[Quest for a Massage] Buried under Hot Stones in B&K

My quest for a massage continues after a short break. Since I have already experienced most of the classical types, I have decided to transfer myself from the category of Newbie Amateurs to the Connoisseurs. And, voila, my dear friends, Groupon has reacted promptly by sending me a wonderfully looking deal for a Hot Stone Massage. My curious brain immediately passed the signal to my fingers, and here I am, searching for the address in the navigator.

Another reason that attracted me to the existing deal, is the promising statement in the advertising that ambitiously claimed that the personal was speaking Russian. “Interesting!” I thought, and instead of closing the page for good (which would be the most sensible thing to do), pressed “Buy” button. Why am I always looking for troubles?

B&K Lifestyle Spa

104 York Street, London W1H 4QL


Approaching the salon, I’ve already felt that it’s gonna be exactly the type of service described in my previous article. Well, actually, it was already clear from our telephone conversation. Hearing a strong Russian accent “on the other side of the wire”, I switched to Russian, and caught a tremendous change of intonation. I think I could even feel jaw muscles relax and starting to sound as natively careless as it could be.

I was “greeted” by a very dominantly looking lady, who was mostly busy by talking on the phone, and I can assure you that the talk was not business related. She didn’t seem very excited about me speaking her native language, and stared at me with suspicion when I presented her my business card. I am sure that when the door closed behind me,  it went directly to the rubbish bin. Well, too bad for them.

When I was waiting in the narrow lobby, which served as the reception room, hairdresser’s and manicure room at the same time (see pictures below), I was praying it will not be as horrible as it looked. Another lady was doing somebody’s nails, and the client didn’t seem to be very happy. Or, may be, it’s just my imagination.

My massagist was a very nice and amiable looking lady, though. Russian, of course. Like all of them she looked a bit terrified, when I started talking her language.  I asked if I could visit the lady’s room, and she told me that the one they have is busy at the moment, and if I don’t want to wait, I can use a “non-official” one. I wasn’t sure what it meant. “Time is money,” I thought. So,  I agreed, and found myself in a dusty closet, which, to put it mildly, wasn’t inspiring at all.

When I was finally lying on a massage table smelling a strange subtile odour of towels, I have decided to ask a couple of questions about the treatment I am about to experience. At that moment she was putting the stones on my back, covered with another towel.

Could you tell me a bit what are the benefits of this kind of a massage? – I asked. She seemed to be very confused.

Erm.. Well.. It is hot, and is very good in winter. And it has the stones.. – she replied.

I was a bit surprised by that kind of answer, as I am used to massagists being absolute experts in their area, talking so much I sometimes want to shut them up. I was expecting a long talk, explaining all the wonderful qualities of this treatment and trying to sell me much more. Nothing of that sort! But I wasn’t giving up.

OK.. But what is the difference between the classical massage and the hot stone massage? – I asked again.

Well… Erm.. The difference is that with the classical massage you are doing everything with fingers, and with the hot stone massage it is just stones. Nothing else. May be… just oil. And that’s it.

I wasn’t sure I understood her correctly, and after this remark I was really scared that she will leave me laying with the stones on my back for the rest of the time.

Luckily, it wasn’t the case. In fact, she was holding the stones in her fingers and performing the massage with it. I must confess it was a nice and pleasant feeling, but I was more curious in finding the answers now.

– Are these stones any different from any other stones, that you can find on the street?

– Oh yes, they are different. I am not sure how exactly, but this is certainly true.

– Have you tried it yourself?

– To be honest, I haven’t managed yet. I am more towards the classic one.

Here my jaw started to drop slowly. I couldn’t stop.

– You know, I am quite frequent with the massage, and usually practitioners tell me that I have some knots on the right side of my back. Will this massage be helpful with this?

– I am not sure. I don’t think so. – the answer was.

My jaw dropped even lower. I thought, “OK, you don’t know anything about the massage. But, common, fool me! Sell me the idea! Make me want to come back!

– Oh yes, I see that one side of your back is a little bit higher. – she said.

What???? The knots are not lifting my back. They are not even visible!

– You must be working a lot with the computer. – she added. Bingo!

– Yes, that’s right. – I answer. Now she was trying to be helpful.

– Well, may be you can try moving your PC from time to time. – she suggested.

– Moving it where? – I wondered.

– I don’t know, to the other side of the room. – she said.

– But, how is it going to solve the problem? I will still be using the mouse with my right hand.

– Oh yes, that’s true. *facepalm.

At this point I decided to stop asking questions and just enjoy the massage. On my way from the cabinet, I got lost due to the absence of any signs to the exit. I accidentally climbed a floor higher and found an open door to somebody’s dirty bedroom…

All in all, it wasn’t as effective as I thought. I got the impression that it was more like a new fancy variety for those who don’t know what to do, rather than the actual treatment. I would rather give the prerogative to aroma or deep-tissue massage than returning back to hot stones. But, it’s your life and your choice.

That’s it. I am alive. The End. (;

Feel free to share your funny stories and experiences, and enlighten me with any details about hot stone massage I do not yet know.


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7 Responses to “[Quest for a Massage] Buried under Hot Stones in B&K”
  1. srebrna says:

    A lot of thanks for all your valuable hard work on this website.

  2. Gaylord Curlis says:

    I got what you mean , regards for putting up.Woh I am thankful to find this website through google.

  3. vilks12 says:

    Good adventure ! It was very intriguing to read…. 🙂

  4. Ferranerran says:

    Really interesting post. I was really expecting some kind of “magic” with those kind of massages but it seems that are just fool marketing claim.

    It’s a shame that someone professional, simply does not care about his job. You expect the maximum level of service, and with this crisis times, the business should be trying to be the best of their subject in order to increase the incomes.

    Thanks for the article, I know now where to do not go.

    PD: Did you stole one of those cool stones?

  5. Jenny-Ann Topham says:

    Having just qualified in Hot Stones Fusion massage with a wonderful massage training school in Brighton JING along with a number of already long standing qualified practitioners I urge you to not right off this therapy as it is truly wonderful. You obviously saw a cowboy setup which is dreadful and they should be shutdown.Maybe try to find a JING trained therapist in your area.

    For me the hotstones are a wonderful tool to accompany the therapy I do, gentle therapeutic or deep tissue massages.They say that one stroke with the stones is equivalent to 5 with the hand. It should be warm, deep, smooth and hugely relaxing and comforting. They work at a very deep level so penetrating the muscles and bringing toxins to the surface,and will have a more lasting effect than a traditional treatment.

    Our stones are from various places around the globe and are basalt thus holding the heat longer. They are smooth and beautiful and all individual.
    Please give this wonderful treatment another go!

  6. Thanks for the information. I learned quite a bit from your article.

  7. shamian says:

    I wished I read this before I booked my GROUPON classic massage there. It was so unprofessional and I will never go back there or recommend to anyone. Worst massage ever…….

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