Spa tips for men: "Be honest with the masseuse"
1. Arrive in advance
Going to a spa is not like getting your haircut, you can’t show up to the appointment bang on time and expect it to start. You’ve got to arrive, fill out the consultancy forms, de-robe and (at some point) relax. The entire point of booking into a spa is to have someone massage you into a state of relaxation. This, obviously, is a lot more likely if you don’t arrive to your appointment as a sweaty, stressed out mess because you’ve been racing through traffic, or struggling to find a parking space. Plan your time in advance and you will reap the benefits.
2. Double wrap
‘Spa pants’ (or ‘manties’ if you will) are about as useful as they are comfortable. There is nothing less inviting than opening up your locker to see a robe and a minuscule pair of underpants awaiting you. Sure, they claim to be ‘one-size-fits-all’ but nothing could be further from the truth. Once you have worked out which way they go on (a task in itself), it will be very apparent that they offer you practically no modesty whatsoever, that is why our advice is to wear two pairs. Donning a second pair over the top will get rid of the transparency issue and the additional support will make you feel more comfortable, therefore helping you relax — which is kind of the whole point.
3. The facilities
Generally speaking, spas are not cheap. So if you’re going to be dropping Dhs500 on a backrub, you may as well look at making the most of it by maximising the use of the facilities, both pre- and post-treatment. The sheer number of 5-star spas in the Gulf mean that the oneupmanship is relentless. Saunas, steam rooms, plunge pools, barbers, thalassic pools, high-altitude training gyms, green tea, free juice, beach access and relaxation rooms with fantastic views, all come included in the price. Aside from the enjoyment factor, all of the facilities are included because they are a beneficial way to help relax your mind and muscles, and get more out of your treatment. After all, if you’re beyond the moat, you may as well enjoy the castle, right?
4. Speak your mind
Now we’ve overcome the idea that men are ‘too manly’ for a spa, we can get rid of the idea that you need to be beaten black and blue, for a massage to have any effect. Sure, if that is you’re kind of thing, then go for it, but always make sure you are honest with the masseuse about the pressure you can handle. Remember, they are not going to judge you (or care) about how hard or soft you want the pressure, but it’s up to you as the paying customer to let them know. If you’re fighting back the tears as the large Vietnamese masseuse proceeds to beat seven shades out of you, it’s probably worth mentioning your discomfort.
5. Sleeping on the job
You’ve read it here first: falling asleep during a massage is totally fine. You’ve probably gone to a spa because it’s been a taxing week/month and you’re in need to unwind, if that involves nodding off during a back-rub then so be it. Although, let it be said, drooling while you’re lying face-down is still super-awks.
If you’re happy with your treatment then feel free to tip your masseuse, although, rather than inviting them into the locker room where you can fetch your wallet, the better way is to ask for their name and leave the tip with the reception desk.