A Guide to Different Types of Spas

Spas are the perfect place for you to focus on your health and well-being, to regain balance and clarity in your life and to heal yourself. There are many types of spas offering unique treatments and varied outcomes, so it is important to under the various types of spas available to ensure that you get the results you are looking for and to make your experience at the spa as beneficial as possible.

These days, mini-spa treatments are becoming easier to find – at the mall, at the airport, at a salon, at a health club, and even at the Chinese medicine shop on the corner. While most of these “express spas” offer short massages and superficial facial treatments with varying degrees of privacy, serious spa goers choose either destination spas or resort spas to enjoy the benefits of some of the world’s top facilities and the best practitioners.

  • Day Spas offer a selection of spa treatments and often provide salon services as well. Day spas are a good choice for people who are too busy for an overnight stay at a spa or simply can’t afford the full spa experience. The main complaint with day spas is that due to limited space and high traffic, treatment rooms can be very small and nosy. The quality of practitioners and the level of service at day spas is not up to the same standards of resort spas or destination spas.
  • Resort Spas (or Hotel Spas) are basically Day Spas located in hotels that offer spa treatments, fitness classes, and (sometimes) spa cuisine. Often times the resorts also offer other activities such as golf, so a resort spa is a good choice when one person wants to relax at the spa and the other person wants to spend their afternoon golfing. Resort spas allow you to enjoy spa treatments and facilities, but also have the option to eat meals that are not part of the spa diet or drink alcohol (after all – it is still a holiday!). Although resort spas do not offer dedicated spa retreats, the quality of the accommodation, treatments, and cuisine can still be top class, particularly at spas at the world’s premier luxury hotels.
  • Destination Spas are the sanctuaries for the spa aficionados.  In addition to offering the a la carte treatments that resort spas feature, destination spas provide various healing programmes that include consultations with doctors and/or specialists, accommodation, meals, treatments, and educational classes by experts in their fields. These programmes, often referred to as retreats, focus on a specific purpose (detoxification, weight loss, stress relief, etc.) and are an excellent way to make a major, long term change to improve your health and habits. Destination spas offer personalized programmes based on your goals which often include a tailor-made diet of healthy spa cuisine, exercise, relaxation, and pampering.  Alcohol and food outside of the restricted menu may be allowed depending on the spa and the programme. A minimum stay of two nights is imposed by most destination spas, although typically people go to destination spas for a 7 night programme to achieve the maximum results.
  • Medical Spas are a hybrid between a medical clinic and a day spa. Medical spas are a comfortable environment to undergo medical procedures while ensuring a high degree of comfort and privacy. Medical spas offer treatments that cannot be provided by traditional aestheticians. Medical treatments such as microdermabrasion, chemical treatments (e.g. chemical peels), injectables (e.g., Botox, fillers), and laser treatments (e.g., photofacials)  require a doctor’s supervision, but relaxation treatments such as massage are also available for you to pamper yourself.  Medical spas are much more clinical than day spas, but provide a much higher degree of comfort and luxury than hospitals. Many medical spas now offer nutritional counselling, acupuncture, and holistic treatments as well.

If you are interested in booking a spa holiday, get in touch with one of our experts on 020 7843 3597 or enquire here.

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