spa etiquette

Spa Etiquette: Essential Tips for a Relaxing and Respectful Experience

The Complete Guide to Spa Etiquette: Enhancing Your Wellness Journey

Embarking on a spa day offers a unique opportunity to unwind, rejuvenate, and indulge in self-care. Adhering to spa etiquette is key to ensuring your visit is as blissful and beneficial as possible. This guide provides you with comprehensive insights into making the most of your spa experience, respecting both the serene environment and other guests.

Maximizing Your Spa Experience: Essential Tips and Etiquette

This guide is designed so you can make the most of your spa day:

  • Learn how to make spa reservations that will not let you down later
  • What to wear and what to expect.
  • The Dos and Don’ts Before Service

Please keep in mind each spa is unique, and you should always check ahead if you are unsure of anything. Spas are designed to be peaceful, calm experiences; knowing how to spa will ensure that you always have the most Spavelous experience.

 Common Spa Questions and Answers

embracing the spa culture
By adhering to these comprehensive spa etiquette tips, you’ll enhance your wellness journey and contribute to a serene and healing environment for all guests.

Before You Arrive

Planning Your Visit

  • Secure Your Appointments Early: Aim to book treatments and meal times well in advance, particularly at resort or hotel spas, to guarantee your preferred slots. Let them know about special arrangements you may need.
  • Medical Conditions or Allergies: Inform the spa of any health concerns to tailor your treatment appropriately.
  • Gender of Therapists: Most spas will rotate and balance which therapists do your treatment. If you prefer a male or a female therapist, you must express this when booking the service. If this is a return visit to the spa and you have enjoyed the services of a particular therapist on a prior visit, feel free to request that person again.
  • Understand Cancellation Policies: Familiarize yourself with the spa’s cancellation policy to avoid potential fees.
  • Prepare for Your Day: Pack two sets of swimwear for a comfortable switch and inquire about any dress codes for the spa’s restaurant or relaxation areas. Bring your own flip-flops or sandals if you prefer.
  • Children: Verify the spa’s policy on children; spas typically offer a peaceful retreat best enjoyed without young ones.
  • Pets: Unless your pet is for guide purposes, it is best to stay at home. Check with the policies of your spa.
  • Eating and Drinking: Stay hydrated and avoid alcohol before treatments. Eat at least an hour before any service.
  • Spa Services and The Sun May Not Mix: When sunbathing before a service, use a proper pH to avoid sunburns. After exfoliation services, sunbathing is not recommended. After a spa service, you should not indulge in heavy physical activity. Check with the spa for their recommendations for approved after-spa activities to ensure you receive the maximum benefits of your service.
  • Shaving: Men should shave their face at least 2 – 4 hours before a facial. Women should shave any body parts at least the day before.

Upon Arrival

Setting the Stage for Relaxation

  • Punctuality is Paramount: Arrive 15-30 minutes before your scheduled appointment to enjoy a full treatment without rush.
  • Dress Appropriately: Most spas provide robes and sandals, but bringing comfortable attire and your own clean flip-flops or slippers is advisable.
  • Health First: Notify your therapist of any health conditions or allergies to tailor your treatment safely.

During Your Stay

Embracing the Spa Culture

  • Device-Free Zone: Leave your mobile phone and electronic devices on airplane mode in the locker to immerse yourself in the tranquil spa environment fully.
  • Keep Valuables Secure: Utilize lockers for your belongings and, if possible, leave valuables at home.
  • Hygiene Practices: Shower before using any facilities and remove makeup or skincare products to enhance the benefits of your treatments.
  • Environmentally Friendly: Use only the number of towels necessary; washing them uses water and electricity, which are limited resources in some communities.
  • Smoking: For the most part, spas are non-smoking establishments. Check with the spa to see if there are any designated smoking areas before your visit if this is a concern.

Spa Facilities and Treatments

  • Hydrotherapy Harmony: Limit your time in hot tubs to 15 minutes to be considerate of other guests.
  • Respect Quiet Areas: Use soft voices and maintain silence in designated relaxation spaces to ensure a peaceful atmosphere for all.
  • Treatment Etiquette: Communicate your comfort levels during massages or treatments regarding pressure and temperature, and feel free to enjoy treatments in silence.

Stream Room Etiquette Guide

Visiting a spa and utilizing its steam room can be a profoundly relaxing and detoxifying experience. Adhering to established spa and steam room etiquette is essential to ensure both your enjoyment and the comfort of others. This guide synthesizes best practices for a harmonious spa visit, focusing on steam room usage, booking advice, attire recommendations, and more.

Steam Room Etiquette
  • Pre and Post-Shower: Always take a shower before and after using the steam room to maintain hygiene and remove impurities.
  • Hydration: Carry a large bottle of water to stay hydrated during your steam session. Avoid dehydration by drinking plenty of water before and after.
  • Cool Compress and Towel: Bring a cool compress for your forehead and a rolled-up towel for neck support if lying down.
  • Attire: Use a clean towel to wrap around yourself, covering all private areas. In unisex environments, wearing a bathing suit or adhering to spa policy is advisable.
  • Closing Pores: After exiting the steam room, shower with cold water to close your pores.
  • Duration: Limit your steam room visit to 5-10 minutes to prevent overheating.
  • Health Precautions: Consult with a doctor before using a steam room if you are pregnant, have high blood pressure, or have other health concerns.

Treatment Etiquette

Relax and Enjoy the Calm Spa Sounds

  • Undressing: When and How: Your therapist will provide clear instructions on undressing and covering yourself. They respect your privacy and ensure your modesty throughout the treatment.
  • Communicating with Your Therapist: During treatments, open communication is key. Don’t hesitate to let your therapist know if you’d like more or less pressure or have any concerns.
    • All aspects of treatment can be modified to your taste: the amount of light, music level, room temperature, table temperature, and whether or not you choose to have a conversation or enjoy the treatment in silence.
  • Silent Bliss: The Art of Relaxing During Treatments. Embrace silence during treatments to savor the experience fully. Let go of distractions and immerse yourself in the soothing sensations.


Reflect and Relax

  • Hydration is Key: Drink plenty of water throughout your day to stay hydrated, especially after treatments that promote detoxification.
  • Leisurely Departure: Allow yourself time to relax and savor the post-treatment serenity in the spa’s lounge areas.


  • Ask if gratuities are included, though that is not usually the case. If not, 18 – 20 percent of the full-service price is customary, but you may, of course, leave more or less, depending on the quality of the service. 

Safety and Considerations

Ensuring a Safe and Pleasant Visit

  • Medical Advisory: Avoid spa visits if you have contagious conditions like pink eye, athlete’s foot, or verrucas, and always consult with a physician before booking treatments if you have significant health issues.
  • Fragrance-Free Policy: Refrain from wearing strong perfumes or colognes, as many guests have sensitivities.

Spa Etiquette Summary

By adhering to these comprehensive spa etiquette tips, you’ll enhance your wellness journey and contribute to a serene and healing environment for all guests. Remember, each spa may have its own set of guidelines, so consulting with your chosen spa directly for any specific requirements is recommended.