What to Wear and Take to a Spa
Spa newcomers are often unsure about what clothing to wear and what items to take. Is it acceptable to arrive at a luxury spa resort wearing a casual outfit? What type of shoes should be worn? Should spa-goers pack their own robe and towels? Are there any items which should be left at home? Keep reading to discover the answers to these questions and ensure your first spa experience goes to plan. This page also tackles the (largely unfounded) fears newcomers may have regarding spa nudity.
What clothes should I wear to a spa?
While you’re likely to spend much of your time in a robe once you’re at your selected spa, choosing clothing to arrive in can be difficult. Comfort and practicality should be your two main considerations when deciding on your outfit.
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. Trainers and sports shoes are often allowed too, but their use is likely to be restricted to dry areas, for hygiene reasons.
If you are staying at one of our luxury spa hotels, be aware that 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 blouse or shirt (plus a jacket, for men).
IMPORTANT: Please check with us, or the official website for your selected spa, to confirm its dress code before completing your booking.
If you want to travel light to a spa day, consider wearing your swimming costume/shorts under your outfit instead of your usual underwear, and wear flipflops to the spa if the weather allows (these can be easily rinsed and worn in most areas of a spa).
Ladies should tie their hair back, if possible, and arrive makeup-free, so they are treatment-ready.
Do I have to take my own robe?
Many spas offer complimentary robe (and slipper) use. Others might charge a rental fee or request a deposit. If you book a spa package, this should be listed as an inclusion. If in doubt, contact us or the spa to make sure. In most cases, you are welcome to pack and use your own robe.
Do spas have robes in different sizes?
Again, this will vary between spas. So, if you have special requirements, it is important to check ahead of time. Most spas will accommodate different sizes, and there are even spas that make a point of catering to plus size guests. Again, feel free to bring your own.
What do you wear underneath your robe?
This depends upon 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 in the guide.
What footwear do I wear to the spa?
Slippers and flipflops are the order of the day in a spa. You should bring both. The spa might provide slippers for you to use, either for free or for a small rental fee. Contact us or the spa ahead of your arrival to check. If you are using the wet areas of the spa (the pool and Jacuzzi, for example), flipflops 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?
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. However, it is a good idea to leave any valuables, such as electronic devices and jewellery, at home. You’re at the spa to relax, after all! You don’t want to be worrying about your smartphone or finest jewels!
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 hoody): 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.
Remember: Inclusions and facilities vary between venues and spa packages - always check individual listings.
Will I need to get naked 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 occupying a spa’s public areas, and must wear a swimming costume/shorts while enjoying the venue’s Jacuzzi and steam room facilities.
The practice of ‘draping’ is often used within treatment rooms to enable full body massages, wraps and scrubs. 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. - while ensuring modesty. Treated areas will be covered before the therapist begins work elsewhere on your body.
Most spas allow guests to keep their underwear on during draping to make them feel more comfortable. Alternatively, some spas may supply you with disposable paper underwear for hygiene reasons and to protect your own from contact with (potentially staining) therapeutic oils or lotions.
You should check with us or the official website of your selected spa to confirm its specific rules regarding nudity. If you are particularly concerned about getting fully, or partially, naked, you can still enjoy a wonderful spa experience. Simply choose treatments which will never involve nudity, such as facials and manicures.
All spas and their staff understand that potential nudity can cause great anxiety for guests - even seasoned spa-goers can feel uncomfortable in this regard.
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.
Need further help?
Call us on 08444 77 44 77 today and we’ll tell you all you need to know.