by Nadine Jolie Courtney
Disney does many things well, but when you think of the “Happiest Place on Earth,” luxury and relaxation aren’t two of the words that immediately spring to mind. More like: stress and crowds.
As a result, my expectations weren’t exactly sky-high for Senses – A Disney Spa, the recently renovated spa at Disney’s flagship hotel The Grand Floridian Resort and Spa. I figured it would be a moderately pleasant experience, but nothing to write home about. Luckily for my stress-levels and my sore feet (trekking around those parks is exhausting!), I was wrong. Senses hits the mark.
Located adjacent to the main Grand Floridian complex, Senses is positioned directly across from the Disney Vacation Club’s newest property: The Villas at the Grand Floridian. This easy access to Disney World’s new VIP property is no accident: Senses spa is designed to whisk you into a magical world, at a price. There’s a kids’ menu featuring a Magical Manicure ($30) and a Princess Pedicure ($45), but the vibe at Senses is decidedly adult and not even remotely budget. This is where Yummy Mummies come to indulge.
Upon entering Senses through a grand mural reminiscent of old Florida, you’re given an infusion of fruit drinks to choose from—mine was a fresh strawberry confection. All the familiar spa elements are there—soothing music, mood lighting, airy decor—with the Victorian vibe common to The Grand Floridian. There are 15 treatment rooms, a steam room, mosaic-tiled whirlpool spa, and even a fitness center, but the focus, of course, is the treatments.
The marquee treatment is called The Grand Getaway, a four-hour extravaganza ($435) featuring an 80-minute Grand Floridian Signature Massage and Wrap, 80-minute Signature Facial, and 80-minute Signature Pedicure. Other standouts include the 50-minute Sweet Red Rose Body Treatment ($145), featuring a cranberry and pomegranate sugar scrub, followed by a rose-petal wrap.
Once you’re peeled off the massage table, you’ll retreat to the relaxation room with a cup of herbal tea, reclining in the chairs surrounded by billowing white curtains and flickering candles.
Happiest Place on Earth? Not while surrounded by crowds…but in the luxurious cocoon of Senses? Absolutely.