The ultimate guide to spa etiquette: Dos and Don’ts

Going to the spa should be a fun and memorable experience. It should also be something that makes you look and feel more beautiful. After all, some of the treatments on offer are nothing short of miraculous. 

However, going to the spa requires some prior knowledge of etiquette. While it is a private service, it still requires skills, knowledge, and understanding to get the most out of the day. (Yes, you did read that right!)

The following are some of the dos and don’ts of going to a spa day and living the resort lifestyle. Here’s everything you need to know. 


Do Get There Early

Generally, it’s a good idea to arrive a few minutes early for your spa appointments. This gives you time to check in, relax, and go to the room where you’ll have your first treatment or massage. 

Getting there early also gives staff time to do some quick orientation. Many resorts are quite extensive and offer dozens of services and activities for clients to enjoy. 

Fifteen minutes should be enough time to settle in. Then, you are ready to get changed and ready for whatever treatments you have planned

Don’t Use Too Much Perfume

Generally, it’s a bad idea to wear too much perfume to the spa. Even though you might want to pamper yourself, keeping the amount of scent you wear to a minimum is generally preferable. 

The main reason for this is to be courteous to the staff and guests. Other patrons and professionals might find strong smells off-putting. Some might also have allergies to certain compounds in your scent, wrecking their day. 

The other reason for abstaining from perfume at the spa is that it can get in the way of aromatherapy and the natural scent of treatments you receive, which can be a joy in itself. Most spas use products with all-natural ingredients, giving you a multi-sensory experience. 

Do Tell The Spa About Your Health Concerns

You should also tell the spa about any health concerns you have. Staff can use the information you provide to adapt their service to your requirements. 

For example, tell them if you: 

  • Have allergies
  • Have had a recent surgery
  • Are pregnant

Professionals can tailor services to your requirements to keep you healthy and avoid unpleasant interactions. Treatments may be more limited if you are pregnant, but spas may also offer additional services to mothers awaiting birth. 

Don’t Bring Large Groups Without Booking

Another thing you should avoid is bringing a large group with you without notice. While inviting all your friends on a spa day might sound like fun, the spa might not be able to automatically cater to your party and provide all the facilities you require. 

If you are planning on bringing a lot of people, call the spa two weeks in advance and pay a deposit. The spa will then schedule more therapists for the day, according to the treatments you want. Caterers can also ensure there is enough food for everyone if you’re staying for the day or weekend. 

Do Follow The Dress Code

You should also follow the dress code when attending the spa. Many establishments require guests to wear a robe and slippers, ensuring a consistent experience. 

Check the rules in advance on the spa’s website. You should find a list of what to wear, and what not to wear, depending on the treatments and activities you plan. 

Don’t Ignore Quiet Signs

Another thing to avoid doing is ignoring the quiet signs. These are gentle reminders to keep conversation to a minimum in some areas to help guests relax. 

Minimal noise is a selling point of many spas. Most establishments use the fact that they are so quiet to reel in guests who want some respite from busy cities and hectic work schedules. The opportunity to enjoy some rare silences is part of the service for a lot of clinics. 

Not all parts of the spa will be low-noise zones. However, you may find them in massage or relaxation areas. Don’t make a noise here. If you need to take a phone call, do it outside. 

Do Keep Your Phone On Silent

In keeping with this theme, you should also keep your phone on silent. Having it beeping and blurring the whole time you are there is off-putting to other guests and can distract staff providing you with treatment. It also takes away from the purpose of the day. The entire idea of a spa day is to leave the rest of the world behind and simply enjoy the moment. Continual notifications on your phone disrupt this. 

The best option is to leave your phone at home and tell your key contacts you will be away for a while. Otherwise, just put it on silent and turn off the vibration. Many spas have lockers you can use to keep phones safe. 

Don’t Forget To Shower

It’s also essential not to forget to shower before your appointments and treatments. Many therapies rely on clean skin and don’t work if it’s dirty. Showering is also a matter of politeness. Some treatments require therapists to physically touch you can get close to you. Smelling bad isn’t pleasant for anyone. 

Do Tip 

Depending on the spa, you might also want to prepare a tip before your trip. While spas themselves are expensive, many therapists work only for a basic wage, relying on direct commission from customers. Tipping is similar to waitstaff, around 10 to 20 percent of the listed price. 

Naturally, if you feel the therapist or clinician went above and beyond in their service, you should tip more. 

Don’t Bring Valuables With You

While dressing up for the spa might seem like the perfect way to enjoy a girly day out, don’t bring valuables with you. Ideally, leave these items at home. Alternatively, choose spas with safes and lockers. Some spas are parts of resorts where safe storage for precious items is elsewhere, so use these facilities where you can. Put jewelry and cash in these until you finish your treatment.