If you’re looking into luxury spa services in London to cap off your holiday, you’ll want to be aware of these five important points. Spa etiquette differs between countries, depending on perceptions of hygiene and how comfortable everybody is with nudity. Spas in North America, for example, are often more prudish than those in Europe. So to avoid making a fool of yourself in a classy spa like The Spa at the Montcalm, it’s time to get familiar with what’s expected of you in a luxury London spa.
Know your spas:
Yes, just like every other city, London has its share of “happy ending” massage parlours as well as legitimate clinics. The word “parlour” is key: if you see it in the name, and your massage clinic doesn’t exactly smell like essential oils, you know you’re in the wrong place. If you’re in a real spa or clinic, it goes without saying that you should never ask for erotic or sensual services – even as a joke. Your therapist or masseuse will not be amused! This includes making suggestive comments or noises. Masseuses are trained professionals who are there to fix problems in your muscles, and that’s it.
Keep the towels on:
You’ll usually be asked to take off any clothing that will interfere with the massage, and then lie down on the table. The masseuse will knock before entering to make sure you are decently covered. If you need to turn over during the massage, they will hold up a sheet and look away until you are ready and covered once more. In some countries, nobody minds if you bare all, but UK spas are very conscious of your privacy and will never expect to see you in the buff. Some spa patrons have been known to lie face up without a towel because “it’s more comfortable that way” – but remember that the therapist’s comfort is just as important as yours.
Any reputable beauty clinic or spa for men in London will be scrupulous about keeping everything squeaky-clean. Be sure to arrive early and make use of the showers before your treatment! You don’t have to shave or wax any body parts that you normally wouldn’t, but your skin should be clean and smelling fresh. If you’re using the rest of the spa’s facilities, like the sauna or steam-room, bring a towel to sit on. It also pays to be prepared if you’re getting a pedicure and bring some flip-flop sandals to wear afterwards so you don’t mess up your brand new polish.
Know your limits:
If you’ve never been to a spa before and you’re looking to treat yourself, you might decide to go for something exotic like a seaweed wrap or a mud treatment. To save yourself money and disappointment, think about what you’re getting yourself into before you book! If you’re a little claustrophobic, a wrap where you have to lie motionless for twenty minutes is probably not the best idea – neither is a sauna. Choose a type of massage that fits with what you want to achieve – do you have specific muscle soreness from playing sports, or are you looking for a gentle, meditative experience? Spa newcomers are generally encouraged to go for something simple to get the full relaxing experience without added stress.
A massage doesn’t have to hurt to be effective. Likewise, if you want your masseuse to apply more pressure, say so. They are there to help, but they can’t read minds. Let them know what you need and ask questions – no matter how awkward. They’ve heard it all before and they will do their best to put you at your ease.