The British are known to be big on etiquette and other pleasant mannerisms. Good behaviour is expected at the spa where the other patrons are in for a quiet time looking to feel rejuvenated and recharged. As such, it is only fair that you follow some unspoken rules while at the spa to avoid embarrassing yourself or making the other clients and the masseuses uncomfortable.
If you are unsure what to wear, opt for swimwear. If you are in for a full body massage, it is OK to leave only your bottoms on. When changing, make sure that you are naked for the briefest time if it is an open plan changing room. However, it is expected that you will you will change in the showers. Ogling at other people who are changing is a big no-no.
Take off only what your masseuse asks you to take off. If you are doing a full body massage with the towel covering the vitals, the masseuse will hold it up when you are to turn over. Cooperate and turn over quickly.
During the massage
If you are in a proper spa and not a massage ‘parlour’, avoid any unnecessary contact with the masseuse. You can look at her as your aunt or mum and behave just like you would when they are around. Avoid any lewd talk that would upset the masseuse like asking for extra rubs or asking for extras. However, it is ok to ask the therapist to adjust the pressure is you need tense muscles to unknot.
You have come to the spa to relax so do not feel the pressure to chitchat or make small talk with the masseuse. It is ok to nap as long as you don’t make a fuss when woken up.
When in the Jacuzzi/sauna
While the Jacuzzi is a wet area, do not go into it naked or in a bikini. Ensure that you have taken a full bath before getting into the Jacuzzi. Remember that many have come there for the privacy and to reflect. Seat comfortably apart from strangers and do not make unsolicited chitchat. Keep your eyes on the ceiling or anywhere else apart from the bodies of people you don’t know.
Unlike in other countries where tipping is the norm for service workers, it can get a bit awkward in the UK in British spas. Just don’t offer the therapist a tip. You could leave the tip to the management if you really want to tip.