Spa treatments at resorts can be incredibly expensive with weekly rates from USD $2-4,000 to which a hefty airfare need be added. Rather than jumping straight into the expensive options see what local treatments are available first, they may be a lot more affordable. As modest as some might options look they may provide the same well planned meals, regime of workouts, walks in the open air and instruction in nutrition and behavior modification.
Type of treatment
There are different kinds of packages you can purchase. Some are all-inclusive packages where meals, accommodation and everything else are paid for. These are designed as a total immersion experience while others may let you pay for individual services or day trips.
Clothing and modesty
In some parts of the world clothing is dispensed within the spa or bath environment. While these places are usually sex segregated some people may find it uncomfortable. If you are concerned ring in advance and discuss their policies and suggestions of activities you may prefer. Some therapies are best done without clothing while others may allow you to wear a bathing suit. Shiatsu massage, Thai massage, foot reflexology and cranio-sacral therapy are a few spa treatments you may want to consider if you don’t like taking your clothes off. If you are in a foreign culture try to enter with other clients and simply follow their lead. If any specific clothing is required it is often available for rent or purchase.
In some cultures tipping is expected for services provided beyond the entry fee or cost of the tour. This maybe so in North America or some Asian cultures whereas it is not expected in the South Pacific for example. Always ask if gratuities are included before you tip. About 10 per cent is usually fine and you can leave this at the reception desk or with the tour operator. If you receive multiple services from different people leave a separate tip for each.
If you are having a treatment don’t schedule any demanding activities after the appointment. Try to stay out of the sun and avoid alcoholic beverages. You should also try not to eat for at least an hour before a treatment and drink plenty of water before and afterwards particularly if it’s a fitness exercise or a sauna/steam room.
In order to avoid all worries and stress, leave all jewelry and valuables at your hotel safe, at the reception or somewhere else safe. Many spas or fitness locations do have lockers.
Communicate your preferences
Speak up about the type of therapist you prefer or the treatment you want. The music, depth of massage, room temperature, conversation/silence can be modified to your taste as the paying client. Similarly if you have preferred a particularly guide or therapist in the past, feel free to request their services next time you make a booking.
Some spas or resorts have care services for children, which allow you to relax as much as possible and get some time alone. Tour operators offering wellness pursuits may have an age limit enforced so you may have to find a sitter/nanny during that period. If children are with you, do consider their impact on the comfort and relaxation of others.
Always keep your conversations at a minimum or at a low volume in spas, bath houses, resorts or treatment facilities. These are areas of relaxation. You should always shower before entering a soaking pool, swimming pool or whirlpool. If you’re in the sauna sit on your towel and wear the plastic shoes provided or bring your own. Similarly be respectful of the environment by using only the towels necessary, limiting your use of water and cleaning up after yourself.