That was Elizabeth’s question about the Olympus women’s spa I went to Friday. It’s a common question. Over the years my general experience with day spas has been:
- Make appointment, usually for a massage.
- Arrive and check in.
- Be handed a robe that is too small and be directed to a locker room to change.
I do understand the rationale. Practically speaking:
- Your wallet, purse, coat, et cetera is (frequently) in a locker. You don’t have to carry it from treatment room to treatment room.
- Easier to get naked for scrubs, massages, and so on.
- If you use a sauna or steam room, your street clothes are unaffected.
- Most massages include using oil to reduce friction. When you’re done, you’re covered in oil. Putting on the robe gets the oil on the robe. You can often choose to shower before dressing in your own clothing.
There’s also the emotional aspect, in that you are taking a “time out” from your usual routine. The robe means it’s time to relax.
So, what to do? There are some facilities where there isn’t a locker room and the change-into-a-robe routine doesn’t exist. Others where it’s optional. The spa I visited on Friday not only asks you to change into a robe, but to go naked in the pool / body scrub area.
What I generally do is…
- Check out their website, if they have one. Often they will include their preferred routine, locker and shower availability, and so on.
- Call and ask what their general routine is. Do they have locker rooms? Showers? Do they ask people to change into robes?
- You can ask about the general size of the robes, but be aware that the actual size may not be known. Most robes I’ve experienced are XL or XXL.
- If you think you’re going to need your own robe, take one! I’ve never had a problem with this.
- If you’re really nervous about it, take their robe, try it on, and only substitute your own if you feel theirs is too small.
During my highly-paid high-tech years, I was visiting one day spa monthly. One Saturday the receptionist gave me a big smile and said, “Oh, we’ve got some new larger robes since you were here last! They’re size 28 from Lane Bryant, want to try one?” Guess what – it fit!! :)