9 Tips for spa newbies or first-time spa goers
While a visit to a spa is always meant to be a relaxing experience, it can also be a little overwhelming for first-timers.
If you’re new to the spa scene, here are a few tips to help you make the most of your visit.
1. Book early when possible. While we are seeing a trend toward last minute bookings, spas, especially those at hotels and resorts, tend to book up quickly so to avoid disappointment try to book your spa visit at the same time as you book your accommodations. If you prefer a male or female therapist, state your request when you schedule your treatment. Don’t be shy. It’s entirely up to the individual.
2. Take the time to arrive early (30 to 60 minutes prior). Certain treatments, massages for instance, require that you fill out a medical questionnaire. You’ll also need time to change and take a quick tour. Keep in mind that you may want to enjoy a few of the extras (such as pool, steam room, relaxation room) before your treatment. The will be more effective if you allow yourself time to relax and enjoy the entire experience.
3. What do you need to bring with you? Spas will provide you with a robe and slippers and most will also supply bathroom amenities such as shampoo, conditioner, hand lotion and hair dryers. Some even go further with things such as razors, mouthwash, toothbrushes and toothpaste. Just like hotels, spas differ from one to the next so don’t hesitate to ask when you book what you need to bring with you.
4. Make sure to use the bathroom prior to a service. You don’t want the treatment to be interrupted by the call-of-nature.
5. Shy about getting naked? If you’re concerned about what to wear under the robe, don’t be. Most people go nude, but it’s perfectly O.K. to leave your underwear on if you feel more comfortable. Many spas also offer disposable underwear just for that purpose. You can ask for a pair when you’re shown to the locker room. While some European spas tend to be freer and more casual with nudity, most professional spa therapists are taught special draping techniques and the only part of the body exposed at one time is the part being worked on. Don’t worry about lying there stark naked and feeling exposed – most of the time you’re covered by a combination of sheets and towels. Also, therapists will usually leave the room to allow you privacy to remove your robe and hop onto the treatment table, and vice versa at the end of the treatment. So relax. Professional therapists do everything in their power to make a client feel comfortable during a treatment.
6. Health history and aches/pains. Let the therapist know about your aches, pains, and areas that need attention. The same goes for if the water in the therapeutic bath is too hot, the massage pressure is too hard, or the wrap is claustrophobic. They won’t know these things unless you tell them.
7. Treatment etiquette. Some clients will talk and ask questions during a treatment, others prefer to have a quiet experience. It’s totally up to you. Don’t worry about falling asleep on the table. It’s the ultimate relaxation.
8. Tips and gratuities. While a 15 to 20 per cent tip is customary, sometimes, especially if you’re buying a package, gratuities can be included. Ask about the tipping policy at time of booking. Tips can be added to the total on a credit card or placed in small envelopes usually available from the cashier.
9. After the treatment. Following a treatment, don’t jump right back into the rat race. Allow yourself a little time to enjoy the feeling of total relaxation. Drinking water or herbal teas will also help flush out toxins.
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Find more great spa articles and reviews at Travel to Wellness.