/ / / /

6 Tips for Men Visiting The Hotel Spa

August 14, 2014 at 5:05 PM | by | ()

Julien Farel's JF Men grooming station at The Loews Regency.

Hotels have been very keen on hotel spas in recent years--whether opening their own full-blown facilities with a dozen treatment rooms and exotic therapies or simply having one or two treatment rooms available with the basic rub-downs all travelers need. But just because a hotel might be five-star, doesn't mean its spa is. We told you what to look for in a very good spa as well as signs of a very bad spa. Now, here's a little spa love for the men out there.

Often aimed at women, hotel spas can be daunting places for men. However, more and more treatments especially tailored to menís needs are popping up on spa menus all over the world and itís no longer a rare sight to see a man getting a massage, facial or even, (gulp) a wax.

Yet despite the evolution in spa culture, there aren't many male specific tips for navigating the spa. So we thought we'd come up with a few of our own. These aren't too dissimilar to those for women but here are few things that can optimize a manís spa experience, whether a first-timer or a veritable spa hound.

1. Do Proper Prep Before Facials
A facial offers countless benefits for cleaning, nourishing, hydrating, and rebalancing sebum, the skinís naturally secreted moisture. However, a facial doesnít just focus on the face and its relaxation qualities are often underestimated. What could be better than someone cleaning your skin - getting rid of razor burn, ingrown hairs and black heads - followed by a transcendent face, back and scalp massage that takes you all the way up to nirvana? Thatís right. A good therapist has exactly that power and will have you booking your next facial even before youíre off the massage table. In order to prepare for a facial, men should have a close shave at least two hours before a treatment for the whole face to be accessible. Never have a facial right after shaving as this could accentuate any skin irritation.

2. Avoid Creams Before, Um, Manscaping
It might sound like a given not to use creams before a wax, but actually a lot of people forget or donít want to look like they neglect their skin in front of the therapist. However, it doesnít matter if your skin is dry when you get to the spa and it doesnít matter that the therapist sees it Ė remember that they are used to seeing all sorts of unsightly characteristics and dry skin is the least of their worries. Using creams less than five hours before a wax will make it less effective, and who wants to suffer for a half-done job?

3. Ask For a Private Treatment Room
While massages are usually done in a private massage room, not all beauty treatments are. Pedicures and manicures are often done in a communal area. For spa virgins who feel a little embarrassed about having to step up for a pedicure in public while feeling like the women in the room are staring and sniggering (although they probably are arenít) a private treatment room can be requested if the spa is given advance warning. You can then rest assured that no one will be looking while the therapist grates at your corns and calluses.

4. Don't Be Afraid to Express Yourself (No, not like that)
The key to getting the most out of your treatment is to tell the therapist exactly what you want. Not only will the experience be even better but so will the benefits. Before arriving at the spa for your treatment, think about how your skin feels and looks, or if having a massage, how your body and muscles feel. It is good to give it a few minutes thought in order to instruct the therapist. If having a massage, think about any areas of the body that need special attention Ė for example, people with a desk job will often have aches and pains in their shoulders and neck. Also, think about how you would like to feel as massages can be tonic, rejuvenating or relaxing. Last, always remember to let your therapist know if any recent injuries or aches and pains even if itís right in the middle of the massage as this can lead to further pain.

5. Avoid Exposure to The Sun After a Treatment
This goes for both men and women, but is often ignored by men. If youíve just had a massage or beauty treatment, itís not a good idea to head straight for the beach or pool right after Ė even if youíre just dying to show-off that new-found million-dollar complexion to the rest of the world. Skin is usually sensitive after a treatment, even if men tend to have stronger skin than women, and if youíve just had a massage, it is likely that the therapist used oil, meaning that the skin is doubly exposed to sun. You donít want to bake your skin like a chicken in the oven, so wait at least half a day if youíve had a facial and a day if youíve had a body scrub.

6. Happy Endings.
Don't. Even. Try.

[Photo: HotelChatter]

Archived Comments:

a few more

  1. As a budget option, some hotel spas offer a spa day pass for $20-50 per day.  You can use the gym, plunge pools, hot tubs, saunas, and be served pineapple juice, and you will feel like $1 million, without having anyone touch you.  If there are separate mens and womens spas, they are clothing optional, meaning you can wear clothes if you feel more comfortable doing so but you don't have to.

  2. In my experience, massage therapists at hotel spas tend to be much less skilled than my go-to therapist back home, even though they are charging me about 3x the price.

  3. Most men want massages from women, but the reality is that that men are often able to give better massages, particularly deep tissue massages, since their hands are bigger and stronger.  They are strong enough to actually massage the deep muscle tissue, whereas women tend to use tricks like digging into knots with elbows, etc.  I'm a completely straight male and I ask for a male therapist given the choice.  Assuming you are there for a professional massage and not sex, why not give that masseur a chance.

Top tips

Those are very well thoughtout tips. Spa breaks can always be a treat and when you leave you look more fresh and energetic. Overall, an interesting read.