Surely, the word spa sounds incredibly tempting. But for many people, it represents a totally uncertain world, full of so many unknowns that we could easily be stressed by the simple fact of not knowing how to behave, dress or choose the right type of treatment. Read on and learn from these tips.
What to do for your first time in a spa
I think the first thing we need to do is eliminate the idea that all spas are expensive. It is true that some people exceed the limits of reason in their rates, but there are establishments with original and efficient treatments, at fairly fair prices.
To choose the right treatment or massage, you should do a preliminary search either on the spa’s website – if you have one – or in the brochures, you will surely find directly in the spa. If you don’t want to waste your money, it’s a good idea to ask and find out what the treatment is about before you get carried away by an exotic description. It doesn’t matter if you do an exhaustive questionnaire, it is preferable to know every detail and avoid bad surprises. Our tips are here to take your mind off it, so do it!
Another important factor when visiting a spa for the first time or when we are not a very frequent customer is not meeting the spa staff, so it is likely that some of them will make you feel as if the price you paid was really worth it and there will be others that will make you feel like you threw your money away.
So that this doesn’t happen to you, I recommend you do a field study, that is, ask other clients about their experience and what they recommend. Or you can approach a member of the spa staff – or hotel staff – and ask them for a recommendation.
When booking your treatment, make it clear which services you want, and what your package will include such as food, taxes, as well as the total fee. If you have any special requests about your therapist’s gender, this is the perfect time to let the spa staff know. Keep in mind that in some establishments you will be allowed to choose between men and women, but in others, you will not.
You may be asked to fill out a form with your personal information when making your reservation. Also, you must indicate your medical condition, especially if you are allergic to any substance because in some cases some types of oils and creams are used during treatments. Be very honest in filling out this form. The tips that will save you from an uncomfortable circumstance.
Remember that if you arrive late, the time for your treatment will start to run once the clock strikes a certain time, regardless of whether you are there or not. It is preferable to arrive 15 minutes before your appointment, this way you will be able to change calmly and you will not lose time from your treatment.
Ask if you can make use of the spa facilities before your treatment – at no extra cost – so you can enjoy the Jacuzzi or take advantage of the rest areas to listen to music and start relaxing before you receive the service. To do this, arriving half an hour or an hour early would be ideal.
On arrival you will be provided with a clean gown – in some cases you will also be provided with disposable underwear, if you wish – and asked to change and place your belongings in the lockers. It is advisable to wear sandals so that you can walk freely without having to be barefoot, but do not worry as in most cases they will give you some.
In case you don’t want to take the treatment naked, you can put on your bathing suit. Generally for women it is much more comfortable to wear a bikini, and for men a short swimsuit.
Once this is done, they will take you to the cabin where they will provide the service; stay calm, because at the end of the day you are there to enjoy and relax. Let yourself go, don’t try to tell the masseur how to do his job. This is not to say that you allow yourself to be hurt – although this usually doesn’t happen. Keep in mind that they know how to do their job excellently, so they won’t need your guidance. They don’t need your recommendations or tips, you enjoy it!
If you opted for the “as God has brought you into the world” option, don’t worry that your masseuse won’t see you at all, as he or she will leave the room so that you can cover yourself with a sheet. After this, the therapist will know how to handle the sheet properly, so he or she won’t see anything you don’t want to see.
Once the service is over, don’t forget the tip. Even if you won a free treatment, consider that the tip is not included. In any case, leaving 20 percent or more of the total cost for the service is ideal. Some places will allow you to pay your bill in full with a credit card -including a tip- or you can give it to the therapist directly or in an envelope, depending on how you feel most comfortable.
First and foremost the composure… basic etiquette rules in a spa.
- If you are sick with flu or another virus, it is preferable to take the treatment at another time, as you may infect some people inside the spa.
- Keep in mind that masseurs earn a large part of their salary from tips, if you visit a sick spa and catch it, you will also be depriving it of a significant income.
- Consider that you will not be the only one in the place, don’t forget to turn off your cell phone, always be discreet and very polite with the people around you – both customers and staff.
- If you have a contagious infection – like athlete’s foot, for example – don’t think about it for a second and forget to visit the spa that day. The same is true if you have recent surgery, muscle injuries or skin diseases.
- In case you have decided to enjoy the Jacuzzi before your treatment, give yourself a quick shower or at least rinse the chlorine from the water, this way you will avoid the smell of chlorine and your skin will not be damaged.
- If you have just left the gym and would love a massage, always remember to take a bath before going to the spa, otherwise it will be very uncomfortable for the masseuse to attend you. In some places you may even be denied service before you take a bath.
- Relax! Talking like a parrot when others want silence, jumping from one place to another, making a lot of noise and so on, are attitudes that are not expected in a spa. Don’t forget that your main goal is to find peace and quiet, so let others find it too.
So don’t say I didn’t tell you. Don’t forget these tips to improve your visit and that of others.
My favorite treatments
- Reflexology. Pressure at strategic points on hands and feet to release tension from the entire body.
- Shiatsu. A vigorous massage that combines pressure and stretching.
- Swedish massage. It uses small blows to release tension.
- Thalassotherapy. Body treatment using seaweed and salt water.
- Watsu. Massage while floating in hot water.
- Vichy bath. Jets of water directed at specific points on the body to release tension.
- Aromatherapy. Relaxation through the perception of different aromas.
- Gommage. Full body exfoliation treatment, followed by a massage.
- Lomilomi. A massage in which the elbows and forearms are commonly used to untie the “knots”.
- Californian. Gentle massage, with the help of essential oils, incense and music to promote relaxation.
I hope you find these tips useful for your first time in a spa and you can enjoy the massages and all the services you have hired. Remember that we must always pamper ourselves and a spa helps us a lot to do this.