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A Quick Guide to Spa Etiquette

A Quick Guide to Spa Etiquette

Making an appointment for services at a spa is a treat, especially for moms who are used to taking care of other people’s needs all day. However, when it comes to actually relaxing and enjoying yourself at the spa, knowing what to expect and how to behave when you get there will put your mind at ease, especially if you don’t go to spas regularly. Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your spa experience.

Arrive early

Rushing in the door of the spa one minute before your treatment is scheduled to begin means that you’ll be late to the treatment room. Always plan to arrive 20 minutes early to give yourself time to check in and change into a robe and slippers. If the spa includes a steam room or hot tub that you’d like to use before your treatment, plan to arrive even earlier.

Turn off your phone

Switching your cell phone off is the first thing to do after you arrive. Chatting on your phone won’t help you relax, and it will be distracting to the other patrons and your therapist. Leave your worries at the door and keep your phone turned off while in the spa.

Nude or not?

North American massage therapists will use a sheet to cover the parts of your body that are not being massaged, so it’s fine to go nude for a full body massage. However, if you’re uncomfortable having a massage without wearing your underwear, it’s fine to leave them on.

Leaving the treatment room

Most therapists will tell you to “take your time getting ready” after a treatment. This is an invitation to take five minutes or so getting dressed slowly before leaving the treatment room. Falling asleep briefly during a massage is usually taken as a compliment, but it’s not OK to take a nap for 45 minutes before emerging again since the room will be needed for another client.

Tipping at the spa

As with other service industries, tipping at the spa is customary and good manners as a client. A tip of 15 to 20 per cent is good, or more if you feel you received exceptional service. You may tip your therapist at the end of your treatment in the treatment room, or have it added to your bill when you leave. You can also pay up front when you arrive to avoid dealing with a money transaction after your relaxation treatment, and that way you can also be sure you don’t forget to tip.

Final tips

Most people don’t want to be rude, but knowing what makes good manners in unfamiliar situations can be tricky. If you’re unsure whether or not something is OK, or you’d like your therapist to change something about your treatment, it’s always polite to ask in a respectful voice. It’s also a good idea to let your therapist know if you have any relevant health issues or if you’re pregnant. A spa treatment is an investment of your valuable time and money, so make the most of it and remember to relax and enjoy your experience.

Michelle Carchrae is a freelance writer and homeschooling mom to two girls. With a serious love for Vancouver and an equally serious need to get out of the house with two young kids, Michelle searches out the best kid and parent friendly places to go. Michelle also writes about parenting at her blog, The Parent Vortex.

Be sure to download our 2011 All About Mom Guide for great tips, resources, and articles.

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