A guide to spa etiquette

texting during manicure

We want you to have the best time possible when enjoying one of our fantastic spa day deals. After all, the plan is that you leave us as relaxed as possible, and we do all we can to ensure that from the moment you step into one of our award-winning spas that you are as comfortable as can be. If you are new to the spa world, or simply unsure of a few things, we hope this guide to spa etiquette can help ease you through your spa experience.

When should you arrive?

smart ladies watch

As with most appointments, we suggest you arrive slightly early for your treatments. Not only does this allow you to start relaxing as soon as possible, but it also means you won’t lose any precious minutes off your treatment. Due to our scheduling and respect for other guests, we would not be able to extend your appointment to make up for the shortfall.

When you arrive, our wonderful team will help guide you through what you need to do, and in the case of first-time visitors, there is a short questionnaire to fill in which provides us with your medical and contact information. This is another reason it’s useful to arrive early.

We spoke to Bexa, blogger at Hello Bexa, who told us about how she approaches booking and why she advises you arrive early: “To get the most out of your spa experience, do your research first. Most spas will have a list of treatments they offer on their website, so check and decide what you want before you go. If you have any questions or concerns, you can always e-mail or phone the spa in advance to chat about your options. On the day, arrive early to give yourself plenty of time to chill out and familiarise yourself with the facilities, put your phone on silent and most importantly, relax and enjoy the day.” 

Can I choose a therapist?

Here at Champneys, we want to make you as comfortable as possible, and if that means you’d like to book with your preferred therapist, then providing that they are available, at your chosen time, we will do that. We suggest getting in touch and sending your requests as soon as you book, so that we can try and make the necessary arrangements.

Should I tip?

We always strive to provide the best treatments possible and, in an instance where you feel inclined to leave a tip, we are happy for you to do so. We know how great our therapists are and we are happy that people can see that as well. Depending on the situation you can give the tip either directly to your therapist or to the front desk team when leaving the spa.

We spoke to Nathalie, makeup artist, skincare specialist and blogger at Nathalie Eleni. She gave us a great piece of advice on tipping: “I think if your therapist has carried out a great treatment and really gone above and beyond, then you should tip, it’s a sign of appreciation  - I tend to keep some money in my robe so after the treatment I can give it to the therapist in the room so I’m not doing it publicly - I like to do it discretely.” Nathalie gave some more great advice which you can see throughout this article.

Can I use my mobile phone?

women on mobile phones

Spas should be places of relaxation, and we do everything within our power to make that true of all our locations. As such, we prefer that mobile phones are hidden and kept on silent for your visit to our city spas. At our resorts, we ask that they are kept in your bedroom and not brought out into public areas.

Nathalie had this to say: “Mobile phones are fine if on silent in case you need to check messages or emails - but definitely not talking, or beeping etc - or taking photos when other people are in the room.”

Do I have to talk during my spa treatments?

How your treatment goes is entirely up to you. Depending on the treatment you are having, you may want to have a light conversation with our therapist, or you may want to simply enjoy in silence. We train all our staff to recognise when someone may want to talk, and when someone simply wants to be left to relax and our team are happy to respect that.

If there is something about your treatment that doesn’t feel quite as you expected, or you have any questions at all feel free to ask your therapists. They will be happy to adapt the treatment to suit your taste by changing the amount of light in the room, the kind of music you are listening to, the room temperature and more, simply ask.

Nathalie agreed, and even suggested talking to your therapist before the treatment starts to highlight your specific requests: “Before the start of your treatment, explain to your therapist how you like your pressure etc - your therapist will feel a lot happier knowing they are carrying out your treatment to your specifications so don’t be scared to speak up.”

What should I wear?

grey trainers

When in the spa facilities, you’ll be best served by a comfortable swimming costume, and you’ll be provided with a robe and flip flops. When arriving at the spa we suggest you wear light, comfortable clothing that is easy to slip on and off. For a longer trip knowing what to pack can depend on what your plans are and how long your trip is, but we always recommend being comfortable before anything, after all, you’re here to relax.

When it comes to jewellery we also suggest you wear minimal items making it easier to take them off and put them back on when needs be. If you do have items, you’ll need to remove and store them, we suggest bringing a jewellery bag with you to ensure they stay safe and easy to find after your treatment.

Nathalie also suggested always showering before a treatment: “Ensure you shower before your treatment - even if you have showered in the morning - it’s nice to have a quick shower before - especially as lots of relaxation treatments include a foot massage and it’s nice for your therapist to have clean feet looking up at her, rather than ones that have been walking around barefoot all morning.”

Do I have to be naked?

undressed woman

For some treatments, it may be beneficial to have clothing that can be easily removed or worked around. However, this is entirely up to you. We want you to be as comfortable as possible and will work to accommodate that. Regardless of the reason, you may want to keep certain areas of your body covered we will work to make sure you can still have the same experience.

We spoke to Tara, lifestyle blogger at Where Is Tara? who spoke to us about her experiences with this: “I think the biggest problem I had with spas, in the beginning, is the varying degrees of undress required for a massage. Bra on, bra off, pants on, pants off, disposable underwear, completely naked? It's always a guessing game. So, to be on the safe side I always ask the therapist when we're walking to the room and just go with whatever he/she says. God knows I hate the disposable underwear, but if that's what they hand me, that's what I put on. By asking I avoid any embarrassing moments. The very first massage I had was in a very open room, so I kept my bra, meaning my poor Thai masseuse had to wrestle with it for a few seconds. It was VERY uncomfortable. Luckily I've managed to avoid any issues like that ever since."

What if I have specific allergies/medical conditions?

If you have any type of medical condition, it’s worth mentioning it at the point of booking an appointment. Certain treatments may not be advisable for people with certain medical conditions so by having a conversation with a member of our staff early you can be sure there will be no problems further down the line. It’s also worth discussing any allergies or medical conditions with your therapist before your treatment starts so they can be aware of them.

If there are more questions you feel you need answers to, feel free to check out our FAQs page. If not, we look forward to seeing you on your next spa break.

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