The Family Spa Guide

Your questions answered

Family Friendly Spas

The Family guide by

Part of the Guides

While everyone needs time to relax, there is a strong argument to say that no one needs time out quite like a parent. However, having time to relax doesn’t necessarily mean you either want, or are able to, have time away from your children. So here’s our family spa guide to answer your FAQs.

How old do you have to be to go on a spa day?

The question of whether children and teenagers can use spas is not a one word answer. It’s very much dependent on their age, the destination, whether you’re talking about facilities, treatments or both, as well as your personal decisions.

In the initial instance, there are definitely family friendly spa destinations, and what they include is as varied as the spas themselves. There are spa hotels where children can stay and use some facilities but not others. There are more specialised destinations where families are welcome in the hotel but the spa itself is adult-only (for those over the age of 16 or 18 only). Then there are destinations which are less specialised spas and are designed for the whole family to enjoy the facilities all the time.

Once you reach 18, you can take your pick of spa experiences, pending any allergies or health problems that may impact your treatment choices. That said, the spa world is continuing to change and more and more options are available for teenagers in particular.

Some spas are beginning to offer dedicated spa packages that allow a parent and child to share spa experiences and treatments, while others have dedicated teen packages available, and some specialised destinations will even offer baby massage guidance that helps show parents how to gently massage their babies so they can relax together.

On balance however, spas themselves do not tend to permit children under the age of 16. In all cases, children and teenagers must be accompanied by an adult. What it boils down to is a combination of individual spa destination protocols, safety, consideration for others and personal choice.

How old do you have to be to get a facial?

Children’s skin is very different to adult skin, with different needs and sensitivities. The majority of spas will not offer facials to children. The reason for this is that most skincare products are not designed for very young skin. However, we all know that when we reach our teens, skin does begin to change, and spas can be a wonderful place to learn how to take care of skin both now and in the future.

Given how sensitive teen skin can be, again facials tend to be restricted to those over the age of 16.That said, there are an increasing number of spas who are working to create tailored spa experiences for teenagers and younger children, using dedicated skincare products.

How old do you have to be to get a massage?

As with facials, there’s no specific age restriction on having a massage, but generally spas don’t offer treatments other than simple manicures and pedicures to children under the age of 16 years old. That said, massage in itself can be used at any age to help relax and enhance wellbeing.

However, with so many different types of massage available, at different times in our lives, such as being a teenager, some are more suitable or beneficial than others, especially if it’s your first spa massage experience. Whilst we all know about the physical benefits of massage, such as relieving aches and pains. Finding the right experience for you is something that you can speak to a spa therapist or a spa consultant at about.

It’s important to note that children and teenagers do always have to be accompanied by an adult when visiting a spa, but that just means it’s a perfect excuse for quality time together.

How to organise a mother/daughter spa day

A mother and daughter spa break is a classic experience that can come in all shapes and sizes, from healthy spa retreats to Champagne afternoon teas, spa weekends to spa days. They’re a chance to spend quality time with your mum in a way that you probably don’t get to do as much as you would like, and can make a beautiful gift as well. Of course, there’s also no reason mothers and sons or fathers and sons can’t also share in this tradition either.

Spas across the UK are masters in the art of creating beautiful mother/daughter spa experiences, and at we have worked with spas to create dedicated packages for just such occasions. However, a few tips for the perfect mother/daughter spa day include:

  • Book a dual treatment room so you can have a treatment like a facial together.
  • Treat yourself to a manicure and pedicure together as well. At spas with a Champagne nail bar there might even be a glass of bubbly in it for you while you’re being pampered.
  • Book a spa experience that includes lunch, afternoon tea or dinner so you can have a good chat while you eat. It’s all about experiences that are made to be shared.
  • That said, sometimes the best thing about time together is simply being together without having to talk. Take a book or magazine so you can lounge by the pool or in the relaxation area and just enjoy one another’s company.

While there’s a wealth of spas to choose from for mother/daughter spa days and breaks, here are a few favourites ranging from health retreats to sheer indulgence to give you some inspiration: spa days.

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