Whether you’ve been to a spa before or not, you may not realize that there are some unwritten rules pertaining to your time in this relaxing environment. Although you are probably aware of the written policies, such as those regarding calling ahead to make appointments (walk-ins are generally not accommodated), adhering to the cancellation policy if you don’t want to be charged, and informing the spa of any relevant medical conditions, just for example, you might not know the guidelines for good behavior that make up spa-going etiquette. So here are just a few tips that should help you to better enjoy your time at a beauty spa.
- Shower. Although it is not required that you shower before treatments, it’s probably better for everyone involved if you do. Showing up to an appointment in your baggy sweats is one thing, especially if you know you’ll be drenched in oil during your treatment and you don’t want to ruin your nicer apparel. But failing to shower beforehand because you know you’ll have to do so after is just gross.
- Skip a meal. Okay, you don’t actually have to go hungry before you head to the spa, but you might not want to eat a huge meal or drink a bunch of water right before your appointment. For one thing, you don’t want to have to run to the bathroom mid-treatment, especially if it’s the sort of therapy that requires you to be nude and wrapped like a mummy. In addition, getting a massage after a large meal could be terribly uncomfortable.
- Arrive on time. Spas don’t exactly run like clockwork, especially if guests take their aestheticians up on the up-sells that will tack extra time onto their treatments. But that doesn’t mean you can show up late and expect to get service. Generally speaking, if you arrive more than 10-15 minutes after your appointment was scheduled to start you’ll have to reschedule AND pay the cancellation fee for your missed appointment. Ouch.
- Leave your cell phone at home. Spas are a place of relaxation where people come to get away from it all, and most don’t want to be disturbed. So it shouldn’t surprise you if you get nasty looks when your cell phone starts playing your ‘Wrecking Ball’ ring tone at top volume. Even in vibrate mode your phone can disturb other guests, and your conversations, even in whispers, could definitely put the kibosh on their Zen. So turn off the tech and get a little R&R yourself.
- Tip appropriately. Whether you’re visiting the Ritz Carleton Spa at L.A. Live or the Bella Sante Boston spa location, it’s expected that in addition to the cost of your treatment, you’ll tip your technicians on the way out the door. Tips should always be in cash, so come prepared (many spas don’t offer the option to tip with plastic) and you’ll want to give the standard 15-20%, depending on how satisfied you are. In most cases, tipping envelopes are provided at the front desk so you don’t have to worry about digging through your purse in a dark room or tracking down every person that participated in your treatments. You should only skip the tip if the service was horrendous and you never plan on returning.