Travel, Lifestyle, Review Blog

Spa Schpiels

- Aarti Kapur Singh

Vacation time also translates to pampering time at various spas for a lot of us. Spa-hopping could leave one confused about the expected code of conduct. While there isn’t much rocket science to it, the thumb rule to be followed is comfort ­– your’s as well as the therapists. Here are some pointers to make your spa experience relaxing and not harrowing.


1. Book in advance

Most spas don’t accept walk-ins. Book your appointment beforehand and be sure to let the receptionist know if you are pregnant, have any special needs, allergies or medical conditions. By offering this information ahead of time, the spa will be fully prepared to accommodate you upon your arrival.


2. Request a male or female therapist while booking

If you’re booking a hands-on treatment such as a massage, body wrap, or scrub, be sure to request a therapist based on your comfort level.


3. Arrive slightly early

For many, a spa visit is a ticket for a bit of R&R. There’s nothing more stressful than racing to a massage. Better to get there a little early and relax. Arrive at the spa earlier than the time of your appointment so you can unwind and clear your mind before beginning your treatment. There may be people in front of you, and you need time to fill out paperwork, get a tour of the facilities, change into your robe, and enjoy amenities like a steam room or hot tub.


4. Dress casually

You are there to relax, so keep sartorial temptations at bay. Same applies to expensive accessories and jewelry. Most spas will not accept responsibility for items that are lost or stolen, so leave all unnecessary valuables at home. Know that even a locker with a padlock is not a guarantee against theft.


5. Limit food consumption

Try not to eat at least an hour before the treatment. Alcohol consumption and spa treatments are similar in one aspect: the dehydration factor. Avoid any alcoholic beverages if you are planning a trip to the spa. A spa treatment often releases toxins from the body, so be sure to drink plenty of water before and after your treatment to keep yourself properly hydrated. This also comes into play if you plan on using spa facilities such as a steam room, sauna, or whirlpool.


6. Turn off your cell phone

As a common courtesy to other guests at the spa, please do not speak on your cell phone and turn off any mobile devices during your visit. You can’t relax if you’re answering calls, checking emails, and texting. And neither can the person next to you. This even goes if you’re getting a pedicure. Bring a book or magazine instead.


7. Hygiene

Don’t work out and then show up for your massage all sweaty. It’s not nice for you or the therapist. Make sure you are clean. A lot of clients rush to their appointments straight from work so might not be as fresh as they could be. If there’s a shower in the locker room, it’s nice to use it before your treatment. It will freshen you up before your treatment. This step is especially important if you’ve spent time in a hot tub or pool, which has chlorinated water. You want to get those chemicals off, not have them massaged in. For gentlemen, please shave at least two hours prior to your facial treatments.


8. Tipping

Spa tipping is customary, but how much and how you handle it depends on what kind of spa you’re going to. Tipping is usually 15-20% of the amount of the treatment being availed. However, if you think you received exceptional service, you can give the therapist additional money in the treatment room. If the person is doing their best, but you just don’t like their style, go ahead and tip. Just don’t book with them again. Tipping is not expected, but it is still appreciated.

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