Having written about the other four main spa joints in Panjim – Snip, Sephora, Deltin, and Waterleaf – there was no reason for me not to cover Vida. Actually there are a few others, like the one in Miramar which is called “Elements” or something like that. I have been there too but the quality of the place was so low that I never felt motivated enough to write an article about them. Let me dwell on this aspect a little more. “Elements” or other massage shops like them work on an “agency” model. Some not so good hotels and many taxi drivers work as agents of the massage shops. In addition, those massage shops offer free pick-up and drop from/to the hotel and hence a few unsuspecting customers keep dropping in even if for the first and the last time.
Vida Salon & Spa Panjim
Actually this “agency” business has something to do with Vida as well. First, their front desk had a brochure announcing free pick-up/drop facility. Second, whenever I asked a taxi driver in Panjim about massage, they mentioned a place behind the post office but did not say the name. Well, if they told me the name of the place, maybe I could go there on my own and thus robbing the taxi driver of his commission that Vida would give him.
My fate finally took me to Vida. I first got to hear the name of the place and some other details from a masseuse in The Spa at Deltin Suites. She was good and said that earlier she had worked at Vida. I had then decided to visit Vida but got to do it only when I was forced to check-out of my hotel – Country Inn & Suites Panjim – at 12:00 while my flight was leaving Dabolim at 19:15 that day. I had a lot of time to kill and spending some of that getting a massage seemed like a good idea.
Vida Salon & Spa is not exactly behind the post office. It is actually the Head Post Office that you will come across walking from the Opd Patto Bridge side and going towards the Old Secretariat. Cross the post office and then take the second left turn. Keep walking straight a little and you will see Vida on the left side of the road.You will get the idea of the exact location from the map above. The location can be enlarged by clicking on it. Their postal address is: 1/37, Luis De Menezes Road, Behind Head Post Office, St. Tome, Panjim, Goa and their phone numbers are 91-832-2222229, 8888885045, and 7770094647. Operating hours are 11:00 to 21:00 with the last appointment at 20:00 hrs.
What To Expect
The place is officially a “Salon & Spa” but I did not see much beauty/make-up business happening there. The menu did include several pages of beauty treatments though. Massage services menu was basic and no different from any other similar establishment in Goa:
Aroma Massage – Rs. 2000 (60 Minutes)
Swedish Massage – Rs. 2300 (60 Minutes)
Thai Massage – Rs. 2500 (60 Minutes)
Balinese Massage – Rs. 2500 (60 Minutes)
Indian Herbal Compress – Rs. 2500 (60 Minutes)
Cream Massage – Rs. 2500 (60 Minutes)
Vida Signature Massage – Rs. 3300 (90 Minutes)
If you ask the front office staff at Vida or elsewhere in Goa, this is what they will tell you about this menu: Aroma Massage is gentle and low pressure, Swedish is a little less gentle, and Balinese is a strong massage. No one in these establishments knows anything more than that and frankly all massages in the menu are practically the same no matter by what name they are called. “Signature” massage is also the same but with the exception of a longer duration. At Vida, “Signature” massage also gets you 10 minutes of a Steam session before shower whereas the others include shower only. All 60 minutes massages actually last for 45 minutes and the last 15 minutes are saved for the shower. The 90 minute “Signature” massage similarly lasts 75 minutes.
Massage Cabin & Massage Quality
The massage cabin that I got was decent sized with a high bed. There was a steam/shower cabin in one corner and a small table in the other corner where they had kept some of their stuff. There was no cabinet but only a hanger strip behind the room door where I got to hang my clothes. The massage bed was covered with a disposable sheet, so the hygiene part was almost taken care of. The steam cabin was also clean. Disposable underwear was provided.
The massage itself was nothing to be called “Signature”. In other words, if their Signature massage was so ordinary, I wonder how others would be. The masseuse from Arunachal Pradesh seemed untrained or was very new to the profession. The oil she used was a mystery because it was neither hot nor smelled good. The massage ended after 65 minutes instead of the promised 75. Perhaps they start counting 75 minutes immediately after making the payment.
The steam session was good because the steam was not too hot. After 10 minutes of steam the masseuse came back to the room, switched off the steam and guided me on how to use the shower controls. There was shower gel and shampoo but no shower cap. There was a fresh towel and to help me get ready she somehow found a comb that I had asked for. There was no mirror in the room. In comparison, the rooms at Snip are much better.
No Green Tea
There was no herbal tea or whatever after the massage. Upon asking I got some drinking water in a plastic glass.
Not Enough Value For the Money
I think the commissions that Vida pays to hotels and to the taxi drivers are the reason for the lack of facilities and the overall low value for the customers. I don’t think I will go back there.