This is a review of the Good Spa in Weligama. I wasn't compensated any way to write this review. Why would a blogger write a review if not for the compensation? Well first, because already after my first visit to the spa I felt at least five years younger, and that's quite an achievement! And second, because my blog is so new with so little following that there's no one who would be crazy enough to compensate me for a review. It would be like writing your advertisement on a piece of paper and then letting it go in the wind.
No, really. Let's get back to seriousness.
I'm not overly renowned as a regular visitor to spas. I don't know, I wasn't raised to pay too much attention to preserving my health. It was pretty much the general point of view from where I come from. But it must be a matter of experience also. Up to this date, I've had some OK and some shitty experiences, so I wasn't too eager to try all the spas I came across.
But this was an experience like never before. So good, that I'll be hunting for spas from now on.
Take my advice and invest a little more money in a massage or other spa treatment. In Sri Lanka for example, a lot of spice gardens and other tourist attractions offer massage, some will even tell you it's free. We were stupid enough to try one of these "free massages" 6 years ago. Believe me, if something goes wrong - let's say the hand of your masseur in the wrong place - it won't be literally free for you at the end.
Weligama sees a lot of tourists every year, coming from pretty much all over the world, mainly for one reason. To grab one of these...
And then catch one of these... or more...
My experience so far with surfing is that I like to watch surfers doing their thing in the waves. As far as I understand, it can be pretty hard on the muscles, so after a good surfing session (or more) a lot of them do yoga, for example, to stretch and relax the cramped muscles.
Another alternative to being able to walk like a homo sapiens after intensive surfing is a good massage. And we are already on spot.
If you ever started playing with the idea of visiting southern Sri Lanka, you must have come across the name of a town called Galle. It is not far from here, and the old Dutch fort is a massive tourist destination with some fantastic boutiques, restaurants and also a few spas.
Why didn't I do a review on some of the spas in Galle Fort for example? Probably many more travellers are willing to read about Galle than Weligama... Well, I have a good reason.
Checked the reviews on TripAdvisor. Since a recent pretty bad experience with good review scores on one of the booking engines, I developed the time consuming bad habit of reading through the most recent reviews. I checked the reviews of the spas in Galle Fort and decided that life is too short for me to pay a visit to these establishments.
You'll find the spa outside of the buzzing city centre, in a part of Weligama called Pelena. I think the location is superb, it's tranquil but still easily reachable from town. I like to walk, and I would be happy to walk there from the town centre where we live... at 25 degrees Celsius. Since that's not the temperature we're experiencing, I'm going by tuk-tuk, and after a little haggling, it costs me 200 Rupees one-way, which is approximately 1 USD today (17. April. 2018).
The Spa is on the bank of the Polwatta River (Polwatta Ganga), and what a location it is! Just amazing! It is super relaxed, and as you are on the riverbank you have good chances of some kind of air moving through the premises, there's greenery everywhere, a lot of birds singing and flying, the sight of the river itself, it's all so peaceful.
You won't be very surprised if I tell you that I love the design. It is modern and minimal, the polished cement and the natural materials make such a wonderful combination. The main colours, black and purple are very powerful together. Opened at the end of October 2017, the Good Spa's whole appearance has a certain ease but still feels luxurious.
There are a few tables with chairs close to the river, you can enjoy some refreshment there, after the massage. You can choose between tea, coffee and cold natural tea. Drinking water is free of charge, just ask.
The rooms where you get the massage are spacious and well designed. All but one therapy rooms have two massage tables, so it is suitable for couples or friends wanting to have a treatment together. One room has only one massage table (no bathroom here), this is dedicated especially for shirodara. There's a bath attached to every massage room, some come with a shower, others with a shower and a bathtub, and the most amazing design. Live trees are incorporated in the bathrooms, which have no ceiling, so it feels like you are having a shower or a bath outside in nature.
There are five therapists, all local ladies, who got professional training well before the spa was opened. They get regular training ever since from a Russian osteopathic doctor. Next season you might meet a staff of 8 lovely ladies.
You can choose from massages and beauty treatments, including waxing! I was surprised to find out that waxing is indeed a very rare treatment in Sri Lanka, so this is an interesting opportunity if you fancy this type of hair removal and you're based in/around Weligama.
Massages and beauty treatments
At the time of writing, the Good Spa offers these treatments:
Good Spa massage: one-hour full body massage with long, slow strokes to relax the body entirely.
Deep tissue massage: one of my favourites, one-hour full body massage, it's really efficient against deep-rooted tension.
Aromatherapy massage: this is a 2-step one-hour massage. First, you get a full body massage with infused oil, then in the second phase it is followed by a warm herbal compress, gently pressed/tapped along your spine, neck and shoulders.
Detox cellulite massage: frankly, if I have to explain this, it means that you don't need it. Again one hour.
Ayurveda massage: one-hour of deep, slow movement goodness carried out with lemongrass oil.
Rhythm massage: one-hour neck and shoulder massage with an extra focus on the back.
Muscle melt reflexology: 30-minute leg and foot massage with herbal infusion and mint oil.
Oriental head massage: starts with the neck and shoulder areas and then moves towards the scalp, done with aromatic oils, again 30 minutes.
Facial massage: starts with cleansing and includes neck and shoulder also, 30 minutes.
Some other treatments you can indulge in:
Body wrap: 30 minutes and you can choose from a tropical clay and herbal wrap for body contour or a honey-sandalwood-turmeric wrap to replenish and cool your body.
Scrubs: 30-minute treatment. Again you have two choices, "herbal milky" is excellent for sensitive skin as it improves the skin texture and moisturises too, and the "sea salt" which restores dull skin.
You can even have a 30-minute herbal or milk bath.
And the inevitable shirodara: this is a traditional 30-minute massage. It is very special indeed. Warm herbal oil is being rhythmically poured on the "third eye" chakra. Generally, it is completed with a head and shoulder massage. It is said to treat stress, insomnia and hypertension.
You can book your massage or treatment here.
Now to my surprise, this is something extremely rare in Sri Lanka. It doesn't go for everyone, but because of the climate it can be tricky to avoid inflammation on the waxed skin, so do this with care and attention and use proper treatment afterwards. Should you have any questions or concerns about waxing, ask the manager of the spa in advance.
There is only one lady in the spa doing the waxing, so be sure to book your appointment well in advance.
I tried the deep tissue massage and the aromatherapy massage. Both were very good and high-quality treatments. The deep tissue was an excellent choice for me as I'm sitting A LOT lately. Actually, I'm sitting at the computer all day, and I have a lot of deep-rooted tension. Sometimes it feels like I don't have anything else, just deep tension in my body...
I knew this kind of massage, so I was prepared for some pain. The thing I wasn't prepared of, was my body's extremely run-down condition. My therapist (I forgot to ask her name) was really good, she did a professional job. I could feel that this is going to be something special even while she was still doing the massage. And I was so right. The pain disappeared quickly, and I started to feel like a feather. Or like if I wasn't walking but levitating a few centimetres above the ground. I was smiling all day. I mean ALL DAY. Seriously. I didn't smile this much in a year. It was the kind of "Man, I'm alive, I really am alive!!!" smile.
The other massage I tried was the aromatherapy one. Very different and very relaxing. It begins with a massage with infused oil which is followed by a warm compress gently tapped along the whole body. The latter is made with warm oil and local medicinal herbs. It was heavenly. Again, I felt very relaxed and like a feather afterwards.
Ok, so this is the place in the post where you would expect a picture of me coming out of the massage room, looking five years younger, smiling like crazy and levitating a few centimetres above the ground... sorry everyone, I was just too busy feeling good... maybe next year!
To the end
I was very pleased with what I found at the Good Spa in Weligama. I love the location, the design of the whole spa is something I really appreciate. I loved the therapists, who were kind and professionally trained. I loved to chat with Olya, the manager of the spa.
So am I converted for spas? Well, pretty much.
Coming to Weligama? Check out these wonderful cafés and restaurants.