6 Spa Etiquette Tips

Spas can be great places to relax and unwind and enjoy a little pampering and overall rest and relaxation. Unfortunately, there are sometimes people who don’t have many manners and don’t understand the concept of spa etiquette.

If you’re a first time spa goer, this article will give you an overview of how to be a good spa customer. If you’re an experienced spa goer, consider this article a refresher.

Be Clean

Personal grooming does count and while no esthetician or other professional spa staff will complain about your body odor, it’s much more pleasant for them if you arrive clean. If you’re coming in for a massage after walking to the spa location, for example, you might want to do something about those sweaty feet.

On the other side of that is that if you’ve just finished spending some time in a chlorinated hot tub or pool, you’re not going to smell, of course. But it’s a good idea to shower before the treatment because you’re not really going to want those chemicals massaged into your body. Many spas have locker rooms with showers.

Turn Off Your Cell phone

This might seem like a no brainer, but you’d be surprised at the number of people who sit texting while getting a pedicure or who disturb others with the constant hum or vibrating and ringing phones. You obviously won’t be able to relax if this is happening to you. Neither will the person next to you.

Punctuality is Crucial

In other words, arrive on time. What “on time” means can vary from spa location and the type of service you’re getting. With a basic day spa, if you arrive ten to 15 early, that should be sufficient. If you’re arriving for the first time, you’ll need a few minutes to fill out the paperwork. Arriving early also helps you get in the right relaxation mindset. You don’t need the added stress that racing to a massage will cause.

If you’re going to an upscale spa like a resort spa or destination spa, arrive at least 20 minutes early. There’s generally more paperwork to fill out. You may get a tour of the facilities. If you’re allowed to enjoy amenities like a steam room or hot tub, you’ll want to arrive even earlier. Often with upscale spas you’ll be given a robe and slippers and be taken to a room where you can relax before your treatment.


Your spa therapist is not a mind reader. She (or he) wants to make sure you have the best experience possible. Feel free to ask if you would like something different for your comfort. During a massage, you can ask for more or less pressure. You can ask for a blanket or quieter music.

Getting Up After a Treatment

Respect that the therapist likely has another client after you. While you don’t need to instantly jump up from your treatment, don’t linger too long unless the therapist specifically tells you to take your time.


The amount to tip depends on the spa. Sometimes in resort spas in the same category as Honor’s Haven add a service fee. The therapist may not get all of that service fee. 15% to 20% is a typical tipping amount.