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Spa Etiquette: What to Expect

by | Nov 8, 2023 | Spa | 0 comments

Welcome to this comprehensive guide on spa etiquette and what you can expect during your spa visit. For many of us, a trip to the spa is a chance to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and find serenity.

However, as you step into the spa environment, it’s essential to understand the etiquettes that apply. In this guide, we’ll address questions like: What should you wear to the spa? Are there specific rules to follow at the spa? How do you provide appropriate tips? Everything will be unveiled here, so let’s dive in!

What to Wear to the Spa?

When planning a visit to the spa, the first thing you need to know is what to wear. Most spas have different clothing policies, so it’s essential to check the specific spa requirements before you go. However, there are some general guidelines you can follow:

1. Swimsuits or Spa Attire:

– If you’re visiting a spa with water facilities such as hot tubs or pools, wearing a swimsuit is customary. Ensure it’s clean and in good condition.
– For other spa treatments like massages or facials, you’ll typically be provided with a robe and disposable undergarments.

2. Footwear:

– Spa floors can be slippery, so it’s best to wear spa-provided slippers or go barefoot. Leave your outdoor shoes in designated areas.

3. Minimal Jewelry:

– It’s advisable to leave valuable jewelry at home. Minimal jewelry like wedding rings is acceptable.

4. Comfortable Attire:

– Wear loose and comfortable clothing to and from the spa. You’ll want to relax before and after your treatments.

Spa Rules and Etiquette

Spas are places of tranquility and relaxation, and to ensure that all guests have a pleasant experience, there are specific rules and etiquettes to follow:

1. Arrive Early:

– Plan to arrive at least 15-30 minutes before your appointment. This gives you time to check-in, change, and unwind.

2. Respect Quiet Zones

– Many spas have designated quiet areas. Speak softly, if at all, in these areas to maintain a peaceful atmosphere.

3. Mobile Phones Off

– Turn off your mobile phone or set it to silent mode to avoid disturbing other guests.

4. Personal Hygiene

– Before spa treatments, ensure you’re clean and showered. Avoid wearing strong fragrances as a courtesy to others.

5. Communication

– Communicate your preferences with your therapist. Whether it’s the pressure during a massage or allergies to specific products, open communication is key.

Tipping at the Spa

Tipping at the spa is customary, but it can vary based on location and the quality of service. Here’s what you should know about spa tipping:

1. Check Spa Policy:

– Some spas include the service charge in your bill, while others leave it to your discretion. Check the spa’s policy to avoid double-tipping.

2. Typical Tipping Range:

– A standard tip at the spa falls within the range of 15% to 20% of the treatment cost.

3. Cash is Preferred:

– While some spas accept tips on credit cards, cash is preferred for tips. Prepare accordingly.

Understanding Spa Treatments

Spa treatments come in a variety of options, and it’s essential to understand what to expect from each type:

1. Massage:

– Massages are designed to relax your muscles and promote well-being. You’ll typically disrobe and be covered with a sheet or towel.

2. Facial:

– Facials involve cleansing, exfoliation, and skincare. You’ll lie down, and the esthetician will apply various products to your face.

3. Body Wraps:

– During a body wrap, you’re usually covered in mud, seaweed, or other substances to detoxify and hydrate the skin.

4. Sauna and Steam Rooms:

– These facilities help to open pores and detoxify your body. Make sure to shower before using them.

FAQs About Spa Etiquette

1. Can I bring my own products to the spa for treatments?

It’s generally best to use the products provided by the spa, as they are chosen to complement the treatments. However, if you have allergies or specific preferences, discuss this with the spa beforehand.

2. What should I do if I’m running late for my spa appointment?

If you’re running late, call the spa to inform them. They may need to shorten your treatment time, but it’s essential to respect the following appointments of other guests.

3. Is it appropriate to make conversation with my spa therapist during treatments?

While it’s okay to make small talk or communicate your preferences, many guests prefer to enjoy their treatments in silence. Your therapist will follow your lead.

4. Can I bring my own snacks or beverages to the spa?

Most spas provide refreshments like herbal tea and fruit. Bringing your own snacks or beverages is typically not necessary, and it’s best to check the spa’s policy.

5. Are there any age restrictions for spa treatments?

Age restrictions may vary by spa and treatment. Some spas offer treatments for children, while others have age restrictions. It’s best to inquire with the spa directly.

6. Is it acceptable to tip the spa receptionist or other staff besides the therapist?

It’s not common to tip the receptionist or other staff directly. However, if someone has gone above and beyond to assist you, a small tip may be appreciated.


Visiting a spa can be a truly rejuvenating experience, but adhering to spa etiquette is crucial to ensure a harmonious environment for all guests. Understanding what to wear, the rules, and tipping practices will help you make the most of your spa visit.

Keep in mind that specific spa policies and customs may vary, so always check with the spa in advance to be well-prepared for a day of relaxation and self-care. Enjoy your spa experience and leave feeling refreshed and revitalized!