All about Day Spas & how they work
Nothing can relieve
stress and make you feel human again like a trip to a day spa. The
day spa business has grown so fast around the world that it is now
almost a necessity that every large hotel or resort to have one.
In the past they
were almost exclusively for women but recently it has become in
vogue for "couples" to go to spas together and this has driven the
demand for better facilities and services for men. Men now make up
25% of spa visitors nationwide.
There are a variety
of different types of businesses which use the term "day spa." What
used to be called "beauty salons" have started to use the term to
make their businesses seem more significant. And there are "medical"
spas [Med Spas] which are glamorized doctors' offices at which minor and major
cosmetic procedures are performed.
But for our purposes
the term "day spa" refers to relaxation facilities that are usually
associated with a hotel or resort. Because the term "day spa" is so
over-used the spa industry is now referring to these types of spas
as Hotel & Resort Spas. Not to be confused with
Destination Spas which are usually "package" spas that include
meals, lodging and scheduled events such as yoga classes, hiking and
The services and
amenities offered by different day spas varies dramatically. Some
are geared toward fitness, gyms and sports. While others are "new
age" retreats for yoga, spirituality and "healing."
The money maker for
most spas is the services that are purchased such as massages,
facials and manicures. The list of services goes on and on: mud
baths, mummy wraps, hydro therapies, aromatherapies, seaweed scrubs etc. etc. etc.
To give you something to do in between
your services and/or workout some of the high-end spas have created lush
and elegant bathhouse-like facilities that can transport your state of
mind to one of pampered bliss.
They can offer multiple hot tubs and
swimming pools set to different temperatures. Some have water jets that
can be used to massages back muscles. And tile lounge chairs that are
heated from within.
Multiple saunas and steam rooms can
be set to different levels of heat and can have lighting effects like
Complimentary coffee, tea, juices, mixed
nuts and fruit.
Grooming stations for everything you
need to shave and style your hair as well as lotions, deodorants and
mouthwash. Toothbrushes are usually available upon request.
Lockers, bathrobes, flip-flops and
towels are all provided.
Most day spas usually offer simple day
passes that allow you to use the facilities without having to buy an
expensive service. But if you do buy a service such as a facial or
massage then the day pass fee is usually waived. Many of the hotel spas
are connected to the gym/fitness center and to the hotel's swimming
pool. Once you have purchased a day pass or a service you can usually
leave and re-enter throughout the day.
Nudity is usually permitted in the
male-only areas but sometimes there are facilities that both sexes share
and it is expected that you will wear a bathrobe or swimsuit.
Day spas are not the place to
intentionally cruise or look for sex but like any locker room situation
things sometimes happen.
Boys will be boys.
Las Vegas Spa Guide & Review
Spa Magazine is a fantastic
resource for finding new spas.
Treatment: The terms service and treatment are
interchangeable and refer to manicure, massage, facial etc.
The men and women who perform your service or treatment are
called "technicians." Sometimes the word "esthetician"
is used usually in association with skin treatments such as
facials, waxing and body scrubs.
This is the polite term for "blackhead" or "pimple" removal.
If you have clogged pours and a face full of blackheads left
over from puberty be sure to ask for a facial that includes
This means "blackheads" or "clogged pores." So a
Technician may say to you: "I see you have some
congestion so we will perform some extractions."
This is spa-lingo for "price list." If you would like to
read a list of services the spa has to offer [as well as the
prices] ask the attendant for a "menu."
This is a treatment that cannot be done separately. It must be
done at the same time as a full treatment such as a facial or
massage. For example: back-waxing. You must usually tell the
receptionist that you would like a "facial and
back-waxing" at the time you make your appointment to be sure
the technician is allotted enough time to perform both
treatment: This is a warm wax that is applied to the hands
and feet [which are then covered in heated "mittens"]. It leaves
the skin as soft as a twinkie's bottom. This procedure is usually an
[Pronounced Vee-Shee] is a bar of water jets that are used
to massage the back and legs. Sometimes Vichy Showers are
used to help "clean up" after a body scrub or wrap.
Spas are not like
McDonald's and never have standardized menus. They all usually offer the
basic manicures, pedicures, waxing, massages and facials; but spas like
to maintain a "boutique" atmosphere by giving their services clever
names. It is very easy for the flowery and mystical descriptions spas
give their services to cross over into self-parody.
So don't feel
embarrassed if you have to ask what "Chakra Cleansing Aromatherapy"
means or what "Juniper Berry Bath with Wildflower Extracts"
is. That is
the job of the attendant at the front desk --- to explain what is
involved in the services they offer.
If you are going to have a facial
treatment do not shave that day. Shaving can cause the facial treatment
to sting [like alcohol on a newly shaved face]. And can cause irritation
If the spa has a steam room use it
before your facial. Sweat helps open the pours making extractions
Pedicures for men involve more than just
trimming and filing the toenails. They also massage the feet and
exfoliate the dry and calloused skin leaving the soles of your feet
supple and baby-soft.
Before your pedicure soak in a hot
tub or swimming pool to soften the skin on your feet as much as
As much as I like a hairy-chested man,
back hair is a big turn-off. Spa waxing services can remove unsightly
back and buttocks hair.
Gratuities / Tipping
You wouldn't go into an upscale
restaurant, get great service and then stiff the waiter on the tip would
you? Always factor into your spa budget a 15% to 20% tip for your
technician. Sometimes this gratuity is automatically factored into your