Spa Frequently Asked Questions

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How do I find the right spa or wellness destination? 
Reading stories written by professional writers (such as those you’ll find here at Travel to Wellness), getting recommendations from a trusted friend or colleague or contacting industry associations such as Leading Spas of Canada, Relais Sante Spas or ISPA (the International Spa Association)are a few suggestions.

What’s the difference between a destination spa and a resort spa? 
A destination spa focuses on delivering wellness therapies, programs, facilities and services geared to health and wellbeing. This focus on health and wellness provides the primary reason for visiting the destination. A resort spa may also provide numerous therapies, programs, facilities and services to complement their recreation options, but the overall focus is the “get away” aspect not primarily healthy lifestyle enhancements.

What do I pack to take with me?
This varies with your choice of spa. Some destination spas actually encourage guests to dine in their robes, while at other properties, guests would be more comfortable wearing the usual attire to the dining room. At the time of booking, it’s best to clarify the dress code, and in many cases, you’ll find that your chosen venue provides a brochure (or referral to a website) detailing clothing suggestions and requirements.

Should I shower before a treatment?
It’s best that you feel comfortable going into your first treatment and if showering induces a sense of well-being for you, by all means shower. Cleanliness is appreciated by therapists.

What do I wear for a treatment?
The type of treatment that you will experience will dictate attire; however, for most treatments other than manicures and pedicures, you will feel more relaxed without the constraints that undergarments usually provide. Just remember that all therapists are trained in special draping techniques to ensure that the only exposed part of the body is the area being worked on at the time.

What if I don’t feel comfortable with my therapist?
Your comfort level is important because it helps to ensure maximum benefit from the treatment. Like any other service that you pay for, it is your prerogative to simply say “I am not comfortable and do not want this treatment to continue.”

What happens at the end of the treatment? 
The therapist will signal the end of the treatment by telling you it’s over and he or she will depart the room so that you can put your robe on again.

How much do I tip? 
Like other personal services, customary tips range from 10-20%.

Are tips included in a package?
Packages are usually quoted exclusive of tips unless otherwise indicated.

What do I wear under the robe?
This depends on the treatment you are having and your comfort level. Generally speaking, the more relaxed you feel, the more benefit you’ll receive from the treatment. At no time will you feel “nude” because therapists are trained in draping techniques to ensure that the only exposed part of the body is the area being worked on. Most spas also offer disposable underwear. Don’t hesitate to ask..

What do I wear to walk around the spa or in the restaurant?
Prepare for the dress code by discussing it when making a booking. Once there, take your cue from other clientele, or when in doubt, ask a staff member. Some destination spas encourage clientele to wear robes in the dining room, but most other spas do not.

Are there special health considerations for certain treatments? 
Health conditions such as high blood pressure preclude you from taking hydrotherapy treatments; however, the health assessment form that is a requirement at reputable spas will flag any health conditions, and therapists will advise whether you should avoid certain therapies. Conversely, therapists can recommend therapies to address certain health concerns.