What goes on at a SPA?

Old Jan 6th, 2008, 09:27 AM
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What goes on at a SPA?

So my girlfriends want to go to a spa, but I've never wanted anything to do with a spa.

I am sort of a private person. I don't like strangers touching me. I worry a spa will seem like a doctor's appointment or something. I manage to get my hair done every 7 weeks, but I hate manicures (well, I've had one in my life), etc. I'm not into primping so to speak.

I'm in pretty good shape, as I do work out at the Y, but none too thrilled with my 50 year old bod.

Should I go? What would I do there?

shoefly is offline  
Old Jan 6th, 2008, 09:33 AM
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spend lots and lots of money
Old Jan 6th, 2008, 09:34 AM
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OK, the money part does not sound great either. LOL
shoefly is offline  
Old Jan 6th, 2008, 09:35 AM
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Sorry, that was not a fair response, but I have had massages and been pampered as Spas. I prefer my chinese doctor in manhattan to do accupressure and my acupunturist to do the ancient arts.

All the fluff.....been there, done that, but having the real mackoy makes one wonder

What goes on at the SPA?

Old Jan 6th, 2008, 09:36 AM
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Well - are we talking a day spa or a spa vacation?

Spas differ tremendously and have all sorts of options (massages, facials, mud or steam or herbal treatments, exercise or yoga classes, various sport and physical activities). So you need to look at the spas they're considering.

But - I think someone who doesn't even like having their nails done may not be interested in many of the activities. No one is going to force you to do anything - but at some spas you may be bored silly given your dislikes.
nytraveler is offline  
Old Jan 6th, 2008, 09:37 AM
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I'm not sure you'd really enjoy yourself at a spa. Seriously(!) no reason to spend all that money if you aren't interested in whatever (massage, facial, manicure, pedicure...). It can feel like a doctor's appointment imo sometimes.

suze is offline  
Old Jan 6th, 2008, 10:11 AM
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The one thing that I do like about a spa is after a massage, I take a long steam and then whirlpool and then in my big plush robe, I like to sit out in the lounge chairs and soak up the sun..
I'm not into spending lots of money and sometimes you can go to these spa and use the steam/jacuzzi for free or a nominal fee.
Where are your girlfriends thinking about going?
My friends do the Canyon Ranch and Golden Door stuff and I have done that but when I'm at those spa's and trying to relax knowing I just dropped around $10K doesn't do it for me..
Give me a free steam and whirlpool anyday!
Old Jan 6th, 2008, 10:15 AM
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If you mean a spa VACATION, and you are not happy with your bod, then this could be a great jumpstart for you. Ten years ago I hadn't worked out in 2 years. My mom took me to Canyon Ranch in the Berkshires for a long weekend, which was not only beatiful but a success in that it totally motivated me to start working out. I now make it a huge priority in my life. Last year we went to Rancho La Puerta in Baja, Mexico, and while I did get a facial and some other "primping" treatments, most of our day was spent working out. It was so much fun. There were a lot of mother/daughter teams like us, but also solos and friends together. We did pilates, spinning, kickboxing, cardio striptease (there was no nudity but it was really funny!), and aerobic swim classes. The food was all healthy and delicious. The accommodations were fabulous and it was overall so relaxing. I also came out with 2 really good friends, one of whom I just saw last night. They were both there with their moms, too (we're talking 30-something daughters, this is not a place where teenagers really go). If you don't feel like working out then you can take a break. There was a wonderful pool and it was fun to just sit around and relax. Oh and the tennis instructor was really hot! We all took private lessons as well as group tennis lessons. Overall it was a really wonderful experience.
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Old Jan 6th, 2008, 10:21 AM
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Great description abby.
Old Jan 6th, 2008, 10:43 AM
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shoefly - I am with you. My guess is that you are also relatively unfond of the dentist and don't like people that stand too close to you. It is a personal space and tactile thing that some people have.

So skip the spa and spend the money on travel instead.
gail is offline  
Old Jan 6th, 2008, 10:52 AM
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If it's a resort with a spa, usually you can just get a day admission and work out on the machines, use the jacuzzi, etc. without having to pay for the $$$$ treatments. But I'm guessing your friends want to do all the other touchy feely stuff. Unless you won't feel any pressure to join them for those, I probably would pick something else to do for a get together.
mlgb is offline  
Old Jan 6th, 2008, 11:29 AM
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Friends who "didn't like spas" got addicted after the first facial. If your friends want to go, try a 30 minute facial. Consider it conditioning for your face

I'm not so thrilled with my 50+ bod either, but for me there is no greater luxury than to plop myself down for a massage or body wrap or whatever else looks good on the menu. I figure that I will never see these folks again and they could care less what my bod looks like in the first place. I have no vanity or body issues when it comes to spa treatments. Just "do me"

I've been incredibly lucky to be able to go to some of the top spas in this country and have someone else pick up the tab. When I have that opportunity, I have a spa treatment every single day I'm there. I am very much addicted. It has become my "splurge" while on vacations now. The hot stone massage in Sedona? Sublime.

Be a flexible pal and give at least a short facial a try.
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Old Jan 6th, 2008, 12:01 PM
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I've done day spa's, which can be fun. it's usually a relative that gives me a gift card to one, as I don't tend to spend my own money on facials, massages, etc.. And my relatives know that, so they want to treat me.
trippinkpj is offline  
Old Jan 6th, 2008, 12:23 PM
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I have done both day spas and spa vacations. Both are great, IMO, but very different. Like Abby, the spa vacations can be amazing! I relaly like Red Mountain Spa in Utah. Very reasonable in cost, but a multitude of activities. Fantastic hiking, various fitness classes, cooking demonstrations as well as other activities. The spa itself is excellent, and I have found some great people there that I request each time I go back. The food is very good, and healthy. I have been several times and done a group girls trip as well as trips with just one other girlfriend.

I am not into facials at all, and manicures are just ok. But a good pedicure and body treatments are heavenly after a day of hiking and such.

I honestly cannot speak highly enough about Red Mountain. Guess that is why I keep going back, lol!
mms is offline  
Old Jan 6th, 2008, 12:41 PM
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Thanks everyone. I think they want to go to Mirbeau Inn and Spa in Skaneateles - probably just for one overnight.

I'm torn. I tried to talk them into a NYC trip, but we've done that (and, haha, one of them is a really annoying traveler - but a Great friend!).
shoefly is offline  
Old Mar 21st, 2008, 08:44 AM
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Enjoyed this thread; also considering spa trip.

Shoefly, what did you decide? Had your trip yet?

Starrsville, what spa did you use in Sedona?
texasjo is offline  
Old Mar 21st, 2008, 09:17 AM
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My sisters and I are planning our first spa vacation next spring. We're planning on going to the Red Mountain Spa - and the recommendations by mms definitely influenced the decision.

I think it is important to choose a spa that has enough activities/programs that will appeal to everyone going. In our research for our trip next year, I found that different spas have different "personalities". One might focus heavily on fitness, another might be more like a luxurious getaway with lots of pampering.

A slight bit OT, but can anyone give me a guideline on how much to tip on a daily basis for the stuff other than spa services (meals, housekeeping, etc.)? I know we can just add it to the room charge at the end of our stay and the spa will have guidelines, but we haven't made reservations yet and one of my sisters wants to know for budgeting purposes. Is it a percentage of the daily room rate or is it more like a flat amount per day?
chepar is offline  
Old Mar 21st, 2008, 09:51 AM
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Shoefly: If you are seriously thinking about a spa vacation, you might want to first go out and get a massage or facial locally so you know what to expect and can gauge your comfort level when it comes to a practioner working on you.

You don't have to spend a fortune to do this either...look in the phonebook or online for the schools that train people in these services. They have to complete a certain number of hours before they are even allowed to practice on the general public and I've gotten some pretty good massages and facials for cheap ($25 for a 1 hour Swedish Massage, $35 for a 1 hour facial).

Spas do everything they can to make clients feel comfortable and believe me, not everyone that vacations or works at a spa has a perfect bod - so I wouldn't worry about how you look.

Massage therapists especially are very sensitive to a new client that may be a little hesitant about laying on a table with nothing but a sheet covering parts of you.

That said, if you just aren't the kind of person that can relax enough to enjoy a spa service, I highly recommend you speak up and tell your friends to pick something else or do this trip without you.
Ceidleh is offline  
Old Mar 21st, 2008, 12:11 PM
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I agree with Ceidleh.

I am 54 and have a 54 year old body. I feed it well and it takes me where I want to go . So occasionally I treat it to a massage. Like Ceideh suggest, get a massage locally. Ask around and get a good referral. Explain to the massage therapist that this is a first time experience and that you are a little nervous about it.

My personal experience is that massage therapists are in the massage business because they like and want to help people heal and feel better. Not true 100% of the time, but I have only had just OK massage (a new massage school graduate) and lots of wonderful ones.

You did not say where you were going, but perhaps post another message and get personal referrals to the area or resort that you are visiting. The great thing about the Internet is that somebody has already been to that resort and can give you inside info.

You might even find that you enjoy your body more. Good luck and enjoy.
safe_traveler is offline  
Old Mar 21st, 2008, 03:25 PM
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chepar--Please let me know how you like Red Mountain As far as tipping goes, they have a nice feature. Not sure how to word this really, but basically you are given the option of them adding a flat percentage when you checkout, and it goes to everyone that you dealt with. You can call and ask how that works. I did that last time as I was so relaxed by the end that the last thing I wanted to do was think, lol!
mms is offline  

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