on your Google rating. To get started, simply click here to make an enquiry.

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