Have you ever considered what makes the perfect spa experience? When you want an ideal escape from your busy life, a spa day, or weekend, can be the answer to your prayers.
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One thing’s for sure, your spa experience needs to be perfect, as this is the service you’re paying for. It should live up to your expectations in terms of ambience, friendliness, cleanliness, value for money and the standard of facilities and treatments.
What does a spa smell like?
A spa should be pleasing to all the senses, creating a relaxed and positive atmosphere. It should feel peaceful and comfortable, which means it must look and smell good. We’ve all said it when we’ve walked into a great spa: “That smells lovely!”
Whatever the fragrance, whether it’s as simple as lavender essential oil, fragranced candles, or a bespoke aroma crafted especially for the facility, when we walk in, the ambience should give us a positive vibe. This ensures the complete spa experience gets off to a flying start.
What can you hear?
The sounds of the spa are as important as the other sensory experiences. They are something you’ll notice the moment you walk in.
Some spas will play relaxing music, while others will rely on the gentle bubbles of the Jacuzzi to soothe the clients.
The sounds should enhance the tranquil atmosphere, so the music shouldn’t be too loud. Gentle music is the key, such as the same type of music that is used for meditation. The soundtrack can incorporate the sounds of a spa, such as having gentle water noises playing in the background.
How comfortable are the furnishings?
Even if a spa has five-star reviews, don’t expect a gold-plated pool! The furnishings should live up to what the spa promises in its adverts. If it’s listed as “affordable”, the facilities may be more basic, but they should still be comfortable and clean. At the very least, the furnishings should be in working order and fit for purpose.
One good sign that some thought has gone into customers’ comfort is the availability of water placed by the spa facilities, as the therapists will often advise clients to drink plenty of water after a treatment.
A nice comfortable seating area with reclining loungers will provide the perfect relaxation in pre and post-treatment areas.
How well were you treated on arrival?
Nothing beats a warm welcome.
Genuinely responsive consultants, who are focused on your enjoyment of the whole spa experience, will pick up on how much or how little you want to talk. It’s all part of providing great customer service.
What types of treatments can you expect?
A lot of spas offer similar treatments to those provided by a beauty salon, as well as traditional spa therapies. Some even provide grooming stations or whole suites devoted to hair, make-up, brows and nails.
A survey by the Good Spa Guide revealed more than 90% of customers wanted a massage, which was by far the most popular treatment. A further 38% enjoyed pedicures and manicures.
Customers divide treatments between inner and outer beauty and expect the majority of spa treatments to concentrate on their inner beauty. Yet a popular spa treatment is enjoying a pedicure while relaxing and sipping a glass of bubbly.
The overall presentation of the establishment
You should expect high standards of hygiene and cleanliness at the salon – this is an absolute must, no matter how much your treatment has cost you.
The layout of the spa should be customer-friendly, so you can glide seamlessly between treatment areas. A good spa should provide signage to direct customers to and from facilities, with instructions on how to use them, if required.
All treatment areas should be fully-functional, with equipment in full working order and staff on hand to answer queries.
Furnishings that ooze glamour, combined with carefully considered colour schemes and clever lighting systems can create a stylish setting that contributes to the overall pampering experience.
A good spa will keep you informed, every step of the way, of anything that may affect your experience. If the pool is closed for cleaning, for example, you should know in advance.
You should understand the stages of your treatment, while your therapist should ask important questions, like whether you’re allergic to anything.
Little things matter, so look out for plush towels and good quality toiletries in the changing room, fresh drinks and magazines in the relaxation room and handy hooks on which to hang your gown in the thermal and wet areas.
Fresh flower arrangements can create the perfect finishing touch to a luxury setting.
A spa day can turn from great to perfect, if you can leave the premises feeling completely at ease!