What Types of Services Do Spas Offer?

Flowers, scented candles, Zen stones, and a blurred background of a woman enjoying a spa service.

Who does not love the thought of going to a spa? When I think of a spa, I think of a relaxing massage and facial where I can soothe area the stressful parts of life. However, spas offer so many treatments and services that you probably are not aware of all of them. Spas differ on the type of spa they are considered, as well as the services they offer.

Before you visit a spa, you should be aware of their services so you are not surprised when you get there. I have made the mistake in the past of assuming that every spa would have the type of massage I wanted and that was not the case. Keep reading to find out the various services each spa type offers.

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Day Spa

A day spa is unique in that it does not offer any overnight services. All of their services happen in the same day, hence the name day spa. According to Tripsavvy, for a day spa to truly be able to be called a day spa, it must offer specific items. They should feature an atmosphere that is quiet and fills you with calm and peace.

They should offer robes and slippers to enhance your comfort. They have professional estheticians for your skin and massage therapists for your muscles. They use professional products and private rooms that are clean and have fresh linens. When considering a day spa, keep in mind they do not all offer manicures and pedicures. Smaller spas do not have saunas, steam or jacuzzis.

At a day spa, you should expect a full menu of items such as:

Massage

The two most popular types of massage are Swedish massages and deep tissue massages. Both of these types of massage cover the entire body while Swedish massage uses a light touch and deep tissue massage has a firmer touch and may concentrate on specific areas that are tense.

Hot stone massage uses stones that are smooth and heated with water. The stones hold onto the heat and then help warm your muscles and relax you.

A masseuse applying hot stone massage.

Specialty massages are offered at various day spas based on the preferences. These specialty massages may include reflexology or altered in some other way to meet your needs. Any massage can be changed and given a name to meet specific needs. You will find different types of specialty massages in different day spas.

Facials

Facials are typically the second most requested spa treatments. They offer a wide range of choices from anti aging, deep cleansing, or even European type facials. They have the same steps to them, which includes cleanse, exfoliate, extractions, massage, followed by a mask. The facials are separated by the products that are used. Often one of the lines of products offered are a natural line and the esthetician can help decide what treatment you require.

Body Treatments

Body treatments tend to be overlooked at day spas because clients feel they can do them at home with the same result. Body treatments include a body scrub to exfoliate and other types of scrubs, that are followed by a shower and lotion. Often body wraps are included as part of body treatments. They may be moisturizing or clay or mud, which are detoxifying.

Destination Spa

A destination spa is one that is on a property that is not closely located. You have to travel to get there, so you are traveling to your destination, and it is a spa. These spas are not found in your local area or in a neighborhood. They have the purpose of helping people find their way to a healthy lifestyle. They serve food that is made of whole nutrients, including grains, fresh fruit and vegetables.

They also provide education on nutrition. They provide lectures on how to create healthy habits and take them home with you. Destination spas require you to spend three days, if not more at the spa. The intention of these types of spas is to help you get back to being healthy. These spas vary drastically in size and cost. This type of spa does not offer hair and nail treatment services.

Nutrition

Top view of healthy food such as fruits, vegetables, cereals, and seeds on a dark background.

The major thing setting a day spa apart from any other spa is the food. They offer a specific and limited menu. Some have an incredibly restricted diet while others have an all you can eat menu.

Classes

A destination spa offers a full menu of fitness and stress reduction classes. This includes lectures that educate guests on ways to get and stay healthy.

Spa Treatments

A destination spa offers many therapeutic treatments that you find at a traditional day spa. They offer a full range of massage treatments including sports, deep tissue, and aromatherapy massage.

Medical Spa

A medical spa is a fancy name for medical clinic and often combines spa services with medical treatments. This type of spa is supervised by a medical doctor. They offer elective improvement services which intend to rejuvenate the skin and typically make it look younger. A medical spa provides a more relaxed atmosphere where the patient does not feel rushed in any way.

Often times, in a doctor’s office, patients feel like they are just being moved through quickly. That does not happen at a medical spa. The focus is completely on the patient’s experience. Medical spas do not accept insurance like a doctor’s office does, so patients expect more when paying out of pocket.

Medical services

A woman getting a laser epilation cosmetology or hair cosmetology procedure.

Medical spas focus on medical services. The only traditional spa service you find here is a facial. The facial usually come with some other treatment, such as:

  • Laser treatments
  • Micro dermabrasion
  • Botox
  • Chemical peels
  • Cellulite treatment
  • Permanent make up
  • Tattoo removal
  • Varicose vein treatment
  • Laser hair removal

Mineral Springs Spa

Mineral springs spas are built around mineral springs in which the guests can bathe. Mineral springs have been used for years in spas due to their properties intended for healing. Many people soak in them to help reduce pain and skin conditions. Typically, the water coming from the spring is cool and it is heated so that the temperature is more comfortable and reaches a therapeutic level.

Often times, these springs are open to everyone at the same time. If you are interested in bathing privately in the spring, you must look for a mineral spring spa that specifically offers that.

Side view of a woman swimming in a thermal pool.

The contents of the water differs based on location. Typically, the springs contain elements of potassium, calcium, iron, sodium, magnesium, sulfur, and iodine, just to name a few. The spa will make you aware of the contents of the water in their spring. Different elements have been shown to help different types of conditions. The offerings at a mineral spring varies greatly depending on the spa. Some simply offer the ability to soak in the water.

In addition to soaking in the luxurious mineral bath, the spas offer additional treatments, which vary from spa to spa.

Facials

They offer a wide variety of facials that are based upon your specific needs and desires. They most likely have a base facial and then add on to it, for a cost, items to suit your wants.

Massage

Most mineral springs spas offer Swedish, deep tissue, and hot stone massage. These massages can cover the entire body or focus on one specific area of the body. They most likely offer specialty massages specific to a certain need.

Nail Treatment

These spas may offer manicures and pedicures. While your nails are shaped and polished, the skin on your hands and feet is also exfoliated and softened with paraffin treatments, hot stone massages, and creams and lotions.

Mobile Spa

A mobile spa is basically spa services taken on the road. There has been a rise in spa parties. This is a service where professionals from a spa travel and offer spa treatments that you would typically find at a day spa. A common way these services are used is by a bride and her bridal party on her wedding day.

This allows the services to be provided in the comfort of their own home and for multiple people. They never have to leave their own house. This type of service is great for those who work long hours from home and need a way to relax that will not take them away. This is also great for someone who is older and not able to leave the house.

Typical services of a mobile spa:

Massage

The mobile spa has a massage table that folds so they perform the same type of massage you would expect from a spa.

Facials

These may be limited to the products that the mobile spa has on hand, so it may just be a regular facial with no extras.

Bridal Hair

Back view of a bride getting her hair done.

Bridal make up

Manicures

Pedicures

Resort Spa

This type of spa is located within a resort or a hotel. Typically, the resort or hotel, or the area in which the resort or hotel is located is the main attraction. The spa was added in as a nice amenity for the guests. This type of spa charges for each individual service and the price is usually a bit higher. They often have ways to entertain your children so you can enjoy the quiet peacefulness of the spa. If you are visiting a resort or hotel with your family, everyone else can do something else while you enjoy your spa time.

A couple enjoys a relaxing outdoor massage at a resort spa.

Massage

Along with the typical types of massage, they offer couples massage. They may also offer a massage that blends something that is unique to the area.

Nail treatment services

Resort spas offer manicures and pedicures, as well as some other nail services.

Extra offerings

Swimming pools

Golf

Tennis

Thermal Spa

A thermal spa is similar to a mineral spring spa with the exception of location and temperature of the water. If there is activity that is geothermal in the area of the spa, the water is hot before it even comes out of the earth. This is why it is called a thermal, or hot, spring. Typically, the temperature of the water is so hot that it must be cooled down before you can get in it. This is usually the same temperature water that is in a sauna or hot tub.

The attraction to thermal spas is the healing power of the hot springs. The water helps to remove stress and reduce the soreness in muscles. Some of this is due to the temperature of the water and some of it is because of the minerals contained in the water. Often the water in thermal springs contains minerals such as sulfur, calcium, zinc, iron, magnesium salts, and lithium salts. The temperature of water allows more dissolved salts to be held in it than water at a regular temperature would.

Services offered at a thermal spa are different than those at a day spa. While you may find traditional services like massage or facials, they are usually different at a thermal spa because they incorporate the use of steam or heated water more than a traditional day spa does.

Body treatments

At a thermal spa, you will find hydrotherapy pools to help restore your muscles. They have saunas and hot rooms, as well as aroma steam rooms. You will also find foot baths.

Hammam treatments

A bowl with soap foam in Turkish hamam, water jar, and towel.

These treatments use steam instead of water. These treatments are relaxing, skin softening and tighten your pores.

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