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Spa Etiquette 101 - Your Complete Guide to Spa Etiquette

1) Tardiness – As a common courtesy, please arrive at least 15-20 minutes before your scheduled appointment at the spa. This will allow time for a leisurely check-in, a change of clothes and a few moments to relax before your wonderful spa experience.

You want to be able to get the full effects of this special treat. Rushing and arriving late will unfortunately limit the time for your treatment, thus setting you up to feel tense, anxious, and prevent you from enjoying this blissful occasion. Your treatment must end on time so that the next guest’s service will not be delayed. Your scheduled time is your table time. If you arrive late to the day spa , you will be charged in full and that will truly be unfortunate.

2) Cancellations or Appointment Changes – Spa services are booked months in advance. If you must cancel or change your appointment time, the usually give you 24-48 hours prior to your scheduled time to avoid any charges. Be sure that you are clear on the spa’s cancellation and appointment change policies. Otherwise they may very well bill you for the full amount.

3) Walk-ins – Most day spas do their best to accommodate you with walk-ins. However, a specific time that you desire may not be guaranteed, so it is always best to make an appointment in advance if you require a certain time.

4) Dress Code – I would suggest you wear casual attire something you can easily slip off and on without fussing. Not all spas allow you to bring your own robes or slippers into the spa. Find out ahead of time if they will allow you to have treatments in your own undergarments or swimsuit, however please understand that they are not responsible for any damage or staining to these articles. To protect your clothing, most day spas provide you with disposable underwear, robes and slippers while at the day spa. Again always find out before hand.

5) Modesty – The best way to receive a massage or other bodywork at the spa is to be unclothed. HOWEVER, they should “never require” you to disrobed if it makes you uncomfortable. Only Disrobe To Your Comfort Level! If modesty is an issue please don’t hesitate to speak up while you still have you clothes on. You can also ask about spa treatments that can be done while you’re fully clothed. Most therapists are trained in the “art of draping.” They will leave the treatment room while you get under the sheet on the table, keep you covered at all times, except for the area of the body they are working on, and will leave the spa treatment room before you get up from the table. Depending on the service and your needs, you may receive a robe and slippers for your treatment. Make sure the spa will provide you with any necessary towels, robe and slippers for you to wear during your visit.

6) Valuables – Check to see if the day spa you are visiting provide you with secured lockers, showers and a variety of personal items for your use. Most spa therapies flow more easily without the interference of jewelry. I recommend removing all jewelry and placing them in a secure locker. Never put them in your robe pocket! Frantic searches in robe pockets or nooks and crannies in the treatment room are stress producing for everyone involved. Please do not bring valuables into the spa as the staff cannot be responsible for loss or damage of such items.

7) Shaving – If you need to shave (particularly beardless men receiving a facial), do it at least two hours before your spa appointment. If you have booked a body scrub, I highly recommend shaving the day before. Rubbing salt into the slightest razor wound is not a very relaxing experience. Ouch!

8 ) Courtesies and Comforts – OK gadget-aholics….Please turn of all cell phones and pagers before entering the spa. The spa is an oasis of peace and quiet. Although spas try to disguise outside interference with music, fountains and sound-absorbent walls, loud voices and noises do filter through. Please be mindful of the other spa goer’s enjoying their peaceful moments, and try to keep the volume of your conversations to a minimum. Be mindful that most day spas are a smoke-free environment.

9) Food and Beverage– It’s best not to receive bodywork on a full stomach before going to the spa. Schedule meals or snacks at least an hour before your spa treatment. Drink water, especially if heat therapies are part of your spa package. Since bodywork introduces clean, oxygenated and nourished fluids into your tissues and stimulates your body to purge toxins, it is important to flush them out by drinking plenty of water. Be aware of what you’re putting into your nice clean body after your spa treatments, especially refined sugars, high fats, caffeine and most importantly, alcohol – these may have a stronger effect on you than normal. Toxins that are not flushed from your body can be reabsorbed and may give you a “toxin hangover”. Drink more water if this happens.

10) Age Restrictions– Children are a delight to have in your company whether you are a parent or not. However, so that the ambiance within the day spa remains as relaxing as possible for all of the participants (many of whom are enjoying a retreat from their little people), please do not bring them to the spa. Most day spas do not allow children under 14-18 years of age depending on the spa so please call ahead to find out the age restrictions. Some spas require a written consent for teens between 14-17. There are some spas that do make accommodations for toddlers and babies for specialized services on an availability basis.

11) Groups of Three or More– Proper coordination of your group reservation requires additional time by the spa staff to ensure that your spa visit is a success.

12) Communicating– Your spa treatment, your time, and your body are yours, you want to be able to thoroughly enjoy your day spa experience. Please be sure to communicate preferences to your therapist – the amount of pressure, room temperature, or whether you want conversation or silence. If you don’t tell your therapist, they won’t know if you’re feeling discomfort. Let your provider or staff member know immediately if you are feeling discomfort for any reason for any reason.

13) Pre-Treatment Forms– You may be required to complete a Pre-Treatment Form prior to your day spa service. Some medical conditions may prevent them from performing certain spa treatments. The information that you provide them will help to ensure that the spa services are provided in a safe manner, minimizing risk of injury.

14) Medical conditions and Health Consideration– If you have any type of medical condition or special needs, please be sure to inform the spa staff of it when you book the appointment. Certain spa treatments may not be advisable for you. Also, before your spa treatment begins, let your therapist or aesthetician know of any medical concerns. If you are pregnant or have high blood pressure, avoid any heat treatments. It is advisable to disclose medical conditions, pregnancy and medications. Some medical conditions and/or medications may prevent them from performing certain treatments. Be sure to inform your therapist if you are using Retin A, accutane, or have had laser surgery.

15) Pregnancy Safety Policy– Please note, no body treatments (massage or hydrotherapy) are performed during the first trimester of pregnancy. Manicures and pedicures can still be enjoyed be expecting mothers at the day spa, but please inform your therapist ahead of time.

16) Spa Gifts and Spa Discounts– Most day spas offer spa gift cards and spa gift certificates. Be aware that spa gift cards and spa gift certificates are non-refundable, non-transferable, may not be redeemed for cash or credit, and irreplaceable if lost or stolen. Please present all spa discounts, promotional coupons, spa gift certificate, and spa gift cards at check-in.

17) Pricing and Packages– Most often spa services and prices are subject to change without notice.

18) Payment– Day spas normally accept all major credit, special spa gift cards, spa gift certificates, spa discounts, cash, and some also accept personal checks. Be sure to call ahead to see what form of payment options are available. Most of the time the setting of appointments are held with a credit card.

19) Gratuity– It is customary to provide your therapist or esthetician a 15-20% gratuity if you were happy with the services provided. Usually gratuities are accepted in cash and sometimes checks. Gratuities aren’t normally included with spa services and are your discretion.

20) Last but not least, Take it all in – Enjoy yourself. This is a special time to take for yourself or with someone special at your spa of choice. A time of tranquility, A time of rejuvenation, A time of relaxation, and most of all A time of blissful relaxation!



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