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How to make the most of your spa day

How to make the most of your spa day is really one of those things that you learn through experience.  Fortunately, if there’s an error to be made or an experience to be had at a spa, we’ve been there and done that. From what to wear during your spa treatment to what to do on your spa break, here’s our advice.

Arrive early to get the most out of your spa break:

This is probably the best advice anyone can give you when going to a spa.  That’s partly because it’s polite but mostly because it sets the tone for your day. The main point of going to a spa is to relax and unwind.  So you don’t want to arrive in a fluster having got stuck in traffic.

  • Leave plenty of time for the unexpected en-route. 
  • Make sure you have time to use the facilities such as the pool, sauna and steam room, before your spa treatment. 
  • Arrive at your spa treatment 15 minutes before it’s due to start to give you time to fill in your consultation form and, again, so you don’t arrive feeling flustered.  Head space is an important part of getting the most from your spa treatment.

Plan your spa day in advance:

A spa day is about relaxing, so you don’t want to over plan.  However, having an idea of what you want to do and when will allow you to make the most of the experience. 

For example, you may want to check the times of any exercise classes you want to join or children’s swimming times you want to avoid (depending on the destination).  You can do that before you arrive or at the start of your visit.

If children are allowed in the pool and you want to avoid them, you may want to arrange to have your spa treatment at that time rather than go for a swim. Equally, if you’re on holiday with your family you may want to check where and when the children can join you. 

What to wear on a spa break:

We are often asked what to take with you when you go on a spa break.  This can be a big source of anxiety, especially for first timers. We suggest:

  • taking two swimming costumes. That’s one to swim in and one to have your treatment in. You can also have your treatment in your underwear. Some people prefer not to wear anything in a treatment.  That’s generally ok too as you will be covered with a towel and your therapist will only uncover the ‘bits’ they’re working on.  If you’re at all unsure, just ask your therapist at the start of your treatment.
  • taking a pair of flip-flops with you in case slippers aren’t provided.
  • checking in advance if towels and wash products are provided before you go.

Think about when you want to eat:

Food is often one of the great joys of any getaway, including a spa day or break.  What you have and when you have it will depend a bit on the type of spa break you choose. 

You might be going to a health spa for the weekend, in which case meal times may be suggested and tailored to your experience.  If you’re on a day spa break with afternoon tea, you might prefer to eat after you have used the spa so you can relax and refuel after swimming and treatments.

Usually when we arrive anywhere however, the first thing we want is a cup of tea or a smoothie to unwind, especially if we’ve had a long drive.  It just allows us to settle into our surroundings and get into the right frame of mind.

Take a magazine or a good book on your spa break:

For us, reading material is a must on a spa break. Most of us don’t get enough time to relax with a good book or a magazine, or at least not as much as we would like to.

Whether you’re reading Dan Brown or War and Peace, take something you can flick through or disappear into by the pool.  This is a chance to simply enjoy the fact you don’t have to do anything else while you’re here.  Just really enjoy yourself, whatever that means to you.

Remember to relax:

We often find that when we arrive on a spa day it takes a little while to slow down and simply enjoy being. We all have our own ways of doing that, but don’t underestimate the power of time simply sitting by the pool or in the relaxation room - that’s what that magazine is for. Go for a swim, sit in the sauna, but remember this is your time and you don’t have to do ANYTHING.

Have your spa treatment in the afternoon:

We have a little rule.  We like to use all the spa facilities first on a spa day.  We swim, use the sauna and steam rooms and then shower off before having our treatments.

This is partly because we tend to want to sleep after a spa treatment.  Partly because all those facilities prep your skin and body to make the most of your spa treatment.  It’s also partly because once all those lovely products are on your skin, you want to leave them on long enough to really work their magic.

So try to arrange your treatment in the afternoon rather than first thing when you arrive on your spa break.

Remember to take advantage of the relaxation room:

The relaxation room is often overlooked as a bit of a holding pen post-treatment.  However, these places are magical parts of your spa day that spas really work hard to design carefully.

Created for complete peace and quiet, when you have that sleepy feeling after an excellent treatment they are the perfect place to go to sleep. Some have blankets, and most provide a cup of herbal tea and water to rehydrate.

Some have different areas - one for sleeping, another for simply being quiet and getting back to that book or magazine we mentioned.

Whatever you do, do not use your phone in here.  It’s bad manners and it defeats the point.

Remember to drink enough water:

Whether you’re on a decadent spa day with a Champagne afternoon tea or a complete health spa experience, make sure you drink enough water. Spa treatments can be dehydrating and you don’t want a headache or to feel unwell.  This is your spa break and we want you to enjoy it as much as humanly possible.

Read our beginner’s guide to thermal suites

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