The multibillion-dollar spa industry has exploded in recent years—and it's showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon. How can you take advantage of the wide array of spa services without breaking the bank? Jean talks with Lynne Walker McNees and Jim Root, president and chairman of the International Spa Association (ISPA), who say there's a spa experience for everyone and every budget. They share their tips for making the most of your next trip to the spa:
Do your homework. Before planning a trip to the spa, do some research and think about the kind of experience you want to have. Don't hesitate to ask questions, too. "You need to embrace the spas and the spa professionals as resources who are there working for you," Jim says. Also, inquire about package deals, specials and whether the spa offers different prices off-season or even at off-peak hours.
Don't feel pressured to buy additional products. During your service, a therapist should never try to sell you anything. "There is no expectation that you have to buy something simply because you had a facial," Jim says. If products are recommended afterward, that's a benefit to you, but making a purchase is your choice.
Communicate your needs. The ISPA defines the spa experience as "Your time to relax, reflect, revitalize and rejoice." That means it's your obligation to make sure everything is meeting your expectations, from the music to the temperature in the room. "A true spa that is there to make sure that your experience is all that it can be wants to make sure that you will speak up," Lynne says.
Take advantage of regional specialties. Lynne says a hot trend in the spa industry today is indigenous treatments, or treatments that incorporate local elements or techniques into the therapy. For example, she says you might get beach sand and seawater at a seaside spa, or tequila at a spa in Mexico.