Cape Town spa ettiquette: 5 do’s and don’ts

Worried about what to wear (or not too…) and what to do when you visit a spa in Cape Town? Joanne de Wet, spa manager at The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa, lets you in on what is usually expected.

1. Don’t tip (unless you’d like to)

In most spas in Cape Town, tips are not included in the price of a treatment, and it is not customary to tip. Should you wish to leave gratuity for a therapist, however, you are more than welcome to do so.

2. Don’t make a noise

Guests are not expected to behave in any particular way when they visit the spa, but high noise levels are most definitely frowned upon as a spa environment is by nature tranquil. We also advise clients not to drink alcohol before coming for a spa treatment.

3. Do get your kit off

Most spa treatments require some degree of undress, so you should bear this in mind if you are uncomfortable about taking your clothes off. The only treatments that can be performed without removing clothes are the spa manicure and spa pedicure.

4. Do speak up

During the treatment, it is absolutely okay to say something if the therapist is making you feel uncomfortable or isn’t quite getting the pressure right in a massage, but ideally you shouldn’t need to. The therapist should ask you at least three times during a treatment if you are comfortable and if the pressure is satisfactory to ensure that you are getting the best experience possible.

5. Do check if you need to bring anything

Obviously, requirements vary from one spa to the next, but at The Spa at The Twelve Apostles Hotel, guests do not need to bring anything along. Each guest is provided with a comfortable robe, a pair of disposable slippers and a pair of disposable underwear. In the changing rooms they’ll find fluffy towels, shampoo, conditioner, body wash and shower caps. At other spas, be sure to check if you need to bring any of these items when making your booking.

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