Day Spa etiquette

by Glenn Reynolds

Finding your way through a new spa experience will be greatly enhanced if you follow these suggestions:

  • Don’t bring or wear valuables to the spa.
  • Feel free to request a tour of the premises beforehand. Some rooms may be occupied at the time, but you’ll be able to get a feel for what the spa experience may be like. Ask as many questions as you have.
  • Arrive early for your session, at least 15-20min ahead to allow enough time to change, settle into a relaxing space, fill out any forms etc. Get there even sooner if the spa has a steam room, shower or sauna. Having a hot shower before your session will put you in a good place for treatment.
  • Wear appropriate attire – find out what the policy is at the spa. Some will request that you wear swimwear or disposable underwear for water/body treatments, others may not. It is never required for you to be unclothed in front of anyone at a day spa. Therapists are trained in the art of draping your body for maximum comfort. They will withdraw from the room for you to disrobe and get on the table, as well as leave the room again at the end for you to get off the table. You may wish to use your own swimwear for massage or water treatments. Others may prefer to be nude.
  • Turn your mobile phone off, and keep your voice down.
  • Make sure you let your therapist know of any medical conditions that you have, including high or low blood pressure, recent surgeries etc.
  • You can talk to your therapist during treatment or remain silent. It’s a good idea to express preferences on pressure beforehand, or to let the therapist know if you are experiencing discomfort or pain at any stage.
  • Know that you are in a professional therapy suite and do not expect anything other than therapeutic or spa services.
  • If you have a preference, let the spa know whether you want a male or female practitioner.
  • Refrain from eating a meal less than one hour prior to treatment.
  • Guys, don’t forget to shave at least 2 hours prior to having a face treatment.
  • Book ahead to ensure that you secure the time of your choice. Note any cancellation policy – some spas may charge you a fee for late cancellation of appointments.
  • Don’t arrive sunburnt, and stay out of the sun after your treatment.
  • If you are scheduling more than one treatment, it is best to have a facial after massage, and a massage after any body treatments.
  • Don’t hesitate to request water or tea after your session. You’ll need to rehydrate after massage or a body treatment. Take your time getting up off the table. You may experience a slight dizziness after prolonged relaxation on the table. It’s customary to vacate the room within 5-10min, but most spas will have relaxation areas for use after treatments.
  • Do not bring children and leave them unattended. This is most disruptive to other clients. Most spas don’t allow people under 16 to utilise the services.

For related posts, see:

What to Expect at a Day Spa
5 tips for Day Spa virgins
Day Spa FAQ

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