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September 09, 2009

Spa Etiquette for First-Timers

Spa etiquette A little relaxation time just what the doctor ordered? If you’ve never gone to a spa resort before, here are some spa etiquette suggestions to help you make the most of your visit. Keep in mind these are only suggestions; each spa is unique, and its best to call ahead with any questions.

•   Arrive at least 20 minutes before your spa appointment so you have time to check in, change into your robe and slippers, and relax. Get there even sooner if the spa has a steam room, sauna or hot tub. It will help relax you before your massage. Shower off the hot tub's chlorinated water before your spa treatment. A hot shower can also relax you before your spa treatment and make it more enjoyable.

•   If you’re uncomfortable with anything during your treatment – the pressure, the music, or the temperature - speak up. The therapist will make an adjustment. You can talk during the treatment or stay quiet, as you choose. At the end, when the therapist says, "Take your time getting up," that usually means a few minutes - it's not an invitation to take a nap.

•   Tip just like you would at a restaurant: 15-20%. If you were given a gift certificate, ask if the tip was included.

•   Generally, undress completely for body services, your therapist will keep your body draped in dry services and only expose area to be worked upon; however in wet services such as body scrubs, body wraps and hydrotherapies you will not be draped in order to reap maximum benefits. Swimsuits are generally optional.

•   In the steam room, avoid wearing a bathing suit as the dyes can get into your pores - the wrapped towel covering all private areas is adequate. However, in the Unisex Steam room it is best to adhere to the policy of the spa. To close your pores after a steam room visit, shower with cold water. Drink plenty of purified water while in the steam room; a typical stay should not exceed five to ten minutes. 

•   For resort and hotel spas, it's best to book 1–2 months prior to your visit, as resort spas often fill up fast. Be sure to turn off your cell phone during your time in the spa facilities.

For spa reviews from RTM, click here.

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