Spa Guide: 5 Tips for the Best First Time Spa Experience

Omotenashi on 22 Jul, 2014

Spa Guide: 5 Tips for the Best First Time Spa Experience

So…you’ve always wanted to visit a spa and you’ve finally found the perfect spa to visit. You’ve done your extensive research online – you’ve seen the photos of the rooms, you’ve read reviews about the various massages, body scrubs and facials that they offer and you’ve even picked out a few that you’d like to try. That’s when you go into a second of panic – no one’s told you what to expect when you’re actually at the spa. The questions start popping up – am I supposed to take off all my clothes? Do I leave my underwear on? Is my make-up going to melt? Is my therapist going to keep talking to me? Don’t fret. We have some first-time spa tips for you!

Ikeda Spa therapist showing the spa menu to customers

Tip #1. Yes, someone is going to try to sell you first time spa promotion, but it is OK to say no!

We all dislike hard-selling, but that should not be a reason to keep us away from booking a luxurious spa treat for ourselves.

Many spas offer first-time spa promotions as an invitation to try the spa’s services. These prices are heavily discounted, so don’t be surprised if someone approaches you to top up “only $X” for an extended massage, or to add on treatments before you even start your treatment, and sell you a package after. Be firm and decline politely! A good spa will be respectful and not bother you and will continue to provide the best service to make your experience a pleasant one.

Ikeda Spa therapist tidying the customer's hair bun

Tip #2. Your therapist (or whoever leads you to your treatment room) will give you instructions. If they don’t, just ask!

Okay…there’s a bathtub filled with lavender-infused water or a massage table with neatly folded towels. There are a bathrobe and a pair of disposable underwear. Gosh, this is awkward! What do I do?

When a therapist leads you to your treatment room, he/she will give you instructions as to what to wear and what to expect. For example, if you’re having a bath, they will tell you to put on your disposable underwear, and that they will return after 30 minutes have passed to let you know it’s time for your next treatment. Or, if you’re having a massage, remove your clothes and lie face down on the massage table while awaiting their return.

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Therapists give these instructions every day. It might become a slightly boring part of their routine, or they might assume you know what to do, and forget to tell you. Don’t be afraid to ask so you don’t let these little awkward moments get in the way! No one likes waiting topless and alone in a room wondering what’s going to happen next  ๐Ÿ˜ณ

Ikeda Spa therapist greeting and bowing customer

Tip #3. Communication is key in getting the best treatment, but if you’re not comfortable with all the small talk, let your therapist know at the start

Most spas require you to fill up a questionnaire before you start your treatment. If you’re at the spa to solve a specific problem, like releasing some aching knots in your back or getting your face’s impurities thoroughly extracted, make sure that your therapists know. This is when communication works towards making your first-time spa experience a good one.

Some therapists like to talk a lot during the treatment. This is a great distraction method when you’re experiencing painful treatments like waxing. In most other cases, you’re at a spa to relax. It is okay to let them know you would like some peace and quiet, and that you will let them know yourself halfway if you wish to change how the treatment is flowing, e.g. reducing facial extractions or massage pressure due to pain.

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Tip #4. Pain does not always equal gain

If you think that you need to endure super painful massages, extra hot bath water, or abrasive scrubs, here’s a big NO. You know your body best, so speak up once a treatment becomes highly uncomfortable before it’s too late. Spa treatments should be about pain and problem relief and relaxation, not accumulation.

Ikeda Spa therapist doing chado in front of customers

Tip #5. Take the time to enjoy your post-spa treatment refreshments!

Most spas offer you a warm cup of tea or water after your treatment. Don’t be in a rush to leave. Take your time to sip and finish your drink, especially if you just had a massage!

Not only should the spa experience be relaxing from start to end (never let anyone make you feel like you need to hurry off), rehydration is important after a massage. Massages promote lymphatic movement, so having a drink after helps toxins move through the kidneys and out of your system. We advise that you keep hydrating yourself with plain water once you leave!

We wish you the most amazing first-time spa experience!