Trip Coach: May 23, 2006
Lynne Walker McNees, President of the International SPA Association, answered your questions on spa vacations
Lynne Walker McNees: Hello - hope you are having a nice day. I am Lynne Walker McNees, President of the International SPA Association. Thanks for joining me today. I'm happy to answer your questions.
Arlington TX: For any massage, how do I ask if the masseuse is aware of how to adapt to the needs of diabetic persons?
Lynne Walker McNees : A spa experience is your time to relax, reflect, revitalize and rejoice. The therapist's want to do everything to make you feel comfortable.
You should call the spa before your arrival and talk with the spa director or manager about your concerns. They are accustomed to customizing treatments and will be happy to make your time at their spa a wonderful experience!
Additionally, the American Massage Therapy Association is a good resource for additional questions about massage. Their Web site is http://www.amtamassage.org/.
New York, NY: My girlfriend and I travel for long weekends about once a year. We also like to spend a few hours at a spa and wind up ducking into whatever spa crosses our path upon our arrival. Are there any good websites that we can research spa deals in specific city before we arrive? Every website I find lists spas, but not their specials or what spa in the city will give us the best value.
Our next trip will be to Miami, FL on June 15-18.
Lynne Walker McNees : Sara - you and your friend are doing something that we are seeing a lot in the spa industry - taking girlfriends' trips to the spa! Miami is a thriving spa area and you will be able to find a lot of wonderful locations in the city. There are numerous Web sites for researching spa deals. These include:
San Diego, CA: Lynne, what kinds of general questions should you ask the spa before booking? Any general tips or things to look out for? Are there certifications or health reports one can check in advance? Thanks!
Lynne Walker McNees : This is a question that we receive a lot at ISPA. I'll list a few key tips and you can find a complete list of frequently asked questions in our "Spa 101" on our Web site - http://www.experienceispa.com/ISPA/.
First of all - ask questions and do your homework. After you've determined the type of spa you want to visit, call the spa and ask them all your questions before you arrive. Professional spa operators will be happy to answer your questions and put you at ease.
Check to see if the spa is a member of ISPA. In order for a spa to become an ISPA member, the facility must meet requirements pertaining to staffing, safety, guest relations and service per the association's Standards & Practices and Code of Ethics.
Spas offer a menu of services that describes each treatment and its therapeutic value. Becoming familiar with the service you are having performed will make you more comfortable. Also check out www.experienceispa.com for a full glossary of spa terms and their definitions.
At the time of booking, express whether you prefer a male or female therapist. And, also ask about the spa's cancellation policy. It's a good rule of thumb to arrive 30 minutes prior to your treatment in order to check in and begin decompressing.
It's important to ask a spa's tipping policy at the front desk when you arrive. Spas have different policies on tipping, but generally it is accepted. Some spas automatically include the tip on the bill as a service charge.
Brooklyn, NY: I'm planning a trip to Vancouver and Vancouver Island. Any interesting budget spas in that area? We love just soaking, steaming, and enjoying local spa traditions. Thanks!
Lynne Walker McNees : Canada is a growth area for spas and we have several members in Vancouver. Finding a spa on ISPA's Web site (http://www.experienceispa.com/ISPA/) is simple. From the home page, please click on "Visit a Spa" and then click on "Search for a Spa." From there, you can search for ISPA members by location, type of spa, services offered and several other options.