First Time at the Spa? What You Need to Know

When visiting a spa, there are some do's and don'ts that you need to know, especially if this is your first time visiting. If you've visited before and have broken any of the rules, both spoken and unspoken, let's use today as a clean slate to start practicing good etiquette with the help of Josie Feria, Director of Spa Operations at Lapis Spa at Fontainebleau Miami Beach.

tips for visiting the spa//
Lapis Spa at the Fontainebleau Hotel (Photo: Fontainebleau)

Josie, not everyone might be aware of the basic rules of visiting a spa. Help!

"Be respectful of others and their wish for a relaxing and gracious experience. Making use of the spa means time shared with a community of people whose interests are to regenerate and rejuvenate and one’s behavior should be reflective of that. I would recommend not using electronic devices, speaking in low tones, and doing your best to avoid infringing on the personal space of others."

Why are these rules so important?

"A gracious and enjoyable spa experience is the result of cumulative factors: a well-equipped and designed facility, the efforts of the spa staff to provide caring hospitality, and guests that are predisposed to immersing themselves in a process of communal relaxation."

During spa month I visited a few of Miami's top spas and noticed the rule most often broken is no cellphones. Why should guests stash their devices?

"The use of cell phones is intrusive and disrespectful of the rights other guests have to enjoy quiet, solace and privacy. Proper spa etiquette involves completely disconnecting from all electronic devices in order to enhance your spa experience and to avoid making others feel uncomfortable."

How should guests handle nudity? Not everyone is confident especially if it's their first time.

"Clothing optional is standard in spas and especially evident in European spas. In the United States, this choice is restricted to gender specific areas. If one is not satisfied in a setting like this it’s suggested they avoid the areas where guests may be undressed. At Lapis, we tell everyone to bring their bathing suits for use of the water features, understanding that most guests may not prefer to be nude even in gender specific areas."

What other tips can you share to help spa-goers have the best experience possible?

"Don’t bring a lot of “stuff” with you – leave your fancy jewelry and big shoulder bags at home. Lapis provides everything you need (with the exception of a bathing suit) to enjoy a lovely day. Alcohol and heat don’t mix well, so drinking and then getting into a steam room or a very hot jet tub could bring on illness. Use the opportunity to internalize your experience, relax, speak softly and take it easy. It’s not just about bragging that you went to a spa, it’s about what you take away from it. Ideally, guests should leave relaxed and with an increased awareness of well-being and blessings."


  1. great tips! I especially love the reminder of no cell phones.

  2. I still don't understand how bothered people are with nudity at a place like a spa but good point for those who are...avoid them. Me? Oh, I leave the bathing suit at home...I love the spa.

  3. Great I want to go to the spa. LOL!

  4. Great tips! Especially about cell phone and not being noisy. I want to relax at the spa, not listen to other people talk on their cell phones.