Perfect Pampering

How to make the most of clients’ spa experiences

By Margaret Swaine

Spa treatments are a popular reward for a job well done or as an add-on to an incentive trip. Marie Picton, executive manager of the Elmwood Spa in Toronto and founding member of Premier Spas of Ontario, shares how planners can make sure it’s an appropriate and appreciated gift.

Determine the budget and type of spa. Picton recommends that planners visit a couple of spas to see what kind of experiences they can provide for their guests. There are basic treatments like manicures, pedicures, facials and massages, but many of the better spas offer more specialized and signature treatments.

Book in advance. Book the spa at least two months beforehand. Be sure to let the manager know the kind of experience you would like for your people. Inform the spa of any food allergies if dining options are included.

Tell recipients why they’ll love it. Explain why you’ve chosen a spa experience. If it's for medical professionals, you can tailor the message by stating that after looking after others all day, they need some time to look after themselves. Most spas have registered massage therapists and their treatments can help alleviate stress and tight muscles from repetitive movements.

Pre-book treatments. If possible, send participants a list of spa treatments within your budget and book them beforehand. This will ensure no disappoint­ments on spa day.

Reassure newbies. First-time spa-goers needn't worry about modesty in North American spas. Spa therapists and aestheticians are skilled at keeping the customer's body well covered, exposing only the parts being treated. They will explain your treatment in advance and allow you to make any adjustments for your own comfort level.

Consider alternative activities. Look for destination spas that have a golf course or other activities for guests who do not want spa treatments. Or organize a special lunch with wine pairings or a local tour for those non-spa goers.

Read Indulge Me! to discover sensational spa offerings from around the world.

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