Maui, Hawaii, USA
We’ve been testing out massage parlors on Maui for years now. Most are outrageously expensive (ex. at the big resorts.) But we just found one that does incredible massages for a decent price. Massage Maui in front of the Sugar Beach Resort is outstanding.
The location is great because it’s easily accessible for anyone on the south side (Makena, Wailea, Kihei), not more than 30-45 minutes from the West side (Lahaina, Kaanapali, Kapalua), and a short hop from the North side (Kahului, Wailuku, Paia.)
The inside is large enough for at least a few people to get massages simultaneously. The Asian decor and ambiance is quiet and soothing. Our Masseuses were ready for us right away for our appointment. They asked how hard a pressure we preferred, and I told her my preference for really getting in there. She knocked out some serious knots, and somehow knew exactly where they were. She asked what I did for a living and about any troubled areas. I gave her pretty general areas, and she found the exact points immediately.
If you want to save money while getting a great massage in Maui, go to Massage Maui at the Sugar Beach Resort. The big resorts charge a lot more for 1/2 the massage. We were really pleased and plan on going back. Call them at (808) 357-7317 to book your massage.
Visiting friends in the tier 2 city of Dalian, we were taken to the best spot in town for a massage. We walked past a dozen or so piles of burning trash to a dirty sliding glass window in a large industrial building. OK, first signs of discomfort reached.
We walk into a small room (100-150 sq ft) with 4 people, and 2 massage tables. Our masseuses were blind (the leading job for blind people in China. In fact, I’m pretty sure this job is reserved for blind people.) We lay down on our respective tables and the massage begins. The massage was actually pretty good (they practice more medicinal massage, which hurts like hell, but I like it.)
My wife told be about 2 things that disturbed her.
- In some massage parlors, the hole you put your face through when lying down sometimes will have a bowl of water and flowers under it for you to look at. My wife had the lovely view of a box holding dirty, smelly jars.
- She also made the mistake of using the bathroom. She’s still scarred from the experience. Apparently, it was a hole in the ground and the entire room was beyond filthy.
Our massage ended with us getting up and dressed with close to 20 people crammed in the room. Most of them had been smoking and conversing loudly in Mandarin during our last half of the massage. The room was hardly large enough for 4 of us, but they were all fascinated to see westerners in these parts. People were all over, sitting on tables, on file cabinets, and practically squeezed into every nook smoking feverishly. Needless to say, we won’t be getting a massage there again.
THE BEST VALUE
$3-250/hour (depending on location)
Though you can get massages for as little as $3 on the beach, or as much as $250 at a resort, finding a good masseuse in Bali has nothing to do with price. Most massages you’ll get are by untrained hands trying to make a buck. Even the expensive resort massages (though better than the ones on the beach) sometimes are not all that great.
The best massage we had was at a hole in the wall spot in Seminyak (many of the best spots are in places you wouldn’t think) with a bunch of young girls. My wife and I each had a 4 hand massage (20 fingers each) for 1 1/2 hours at $15 per client. Incredible value because these girls knew what they were doing. If we can find this place again, we’ll be back.
On the other hand, we had a different 4 hand massage at a place in Kuta with a bunch of similar girls. Unfortunately, these ones were loud, laughing and talking the whole time. They were not well trained, and at one point I found an unwanted fist up my bum. We’ll stay VERY clear of this spot.
Great tips. Will certainly check out Bali. There’s nothing like a great massage while you face the ocean and hear the waves crashing on the shore. You may also want to know that some massage establishments also offer soothing sounds that help you relax. These are actually quite effective. Brian