If I could, I would go to a spa every single day of my life. They’re quiet, they smell good, you get to walk around in a robe and slippers, and somebody takes care of you, instead of the other way around. For a good hour, you don’t have to worry about anything, and sitting around for long blocks of time is considered totally OK. You can just sit there and zone out…
Going to a spa is one of those treats I like to give myself once or twice a year, especially when I travel, and on my trip to Monterey last weekend, I popped on over to the Spa on the Plaza at the Portola Hotel & Spa for a prenatal massage (in a nutshell: it was great!).
Incidentally, when you’re a pregnant lady, the prenatal massage is pretty much your only massage option if you can’t lay flat on your tum, but it works most of the majorly sore spots, like your back, hips and feet.
If you go to the Spa on the Plaza, and I hope you do, ask for Ashleigh. She has amazing hands, and she’s super nice. Seriously, her hands were among the best parts of my trip.
While I sat in the Relaxation Room (that’s actually what it’s called), I got to thinking about the things that make for a successful spa visit. If you have a spa day in your future, here are some things to think about…
1. Get there early
Most spas suggest that you arrive at least 15 minutes before your appointment, but I suggest a full hour or two — maybe even three, depending on the spa’s facilities and how stressed you’re feeling.
Seriously. First of all, you don’t want to be stressed and rushing to make a spa appointment (kind of defeats the purpose, yo!). You want to get there with plenty of time to check in, check out the facilities, and give yourself some time to relax (possibly even take a nap).
Research the spa’s facilities online or by calling them on the phone before you go. That way, you can take advantage of any extra niceties they may have, like steam rooms and pools.
If I get there early, I’ll use the steam room, if the spa has one (although I can’t right meow because they’re not advised for Baby Girl), take a dip in the pool, or sneak in a nap in one of the quiet rooms.
Most spas usually also have a fancy shower with, like, super jets of water that spray at you from all sides (OH, SO GOOD), and I’ll usually save those for after one of the spa treatments.
Point is, give yourself looooooooots of time to relax.
2. Figure out your food situation
I feel like this is an often overlooked but highly important part of the spa experience, because I’ve been to spas and have been freaking HONGRAY AS ALL HELL, which dampens the experience. Trust me, achieving zen isn’t easy when your stomach is rumbling.
I think it’s very important to find out beforehand if the spa you’re going to has food, so you can eat accordingly. Some spas provide light snacks, like fruit and nuts, but some stick to drinks (like iced lemon water and hot tea).
Some bigger places have a menu and serve light dishes like salads and appetizers.
3. If anything isn’t working for you during your session, let your spa tech know
I learned this lesson the hard way: if anything isn’t working for you, be vocal about it. A spa visit is a special treat, so you should enjoy it. If you have to, walk out, even if it’s in the middle of a massage or other session, and ask to speak to a manager.
I used to accept poor service or other uncomfortable issues to be polite, but all it ever did was make me stressed out and grumpy, which is the exact opposite of the feeling you want when you go to a spa.
4. Check to see if you can use frequent flier miles
Some spas allow you to use frequent flier miles, so if you’ve got some on your card, use those bad boys to hit up a spa!
5. Leave your phone in your locker
Or, if you have to bring it with you, only use it to take silly selfies, not for answering emails or posting on social media. Really use the time to unplug for a while and relax.
I hope these tips help you have a wonderful spa experience. 🙂 I’ll see ya at the spa!
Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,