Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Spa Girls Tips for Planning a Spa Get-Away

Gellert Bath, Budapest

Most of my spa visits are tranquil daily escapes close to home. I often call and book a lunch date at the spa to enjoy a facial or have my massage therapist come to my home. Now that's a real treat! But when it comes to a weekend get-away, or a holiday spa week you have to plan carefully or you could be very disappointed.

My last weekend get-away was with my sister to celebrate her birthday and I was surprised when talking with other guests that they had booked their hotel and waited until their arrival to book their spa appointments. Well guess what--the spa was fully booked and they left feeling very disappointed. I was also surprised by the number of first time spa goers and how little they knew about what to expect.

So this blog is dedicated to all you first timers who want a few helpful hints on how to plan your visit to the spa!

Step One: Decide where you want to go and how much you want to spend...

There are a number of companies dedicated to helping you find a great place for your spa holiday whether it's a weekend get-away, or a holiday spa package. The web is also a great place to search for spas, just type in your destination of choice. One of the best resources I have found is Spa Finder, The Global Spa and Wellness Resource which will help you find spas, buy gift certificates and book treatments online, you can also find them on facebook. Another is Trip Atlas at

You need to decide how much you want to spend, so set a budget that is realistic that includes travel, hotel and food costs, play money and of course the cost of your spa treatments plus taxes, fees, gratuities and related service charges. And make sure to check out spa specials which are routinely offered and can lower your overall cost substantially. Knowing your budget and doing your homework will make it much easier to find the right destination.

Step Two: Pick the perfect Get-Away date...

It's important to select a date far enough in advance so you can secure the spa treatments you want. Spas are increasing busy and book up fast. The weekend of our get-away the Spa was booked for the next six weeks solid, that's why so many guests who left booking their appointments to the last minute or tried to book when they checked in went home disappointed.

Once you picked your date call the Spa and make sure they have availability, if not ask when you should book in order to have your choice of treatments.

Step Three: Make a decision on location and accommodation...

Once you decide on how far you want to travel and where you want to go you need to decide on your accommodation. There will always be a number of great choices from B&Bs, fancy resorts, basic, deluxe or luxury hotels, spa resorts etc. I generally love to stay at the same place the spa is located, but sometimes this is just not practical, as my budget determines I want to spend more money at the spa than my pillow.

It's also important when making a decision about location to check what amenities there are, both in the hotel or spa and surrounding area, especially if you like to shop, ski, swim, hot tub or exercise in addition to your spa treatments.

Step Four: Make your reservations and book your appointments...

Now it's time to make your reservations and book your spa appointments. Because I have done my homework and know there is availability, I generally book my travel first, then hotel, spa treatments and dinning last. But I do this all in the same day so I have my choice of spa treatments and I'm not disappointed, this is especially important if it's a holiday weekend or part of a special get-away package. Most Spas list their services on their website so you can select your treatments and book them all on-line or via e-mail.

For me dinning is as important as my spa treatments, and I like to try out several different dining experiences. This of course requires additional research, but I guarantee, well worth your time.

Step Five: Necessities & Niceties...

Make a list and check it twice for all your necessities and niceties. Necessities include bathing suits, athletic footwear (I also like to bring my own flip flops, rope and linen towel), workout gear, clothing for all occasions, more shoes (LOL), creams, lotions and toothpaste. And niceties include several good books, magazines, music, snacks, wine or other beverages, including bottled water for your room.

Step Six: RR&R...

You have done your planning so now it's time to relax, rejuvenate, and restore, that’s Spa Girls motto!

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