The Spa of Essex Closes After 15 Years; Working to Honor Outstanding Gift Cards

The longtime local business said due to COVID and unforeseen circumstances, they are unable to keep the spa open.

NBC Connecticut

After 15 years in business, The Spa of Essex is closing its doors. The owner of the spa emailed customers in the end of July letting them know of the spa's closure.

A customer shared the email with NBC Connecticut which said, in part, "during these extremely difficult times with many challenges and uncertainty still ahead I have decided to close The Spa of Essex. Due to Covid and circumstances beyond my control the spa is unable to run the way I dreamed."

With sudden closure, some customers are wondering what to do with their gift cards to the spa.

“There wasn’t any mention of the customers and what the next step is for us," said Amber Maly-Bingham. She lives in Clinton and received a $200 spa gift card from her husband for her birthday. “Even half at this point would be better than nothing.”

Jessica Keith lives in Westbrook and is in a similar situation. She received a $150 gift card from her mom for her birthday in March.

“It is sad for them because obviously the economy and Covid. Seeing anybody close is not good, but that the same time the people who bought my gift cards are also struggling in this economy," said Keith.

According to the CT Department of Consumer Protection, this is a common situation when businesses close suddenly and there is not much a customer can do.

“They can file a complaint and we will do our best to try to mediate something, but it is certainly not guaranteed and it is very difficult to do once those businesses are closed," said Kaitlyn Krasselt, director of communications for the DCP.

The department's best advice is to use gift cards as soon as you get them.

“Just to make sure that you are not left hanging with an unused gift card to a business that doesn’t exist anymore," said Krasselt.

NBC Connecticut spoke with the spa's owner who said that closing the spa is one of the most difficult things she has ever done. She said she is aware that customers still have gift cards and she is working on a plan.

Customers with outstanding gift cards can email the owner with the gift card number at

Jennifer Calabro used to work at The Spa of Essex as a massage therapist. She is opening a new spa called "The River Room" at the Millhouse in Chester. She said she will honor the gift cards from The Spa of Essex in some way.

“I just feel it’s the right thing to do. The Spa of Essex has been here a long time and we have always provided really good service to everybody. Everybody loved coming here. It’s the least I can do to keep loyal clients happy," said Calabro.

She is still working with the owner to obtain the list of outstanding gift card numbers.

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