Service_main_r5_c2_f2Burke Williams Spa, 355 Santana Row, Suite 2010, San Jose, CA 95128
Pure Relaxation Massage $105/50 min

San Jose Stage Company, 490 South First Street, San Jose, CA 95113
BeeHive, $35/Saturday Matinee

One important fact I had neglected to mention in my previous posts was that after I had invited my mom down for my Stanford graduation, which happened on a Sunday, I had to fly off to Atlanta and Gaitherburg for business.

Now this would not have been a big issue, except my dear mother was in town for a whole week after the graduation festivities. So, while she was in San Jose “visiting” me, I was flying across this wonderful country of ours. This is where I must pay tribute to my dear husband for keeping my mom company for the week I was gone.

I figured I had to make it up to my mom as best as I could. So a couple of clicks of my mouse and several websites later, I had planned a nice Saturday starting off with a trip to the spa, a musical at the San Jose Stage Company and nice dinner courtesy of moi. This entry is only a review of the former two events as I made dinner and would perhaps be biased to the tastiness of that phase of Saturday. The wonderful thing about this whole Saturday plan was that it was exactly what I needed as well. It did occur to me that perhaps Clint needed the spa treatment more than I did, but that was quite a fleeting thought :-).

So Saturday arrived. Our appointment was for 9 am. My car was in the shop (brakes and O2 sensors) so I had to take Clint’s Audi A6. Luckily it was early and Santana Row (where Burke Williams) is located, was still pretty empty – else I would have probably put dent into his car as it’s much bigger than mine.

Burke Williams’ motto is “Beyond the Spa”. Now I have been to quite a couple of spas and am a self-professed massage junkie. One simple utter of the word massage and I’ll be a whirl of clothing tossed in the air, a quick thump and yours truly would be found face down lying on the massage table. Does not take a lot of convincing. Anyways I can say I have some expertise in assessing the finer details of spa management. My mom and I flocked to Burke Williams like bees to honey on this Saturday. It all starts off with the climb up the Hotel Valencia curved stone stairs to the top of the solid & heavy wooden doors. These doors, my friend, are the ones to Shangri-La. One quick swoop and the doors open. The ambiance and lighting are perfect – my mom and I were already feeling relaxed. We got our locker keys and signed in without a hitch. Now, what makes Burke Williams so great is the Locker Rooms. There you will find nice fluffy robes, large showers with body sprays (like ours at home, but a lot more water pressure) and wonderful smelling lotions and potions. Even before the massage treatment, I take a nice relaxing hot shower, dry off and get into the waiting area. The waiting area at Burke’s have nice plush recliners, think curtain to divide each recliner and a personal light that you can turn off or leave on. I turned my light off, reclined in the chair and peered lazily over at my mom who was doing the same thing. Yes, the experience is truly beyond the spa. Even before our treatment, we already felt coddled in our own cocoon. Promptly at 9 am, our respective masseuses called us for our appointments. I followed mine to my treatment room. What makes Burke’s a step up from all the other spas I’ve been to is the attention to detail. All the way from the soft colors on the walls, the ultra-plush carpets, the warm cast of the sconces, the distinctive smell of their signature lotions and the relaxing sounds of the water fountains. Everything to rock you into a state of pure relaxation, even before you step into the treatment room.

The massage was excellent, and I am quite critical. The massage was the right firmness, I liked the techniques used and there was the little extras such as the hot neck roll, the hot towel on the back and the warmed up bath robe on the way out. My masseuse also gave me one of the better scalp massages I have had – this is really a fine art. Burke Williams may be a tad more expensive than the other spas in the area, but well worth it. For me, a spa is suppose to be pure indulgence, no expense should be spared to get the ultimate experience.

Bee Next on the list was BeeHive. It is a fast-paced musical which takes the audience back to the days of the big hair beehive with catchy songs such as “My Boyfriend’s Back” and “Stop in the Name of Love”. I had read great reviews of the musical and thought it would be an energetic and fun play. We met up with Clint for lunch and then went to the San Jose Stage Company.  I had frequented this place on two other occasions and each time I go, I always think that I should be attending more performances at this wonderful local arts venue. The last thing I saw there was Buddy Holly. The music started off with a bang and by the end of it, even though I didn’t live in that era, I had a little nostalgic lump in throat. There were many people in the audience who lived during the era of big hair and I had a brief reflection of what type of person I would be when I am in my 60’s or 70’s.

Loni Stark is an artist at Atelier Stark, self-professed foodie, and adventure travel seeker who has a lifelong passion for technology’s impact on business and creativity. She collaborates with Clinton Stark on video projects for Atelier Stark Films. It’s been said her laugh can be heard from San Jose all the way up to the Golden Gate Bridge. She makes no claims to super powers, although sushi is definitely her Kryptonite.