Tips on Planning a Spa Vacation from Travel to Wellness
The true value of a spa vacation lies with the total spa experience, and that experience takes place from the moment you first make contact – be it online or by telephone – to the effects you feel even after you’ve left the spa. Read on for a few ways to get maximum value from your spa vacation.
Tips on how to get the most out of your spa vacation or holiday
Not all spas are created equal. Remember that all spas are not created equal and neither are spa vacations. Be sure to select a spa that suits your personal tastes, interests, budget and the occasion – be it romantic rendezvous, girls getaway, or solo sojourn. If you like your nails perfectly-pedicured but your significant-other prefers manicured greens, you’ll want to select a spa that suits both your needs.
Spa philosophy. Ask if the spa “ambience” is carried over into other parts of the inn, hotel, or resort. Does the property make the effort to reflect the philosophy or mood of the spa to avoid the harsh and uncomfortable re-entry into the “real world?” Are there spa-quality amenities (higher-end shampoos, conditioners, bath products) in the guest rooms? Do they offer a place where you can order a spa meal and enjoy it in your robe?
Select a spa with experienced therapists. A knowledgeable, nurturing therapist can make or break a spa experience. You want therapists and staff who are attentive, considerate, attuned to your needs. You don’t want to feel intimidated, rushed or ignored. The best way to ascertain this prior to a visit is with recommendations from those who’ve been there, or to check with a spa association that holds a high standard for membership.
Check out the extras each spa has to offer. For instance, some offer workout facilities, wet and dry saunas, hot and cold plunge pools, aromatherapy rooms, and complimentary classes such as yoga or Pilates. Many treatments will have extra perks too; a head massage included in a body treatment or a hand or foot massage included in a facial. Before booking treatments, find out what each one includes to get the most out of your experience.
When booking treatments, inquire about packages. Often spas offer a better deal if you book two or three treatments together – say, a massage, facial and pedicure. Add accommodations and you may get a better overall deal than booking three treatments individually.
Ask about complimentary amenities in the locker room: robes, slippers, lots of towels, hair dryers, and bath, shower and beauty products. In the waiting or lounge areas, there should be added touches such as a variety of current magazines, herbals teas, bottled water and fresh fruit or other healthy goodies.
Ask a spa receptionist how long a one-hour treatment really is. Some spas will give you a 50-minute treatment with 10 minutes left allotted for the therapist to clean up and turn over the room. At other spas, a one-hour treatment can be a full 60 minutes.
Give yourself time to relax. When it comes time for your treatment, arrive early and stay late. At most spas you can book just one treatment and stretch the experience to a full day. Swim, steam in the sauna, work out in the gym, relax and read in the lounge, have your treatment, then do it all over again!
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Find more great spa articles and reviews at Travel to Wellness.