A Dozen Things to Look For When Choosing a Spa
Ni Wayan Murni
You are probably only in Bali for a short time but you still want to treat yourself. What should you look for in choosing a great spa?
Choose a spa in a peaceful location. You need a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere to enjoy the experience fully. I personally don’t like a place where there are more than five other people having treatments at the same time. I like a quiet, breezy spa with soothing, running water, trees, birdsong and soft music.
Make sure it’s clean. A good spa is a clean spa. Cleanliness is very important. Cheap spas save money by cutting corners. Bacteria and fungal infections spread quickly if the sheets and towels are not changed and laundered after every single massage and facial. It’s also necessary to clean tools after every pedicure and manicure.
Information and Communication
The spa should be efficient. If possible, a great spa will confirm your booking by email –give them your email address or, better still, email them yourself. The spa should then give you details of how to get there, the time to arrive, what’s included in your package, the price and how to pay. They may even offer you transportation. And of course a reputable spa will be well sign posted.
Make sure the therapists are experienced and know what they are doing. You’re placing a lot of trust in your therapist to manipulate your body, and to tone your skin and muscles. The spa’s web site should mention where they’ve worked and their experience. Don’t accept trainees who are learning on the job and practising on you. Don’t let them just go through the motions. Spas can save money by employing inexperienced trainees. If they don’t know what they are doing, they can damage you.
Spas usually have a menu listing their services and prices. Do you want a four-handed massage and flower bath? Make sure they offer the services you want. The good ones describe their treatments in the menu. They may have packages including activities and accommodation. Sometimes there are promotions.
A great spa uses first rate products. Organics are best. Beware of cheap spas which use chemical products. If you like their natural product lines, they’ll probably be happy to sell them.
A talented therapist should make you happy, relaxed and comfortable. They should interact with you and concentrate just on you and will patiently explain your treatments. You are going to enjoy yourself much more at a spa like that.
Health and Medical Information
A good spa should give you a medical questionnaire before they start and update it at regular intervals. Based on your medical information, for example, if you have had an operation or are sunburnt or pregnant, the therapist may suggest alternative treatments or even refuse treatments for your own safety.
Spas are about relaxation and getting rid of stress. Do they have a couple’s room to enjoy that special day with your partner? Is there a comfortable seating area to relax in after your visit and have a drink? You should not feel you have to leave immediately after the treatment.
Web Site, Reviews and Awards
Has the Spa won any awards, for example, from the UK Luxury Travel Guide Awards? If you have time look at the spa’s web site. If there are videos you can get an even better idea of the place. Has the owner taken the time to say something on the video? Check reviews, for example, on Trip Advisor, so you can get an overall feeling for the spa – and read several reviews and don’t rely on just one comment as you can’t please all of the people all of the time. Or, even better, pop in yourself, look at the place and meet the therapists.
You should not be pressured to tip. Still, a tip is greatly appreciated if you feel your therapist has done a fantastic job. Most people tip between 10 and 15 per cent.
Finally, my best advice is don’t choose a spa just because it’s cheap. You probably won’t get the location, customer service, cleanliness, expert therapists or quality of service you are looking for. I know that running a clean spa with talented staff is not cheap. The best spas don’t skimp on hygiene and justify their prices with skillful staff and professional facilities which can provide you with almost immediate feelings of relaxation and a holistic, rejuvenating and healing experience in a quality environment.
That’s A Dozen Things to Look For When Choosing a Spa!