As a collective, Sean and I are a mixed bag when it comes to self-care. We are both extroverted introverts, so we are both quite good at recognizing when we need to disconnect from the world and relax. It’s very much required in the Foreign Service lifestyle if you ask me. But sometimes it goes too far. He can veg out on the couch for eight hours straight playing Xbox (currently it’s Formula 1 which is extra annoying because all I hear is race car noises for HOURS) and I can dive headfirst into a book for days and almost forget to shower.
One area we are particularly bad at in terms of self-care is any kind of pampering. We’ve been lucky these past two tours to live in a part of the world where spa treatments such as massages are relatively cheap, yet we hardly take advantage. The last time we got massages in Tbilisi was at the Radisson in October as a belated birthday present for me. Unless of course, you count my first experience at the Sulfur Baths, but for the purpose of this blog post, I’m not. We were overdue for a peaceful day to ourselves.
For some strange reason, right before we left for Tbilisi, Sean got himself hooked on flotation therapy. You know, that weird sensory deprivation thing where you literally float in solitude for 30-90 minutes in overly salty water? I know he loves it, but to me, the idea of being totally alone with my thoughts in water sounds like an ACTUAL NIGHTMARE. Oddly, the Sam Raan Spa and Wellness Center in Tbilisi has a floatation room, so when I suggested we spend July 4 pampering ourselves, the main caveat was that we try out this place so he could float. Thus, we ended up here.
Sam Raan Spa has an extensive treatment list. If you’ve spent any time in Tbilisi, you’ve probably unknowingly seen their advertisements everywhere: those pictures of people getting wine baths or facials. We didn’t try anything quite that adventurous for our first visit – just a couples massage, pedicure for me, and flotation for him. Finding the spa is a bit strange since it’s in the basement of the Socar building, but once you get down to the main entrance, you’re instantly transported to a life of tranquility.
The facility is beautifully decorated, the staff is friendly and helpful, and our experience was lovely. There are lockers for your belongings both at the front desk, which is continuously monitored and in the locker rooms. We had our massages first so after changing into our fluffy white robes, we reconvened outside the treatment room for a quick questionnaire. The masseuses asked us before our massages what kind of pressure we were comfortable with, and tailored our experiences to our personal needs. Afterward, he went on to float while I got my toes done (they were long overdue). With the purchase of our massages and Sean’s float, we also were given access to the pool, sauna, steam rooms, salt room, and thermal beds, which we also enjoyed,
Now one thing I will say, I would absolutely return to the spa, but I’ll stick to my favorite nail salon for pedicures. There was nothing wrong with my experience – it was clean, comfortable, professional, and my toes are still bright coral – but overall, I prefer a place that specializes in nails and only nails. Plus, the other salon is a bit cheaper. In short, I’d say this: come for the spa, return for the spa, and skip the rest.
I really enjoyed the experience we had at Sam Raan, and I know Sean did as well. I’m very confident this will be our new go-to spot whenever we are due for some much-needed pampering.