Aug. 21st, 2014

Indulge Like a Pro: Making A Full Day Out of Your Spa Experience Part 2

Photos Courtesy of Shutterstock

Whether you are a spa aficionado, visit once a year during Miami Spa Month, or are a newbie, there's one thing that all spa-goers have in common: time is precious, and therefore, you need to make best of your spa time. Part 1 of our series gave readers tips by Josie Feria, Director of Spa Operations at Fontainebleau Miami Beach. 

For Part 2, Cristina Sorondo, Marketing Director at Elemis Spa at the Village of Merrick Park shares her thoughts on how to get the most out of your day and what your treatment choice says about you. Here's what she had to say:


The Best Days to Spa

While it's wonderful to go the spa during the weekends, it's also peak time for most spa locations. Mondays through Thursdays tend to be slower days in which spas are less crowded and you have more privacy.

The Early Bird Does Catch the Worm

No matter what day of the week you spa, the mornings tend to be slower and less crowded. It also affords you the time to pick poolside chairs (preferably under an umbrella), to schedule your services prior to sun exposure, enjoy a fitness class, and make it a day. Also, most spas have early bird specials during the first few hours of the day, which equate to a nice savings.

spa reception

Know Before You Go

Distance and Driving Time: Depending on the spa size and amenities, it is always recommended to arrive 15-45 minutes prior to a service. However, sometimes traffic and other issues become an obstacle. Know that if you arrive late your service may be shortened to be on schedule for the next guest.

Parking: Hotel valet is not always complimentary or discounted and should be factored into your spa experience. Call ahead and ask about valet or about local parking garages and spaces.

Gratuity: It is standard at most spas, as it is in hotels, to include a 20 percent gratuity for services. Ask if this is on the promotional price or retail value. Also, additional gratuity is discretionary.

Cancellation Policy: Most spas have a 24-hour cancellation policy. If you know you will not make it to your appointment, cancel in advance. If an emergency comes up and you need to cancel day of, speak with a spa manager and explain the situation, asking to rebook for another day. They will likely allow you to reschedule without charging you. Remember that if you do not cancel, you may be charged for the service depending on the spa's cancellation policy.

bathing suit spa

What to Bring

For Amenity Use: Some spas require bathing suits for use of steam, sauna and Jacuzzi while some people just feel more comfortable wearing a swimsuit in a semi-public environment. Know that there are many spa locations where swimsuits are optional. Many spas also have co-ed amenities.

For the Pool: That swimsuit will come in handy as well as a lot of sunscreen, a hat and sunglasses.

Change of Clothes: Planning to go out? Spa guests oftentimes get ready at the spa so having an outfit change ready can be convenient.

spa massage

Leave Time to Relax

Those who spa frequently always leave time for amenities. Arrive early or stay late; don't just go for your service and leave. Take full advantage of all the offerings.


Some people just don't feel comfortable explaining their wants and needs. But when a therapist is working on your body and face, you should voice how it feels and your concerns. Communicate with your therapist and let them know what you are looking for such as needing more pressure on a massage or if a product is causing your skin to feel sensitive. Also, be forthcoming about any conditions or medications. People tend to not disclose personal information because it is private. Therapists need to know what is going on with your body. This is about your health after all.


Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate

Ask many people and they will say a spa day is one in which you go to the spa for treatments, use the amenities, lay out by the pool, and some will say they order alcoholic drinks. Well, if you are drinking, don't drink alcohol. Drink water, water, water and lots of it! Most spa treatments detox the body. With alcohol intake, you are re-toxifying and the effects of the alcohol can feel stronger. Water goes hand-in-hand with spa and will make your body and skin feel at its best after a treatment.

The Sun

Sun is healthy for all of us, but before or after spa’ing there are some things you should consider. Don't lay out in the sun for hours, possibly get a sun burn and then get a massage. First, depending on how much sun exposure you got, your skin may sting a little. Second, it's not a good idea to sunbathe before or after a facial. Your face is sensitive after sunbathing, and a facial can remove a layer of skin, so you should use SPF and stay out of the sun before and after having one.