Arrival times vary from venue to venue, and you will be advised of a check-in time when you book. However, most spa days ask you to arrive any time from 10am, and you are free to use facilities all the way up until closing time. On overnight breaks, check-in is usually around 3pm and check-out is from 11am; however if you would like to use the facilities before or after those times, most venues will be happy to accommodate you. When it comes to treatments, we recommend that you arrive in the treatment area around 15 minutes early to fill in any consultation forms and make sure your treatment isn’t undermined by feeling stressed out about the time.
In your first trimester there are a lot of things that it is recommended you should avoid at a spa including the Jacuzzi, sauna and steam room (because of the heat), aromatherapy and anything that puts pressure on the stomach such as a massage that requires you to lie on your front. After the first thirteen weeks however, you can branch out a bit. It is always a little dependent on the individual pregnancy, but it should be ok to use most facilities at this stage.
Nonetheless, it is still recommended that you avoid over stimulating treatments like aromatherapy and deep tissue massages. Helpfully, many spas offer dedicated prenatal treatments and packages that are designed to be gentle and accommodating to you and your bump as your pregnancy progresses. For any special considerations consult your doctor before coming along, and if in doubt, mention any concerns to your therapist. Otherwise, have fun!
Standard practice is that it is best to avoid spa breaks within three months of surgery or a severe illness, and if you have recently been severely ill or had surgery it is best to check with your doctor before booking a spa break. However, it is particularly important to mention if you are currently having treatment for cancer or have had treatment within the past two years.
Spas are notoriously nervous about treating customers who have cancer and if you arrive on the day without telling them about it, the likelihood is that you will be refused treatment unless the spa therapists have had dedicated training. It is for this reason that Spabreaks.com pioneered Recovery Retreats, spa days and breaks which are specifically designed for anyone who is suffering from cancer, providing a safe and discreet experience.
While it may seem fussy to have these parameters in place, it is all designed to make sure that customers are safe. The industry has not always handled it well, but it is changing and many of us within it are working hard to make sure more therapists are properly trained to offer therapies to every body at any stage of wellness. For more information follow the link below. We also have a number of articles here on The Hot Tub to help you find the right spa experience for you.
Aside from checking whether the restaurant requires a dress code, a spa day is about being relaxed; so wear something comfortable, take a swimming costume (or two – one to swim in, and one to have your treatments in because it’s horrid having a massage in a cold, wet bikini) and a pair of flip flops; and find out whether the spa provides robes, towels and slippers before you go!
During your treatment, feel free to arrive in your robe and swimming costume, and usually you will be asked to strip down to your knickers/pants/ the bottom half of your swimming costume. If your therapist does not advise you, if you are not comfortable or are unsure feel free to ask, this is your spa experience and it’s important you are happy.
Is it ok to interrupt a therapist mid-massage if you’re not enjoying the pressure, the temperature or the products? Yes, absolutely! A spa break is all about you and all spas would rather you spoke up sooner rather than later because that way they can do something about it!
Some venues will operate a policy of only allowing customers aged 18 years and over, and we will be able to advise you on this when booking. In terms of treatments, most places will offer teenagers less than 16 years old basic treatments such as mini-manicures or pedicures, however they do always have to be accompanied by an adult.
While some spas will not ask you to put your phone away, good spa etiquette is to leave it in your locker. Photos may be a wonderful part of a hen party or special getaway, but it is important to be mindful that the clicking, buzzing and ringing of a mobile phone can be extremely disruptive to other people using the spa facilities.
Even if it is not spa policy we would always advise you to restrict the use of your phone to the areas of the hotel outside the spa facilities or at least keep it on silent and tucked away if you need to keep it on you for any particular reason… it’s always a good thing to have a bit of a digital detox anyway!
This is very venue dependent, and as always we will be able to help you with this at the time of booking. Some hotels are happy to accommodate dogs in rooms and some public areas, however there may be a surcharge for them. Most spas will not permit pets in the actual spa area itself.
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