Twelve or thirteen years ago, as Bruce Schoenberg and his wife Marti were looking into opening a spa in New York City, they wanted something that would clearly separate the street from the serenity people seek out inside. “We wanted something beautifully done that made people feel that they were getting away from the city,” said Mr. Schoenberg, but they also aspired to fill important gaps that they found in the spas they had researched.
“We felt the spa industry needed not only far better customer service but a way to offer spa services to people at an affordable
The first piece of customer service necessity struck him like a light bulb, as he was awaiting service at the front desk of a local business. “The phones don’t ring at reception,” he says, as the Oasis front person is there solely to help the incoming or outgoing customer.
But any idle time before or after treatment aspires to remain in the same relaxing vein as the services you’ve signed up for. With snacks and a tea bar above in the relaxation room and numerous healthy product lines available in the calming lobby, he says, “The beauty of our facility is the real luxury feel to it.” Of course, enjoying the 1000 square foot roof top garden with a good book goes a long way towards equaling the friendly feel on the inside.
Customer service, though, for a spa significantly emanates from the quality of the therapists, which should go beyond the licenses they carry in their wallets. "We are very particular about who we hire," he says.
Oasis looks for beautiful people - meaning a beauty from within that radiates outwardly. "We want people that care about our guests and are empathetic because we are laying our hands on people and you're transferring that vibe," he says.
Additionally, Mr. Schoenberg understands that transferring the right touch on an ongoing basis means a pursuit of knowledge that also goes on uninterrupted. Running monthly in house classes year round, he says, “Our therapists need to be recertified every two years."
This goes way beyond the two year New York State renewal requirement for licensed massage therapists, and when the training is coordinated by someone like Bruce Baltz, state requirements don’t measure up. "Bruce is world famous because he helped create stone massage," says the Hastings on Hudson resident. In turn, the opportunity for ongoing education means turnover at Oasis is very low.
From the top, Mr. Schoenberg doesn’t exclude himself from whathe requires of his employees. A board member of the Spa and Resort Show, he teaches at the Swedish Institute and the Dermal Institute in New York City and is a frequent speaker at numerous conventions such as the International Spa Association and the International Aesthetics and Skin Care Association.
Back in practice, medical type massages like Sports or Deep Tissue certainly provide relief of specific issues but the luxury of the Swedish massage and such also falls under the umbrella of well being to him. Even if coming in just once a month, the impact definitely leaves an important mark on our stressful lives. "What's more important than our health," he asks.
Coming in to address dry skin or unwanted wrinkles certainly can have a beauty component attached to it but he points out that the skin constitutes our largest organ and keeping it healthy is then obvious. Facial or full body, a seaweed or collagen mask penetrates the skin and reinvigorate the body with minerals that might be lacking. Going above and beyond directly from the massage table is the Vichy Shower, which effortlessly removes the treatment material, as it pulsates in and upon the six Chakras.
Oasis also offers a dual massage scenario. Sometimes it's a camaraderie thing to do it with a friend or can have romantic aspects that couples take in together, he says.
With summer approaching, Oasis provides a tan-less bronze body makeup for those shy about being a bit too white in their early summer bathing suit. They’re also ready with the standard wax treatments, while doing what they can about the unpleasantness of the pain. Everybody has a different threshold for pain and we address how to prepare in order to minimize, he says.
Finally, manicures come with all the Oasis amenities but our feet are really a crucial place to start or end, he believes. Calling it the most abused part of our bodies, he says, "It's such a delicious feeling to have your feet pampered.”
And with such a successful enterprise, a number of famous faces are attached to those feet or fingers but Oasis doesn't measure importance by a factor of facial recognition. "Everyone is important to somebody so everyone is important to us," he says.