Spanista » Self Care Rituals, Reflections & Resources for Joyful Living by Ginny Shiverdecker


Greetings Spanista Lovers,

True to my mission of advocating new ways to take charge of the Spa Experience to achieve a higher emotional reward and overall level of satisfaction, I have developed  The Spanista Top 10 Criteria for a Happy Experience – and you bring Your Self Care Value System to make it Great – to get the most of the time you have to invest in yourself and your money. Armed with learnings from my experiences and those of generous friends, coworkers and acquaintances here is a thought process you may find helpful.

Spa Experiences most often fall into three categories:

~ Wellbeing Seekers want Personal Time to either for a short window to obtain specific services like a massage or to spend a block of quality time, generally a day or more to immerse into a series of services to restore body, mind and spirit.

~ Event Seekers want Social Time together to either mark a special occasion, share time, converse, have fun and relax or to prepare for a once in a lifetime moment they all want to memorialize like a pre wedding activity.

~ Physical Alteration Seekers want Medical Treatment Time to transform some part of their body – facial lifts, skin toning, body contouring, tatoo removals that may lead to more highly specialized services over an extended period of time.

The first two are more casual while the third is a serious endeavour. For this conversation I will focus on the Casual Experience. As you consider selecting the right spa for your specific needs it would be prudent to do some homework in advance to be sure your choice of locations aligns with your expectations. In my experiences I have been either pleasantly surprised or gravely disappointed because what looked and sounded good on a website and in casual online reviews just did not meet my desires.

Here are 10 Criteria Tips for defining what you want from your experience.

The Service: Are you looking for Eastern Style or Western Style Massages? Do you want a male or female therapist – if it matters make the request; do you want your therapist to chat when conducting the service or not, then share that before you get started; Every therapist has a style – do you have preferences? Tell them. They will not know what you enjoy they will step up to deliver.

The Top 10 Tangibles:

  1. Priority is Menu of Services – is there anything that inspires you beyond the basics – Deep Tissue, Aromatherapy, Swedish as Higher End or Specialized Spas have Asian specializations like Japanese Shiatzu or creative themes that can offer deeper healing or be more inspiring and enriching.
  2. Atmosphere – the vibe and tone of experience – does it transport you to another world emotionally like look and sound of waterfalls
  3. Robes – Quality, comfort, freshness
  4. Locker Room, cleanliness, quality of towels
  5. Post Grooming Amenities
  6. Relaxation rooms before the treatments – music, snacks or refreshments
  7. Comfort of lounge chairs, throws
  8. Sauna , Whirlpool and additives – iced towels with infused aromas
  9. Post Relaxation Room – Very important – temperature should be coolish, throws provided, dim lighting, zen music, refreshments should be offered along with water. Teas – with something small and satisfying. Frozen berries at the Ritz, fine chocolate, European biscuits. Spa food service.
  10. Inspirational reading – books, magazines, tapes, music

Once you have evaluated your choices against this criteria you should have a chat with the Spa Director on the phone. And if you are able, take a tour in person in advance and meet the Director. You will be amazed what you will learn. This is essential if you want to build a relationship with your Spa of choice.

Good luck with your Spa Choices and please do share your favorites and why with Our Spanista Society. We would love to hear your recommendations.

To Your Self Care Journey To Joy,