Happy Monday and HAPPY OCTOBER! I can’t believe it’s Fall- I’m still getting used to the season change as a new southerner. The temperatures are still in the 80’s here! 

This weekend I travelled with Tony to the Kiawah Island Golf Resort and Spa for his ACC Conference. It. Was. AMAZING!

I’m going to take you along with me on my resort spa journey and share with you how to maximize your time when you visit a spa!

The Sanctuary on Kiawah Island
The grand staircase at The Sanctuary that leads to the spa’s entrance- I want this wallpaper!
Hallway in the women’s locker room that leads to the Mineral Whirlpool

Tip #1 Arrive very early

It is customary to arrive at least 30 minutes prior to your appointment time. Resort spas usually have incredible amenities to take advantage of. This spa has a mineral whirlpool, sauna, steam room, luxurious showers and two relaxation rooms- a Women’s Solarium and The Magnolia Suite which is for both male and female guests. If you are getting a massage, and especially if you are getting a facial, plan to bathe and steam before your treatment. You don’t want to wash off the wonderful products used on your skin after the treatment, and the relaxation beforehand preps you for even deeper relaxation. I’ve noticed in my 11 years as a Massage Therapist that most people don’t relax until 3/4 of the way into their treatment! Why not get started ahead of time?

In front of the mineral whirlpool, heated to 104 degrees Fahrenheit

Tip #2 Bring a bathing suit

Many resort spas have gender separate pools and whirlpools with clothing optional. If you tend to be more modest anyway, like me, bring a bathing suit.

Tip #3 Schedule the longer treatment

If you have the option of either a  50/60 or an 80/90 minute treatment, schedule the longer one. It is worth every penny!

Relaxing in the Women’s Solarium

Tip #4 Bring a book, bring a journal

Receiving a treatment is very meditative. Bring a journal to take with you into the relaxation areas for any inspiration or insights you may receive during your time. Also, stay and relax for as long as you can. Bring a great book, pour yourself some herbal tea and cozy up!

Relaxing in the Magnolia Suite

Tip #5 Eat light and stay hydrated

Massage Therapy is very detoxifying. Combining whirlpools, steamrolls and saunas with room and water temperatures that are higher, make sure you stay hydrated before and after the treatment. Fast or eat very light for a cleansing effect.

Tip #6 Bring a buddy

One of my favorite quotes is, “To have joy, one must share it. Happiness was born a twin.”- Lord Byron

The best way to enjoy a spa day even more is with your spouse, significant other, close friend or beloved family member! I surprised Tony with a massage after his conferences let out. I loved sitting in the Magnolia Suite with him talking about our treatments and just relaxing together! A trip to a spa is also a wonderful way to reconnect with a close friend. I actually have a spa day coming up with one of my close girlfriends who is also a Mom!

Tip #7 Tip generously

A lot of resort spas include a 20% service fee which they give to their therapists as a gratuity. If the spa you visit does not do that, however, I’m going to give you the truth from being on the other side of the spa- tips are a huge part of any therapists’ income. A 15-20% tip is deeply appreciated! If they did an outstanding job, I encourage you to tip more!

“Cake by the Sea” by Deborah Lippmann

Tip #8 Undress to your comfort level in the treatment

Underwear on or off? Your therapist cares about your comfort and your modesty. Undress to the level that you feel comfortable with- you will be modestly draped during your entire treatment. European spas that are in the US follow protocols to preserve modesty, as this is more of a cultural norm.

Tip #9 Let your therapist know if you have any allergies or medical conditions

If you are allergic to anything, please let your therapist know. Also let them know if you have any medical conditions such as cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes, low or high blood pressure, cancer, if you are pregnant or if you have just had a baby. Treatments can always be modified to fit your needs.

Tip #10 Cancel if you are sick

If you are scheduled for a massage and you are sick with a virus and/or a fever, reschedule. A systemic massage will only make you feel sicker, as it will circulate the virus through your circulatory and lymphatic systems faster. Wait until you no longer have a fever or as your symptoms subside. A great sinus massage after an upper respiratory infection can be a wonderful thing!

The Magnolia Suite

Lastly, re-book!

If you are lucky enough to live near a resort spa, re-book your next visit before you leave. This ensures you get the time and the therapist that you want, and gives you something heavenly to look forward to!

All photos taken at The Sanctuary Spa at Kiawah Island Golf Resort

Thanks for stopping by! XO, Ashli

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