Over the weekend, I treated myself to an early birthday present - to get a massage! This time, I tried sumbody in Alameda - by Park street near the Tomatina, Starbucks and Pippen Hill (Joanna's favorite baby store) and I came out of there feeling great.
First of all, I guess I wasn't expecting a whole lot. I've been to Azul Spa in Berkeley and while the massage was pretty good, I found the ambiance lackluster at best. The partial height partitions made everything bright and I can hear conversations in the main sitting area while I was getting my massage. Now, it's not as nice as International Orange because there, I remember they had a nice lounge with one of the best dark chocolates I've ever tasted in my life - I've even tried to call to see if I can buy those chocolates to no avail. The massage was great there as well. My problem with them is that they don't have easy access from Bart and it's so hard to get parking!
Sumbody is a mixture of the two. It's a small place. I don't recommend having a spa party there since there's really no place to "hang out" and chat, but with that being said, the atmosphere of the spa area is really well done. The rooms are cabanas and the lighting / music fit in to transport you from a typical Alameda storefront to...Some sort of cabana paradise (sorry, I'm no writer). The massage I got was so great, I can't believe 75 minutes went by that fast. The best part? They did not try to sell me their products at the end - coz' I hate that. I always get duped into buying some expensive cream that I never use. Of course, there are a few things they can improve: 1) Add a closer to their door. Sometimes I can hear the door opening and closing (because we are only in tents - no drywall to shield you from the noise) and 2) Splurge on better slippers - one that does not make noise when you walk (because of reason found in #1).
Overall, I loved the experience and was happily surprised that I found a place that's pretty good that is not so far away (like Napa), nor super expensive (like International Orange) and not ugly (Like Azul - sorry). I'm actually thinking of going back there next time I've saved a few bucks. Thanks so Ann - who was a very good!