Most people's first spa experience is at a
day spa. Whether you spend an hour or a whole day, the tips
below will help you get the most out of your time. They apply to
freestanding day spas or those connected to health clubs, hotels, or
Booking spa appointments
At day spas, peak hours are often late afternoons and
weekends (especially Saturdays), so book as far in advance as
possible in order to ensure getting the particular time, day, and
therapist you want. It's easiest to accommodate you during off-peak
hours, which are often in the mornings and mid-week. If you will be
attending the spa with a gift certificate, it is a good idea to
mention it so that the spa can advise you of any policy that may
affect its use.
Many day spas have both male and female therapists on staff. If you
have a preference, don't hesitate to let your choice be known. If
you have enjoyed the services of a particular therapist on a prior
visit, you may request that person. Do realize that your first
choice may not always be available.
Arrive on time or early. If you are late, your treatment time will
need to be shortened since the treatment room (and therapist) is
generally booked after your session. After a treatment, it's
customary to vacate the room within five or ten minutes. However,
you are free to spend additional time unwinding in the day spa's
relaxation or waiting rooms.
this is your first day spa visit, let the receptionist know when you
arrive. They are very accustomed to first-time guests and usually
provide a more detailed reception. Some spas ask you to complete a
questionnaire on your first visit to provide them with medical and
contact information. This is another reason to arrive early.
Exploring the facility
On arrival at the day spa, ask for a tour prior to your treatment.
The tour will acquaint you with your surroundings and introduce you
to any additional spa facilities, such as saunas, steam rooms, and
If you must cancel an appointment at a day spa, give the spa as much
advance notice as possible. Approximately 24 hours' notice is
minimum to cancel a single service, and 48 hours or more is usually
required for a package of services. This gives the day spa enough
time to fill the slot. The spa needs to pay its therapists even if a
client doesn't show up. Most day spas have cancellation policies
that require either partial payment or full payment if not enough
advance notice was given.
people come to a day spa in very casual attire-something they can
easily slip off and put away in small lockers. If modesty is an
issue, call the spa in advance to find out its policies and
suggestions. Some treatments can be done while you're fully clothed,
but others (such as hydrotherapy) are best received in the nude.
Facilities such as the sauna and the whirlpool may be enjoyed either
in a bathing suit or au natural. There are always towels and usually
robes and slippers provided in day spas that have bathing
possible, leave your jewelry at home as you will not need it for
your day spa visit. If however, you have brought valuables, make
certain that they are securely locked in your locker or in a safety
deposit box. If you choose instead to take them with you to your
treatment, be mindful of not leaving them behind. Day spas have
found many valuables in robe pockets and frantic searches are stress
producing for all involved. Best to let all the sparkle come from
Communicating your preferences
All aspects of treatment can usually be
modified to your taste: amount of light, kind (or absence) of music,
room temperature, and whether or not you choose to have a
conversation or enjoy the treatment in silence. If you want the
therapist to go deeper or be gentler, let him or her know. Also,
feel free to ask questions. Your therapist will appreciate knowing
your thoughts and clarifying any issues you may have. If any part of
your experience is unsatisfactory, first tell the therapist. If the
response isn't helpful, ask to speak to a supervisor.
If you have any type of medical condition, be sure to mention it
when you book an appointment. Certain treatments may not be
advisable for you. Also, before your treatment begins, let your
therapist or aesthetician know of any medical concerns. Tell the
technician if you're wearing contact lenses before you have a
It is never required that you are unclothed in front of anyone in a
day spa. There are usually places where a person can change (even if
it is in a bathroom stall). Towels and robes are generally provided
and can keep you continually covered. Therapists are generally well
trained in the "art of draping" which means that they leave the
treatment room while you get under the sheet on the massage table,
and they keep you covered at all times except for the area of the
body they are massaging. They also leave the treatment room before
you get up from the table. If you feel more comfortable, it is also
possible for you to wear a swimsuit during your treatment and in
Jacuzzi or saunas-though most people prefer to wear nothing under
Shaving If you
must shave, do so at least two hours before your scheduled
appointment, particularly if you're a man receiving a facial or a
woman receiving any kind of scheduled bodywork.
Sun and spa going
Try to avoid the sun on the day of treatment and, in
some cases, the day after.
Eating and drinking
Try not to eat for at least an hour before a
treatment, and avoid the consumption of alcohol on the day of a
treatment. Drink plenty of water before and afterward, especially if
heat therapies, such as a sauna or the steam room, are part of your
day spa experience.
many day spas, gratuities are not included in the price of the
service but gladly accepted-and expected. At some spas, the gratuity
is included so it is always wise to ask when you call or when you
arrive. Between 15 and 20 percent for each person who gave you a
service is customary, but you may of course leave more or less,
depending on the quality of the service. It's easiest to leave the
tip at the reception desk when you pay your bill rather than giving
it directly to the therapist. Often, the day spa has small tipping
envelopes at its front desk on which you write your name and the
name of the person who gave you the service.
Using shared facilities
Before entering a soaking pool, a swimming pool, or a
whirlpool, you will want to shower. When enjoying the sauna or
steam, always sit on your towel and wear the plastic shoes provided
by the spa. Women should not shave their legs in the steam room.
Because the day spa environment is supposed to be a tranquil and
stress-reducing experience, it's best to leave cell phones and
pagers at home or turn them off before entering the day spa.
day spas have age restrictions. Children are generally not allowed
so that the day spa ambiance remains as relaxing as possible. Teens
may be accommodated for certain services or at certain times.
When in the relaxation room and elsewhere in the day spa, be mindful
of others. Keep conversations at a low volume.
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