Monday, March 31, 2014

A Yelp Review for BRC Day Spa and Sauna Resort

This has nothing to do with anything on this site. This is purely a way for me to use a personal medium to say some words about a horrid establishment that used to be one of my favorite places to go. I figure even if there is one more avenue for a negative, but truthful, review to get on to the Internets, then the better.

Thank you for indulging me for this moment, oh and NEVER GO TO BRC DAY SPA AND SAUNA RESORT LOCATED AT 24-20 BROADWAY IN FAIR LAWN, NJ.


THIS IS NOT A REVIEW WRITTEN OUT OF HATE. I am not vindictive or biased or one for sensationalism. In fact my three friends and I have been visiting BRC regularly since 2007. Making the 2 hour drive each way from Philadelphia to BRC 5-6 times a year. BRC used to be a haven for us. BRC was the closest we 30-year-olds could do compare something to Christmas morning. But after what happened on our most recent trip, it is with great sadness that I say it is doubtful we will ever go to BRC again.

ON OUR MOST RECENT TRIP THE DAY WAS unfolding like any other trip in the past. We were there at 11am, we purchased rounds of beer, ate food, went to the different rooms, paid for some of their high end services, laughed, joked, and had a blast. But as our day came to a close, our Russian friend who originally brought us there those 7 years ago, went to get one of our final rounds of beer. He was subsequently denied. Then for reasons that are still unclear, he was asked to leave. When one of us went up to inquire what happened, the manager said that they were no longer comfortable serving him, and to control the alcohol we would need to walk up and purchase individual beers. We agreed to that as it is within any establishments right and legal standing to not over serve. But when we went up to buy our individual beers, we too were cut off and denied. Needless to say, this was unwarranted.

I WILL CAPITULATE THAT ONE OF US MIGHT HAVE BEEN TOO DRUNK IN THE EYES OF BRC STAFF, but all of us? No, sir. The blatant disrespect that was shown to all of us as customers is inexcusable. Even the most common dive bars in Philadelphia at least give you the courtesy of an explanation. If one member of your group is too out of control, then you are given the opportunity to "take care of him." You aren't just randomly asked to leave. But to treat long-time customers that they knew this way? Unbelievable.

THEY TREATED US WITH EXTREME PREJUDICE AND INJUSTICE. We were not granted the most basic terms of the business and customer relationship, let alone the fact that pretty much the ENTIRE STAFF KNEW WE WERE LOYAL CUSTOMERS and had been there dozens of times. The kicker was as we were leaving some of the employees on a smoke break gave us a passing "sorry that worked out that way." With as much effort and energy as it probably took to exhale the nicotine from their lungs. Oh, gee, thanks for that. Zero explanation for their decision, but a half-hearted bon voyage for our 2 hour drive home in the pouring rain.

OH AND AS FOR THOSE CONCERNS OF OVER SERVING? I DROVE US ALL HOME. My Russian friend lives locally and was dropped off, then I drove my remaining friends back to South Jersey. Combined we account for 3 WIVES, 1 SOON TO BE WIFE, 5 KIDS, 4 SIBLINGS, plus countless other friends and family members. So I would imagine the responsibility for the well-being is much more intuitive to each of us than the "concerns" of BRC. So for any response they may post, their duties or concerns for all of us are untrue and unfounded.

AS WE LEFT BRC FOR THE LAST TIME we were hurt, confused, and extremely pissed. Were we profiled? Did we do something so egregious that this type of disrespect was warranted? How could a group of people we have done nothing but treat as friends just turn on us like that? It is tough to say goodbye, but I WOULD LIKE TO EXTEND BRC THE OPPORTUNITY TO OFFER A WRITTEN APOLOGY FOR THEIR RASH DECISION AND TREATMENT OF LOYAL CUSTOMERS. I will be open to any dialogue they wish to have, and while the terms of our relationship may be irreconcilable, a little human decency in this case would go a long way.

THE SILVER LINING IN ALL OF THIS IS THAT during that "convenient" fire BRC had a couple of months ago (thankfully no one was hurt or injured) my friends and I discovered another banya that at the time we thought was equal to, if not better, than BRC. So without that written apology, we will certainly be taking our business elsewhere. I will encourage everyone that reads this to look into alternatives in their area as well, using - why - Yelp of course.

FOR THOSE CUSTOMERS THAT DON'T BELIEVE ME OR THINK I'M BENDING THE TRUTH A BIT, I do not blame you. The $2,000.00+ that my friends an I would spend at BRC per year won't make them close up their doors or probably bat an eyelash, but THIS EXPERIENCE MUST BE DOCUMENTED AND HEARD. I used to come on this site and sneer at anyone that had something bad to say about BRC. I would tell everyone that I could how great this place was and did so with enthusiasm and happiness. We even befriended those "surly" front desk people everyone is complaining about. So looking back on my many, many times at BRC, I will remember the better times, but no banya will be able to burn away the utter disappointment of my last time. It's not too often that I find myself being the naive one, but that's exactly what I was when I put my faith into BRC.

IN CLOSING, to quote the Oscar snubbed 80's classic Cocktail, "Jesus, everything ends badly, otherwise it wouldn't end." Boy, ain't that the truth.

Let's see you deal with that, BRC.


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  3. This is obviously an advertisement for bear and birch, so let's respond shall we?

    You and your company were rude and one of you drank passed the point of being able to stand straight (can clearly be seen on camera), therefore we are obligated to cut you off by law. Sorry fi you had a bad experience but we can't be held accountable for your actions, especially when we are doing our job while preserving a balanced and calm environment. Especially when you and your group are play fighting with one another and disturbing others around you (which can also be seen on camera).

    New manager, more attention to customers and less problems (so maybe we aren't as bad as you say if we are paying attention).

    We are cleaner and this is something that is not overlooked. It's tough to keep our large facility clean, but our staff is trained to pick up everything and anything so all areas are spotless. We have more options, maybe you don't want to use the traditional saunas...maybe you want to try the Float Pod or the Infrared Sauna which are relatively new facilities that are getting very popular these day. The infrared sauna uses infrared light to heat your body, it doesn't heat the air so there is no humidity. This sauna is very relaxing and beneficial to your health. Floating is very popular in California and increasingly popular in NYC, the Pod contains a high concentration of salt water which allows you to float effortless, relaxing all you muscles while your skin is cleansed by the salt water which is the same temperature as your body. Back to the Saunas, $35 gets you access to 3 traditional european style saunas, a turkish steam room, ice cold plunge, relaxation room, jacuzzi, pool and the mud/scrub room.

    As long as you don't intoxicate yourself to the point of the gentlemen above, you should have an absolute amazing time at BRC Day Spa & Sauna Resort. Although they may have shared very hurtful and surprising opinions about our facility, they still have a place here because at the end of the day we wouldn't want none of our clients to be angry. We are a customer centric organization and the new management would not let a situation, such as this, to excel to the extremes.

    (**note drinking is not recommended while using the saunas because you will dehydrate yourself much quicker and you can lose consciousness possibly hurting yourself or others)


  4. I appreciate your response. It did not exactly address what my complaints were with how my friends and I were treated, and I didn't make any comments about the cleanliness or the management there (both of which I hold in high regard). It was just sad to end on such bad terms. I think there was some blame on both parties - and I certainly attested to some fault on ours - without that same courtesy being reciprocated from BRC. This was not an "advertisement for Bear & Birch," but rather a fair assessment of how I felt we were treated. We were all big fans of BRC and hurt by what happened. Ultimately I wish your business the best. I had a lot of great memories there, but my friends and I will no longer be patronizing your establishment. If you feel this post is hurtful to your business, I would be happy to remove it so long as you can offer a written apology in this comments section or to All the best.

  5. Bob,

    If you notice, I have apologized we really meant no harm to you or your party. Understand that you were disturbing others around you and things got out of hand, we would never ask an entire party to leave unless it was ultimately affecting the entire establishment. We aren't asking you to come back, simply a gesture of kindness that if you were to come, it would be with open arms because we all let loose at time and sometimes more than others. The gentlemen at the front desk was merely doing his job and meant no disrespect, however I cannot say the same about your group (which again, our cameras show exactly how all of you were behaving). Anyway all the best to you and your friends, hopefully you will not experience the same fate in the current establishment you are patronizing. Take care.

    BRC Day Spa Family

  6. I don't quite think you understand...

    Saying, "Sorry fi [sic] you had a bad experience but we can't be held accountable for your actions, especially when we are doing our job while preserving a balanced and calm environment" is not an apology. I acknowledged that one of my friends was too drunk and should no longer have been served. BRC told us we would need to go purchase any remaining beer individually, which we agreed to, then we were subsequently denied and asked to leave without any reason. Blaming us collectively for our actions and what happened is glossing over the fact that we went to BRC for years, and we were not given any reasoning for why we were forced out of your establishment even after we agreed that this individual should no longer be served. We were working together in this instance, but now this has become some incident where we were disruptive, rude, and ruining the experience for everyone at BRC. This is a customer service failure.

    All I was asking is an clear apology that, yes, perhaps you should have treated longtime customers with a bit more care. Go above and beyond to provide elite customer service as opposed to continually throwing my group under the bus (we are all very impressed with your cameras). The fact that you are unable to make that minor and basic compromise is not surprising, just another disappointment.

    The purpose of all of this is not to bad mouth BRC or advertise for another banya, just come to a realization that yes, we were both at fault. I see no acceptance of fault on your end. Only a constant runaround that leads to my party being fully to blame. I no longer wish to request an apology from BRC as I am now aware this is a fruitless endeavor. From a customer perspective I consider this matter closed. Thank you for your well wishes, and I return the same.