Who better to teach us about spa etiquette than a Spa Therapist! We spoke to Shona Tarrant, manager of The Dawson Spa at the newly refurbished Dawson Hotel in Dublin City Center about the do’s and dont’s in spas.
Going to a spa for the very first time is always exciting and these simple tips will make your experience a relaxing and memorable one. If you’re already a regular visitor to spas then this should give you some helpful hints of how to make your next trip unforgettable!
When booking your spa appointment, it is important to take into consideration time needed to change into your robe and slippers. Most spas will advise on coming 20-30 minutes prior to the appointment. This will give you time to fill out your health questionnaire and allow you to relax before your treatment.
Arriving late to your appointment can cut short the time you have, especially on busier days for your chosen spa. So be sure to factor in traffic, parking and anything else that could come between you and your ‘Zen time’.
Can’t make it? The majority of spas will take credit card details to secure the booking and will advise of the cancellation policy. This can vary from spa to spa but will most likely require a 24 hour cancellation policy, 50% if cancelled on the day or 100% if the client does not show up on the day of the treatment.
Preparing for your treatment
For the ladies-
Depending on the treatment, there’s not a lot you need to do to get ready for your spa appointment. If you have been out the night before or recently had a coffee or a strong meal, I would recommend something minty so that your therapist cannot tell what it is you had before your treatment!
Waxing– be sure the hairs are long enough to get waxed. This will depend on the area being waxed but most clients will have waxing every 5-6 weeks, again depending on the hair growth. When preparing for waxing, we would always recommend exfoliating first. This helps to remove any dead skin cells and helps prevent ingrown hairs. We love VOYA’s ‘Time To Shine’ here in The Dawson Spa as it is purifying on the skin and really deep cleansing which helps prevent those nasty ingrown hairs.
Massage– Many ladies that come in for massage tend to apologise for not shaving their legs. There is no need to wax or shave before your massage treatment. Your therapist will not notice if you shaved that morning or the month previous. They will only be concentrating on the areas of tension and the areas they need to work on to help relieve any muscle tightness.
Facials- When booking a facial, consider booking on a day that you will not be rushing out to put make up on after. This will allow your skin to breath and receive the most benefits from the facial products. A lot of facials including our VOYA facials here in The Dawson Spa include a scalp massage for a more pampering treatment. This means that your hair will more than likely get oils/ product in the hair. Double check with your therapist before the treatment if this is so. If it is and you have an important date after, they will be happy to change for a hand and arm massage or foot and leg massage.
For the gents-
Most spas will recommend for the men to shave the night before any facial treatment. This will ensure the skin is not too sensitive and there is not too much stubble for the facial treatment. Other than that, just come as you are!
Let the pampering begin……
Arriving at the spa, if it is your first time, will involve filling out a quick health questionnaire for your therapist. This will ask general health questions, allergies and overall skin health. It is best to advise your therapist if you are pregnant or breast feeding as well as they may not be able to use certain products or ingredients during your treatment.
After you have filled this out, you will be shown to a locker area to change into a robe and slippers. Although the spa will offer locker facilities with a lock, it is best to leave any jewellery or valuables at home. As your treatment is to be a relaxing experience it is best to leave mobile phones in the lockers as well, either on silent or switched off. To really make your spa experience relaxing and stress free, it’s best to switch off from the outside world and truly enjoy some ‘me time’.
When it comes to the treatment, your comfort is of the utmost importance. You will always be draped in towels and only the area being worked on will be uncovered. Most spas will use heated blankets, have music in the room and different lighting settings so remember to tell your therapist what you like or dislike. Some clients prefer no music at all or no heat while some prefer to chat to the therapist during treatments. The massage pressure should also be discussed before your treatment. Let your therapist know if you would like more or less pressure. Everyone is different so they will always work to the individual needs of the client.
Last, but certainly not least, the most important part of spa etiquette – to sit back, relax and let the pampering commence!!