by Maria Koropecky, Homespunspa Owner.
Are you planning a trip to a spa in the near future?
With thousands of different spas all around the world to choose from, each with their own signature spa treatments and philosophies, how do you choose which type of spa experience is best for you?
First, I’d like to clarify what I mean by “spa.”
- A Spa is a commercial establishment that provides health and wellness treatments;
- Spa Philosophy is about the fundamental beliefs that an individual or business holds about health, wellness, and beauty;
- Spa Therapy is a general term for a wide range of treatment methods or techniques, used by various professionals in different settings, to support health and wellness; and
- Spa Treatment is a general term for a treatment that uses water (wherever possible), specialized products, and various techniques to bring about relaxation or to support overall health and wellness.
With that said, before giving a spa your credit card number to book your reservation, ask yourself the following questions:
- What’s my own spa philosophy?
- What would I like to address or focus on while I’m at the spa? (This includes: weight loss, relaxation, spiritual growth, enhance beauty, etc.)
- Is there a specific spa treatment that I’ve heard about and would like to try? If so, who offers it?
- Do I want to leave town to go to a spa?
- How long am I planning to stay? (just for one treatment, half day, full day, overnight, a few days, as long as it takes, etc.)
- Do I want to combine this spa visit with an event, tour, or vacation?
- Can I also focus on my favourite fitness activities while I’m there? (like golf, nature hikes, swimming, etc.)
- Who am I travelling with?
- Do I have a place in mind that has been on my bucket list for years?
- What’s my budget?
Answering these above questions will give you a better idea of what you’re looking for from a spa.
You can also choose a spa based on its category.
Day Spas: are a good place to get your feet wet before taking the plunge into a more exotic spa experience. At a Day Spa, you can choose your spa services from an a la carte menu or you can choose a package of treatments and spend a half-day or full day there. Treatments may include: facials, skin care treatments, relaxation massages, body wraps, waxing, make-up application, manicures, pedicures, reflexology, acupressure, yoga, hair styling, healthy lunch, a dip in the pool, etc.
Destination Spas: are located in a beautiful location with mountain or ocean views. It’s like walking into a postcard. Like a destination wedding, the location itself is part of the reason for travelling there and you’ll likely spend a week or more at the spa without going anywhere else nearby. Destination Spas offer programs that encourage healthy lifestyle changes and may include: spa treatments that have a local ingredient or theme, fitness activities and classes, educational wellness talks, and healthy restaurant meals.
Resort Spas: Similar to Destination Spas, Resort Spas are an all-inclusive experience in a spectacular location. Between spa visits, you can also enjoy the resort’s recreational and leisure bonuses. With Resort Spas, there’s something for everyone and you can start your day with meditation, yoga, a hike in the mountains, healthy meals, a wellness coaching session, a couples’ massage, and squeeze in a mud wrap. Or you can just sit by the pool all day and drink your cocktails. It’s up to you.
Cruise Ship Spas: Most people don’t go on a cruise just for the spas they have onboard, and for the longest time, spas were just an afterthought. But nowadays, you can book a wellness-themed cruise and stay in a special part of the ship, have a daily spa treatment, sit in on wellness seminars, enjoy meals from a special menu, attend fitness classes, go on exclusive excursions, and meet like-minded travellers.
Hot Spring Spas or Thermal Spas or Mineral Spas: People have been visiting mineral-rich Hot Springs for their healing powers since pre-historic times. There’s something therapeutic about following in the footsteps of our ancient ancestors and sitting in a naturally-heated pool of water. Spas located near mineral pools will design their facials and body wraps to reflect the natural healing and purifying features of the water source and many people will travel to Hot Spring Spas for physical, emotional, and spiritual healing.
Medical Spas or Medi-Spas: These spas provide medical spa services for aesthetic and cosmetic purposes in a calming, relaxing, and luxurious setting. In a Medi-Spa, you can find skin treatments like Botox or Collagen injections, chemical skin peels, liposuction, and plastic surgery coupled with a massage to support a quicker recovery time. You can also find alternative medicine practices such as Ayurveda, Chinese Traditional Medicine, Naturopathic Medicine, Chiropractic, and Acupuncture. Dental Spas are also becoming popular. You can also go to a Medical Spa to get a whole bunch of tests and assessments done, such as blood tests, to customize a treatment plan for your particular concerns such as weight loss, diabetes, chronic headaches, chronic stress, or insomnia, etc.
Mobile Spas or Travelling Spas: is a business like Homespunspa Mobile Spa that offers health, wellness, and spa treatments to people in their homes, hotel rooms, offices, or wherever you can think of. Although Mobile Spas can accommodate individual appointments, often people hire Mobile Spas for spa parties. Treatments include: manicures, pedicures, facials, relaxation massages, chair massages, and more. You’d be surprised at what level of service a mobile spa can provide.
So, that’s how I would go about choosing my next trip to a spa. Let me know in the comments if you’ve found this helpful. Enjoy your spa day! Maria