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Burke Williams Review: San Jose Spa and Massage


Burke Williams San Jose

This post is a review on spa services from Burke Williams in San Jose, California. This isn't the the typical blog associated with training and performance but keep in mind, massage can be utilized as an alternative recovery method and recovery is just as important to your health and wellness next to your training and nutrition.


For those who are not familiar with Burke Williams, Burke Williams is a European inspired luxury spa that provides a number of services which includes massages, facials, skin care, nail care, spa bath and chiropractic work.


I've had my fair share of deep tissue massages, chiropractic care and spa experiences at other high end wellness locations but I wasn't familiar with Burke Williams until I was gifted a massage. After reading about them before my visit, I was curious to see if they would, in their words, "provide me a sanctuary."


Overview

  • Arrival and welcoming

  • The tour

  • Men's spa

  • Massage service

  • Massage service comparison

  • Service fees and would I return

  • Pros and cons

  • Final thoughts


Arrival and Welcoming


San Jose, Burke Williams is located in a Santa Row suite on the second floor. Upon your arrival, you enter the vicinity via two large doors where you're promptly greeted by their staff who will ask for your name and appointment time. If you're a first time visitor, I suggest you let them know so they can give you spa tour; Because it was my first time, I took advantage of the tour.


Once checked in, the staff member handed me a locker room key and led me to a second pair of doors which took me into the lounge area. Here is where visitors wait for their appointment, enjoy some socialization time and or purchase Burke Williams products. I waited for about 5 minutes before my tour guide to show me around.



The Tour

Burke Williams

The tour didn't take long. In a quick breakdown, the tour guide first showed me the refreshment stand and quiet rooms that were located in the lounge area then led me into the men's spa space where he showed me the jacuzzi, cold deluge, wet sauna, dry sauna, showers, accessible towels, restroom amenities and lockers.


Men's Spa Space


Burke Williams was created for visitors to not only receive wellness services but to also provide guests the opportunity to spend their day relaxing before and or after their services. During my visit, I was determined to use everything I could before my appointment.


I started with the wet sauna. Having experienced a number of wet saunas, this one was no different; a space with tiled floors and seats. One downfall to this wet sauna was how loud it got when additional steam was released. It was an aggravating sound to listen to when trying to "relax"; imagine a fire extinguisher being released next to your ears.


After 15 minutes in the wet sauna, I attempted to visit the dry sauna however it was out of service. Based on what I could see from the entrance door, it was also no different from any other dry sauna I've used in the past. Small space with wooden seats.


Since I couldn't use the dry sauna, I used my remaining time in the jacuzzi. Although, still a

Burke Williams

small space, I believe this is the best amenity of the spa. Considering my experience at other facilities with Jacuzzi's, this one was pristine without any sign of dirt or skin particles. Additionally, the jets were evenly spaced and released much more power compared to others.


Finally, before my massage service, I freshened up with their showers. Burke Williams provides three private showers that are European themed. Each shower is stocked with pump bottles filled with Burke Williams branded shampoo, conditioner and body wash. I loved the smell of each soap but my favorite was the body wash which gave off a lemon scent.



To also note, Burke Williams provides extra amenity's in the wash space compared to a standard gym. Items include special scented hand soap, after shave, body moisturizer, mouth wash, tooth brushes, disposable razors and Q-tips.


Burke Williams

Massage Service


After enjoying my time in the men's spa, it was time for my 50 minute, relaxation massage with a detoxifying enhancement. In the co-ed lounge, the host will ask for your name and will contact the therapist notifying them of your arrival. Waiting for only about 5 minutes, my massage therapist greeted me and brought me to another space which included all the private massage rooms.


Upon entering our reserved room, she asked what areas on my body needed more attention and if there are any areas that were off limits. With all the training I do, I of course told her to focus mostly on my back and shoulders. After this clarification, she explained the process for a detoxifying massage.


In a nutshell, my therapist used certain aromas, salt and solutions on my body to remove toxins. Before she worked on a certain muscle, she would gently spread and scrub the solution on the muscle then would begin the massage. Following this process allowed her to first open the pores to release toxins and then release tension through massage.


This 50 minute massage was completed with what felt like a variety of hand positions such as finger tips, knuckles and fists with support from a heat stone. Below is the following order of the muscles she massaged:


Prone Position (Laying on Stomach) :

Shoulders and upper back

Neck

Hamstrings and hips

Calves and feet

Left arm and hands

Right arm and hands

Neck


Supine Position (Laying on Back):

Shoulders and upper back

Feet, shins and quads

Hips

Shoulders and upper back


Burke Williams

After the massage, my therapist subtly rang a chime signaling the completion of my massage. Unknowingly, at the beginning of my my massage when I was already face down, she took my robe and placed it in a heating box, so when my massage was over, my robe was comfortably heated for me.


Upon walking me back to the waiting lounge, she handed me a small cup of water and gifted me a small bag with a scented sachet and a heart stone which was similar to the stone she used on my body.


Post Massage and Paying for Service


Post massage, visitors are allowed to continue their day in the spa to take advantage of the amenities however I made my way back to the men's lounge to gather my personal items and pay for my service at the check-in desk. Paying was fairly easy. The staff will ask for your name and ask if you would like to charge the service onto the same credit card that was used to reserve your appointment and ask if you would like to leave your tip on the card. If you plan on tipping cash, they have separate envelopes you can place your tip in and drop into their tip box.


Massage Service Comparison


I've been to a number of more affordable walk-in feet and body massages, have had professional massages in commercial facilities like massage Envy, have had other luxurious spa massages and have had massages in a doctors office. I will admit, this massage does come in second place; my first place experience was on a Disney Cruise Line spa.


However, it is important to keep in mind, that even though this is a Burke Williams review, the massage service is more of a review for the actual therapist. I can't speak for the other massage therapists at Burke Williams, but my massage therapist, Denise was phenomenal and I wish I could have had more time with her. I truly believe Denise knew the anatomy of the body and did not contort, place pressure or strike the body in any way that could cause pain or damage.



What Are the Prices and Would I Return?


I will always share with my readers and clients that you can never put a price on your health and wellness but I also understand it's also important to prioritize putting bread on the table for you and your family. So far, Burke Williams prices (2022) tops every other massage and spa service I've had, except the Disney Cruise Line. My 50 minute relaxation massage cost $140 and adding in the detoxifying enhancement was an additional $35 totaling my service to $175.


Here are pure relaxation massage prices as of 2021:

25 minutes non-member: $100

25 minutes member: $95


50 minutes non-member: $140

50 minutes member: $105


80 minutes non-member: $190

80 minutes member: $145


Here are the membership prices as of 2021:


Essential: $105/month

Receive one 50-minute pure relaxation or spa style facial every month.


Deluxe: $145/month

Receive one 80-minute pure relaxation or spa style facial every month.


Beyond: $175/month

Enjoy all benefits of essential membership plus access to the spa Sunday through Friday.


Pros and Cons


Pros:

Clean spaces

Professional massage therapist

Comfortable and quiet lounges

Offers a list of different spa services

Access to amenities before and after your service


Cons:

Can be pricey

Phones cannot be used in spa space

Sauna's not much difference from commercial spaces

Located in busy, popular shopping center

Parking can be difficult during busy days and times such as weekends

Spa can become crowded during common times and on weekends


Final Thoughts


Would I return to Burke Williams? Comparing my experiences with all my other past massages and their prices, this has been one of the best experiences so far in the Santa Clara County region. I would like to visit again one day to have the opportunity to provide a fair comparison review. Overall, it is an upscale, "wallet-denting" experience, but if finances allow me to put bread on the table for my family and afford another experience at Burke Williams, I would like to make my return.


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