Living in Indonesia certainly has loads of benefits………………one benefit that I love has to be visiting the Spa where one does not have to spend a fortune yet is able to get the most amazing service. Whenever I feel tired than usual, my body aches for the luxury of a Spa…………………..getting manicure, pedicure, body massage, facial……….ahhh I feel like I am in beauty heaven. But even I was nervous the very first time when I visited a Spa here ………………not knowing how to interact with the spa staff, what to expect, whether to leave a tip or not???………….if so then how much………many things went on in my mind. Now that I have become a ‘pro’, I could tell people a thing or two about etiquettes to be observed in a Spa.
1) Preparing yourself for the SPA before you even enter it
One most important step towards going to a Spa begins at home………….it is recommended that you wax at least 2 days before your spa session since the aroma oils might irritate your skin. Please do not use any other body lotion or sunscreen as the lotions might react with the oils and may cause irritation or a rash. Avoid the spa all together if you have broken skin, a bad rash, skin allergies, fever, cold, cough, upset stomach or your monthly menses. It is generally better if you visit the spa in your free time…………..avoid it if you are in a hurry as you won’t be able to enjoy the therapy ………the idea is to be stress free. Have your meal at least 2 hours in advance & do drink more water on the day of your spa appointment, since post the spa procedure you might end up dehydrated.
2) What to carry to the Spa???
Please don’t wear your best clothes to the spa, but still be presentable when you arrive there. Casuals or semi formals should be the preference, avoid going in your jogging suit or gym wear. Remember first impressions do matter here, you don’t want the spa staff to form an opinion before they treat you. Try lighter fabrics which allow your skin to breathe after the spa session is over. You can carry a bottle of water, deodorant, comb or any other essentials as per your requirement. You can carry a fresh set of under-garments, clothes and even your own towel if you tend to be allergic to bleach used in cleaning towels in spas and hotels. Reputed spas will not use bleach in their washing though.
3) What not to carry???
If you are going to the spa for a facial, avoid carrying any make-up since your face needs to be free of make-up for at least 8 hours in order for the ingredients to work better. Avoid the use of perfumes as well for few hours. Leave your jewellery back at home, if you loose them it won’t be the responsibility of the spa but your own carelessness….plus jewellery restrict the flow of massage……………so shed them. Also leave behind expensive gadgets like I-pods & Lap tops. Kids should be left behind at home or ask your friend or spouse to baby sit one afternoon, else you will not be able to concentrate if they are around. Many spas frown if there are kids around & nobody to handle them.
4) Arrival at the Spa
Never enter the spa without a prior appointment……………………….make it a point to arrive at least 15 minutes before your appointment. Spa procedures requires some preparation before starting change of clothes, soaking your hands & feet in warm water and visiting the loo. Do make it a point to respond to the staff in a friendly manner, avoid being rude to them under any case.You might be shown make spa packages………….you can select any according to your budget & convenience or go with the best the spa therapist might recommend for you. They can even take you around for a short trip of the spa in case you require to know more about it. Let them know about any sort of allergies you might have with regards to certain ingredients used in the spa products……………the spa therapist will surely keep this in mind before starting off with the treatment. You can keep your belongings in a locker or a cupboard provided by the spa.
5) During the spa treatment
Lie down, relax, let yourself loose and enjoy the spa treatment. Before that please switch off your mobile phones………..it is definitely rude to talk on the phone,while you have your spa treatment going on. This is a time to pamper yourself……………….so get disconnected form the outside world. Also do not be shy if you are just in a towel, the therapist are very professional and have been taught in a specific manner to perform the spa therapy without making their client uncomfortable. The spa therapist will ask you about the whether you prefer light pressure massage or a bit more stronger………..do tell her you preference. In case a part of you body develops sudden pain while during the treatment, it is important to let the therapist know about it. Please don’t go around screaming in pain during the treatment, you might disturb other clients. Also you can tell the therapist about your music preference plus it’s volume.
6) After the spa treatment
Even a complimentary drink which the spa would offer, my spa makes the most amazing ginger tea which has brown sugar in it…………it invigorates me instantly. So don’t miss on that……….take a shower, dry yourself up……..if you want you can request the spa therapist to give you a moment alone. Change into your clothes, check your belongings and only then proceed towards the payment counter. If you liked the products used during your session, go ahead and ask your therapist about it, if it is an in-house product you might be able to buy it. Many reputed spas do make their own products so you can use them at home too to get the spa feel.
7) Tipping at the Spa
This is a tricky question on how much should one tip…………abroad usually people tip 15% but in India I can say about 10% to 15%. It also depends on how much you have enjoyed your spa session. Honestly I find spas in India particularly in major cities too expensive and high priced. So you can tip according to your pocket. The only reason of giving a good tip will ensure that next time around you are given an equally good service. The spa staff always takes better care of people who tip well…………..that’s what analysis say.