If you have yet to experience a spa day or spa treatment, you may be unsure of what to wear. Dress codes can vary, depending on the venue and type of treatment chosen but there are a few basic rules which apply to most spas. In this guide, we cover everything you need to know about what to wear - and what to take - to your spa visit.

What should I wear to a spa?

The first thing to note is that spas want their guests to be as comfortable as possible, so non-restrictive garments (such as yoga bottoms, lounge pants, T-shirts, sweatshirts and hoodies) are encouraged at most resorts. 

Once you’ve checked in, you will be encouraged to leave your clothes in a secure locker and put on a robe. If you are staying at one of our luxury spa hotels, there may be a dress code for the restaurant. It is a good idea to pack a smart outfit, such as a nice dress or a pair of tailored trousers and a blouse or shirt, just in case. If you are unsure, contact your chosen spa venue ahead of your visit to check the dress code beforehand.

Should I take my own robe to the spa?

You are more than welcome to bring your own robe. However, this is not compulsory. Many spas offer a robe for you to wear during your visit. Some may charge a rental fee or request a returnable deposit. If you book a spa package, this should be listed as an inclusion. If in doubt, contact us or the spa ahead of your visit to make sure. 

Do spas have robes in different sizes? 

All spas want their guests to feel comfortable and will try to accommodate them as much as possible. So, if you have special requirements, simply contact your chosen spa ahead of your visit. Most spas will accommodate different sizes, and there are even spas that make a point of catering to plus-size guests. However, if you wish, you may bring your own robe with you.

What should I wear underneath my robe?

This depends on what treatments you have booked and the facilities you would like to use. In general, you should wear either swimwear or underwear. If your booked treatment requires full or partial nudity, you will be given time to undress before the treatment starts. There is more on this later.

What footwear should I wear to the spa? 

Opt for footwear which is comfortable yet practical. Slippers and flip-flops are popular choices. Trainers and sports shoes are often allowed too, but their use is likely to be restricted to dry areas, for hygiene reasons.

Some spas may provide slippers to use for free or which you can pay to rent for the day. However, this will vary from spa to spa.

Contact us or the spa ahead of your arrival to check. If you are using the wet areas (the pool and Jacuzzi, for example), flip-flops are a safer and more practical choice. If you plan to use the gym, you will need to bring appropriate trainers (with clean soles).

What do I do with my personal belongings at the spa?

Most spas will provide a locker, so you can safely store your personal items while enjoying the spa facilities and treatments. Of course, if you have booked an overnight break, you can leave your things securely in your room.

What items should I take to a spa?

You may wish to pack the following when visiting a spa for a pamper day or overnight break:

Towels: Most spas will supply towels, but you should check this is the case before travelling to your selected spa.

A change of clothes: Climbing back into the same clothes after some top-to-toe pampering isn’t ideal. Make your second outfit evening wear if you plan to dine at an onsite, or local, restaurant (be sure to check applicable dress codes).

A spare layer (a jumper or hoodie): Useful, should you start to feel chilly after undergoing a treatment, or when leaving the spa.

Gym kit (including trainers): Essential, if you wish to make use of the spa’s fitness facilities during your visit - access can be denied for guests who do not bring suitable clothing.

Swimming attire: A swimsuit, bikini or shorts will be required if you intend to make use of the resort’s swimming pool, Jacuzzi or hot tub facilities. A spare set is also a good idea if you are staying a night or two (so you don’t have to climb back into soggy swimwear!).

Toiletries: While you’ll be pampered with deluxe products during your spa visit, you might like to pack some personal toiletries (deodorant, makeup, etc.) to use before you leave.

Sunscreen: Packing some sun protection is a wise idea if your selected resort features an outdoor pool.

A book or magazine: Some guests like to bring a good read to enjoy by the pool, in the relaxation room or before going to bed.

Inclusions and facilities vary between venues and spa packages - always check individual listings.

What items should I not take to a spa?

It is a good idea to leave any valuables, such as electronic devices and jewellery, at home or in the hotel room. You’re at the spa to relax, after all! You don’t want to be worrying about your smartphone or finest jewels!

Spas are a mobile-free zone, so you won’t be able to take devices into the treatment rooms or to the communal facilities.

It is also a good idea to arrive makeup-free and with long hair tied back ready for your treatments (and nail polish-free for manicures and pedicures).

Will I need to get undressed during my spa visit?

At the vast majority of UK spa resorts, nudity is forbidden outside the privacy of guests’ hotel rooms. Visitors are expected to cover up using a robe/dressing gown between treatments and when in the spa’s public areas and must wear swimwear while enjoying the venue’s Jacuzzi and steam room facilities.

What about nudity during full-body treatments?

While certain treatments require the therapist to access your whole body, the practice of ‘draping’ is often used within treatment rooms to allow for modesty during full-body massages, body wraps and body polishes.

Draping will see you strip (completely, or to underwear), lie down on a massage table and cover yourself with a large towel, blanket or sheet (the therapist is usually absent from the room at this stage). Once in position, the therapist will carefully move the fabric to expose an area of your body to be treated - an arm, leg, the lower back, etc. Treated areas will be covered before the therapist begins work elsewhere on your body.

It is important to remember that spas want their guests to feel as relaxed as possible, so never be embarrassed to voice any concerns you have about clothing removal (or any other issues) before or during your visit.

If you have any other questions about our spas or spa treatments, check out our other guides. Alternatively, you can contact SpaSeekers with any questions.

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Lea Matston Group
Park Royal Therapist