• MAR 28, 2011
  • WRITTEN BY: Aaron Thomas

We all need a little pampering. Whether you’re interested in taking a week to indulge in luxurious spa treatments, scheduling a Spa Day for yourself and a group of friends, or just want a place to go for a quick massage or facial once in a while, there are a few things to look for when choosing a spa.

Check with your friends. When choosing a spa, ask friends and family for recommendations. This is usually a good place to start; people you know can let you in on your area’s “best kept secrets” or warn you off a bad spa experience. Before you go hunting for the perfect spa, get a few recommendations from people you know and trust.

Does the cost fit your budget? The cost for spa treatments varies widely depending on the spa. A simple manicure or facial can cost under £50 at one place, or hundreds at another. Day spas tend to be less expensive than resort or destination spas. Some spas allow you to pay for treatments individually, while others charge a flat fee that’s usually more expensive. Before making an appointment, make sure the price of the treatments is one you can afford.

Health Spa or beauty spa? A health spa-sometimes called a “Health Farm
“-focuses on treatments that improve your health. They sometimes offer treatments targeted at certain illnesses and conditions. Beauty spas focus on pampering and beauty treatments such as manicures and pedicures. While the menu of treatments offered at health and beauty spas often overlaps, the focus at each is different. If you have a specific ailment you need help with, a health spa may be what you’re looking for. If you just want to relax, you may want to choose a beauty spa.

Ask about ingredients. Many spas use natural ingredients to make their facial masks, massage oils, bath treatments, and more. Some even use fresh fruits and vegetables. This can have its downside-some people are allergic. If you have any allergies that might be a cause for concern, ask about the ingredients in their products-or tell them about your allergies beforehand. They should be able to help you decide on a treatment that won’t set off your allergies.

Do they have a qualified staff? Masseuses, manicurists, acupuncturists, and various other health and beauty practitioners all find work at spas. They should know the proper techniques to work with your body without causing harm. Manicurists and pedicurists should follow proper hygienic procedures, or you may be vulnerable to infections from the treatment. The staff at your spa should be fully licensed according to the laws in your state to practice. Check with the spa to see the resumes and qualifications of its staff-most spas, large and small, should be willing to give you this information.

It’s all about ambience. There’s always that intangible “certain something” you find at your favorite spa. From the minute you walk in the door, you start to feel relaxed-like all your worries are melting away. That’s not a mistake; it’s the result of a careful and deliberate design. Spas
usually use candles, water, calming colors such as blues and greens, and plenty of natural light to make you feel calm and centered. Take note of the decoration when you walk into a spa. It should make you feel like you’re in for something special the moment you walk through the door.

Look into treatments. Some spas have different treatments and specialties than others. Before choosing a spa, ask yourself: why do you want to go? Are you looking for a masseuse who will massage away chronic soreness in your muscles? Are you interested in skin treatments, hair treatments, mud baths, or hydrotherapy? Are you looking for a place that will help you craft an exercise routine or a healthy menu? There may be treatments offered at some spas that you’ve never heard of. Check out the menu of services or talk to the spa staff about the treatments offered, and make sure this spa has what you’re looking for.

Choosing a spa can sometimes be a difficult project. Ask for recommendations, do some research into the spas in your area, and don’t be afraid to ask questions before deciding. There are plenty of spas out there, and you’re sure to find the one that offers the treatments you’re looking for within your budget.


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