Just as various treatments differ from around the world, so does spa etiquette. Whether simply traveling to a new spa for leisure, trying to create an authentic style treatment experience or just simply being curious, Vogue provides a guide to help avoid committing any spa "no-nos" no matter where you are.
"Sow-na" Time in Austria, Germany or Finland
- First and foremost, it's pronounced "sow-na" not "saw-na;"
- Do not linger in the doorway. Cold air is basically taboo;
- Nude means nude, but in these areas a towel can be used to cover up;
- When in Germany, silence is valued during sauna time; and
- Pouring water over the coals is a job for ONLY the saunameister.
Brushing Up on Russian Banya Etiquette
- Be prepared for a gentle slap from a bundle of birch leaves that are soaked in water and then slapped against the skin;
- These areas are meant for socializing, so talk away; and
- Prepare for lots of sweating and stay hydrated.
Enjoying the Sacred Japanese Onsen
- Do not wear any clothes or underwear as to keep from contaminating the pure water;
- Men and women are separated in these bathing areas;
- In the washing area, move quickly as not to waste water and don't splash your neighbors;
- Thoroughly clean you washing station when you are finished;
- Do not put your wash cloth in the water, leave it on the side or put it on your head; and
- Keep your hair tied up.
Getting Steamy in the Turkey, Moroccan and UAE
- The hammams are based on the premise of a Roman bath;
- Bring disposable underwear with you;
- Keep it dirty, or rather, don't bathe before entering the hammams. The therapist will do that for you;
- Be prepared to tip when going to a hammams in Turkey; and
- Men and women are meant to stay strictly separated in these treatments.
North America, Australia and the UK Gets Hands On
- When receiving a massage, it's expected to cover up with disposable underwear and robes;
- Fully disclose any medical conditions and cosmetic procedures;
- Keep quiet when receiving treatments; and
- Voice any discomforts with pressure early on in the treatment.