Today I went for a facial at Bernadita Beauty Clinic in West Hampstead, NW6. I purchased a voucher a while ago for an acne aimed facial through KGBDeals, which stated that the treatment would involve a facial using oxygen spray technology, plus a back, neck and shoulder massage. My appointment was for 3pm today and when I arrived, I was asked for my voucher. I got out my iPhone app to show my voucher and I was told that this wasn’t good enough as it would be too hard to make a note of the number. It’s worth noting that I’ve been to quite a few KGBDeals and Groupon deals where this has never been a problem, but nevertheless, I offered to write down the details so that they didn’t have to. I was told that there has been quite a few problems with KGBDeals as the clinic owner/manager (I’m assuming the lady was Bernadita herself, so for ease I’ll refer to her as Bernadita from now on) felt that the deal had been misrepresented. More on that later….
Whilst Bernadita was very chatty, I felt that her approach to my experience was unprofessional. I realise I’ve paid a lower cost by going through a group buying site, but I’ve never felt like I was being treated as less of a customer because of this. However, Bernadita very much made me feel like she was doing me a favour by allowing me to visit her clinic today. Thankfully, the treatment ended up being given to me by her colleague who was very apologetic and a really lovely girl.
There are two treatment rooms in the salon, but one was being used when I arrived so I was kept waiting. I wasn’t informed I’d be kept waiting, I just overheard Bernadita say to her colleague that she was running late so the lady (me) would have to wait. As I mentioned earlier, my appointment was for 3pm. At 3.52 I was told to come through for my treatment. I’ve never in my life had to wait so long for an appointment and I was really surprised that not only did I have to wait, but that no apology for being kept waiting had been offered.
Now on to the treatment. The facial and massage itself was actually really great. The facial involved a lot of massage and felt very pampering. The lady who treated me (Bernadita’s colleague) seemed very confident and able with her technique and both her facial and upper body massage were excellent. The cleansing was gentle yet thorough and the upper body massage occurred during the mask which is something I really like during a facial. A pet hate of mine is to be left alone whilst the mask is setting during a facial, as I always find that quite lazy; if I’m booking in for an hour’s treatment, I want to feel like I’m being treated for the whole hour! I’m always a bit dubious about facials aimed at treating acne as they can often be too vigorous, but this was a really gentle and soothing treatment. The main reason I booked in for this specific facial was because I was quite excited to try an oxygen treatment. When I asked what this would involve I was informed that KGBDeals shouldn’t have advertised it as an oxygen treatment as that wasn’t part of the deal. Obviously this was really disappointing, but all wasn’t lost as the treatment itself was great.
The salon is put together rather strangely. The two rooms are next to each other and partitioned by a mirrored wall, which in itself isn’t too strange, but the wall ends about 2 foot before the ceiling, so you can hear everything happening in the other room. This meant that during my supposedly relaxing treatment, I got to enjoy hearing a lady having a pedicure; I heard her toe nails get clipped, her nails get filed, her feet get buffed….you get the picture. Another thing that I felt was really unprofessional was that Bernadita came in several times during my treatment to get things and as the room is so small I got knocked a couple of times as she moved around. Again, no apology was offered.
In conclusion, the most annoying thing about this experience is that the treatment itself would have encouraged me back, but there’s no way I’m returning as I didn’t feel the way I was treated was conducive to a positive experience. Surely the idea of these group buying deals is that it gives the business a chance to expose themselves to a great audience with the hope that they’ll make a positive enough impression to ensure repeat business. In my experience, this has always been the case; I’ve been treated really well on every deal I’ve bought and have gone back to salons and clinics because I found them through a group buying site. I can’t quite believe the treatment I received today, I only hope that it was purely because I was on a deal and not how the salon conducts normal business. As a final thought, the girl who treated me was very apologetic about the whole thing and knew that I was unimpressed, so it’s such a shame that I won’t be going back for another treatment with her as if I were to base the experience solely on the interactions I had with her, I’d definitely be going back again.
Bernadita Beauty Clinic can be found here. As the facial I had wasn’t the one that was advertised, I’m unsure of normal pricing or details.