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Protocol To Be Followed At A Spa

Typical situations demand typical way of behavior. Like, we are expected to have a deadpan expression at a funeral, while the same poker face look can be irksome at a party formal dinner, a business luncheon, a casual party, or a family get-together. This etiquette is the mirror of your persona. It betrays your breeding and decides the social circle that you hobnob with. Each place demands a special code of conduct, and a spa is no exception. A newbie to the spa culture might need guidelines to follow on what to expect and how to behave at a spa. Here are the basics.

Arrive Early

Report at least 20 minutes before the time of the scheduled appointment in order to check in, change into a robe and comfortable slippers and settle down. Arrive earlier still if you wish to enjoy the facilities such as a hot shower, a steam room, a sauna or the like at the place.

Switch Off Your Cell Phone

The ambience of a spa is meant to relax your nerves. Everything, right from the staff members to the music to the soothing colors conspire to this effect. The ringing cell phone is definitely an irritant to fellow visitors and the staff alike. Moreover, it comes in the way of your own relaxing. Hence remember to switch it off the moment you step inside the spa, to enjoy a carefree session of a laidback treatment.

Dress Casually

Wear light clothes when heading to a spa. Convey your preference to the therapist depending upon whether you want to be fully clothed during the massage or don't mind being nude. Staff members respect your modesty. Only the part to be treated will be exposed while care is taken to cover all other parts of the body. Also avoid wearing jewellery for the massage, because it hinders movement needed for strokes.

Order of Treatments

If you have scheduled two or more treatments in a single spa visit, keep the order of the treatments right. Like, a body treatment followed by a massage followed by a facial. If you are not sure of the order of treatments, do not hesitate to ask the staff for the ideal sequence of the treatments. They would be more than happy to guide you.

Choose Your Therapist

While booking for a treatment, request for getting a massage from a therapist of your choice. If you feel more comfortable with one therapist than the other, the spa will make the necessary arrangements. You can also decide whether you want to get a massage from a male or female therapist. Let the spa know of your preferences well in time.

Ask For The Right Pressure

If the massage is hurting you or is too light, tell the therapist so. You may want a more vigorous or a more light massage. Feel free to ask for what you want. Also speak up if anything else is causing discomfort – be it music, light, or temperature.

Choose Whether You Want to Talk or Remain Quiet

During the massage, it is up to you to speak or remain quiet. The therapist will take a cue from you, and respond if you start a conversation or remain quiet if you do so.

Talk About Injuries

Let the therapist know about any physical conditions or injuries so that he may suggest remedies or enhancements in the therapy. It will also help him focus on the area of the injury and take care that the massage does not directly hurt the affected area.

Relax After The Massage

Often, the therapist will ask you to take your time to get up after a massage. Do not hurry to leave the room behind him. But taking your time to get up does not mean you can have a nap. Understand the need for the room to be vacated for the next client. Though, do not hastily get up from the massage table. Give yourself a minimum of five minutes to relax and then change to your normal clothes before leaving the room. If you feel like relaxing for a little while more, there are lounge areas and meditation rooms in the spa for the purpose.

Tip the Staffers

Any satisfactory service rendered should be tipped. A tip of 15-20% of the total amount of treatments is a reasonable one. If you are using a gift certificate ask on the front desk if the tip was included. Do not worry about whom to hand over the tip. Almost all the spas make available envelops for this purpose, which are provided to guests by the front desk executives while checking out. Place your tip in the envelope and do not forget to mention your therapist's name on the top of it.


If you have any other issue regarding anything, feel free to ask the staff there. They will be more than curious to solve your problem to be a good host. Remember that making you feel comfortable is their main concern.


Your motive behind visiting a spa is to relax and rejuvenate. Take care that nothing comes between these objectives, not even the stress of becoming a perfect guest. At the same time, respect others' space, too, and you won't need to follow any other rules. Be yourself and go by your intuition. The spa wants you to savor your experience. Help them do that.
About the Author
Rohan Mistry is the owner of a day spa in Mumbai. Being in trade for about a decade, he is the keen observer of upcoming trends in the spa industry. Destination spas are the next big thing if his predictions are to be believed.
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