Spa Etiquette – How to Act and What to Expect at a Day Spa

Is this your first time at a day spa? You are probably apprehensive about the new experience and nervous because you don't know what to expect or are unfamiliar with the etiquette practices. Here are few hints to help you fit in at the spa and minimize stress through achieving greater relaxation, which is the whole mission of a day spa.

Arrive on Time

It is important that you arrive at least 15 minutes early to your appointment, allowing time to fill out any required paperwork and change your clothing. You may even want to come earlier and take advantage of the spa's sauna or steam room in an effort to further unwind.

When scheduling your appointment make sure you give yourself a heavy cushion of time between your spa appointment and other engagements on your schedule. This is important because feeling stressed about time may negate the calming effect of your massage. If for some reason you cannot make your appointment, call the day spa at least 24 hours prior to your appointment. This is common courtesy as well as requirement of many spas in order to avoid a cancellation fee.

Maintain Silence

When you arrive, immediately turn off your cell phone to maintain a quiet and calm atmosphere. Also, be sure to speak softly, as you would in a library. You are the not the only one trying to relax at the day spa so keep all social conversation at a low volume and do not bring children.


Most people are most apprehensive about this aspect of a day spa. It is customary to undress completely for massages, this includes jewelry. Towels and robes are provided by most day spas and should be used while walking from room to room. The therapist will give you instructions and then leave the room while you lie on the table and drape the cloth over your body.

During the treatment, your private parts remain covered at all times. If disrobing makes you uncomfortable, feel free to wear a swim suit or leave your underwear on. Also, if you prefer a same-sex therapist, mention that when scheduling your appointment.

Give the Therapist Feedback

During your massage communicate with your therapist. If you desire a change in pressure, music, room temperature, or talking, tell them. They want to make you comfortable and will follow your lead. Also make sure to tell them of any problem areas and if you experience any pain.

Be respectful of the schedule

Following a massage, the therapist will tell you to take your time getting up to avoid getting dizzy or light headed. They will leave you alone in the room, but this is not the time to take a nap. An appropriate time to lie on the table before getting up is 5-10 minutes.

Do not take longer than this, as the room must be sanitized and prepared for the next scheduled patient. If you feel you need more relaxation time, most day spas provide a relaxation room for this very purpose. Day spas do not intend to rush anyone, but still have schedules to follow.


It is customary and polite to tip the therapist that provided you your treatment. This is done when checking out and paying for the procedure rather than just handed to the therapist. Like restaurants, the tip should be at least 15-20% of the procedure price.

If you are still nervous about the whole experience, remember to tell the staff that it is your first time throughout the entire visit. This will ensure that they give you more detailed instructions and will do everything they can to make your trip to the day spa as positive and relaxing as possible.

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