If the ideal massage is one that entails nothing stressful whatsoever, then Zeel just nailed it, via its Android and iOS app for arranging same-day, on-demand massages in your home (or hotel room or office). Zeel blends the convenience of Uber with the simplicity of Seamless, mobilizing the finest licensed therapists in New York City (with plans to expand to Los Angeles, and Miami) at a moment's notice.
Zeel's target response time is 31 minutes, and we found this to be about right. According to Samer Hamadeh, Zeel's Founder and CEO, the company record is 12 minutes, for an ASAP request from a New York business visitor. "But Zeel is not only about 'on demand,'" says Samer, "it's also to show that at-home can be as good, if not superior, to a spa."
We tried Zeel on an autumn weekday afternoon, scheduling an appointment for that evening. Clients can choose between female and male therapists, and between Swedish and Deep Tissue Massage, and can rate and prioritize the therapist after the bodywork. We went with a male therapist for a swedish massage. A clean-cut graduate of the Swedish Institute arrive and gave us a top-notch massage.
Zeel vets its therapists thoroughly, requiring a proof of liability insurance, massage license, an interview, and a training process. "We want to provide a consistent, high quality Starbucks like experience in any city," says founder Samer Hamadeh. Zeel currently serves the five boroughs of New York City as well as Westchester and Long Island.
The most enticing membership option offered by Zeel is called Zeelot. In exchange for committing to 12 massages a year at a discounted $99 rate, the customer receives a free massage table. This liberates the therapist from having to drag a 30-pound table, saves the client the money that those therapists would charge for that task, and leaves the client with their own massage table – something any athlete's home should have. [zeel.com]
(Find more of our favorite health and fitness apps here.)