What Is A Spa?
By Anitra Brown. Spas Expert
Anitra Brown is a longtime freelance writer who specializes in spas, travel and beauty. A New York State licensed esthetician, Anitra is one of the few spa writers to have actually worked in a spa.
About.com’s Spas Expert for twelve years, Anitra has visited Canyon Ranch Lenox, Canyon Ranch Tucson, Miraval, Golden Door, Rancho La Puerta, Lake Austin, Red Mountain, and many other great spas.
Anitra contributed to bestselling travel books 1,000 Places To See Before You Die and 1,000 Places To See in the USA and Canada Before You Die. She is currently contributing editor to Hudson Valley Magazine and has written for many national and regional magazines.
Anitra is one of 26 spa and wellness experts who serves on the nominating panel for SpaFinder’s Wellness Travel Awards, given to global properties that help travelers get and stay healthy.
The word spa conjures up images of long days filled with mud baths and meditation classes, exquisitely prepared spa cuisine, and fragrant eucalyptus groves. But spas seem to be everywhere: office buildings, strip malls, village storefronts. Salons with one tiny massage table tout their spa services. How can they all be spas?
For one thing, there are several different types of spas. including a handful of dedicated destination spas that are all about healthy living, resort spas where the spa is another amenity (like golf or tennis courts.
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At a day spa you just drop in for treatments like massage. facials and body treatments. Often, day spas are an extension of a hair salon, which is fine as long as the spa is a separate wing that offers a quiet, serene, environment.
No Regulation of The Word Spa
The International Spa Association defines spas as places devoted to enhancing overall well-being through a variety of professional services that encourage the renewal of mind, body and spirit.”
But no one is regulating use of the word spa.
That s why some salons promote spa services when all they have is one massage table, or use names like spa pedicure. If you have any doubt check out the facilities yourself before booking an appointment. Just drop in and ask for a quick tour. At a minimum, a day spa should offer professionally administered massages, facials and body treatments in a quiet, serene atmosphere.
There s also a huge range of experiences at resort spas. Again, no one is regulating the use of the name, so it could be anything from one massage room next to the fitness center to a multi-million facility.
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You should do research on the facilities before you book.
There s even a difference with destination spas. ranging from small specialty inns to Canyon Ranch. which has a staff of physicians, psychologists, nutritionists and physical therapists. It offers so many classes, lectures and services that and so many things going on that you could spend months there and still not experience them all.
What does it mean? It s up to you, the spa-goer, to figure out what kind of service and experience you want, and find the place that suits you.
What You Need To Know About Spas
* Day spas range from homespun spas in converted houses to lavish multi-million dollar facilities.
* At a minimum a spa should offer a relaxing environment, robe and slippers, soothing music, and high quality spa treatments .
* No one regulates the use of the word spa. Some hair salons call themselves a spa when all they have is one massage table.
* You can drop in and ask for a quick tour before you book an appointment at day spas.
* There are many different types of spas. Do your research to make sure you get the experience you want.