Awesome & Affordable Hotel Spas
You won't believe where you can find the best deals on hotel spa treatments! Get more "ahhhh" for your money using these industry secrets.
We serenity-seekers are all too familiar with this scenario: You book a dreamy getaway to escape the grind and reclaim your sanity for a few days. The hotel you scored a great deal on is spectactular. Your room is airy and luxurious. But when you unfold that slick brochure listing the property's spa services, you see the exorbitant prices—$185 for a 60-minute chakra-balancing ritual? really?!—and your heart drops a little. Springing for any of the treatments would blow the money you'd set aside for important extras, like beachside piña colada floaters.
"Spa services and treatments at some hotels are more expensive because the hotel or resort's operating expenses and overhead can be more expensive than a smaller day spa or chain—and that overhead is reflected on the spa menu," says Mia Kyricos, chief brand officer at Spafinder Wellness, Inc.
Still, Budget Travelers deserve every perk that tranquil vacations offer (including luxe spa treatments!), so we collected the best under-the-radar spa-insider tips to help you bliss out without going broke. First, a little expert intel on how to save at any hotel spa. Click through after Secret #5, and we'll reveal six unique hotel spas that offer posh treatments at sensible prices.
Spa savings secret #1: Casino spas are surprisingly cheap.
"As a rule of thumb, many casino resorts and hotels have very attractive spa pricing," Kyricos says. Look for à la carte "express" treatments, like a simple manicure or basic facial, to snap up a service for a fraction of the price of the usual longer, more elaborate menu item.
Spa savings secret #2: Show up far earlier than your appointment time to create your own personal spa day.
One thing that hotel spas have going for them that your neighborhood beauty parlor doesn't? Sprawling, up-to-date spa facilities that you can use gratis. "A spa treatment at a hotel often includes use of pools, saunas, steam rooms, relaxation lounges, etc., extending a one-hour massage to a full 'spa day' experience," Kyricos says. "These extras may not be available at a day spa." Peel yourself off your beach chair early (more difficult than it sounds!), and take advantage of every spa station: They advertise that invigorating cold marble plunge pool for a reason.
Spa savings secret #3: Always ask about discounts and special packages, especially during non-peak hours or seasons.
Even at swanky spas, there are bargains to be had. According to Spafinder Wellness 365's most recent State of Spa Travel Report, the "deal culture" in spa marketing is here to stay, even though the economy has improved—32 percent of travel agents reported that spas were more aggressive with special pricing and packages last year over the year before. Fifty-three percent said deals were equally strong. Ask your hotel directly about specials, but you can also position yourself for a flood of hotel spa discounts and credits by browsing sites like Groupon.com, LivingSocial.com, Travelzoo.com, GiltCity.com, and Spafinder.com, Kyricos says. We searched Groupon and found a hefty $120 discount at New York City's Eventi Hotel on two treatments, including the Jet Lag Recovery Body Scrub.
Spa savings secret #4: When in doubt, choose the massage.
"A massage is generally the best value, and few things beat the benefits of a truly therapeutic massage," Kyricos says. One exception: If there's an identically priced facial that lasts just as long and involves a smorgasbord of expensive serums, fruit extracts, and masques, you'll get your money's worth and then some.
Spa savings secret #5: Absurdly high prices? Bring the spa to you instead.
Say what? Yep! In today's app-happy culture, if you can't afford the spa on property, you can summon an outside technician to come to your hotel room—and you don't have to make movie-star money to swing it. The PRIV app dispatches beauty and wellness pros in New York, L.A., and London who can give you a 30-minute chair massage ($45), gussy you up with a braided 'do ($30), and more—tax and tip included. Hair- and makeup-centric Glamsquad, based in New York, L.A., and Miami, lets you choose a specific hairstyle post-blowout, like "chic, beachy waves" or "sleek, straight, and shiny" for $50. A special manicure category will launch later this year, nailphiles.