Is a Luxury Spa the Best Spa?

Visiting a luxury spa is the ultimate in self indulgence.  Whether you go to regain your sense of well being, improve your health and fitness, or just for some down home personal pampering, visiting a spa can create a new vision [and a new version] of the person you are.

You don’t have to be a spa enthu-siast to have noticed the explosion of all types of day spas, vacation spas, health spas, and destination spas popping up everywhere.

Hotel and resort spas. Spas at casinos. Spas at inns. Spas on cruise ships. Spas in shopping centers.

If you’re a luxury hotel, you have a spa. Luxury and spas go hand in hand.

Even moderate hotels are incor-porating day spas into their list of guest amenities, and their clients love them.

While they may not have the same lavishness of luxury spa services at, say, the Four Seasons or the Ritz Carlton, they cater to clients just the same, making them feel coddled and well-cared for.

The best spas are those that add a sense of renewal and well-being to your life. That make you feel relaxed, refreshed, and fussed over.

Pathway to the Pool

Spa treatments transform you from what you were, to what you want to be. Mud baths, aromatherapy, skin therapy, hot stone massages, body scrubs, seaweed wraps...away with the old!

There are detox spas. Weight loss spas. And spas for women only.

There are wellness spas with metaphysical treatments to help you regain focus: physically, emotionally, spiritually.

There are inclusive-stay spas for a variety of pursuits: family, golfing, medita-tion, viniculture, with soul-nourishing jantzu pools and Zen-like gardens to wile away the hours. And the stress.

There are medical spas to reshape and rejuvenate your physical world with laser treatments, dermabrasion, peels, fillers and injectables, allowing you to put a new face on your outside – and feel it on your inside.

If it’s a luxury spa, it comes with a price.

But what if there were value-priced spas close to home, or even in exotic locations, where you could go for much the same experience as the luxury spas, but at a lesser cost?

What if you could have much the same treatments, amenities, and pampering, all for a price you could afford?

What if there were value-priced spas with beautiful settings, custom therapies, and top-of-the-line perks both here in the U.S. and at alluring locations around the world?

Do I have your attention?

What's the Best Spa Deal for You?

Well, before you go bouncing off to reshape your life and your outlook, it pays to do some research.  Before you confirm the best spa deal you can find and plunk down a deposit, its imperative you know:

  1. the type of spa you choose offers the precise services you want, and  
  2. the  personnel at the spa are qualified, knowledgeable, and licensed [when necessary] to perform the proffered services.

Before deciding on a spa, do some research to help you define the kinds of spa services and treatments you’re interested in getting. 

You can find a wealth of information online about the various types of spas and the services they offer.

Whether you choose to incorporate a spa visit into your vacation, or remain at home in familiar surroundings, there’s a spa type and location to fit your needs.

Perfume of the Flowers

The following guide can help you narrow your options by learning what to look for at the various kinds of spas:

  • Resort Spas – Many facilities call themselves by this name - the most searched for term online for spa locations.

    A resort spa offers overnight accommodations, exercise and fitness, healthy meals, on-sight amenities, a range of spa services, and often self-improvement classes. It’s a resort spa because it’s usually located within, or as a part of, a hotel or resort that also offers amenities for non-spa guests.

  • Destination Spas – This is what you go for spa services and cuisine. Overnights are required, and a routine for program services is established and followed.

    Spa treatments are more definitive as to health, beauty, wellness, and/or rejuvenation. Minimum stays may be required, and options for outside food and activities are generally excluded. Most often these are wellness and/or weight-loss spas.

  • Day Spas – As expected, these are walk-in, walk-out facilities and come in all shapes and degrees of professionalism. Services range from simple hair salons or mani-pedi establishments, to massages, facials, and body treatments, to various types of holistic therapies.

    Some day spas include minor medical procedures, involving the use of chemicals, lasers, and body or hair dyes. In some locations there may be little oversight or licensing of practitioners. Check for ratings, referrals, and references for any establishment, whose reputation you’re not per-sonally familiar with.

  • Medical Spas – May include health and wellness, but more often involve medical procedures like skin resurfacing, abrasion, peels, photo facials, or injections. These may or may not require overnight stays.

    This is when you fully investigate not only the facility and qualifications of the personnel administering treatments, but the spa owner, the on-site Doctor [should be full-time], and adherence to medical licensure require-ments.

Newest on the scene, but rapidly growing, especially in the U.S. are Airport Spas: a great way to de-stress during travel with a massage, manicure, pedi-cure, facial, or hair grooming. 

Built with the travel schedules in mind, treatments vary from as short as a 15 minute massage, to more lengthy de-stressing treatments. 

Growing visibly internationally, if you find yourself in the right airport with an international layover, you'll currently find spa facilities and services at these international airports:

  • United Kingdom - London Heathrow; Manchester Internationl
  • Amsterdam – Schiphol
  • Brussels International Airport
  • Canada - Vancouver International; Calgary International
  • Germany – Munich Airport; Frankfurt International
  • Hong Kong International
  • Iceland - Keflavik International
  • Paris - Charles de Gaulle
  • Rome - Aeroporto Fiumicino; Milan - Linate
  • Singapore – Changi International
  • Zurich – Zurich Airport

You may not have time for an intensive luxury spa treatment, but a mid-flight massage could be worth it’s weight in gold between connecting international flights.

A Luxury Spa In the Eye of the Beholder

Luxury spas and value spas are found throughout the world.  The key to finding value is in the way services are offered and in the facilities the spas are housed in. 

Think of the difference as being between a room at the Ritz vs. an overnight at a Hampton Inn.

You still get a bed, a bathroom, a TV, and pleasant room amenities, but you pay a lot more for your room at the Ritz, and perhaps the staff is a bit more subservient. 

The pillows may be fluffier, the linens finer, and the 'free' amenities of higher quality. 

But, I’ve never been to a Hampton that didn’t surpass my expectations - and with a staff at the top of their game.

Relaxing by the Water

At a luxury spa, you may have finer surroundings, more elegant food, more treatments included, but the staff administering the treatment is probably no more qualified than those at a value-based facility.

So, how can a value spa offer the same experience as a luxury spa?  And how do you know a value spa is the best spa choice for you?

A value-priced spa offers more modest accommodations, with similar services: some included, and some provided a la carte for you to choose

The U.S has a number of budget health spas, whose main difference from their more expensive luxury spa counterparts is a lack of brand recognition or affiliation with a large chain of facilities.

You might have to trade a single room for a 'share', eat more modest cuisine, or exercise in a room not as grand. 

But you’ll notice little difference in the quality, knowledge, and expertise of the staff, and your overall outcome and experience will be comparable – except for the amount you pay.

To experience what a value priced spa can offer, do some online research into the kinds, locations, and amenities of spas.

Then follow the links below for value priced spas that offer luxury spa amenities both here in the U.S. and around the world.

You may find just the spa experience you’re looking for – at a much finer price.

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Find info on value-priced spas in these online articles:

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