I have a lot of clients ask me various questions about spa etiquette. I have written previous blogs on the subject, but I will address it again. It is first necessary to state that coming to a spa environment isn’t scary and should be looked forward to. The trend toward “Luxury” spas is shifting back to more therapies for health and wellness.
Today, there is nothing indulgent about going to a spa. In the crazy busy, fast-paced world that we live in, receiving spa treatments to prevent chronic stress is a very smart decision. When we have too much cortisol (the stress hormone) circulating through our system for prolonged periods of time, we are simply asking for trouble. Spas have a rich history of providing a source of healing and today’s spas are providing more and more therapeutic services to their treatment menus.
In order to make your experience more pleasurable, here are some guidelines for your visit:
Age Requirement: Most spa environments are appropriate for those 18 years of age and older. That is not to say teens and even pre-teens are not welcome. They can certainly benefit from skin care treatments, spray tanning and other services. They must, however, be accompanied by their parent or guardian. Written permission will be required prior to receiving any treatment. The spa is not a place for children, as a calm, quiet environment is expected. An ambiance of tranquility is always found in an excellent spa and you should be expected to contribute in that manner, as well. Please be respectful of the quiet and privacy of other spa guests by refraining from using electronic equipment (cell phones, iPods, etc.) while in the area. It is also expected that you speak softly or simply enjoy the beauty of silence. Of course, there is never any smoking while at most spas.
Cancellation of Appointments: 24 hours notice is required in most circumstances. Remember that your service is scheduled just for you and if you fail to arrive or arrive late you are taking up valuable time on your therapist’s schedule. Late arrivals may be asked to reschedule so that they may receive the full benefit of their scheduled service, or you may be given what ever allowed time is left with your scheduled appointment. In case of a no-show your credit card may be charged a portion or even the full amount of your scheduled service.
What to Bring: That depends. For most services you will change from your street clothes into a gown and/or robe. Changing rooms, areas, or lockers are typically available to spa guests. For airbrush tanning you may bring a swimsuit (though many clients prefer all over tanning and opt for no clothing) and a loose fitting change of clothes to put on after your tanning service.
Check-In: Most spas ask that you arrive a minimum of 15 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment, though allowing more time only gives you more opportunity to “gear down”. You will have information/health assessment forms to complete and permission slips to sign prior to receiving your service. This is necessary to assist your therapists in providing the best experience possible and to assure your safety and comfort. It is extremely important that you disclose any pertinent health conditions or other information that may affect your spa experience.
Gratuity: A tip is above and beyond the service fee and is certainly appropriate. Some large spas automatically add in a 20% service fee that is distributed to the staff. It is always an option at smaller spas and completely up to the client. If you especially enjoyed your treatment, by all means, let your therapist know.
Gift Cards: Most spas offer gift cards for purchase either for specific services or for a specified dollar amount. Spa service gift cards make a lovely gift for any occasion.
Retail: Most spas have either a Boutique or retail display featuring their preferred products. Some even offer logo items and giftables like candles, teas, jewelry and others. Many large spas will ship your purchases for your convenience.
I hope you find this information helpful and informative. My practice is a single practioner operation. I do not have any staff and try to always perform on a tight schedule for efficiency and convenience of my clients. I ask that you expect the best of me at every visit and commit my respect and professionalism to you.