Spa experiences aren't cheap. Here's how to get the most out of your spa visit and make sure other spa visitors-and spa staff-get the most out of their time as well.
1. Take a shower first. Nothing irks a masseuse more than grimy skin. Plus, dirt will clump up under the oil and greatly diminish your sense of relaxation.
2. Make sure you leave your cell phones in the car or turn them off the moment you walk in. Another pet peeve. Not only does the phone interrupt your service, but also the appointments of others in adjoining rooms.
3. If you're with a group, make sure you keep your voices low. No one wants to hear about your Aunt Harriet's appendectomy while he's lying beneath a bed of hot stones.
4. Don't wear a lot of makeup if you're going to have a facial. It needs to be removed before the facial can begin, and the less time spent removing makeup, the more time your facialist can spend on your skin.
5. Be in control. You can customize.
6. Tell someone if something hurts. It's not supposed to.
7. Wear what you feel comfortable in. If you don't want to go naked, then don't. A bathing suit or underwear is perfectly acceptable.
8. Arrive at least 10 minutes early so you can change into a robe. Showing up late slows down everyone who goes after you.
9. Plan on tipping 15 to 20 percent.
10. Make an appointment for another treatment before you leave. Spa services book up quickly during the season.
And while we're at it...
Here are some more spas you might want to consider that were not included in our print edition.
After press time for our March print edition, Body & Spirit opened a second spa at Westfield Shoppingtown Southgate (formerly known as Southgate Plaza). Its first location is further south behind Sarasota Square Mall on Potter Park Drive. This one is convenient to people who live closer to town. To make an appointment, call (941) 921-1388.
Located downtown at the new, luxurious Marina Tower, Le Haircut is making "waves" for it's therapeutic spa services and the most fashionable hair designs. In addition to complete hair and nail care, Le Haircut offers an array of body treatments, from aromatherapy and herbology to Swedish and hot stone massage. Open Monday through Friday from 8:30 to 5:30, Saturday from 8:30 to 4, and evenings on Tuesday and Friday. Call 941-955-9196 for appointments.
Evolve Wellness Studio & Spa at Riverside Plaza in Palmetto is set to open this fall with great pre-opening deals for members. (Non-members may also use the amenities by making an appointment.) Developed by Leading Edge Environmental Design, which has designed luxury spas around the world, Evolve is billed as a "full-service wellness facility." The riverfront spa club will offer body treatments, a salon, wellness consultations as well as a tea room and juice bar, and fitness classes in weight training, aerobics, tai chi, yoga and Krav Maga, a self-defense system. Keep an eye out for them. They're sure to make a splash in this spa-hungry resort town. Call 941-729-7911.
And, if you're a guest or resident at any of the The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota facilities (the hotel or the condominiums), you can look forward to the opening of The Ritz-Carlton Spa, Sarasota, scheduled to open this fall. The facility is connected to the hotel and will offer 15,000 square feet of ultimate pampering.
For more on the best in beauty treatments in Sarasota, check out Susan Burns' story in the March 2003 edition of Sarasota Magazine, available on newsstands now.