Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Spa Etiquette 101: Everything You Need To Know

Have you ever asked yourself any of these questions below prior to going to the spa? Perhaps you were second guessing a few things while you were in the changing area and slipping into your robe?

  • I am shy and may prefer a woman for my first time at a new spa, yet isn’t a guy generally stronger if I want a sports or deep tissue massage?
  • Do I take off all undergarments or leave some on during treatments?
  • Should I have shaved or waxed?
  • What do I say if I have a chatty masseuse and all I want to say is shhhh?
  • How much do I tip?

The whole point of “spa-ing” is to relax and if you’re stressing about the do’s and don’ts, that might be a challenge.  To that end, we polled more than 300 people, including spa directors and spa experts, to reveal the top questions you might be afraid or too shy to ask.

Boy Or Girl

If you prefer a male or female therapist…Just ask! Prior to booking your treatments, feel free to ask any questions and share any specifics regarding injuries, likes, dislikes, pressure, etc. The therapist will feel your energy if you tense up and you certainly do not want to be lying on the table with negative thoughts rolling around while Enya is playing in the background! Always share your level of comfort, modesty and what you truly want from the experience.  (& trust me…I had a 90 pound woman give me the best deep/sports tissue massage ever in Turks & Caicos!)

Undies Or Commando

“The massage therapist left the room and my friend Tom asked, “Do I keep my undies on?”  The sheer fact that he called his boxer briefs “undies” made me completely aware that he was out of his comfort zone and felt like a little kid.  We had a great laugh about it! ~ spa enthusiast

This indeed was Tom’s first spa experience and for some this can be a bit unnerving. This is an individual preference and if you want to keep your undergarments on, no problem! Various spas will give you disposable underwear too depending on treatment like a scrub, aromatherapy oil wrap or specialized massage.


Will the therapist be bothered that I did not shave or wax?

Easy answer …NO. (As men tend to have hairy legs and heck, some ladies do too…So, if you want to skip shaving a few days or you are awaiting your next wax appointment ~ No problem!) Also, if you are having a body scrub, you will NOT want to shave for at least 12 hours prior.

YES…Please bathe! Your therapist will be pleased. Also, great to shower if you use any of the pools or hot tubs to remove all chlorine and chemicals.

Chit Chat

When booking your appointment and you are searching for peace and true relaxation, it is always best to ask for a “quiet” treatment. This will then be relayed to the therapist by their staff prior to your session.

If you feel that the therapist has not honored this, feel free to say something like “Can you please turn up the soothing music?” or “I had a long day and looking forward to falling asleep!”  They will then certainly get the point.

A Penny Or A Pound

The customary amount to leave a therapist is 15-20% percent based on the full amount of the treatment

If the atmosphere, noise level, service and results of your experience all add up, then tipping is based on your final “zen-like” overall feeling.  An example is to ask yourself how you would tip when dining at a restaurant based on the same points. (If so, perhaps how your belly feels in place of “zen-like”!)

Calling all Groupon fans ~ This percentage amount means to tip on what you would have paid for usual regular price of service

Some spas automatically add on a gratuity percentage. If you want to add more…Great! Yet, if you feel like it was not worth the amount, you are completely open to mention this at checkout for a reduced amount.

Ultimately, life is way too short to not enjoy your spa experience. AND Always remember the old adage ~ There are no wrong questions!

So, put on your robe, brew a cup of herbal tea and relax!


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