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Not knowing how to behave at a spa can be a source of anxiety for first time spa goers but much of the appropriate conduct is simply common sense. You’ll
be entering a tranquil space designed to provide a rare escape from life’s stresses, and so long as you remember this, you - and your fellow guests - will
have a wonderful spa experience.
Keep reading to learn the answers to common spa etiquette questions, and to discover some quick tips for ensuring your Pamper Day or spa break is memorable for all the right reasons.
Arriving at your selected venue early is recommended in order for you to get the most from your spa visit, and to avoid being late for your booked treatments. It should be noted that guests may be required to complete paperwork upon arrival at spas they have never visited before - reserve some additional time for this if you’re a newcomer.
Once you’re signed in, you’ll be free to explore and use the spa’s facilities included in your chosen spa package. Keep a close eye on the time though - you should aim to be in the designated waiting area around 15 minutes before any treatment is due. Being late could see your appointment rescheduled for much later in the day, or completely cancelled, depending on how busy the spa happens to be. Besides which, racing to make it in time for a facial or massage is hardly relaxing.
The amount you should tip is dependant on the type of spa you visit. While tipping between 10% and 20% is common practice at day spas, some resort spas will include a service fee within the total amount charged, negating the need to tip. Since a percentage of this service charge is not guaranteed to go to your personal therapist, you might like to leave a tip specifically for them should they provide exceptional service.
Tips should be left at reception, as opposed to being handed directly to members of staff. The majority of spas prefer to receive their tips in cash, as opposed to electronic payments.
When visiting a spa, it’s best to simply leave your mobile phone at home (or in your hotel room, if you’re staying at a residential resort).
Many spas will allow their guests to select the sex of the therapists performing their treatments to make them feel more comfortable. However, it is important to call the spa ahead of your visit if you do have a preference, as the spa will need to ensure availability of female or male staff. Enquiring on the day itself could see your request unfulfilled.
It is important to remember that a limited number of therapists may be available for certain niche, or less demanded, treatments and during peak hours. You should also call ahead if there’s a particular therapist you’d like to request due to their good reputation, or because of a pleasant past experience.
Talking is not recommended during facial treatments, for this can be offputting for the therapist and it’s very unlikely you’ll feel relaxed. You may wish
to hold a conversation with the therapist during a non-facial treatment such as a back massage, but do not feel obligated - staff are trained to recognise
when a customer wants to be silent and simply enjoy their treatment.
Regardless of whether you’re a big talker or not, you should ensure you communicate clearly with your therapist throughout your treatments - if they are massaging you too hard, for example, you will want to make this clear so they can change the pressure applied. Do not simply sit through any process you find uncomfortable just because you are in the hands of an expert.
Potential nudity is what causes many spa virgins the most anxiety, but these fears are largely unfounded. To learn why, please see our ‘What to Wear and Take to a Spa’ page.
The following advice should also be adhered to, to ensure that you, staff and fellow guests have a splendid time throughout your time at the spa: