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Spa Etiquette

Spa Etiquette


Thoughtful courtesy makes the spa experience better than ever!


By Tracy Leigh Ritts

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Ah! A day at the spa. Could anything be more relaxing? A day of pampering can help you relax, feel beautiful, and ease the stress of the daily grind.

With today's economic realities affecting all of us, this sort of indulgence may seem excessive. And yet, if you have decided not to take a vacation this year, and have cut out other small luxuries, a day of relaxation may help all areas of your life.

To keep the day running as smoothly as a silk robe and get the most from it, keep etiquette in mind. What? Spa etiquette? Yes, it does exist and if you’re planning a day at the spa, knowing what to expect will enhance the entire experience.

  • Turn off your cell phone!
    Not only will a ringing phone ruin your relaxation, it will interfere with other guests. You’re at the spa to rejuvenate. There’s no reason to let the outside world crowd in. Take full advantage of your time there and be courteous to others and yourself. Leave the phone off. If you worry about the sitter not reaching you, give her the number of the spa. The staff will find you if there’s an emergency.
  • Arrive at least fifteen minutes early!
    If you show up at the last minute, or even late, you’ll shorten the time you’re paying for. You’ll also feel rushed, which isn’t the best way to begin your spa treatments. In addition, many spas prefer their clientele to slip into a robe before the treatments begin. Arriving early will give you the time you need to do this. The spa staff will appreciate this.
  • Speak up!
    No matter what treatments are in store for you, if you feel uncomfortable at any moment – speak up. If you’re in the middle of a massage and the masseuse is applying too much pressure, be sure to tell her or him. The spa’s staff members are there to make you feel good, and they can’t do this as well if you don’t communicate with them.
  • Keep quiet!
    Don’t chat with fellow spa guests unless it seems completely appropriate. A few pleasant words as you wait for your herbal wrap or share a bench in the sauna are fine. A rapid-fire chat is not. Most spa guests expect a quiet, soothing day. If you go with a friend, keep this in mind, too. Don't gossip endlessly while in earshot of other guests.
  • Don’t be cheap!
    Tipping appropriately is important. At the very least, a 10 percent tip should be left for each person involved in your treatments. If that facial was the best you’ve ever had – tip more! This means before you schedule a spa day, mentally add in the tip totals to the spa fees.

A spa day or even a few hours is a great way to unwind, relax, and get a pick-me-up. Remember, the staff is there to help you do just this. By following the above tips, you’ll feel like a new woman!


Tracy Leigh Ritts is a freelance writer based in Ohio She’s the author of the book, How to Plan Your Own Wedding and Save Thousands…Without Going Crazy.


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