Want a facial? Aching for a massage? Hankering for an all-over body scrub that promises rejuvenating benefits to your skin? Summer is a great time to satisfy those yearnings because summer is when many spas are also craving something: customers.
The Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau, for instance, sponsors Miami Spa Month where many spas in the area offer special discounts to customers in an effort to lure them through the doors.
For example, at Kimpton’s Epic Residences and Hotel in Miami, the Stay & Spa Package gives customers 30 percent off the best room rate and includes a massage from its “fusion” massage menu and two classes at the spa for an additional $99. Normally, a massage would cost $135 and the classes would run $25 each. All told, you’re saving $86 on these services. Why would they cut the price so much?
“Summer is a slower season for hotels,” says Esti Prager, regional director for Exhale at the Epic Residences and Hotel.
She adds that the Miami Spa Month is aimed not only at hotel guests but local customers as well. Many hotel spas, which may seem too pricey for year-round residents, offer services at the $99 or $129 price point. “For $99 or $129, it’s a great way to hop around and experience the best spa treatments without breaking the bank,” Prager says.
But you don’t have to go to Miami to score great deals on spa treatments. Most of the time, all you have to do is ask for a discount.
“We don’t go out of our way to advertise these deals to hotel guests,” she admits. “We do offer them to in-the-know guests.”
Look South, Massage Seeker
Spas offer specials all year round, including the summer, but “travelers may find more special offers in places like Florida, Texas or Arizona (or other very hot states) where people don’t travel as often in the summer,” says Betsy Isroelit, senior director, global media relations, for Spa Finder Wellness. “Pricing at spas, like at hotels or inns, is based on the number of rooms available and the demand for those accommodations.”
So if demand is low in those hot states, you may find some very hot deals that will compel you to ignore the temperature outside and “chill” in a spa.
We don’t go out of our way to advertise these deals to hotel guests. We do offer them to in-the-know guests.
— Esti Prager, regional hotel director
Some properties may offer straightforward discounts off the spa package, such as 15 to 20 percent or more. Special promotions are very popular, too. Look for a mother/daughter package, where the second person stays at 50 percent off (or more) or “girlfriend getaway”packages, where the third person stays for free, allowing you and two friends to travel at three-for-the-price-of-two rates.
When booking your escape, know which variety of spa you are considering. There are typically two types:
- A destination spa (think Canyon Ranch in Massachusetts, Arizona or Florida or Rancho La Puerta near San Diego, Calif.) that offers all-inclusive packages including meals, amenities like pools and sauna and such outdoor activities as hikes, classes and bicycle rides.
- Hotel and resort spas (such as Kimpton’s Epic in Miami) offer spa treatments and programs, but those fees are usually separate from the room rate (as are your meals).
“So it’s important to do the math and compare apples to apples,” Isroelit says. Do you want to go to a spa that’s a destination from which you will probably hardly leave? Or do you want to explore a city or an area of the country and come back at the end of the day to some great spa services?
How to Get Spa Deals
Taking advantage of seasonal discounts is an excellent way to get more value out of a spa vacation or a day spa. But some of these tips apply all year long:
- Before you book, always ask if there is any additional discount available. You may hit the reservations jackpot, says Prager, and show up or call on a very slow day. Many spas, she says, are willing to slash prices as a way to get customers in the door.
- Ask about “specials.” They are not often advertised, but if you ask whether there are any available, you may be pleasantly surprised.
- Book mid-week: Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays are typically slow days for spas, so you will likely have the greatest success getting deals then.
- Visit Spafinder.com: First search the site for the spas in the area that you’d like to visit, and then look for specials advertised by spas. In Spafinder Wellness 365’s most recent “State of the Spa & Wellness Travel” survey, travel agents reported that “despite economic and travel market recovery, a strong ‘deal culture’ seems to be a permanent fixture of the hotel/resort spa market, which is great news for consumers.” In the same report, 53 percent of travel agents said spa deals continue to be strong.
- Look into Groupon.com: Search for spa packages in the area you’ll be staying.
- Become a spa member: If you’re lucky enough to live near a nice spa, become a member, Prager says, which will give you access to discounts all year long. You’ll get unlimited access to the facility, and as a reward for your loyalty, most spas offer discounted services and price breaks on clothing and spa products.
Making the Most of the Experience
While going to a spa is a great vacation for anyone, those over 55 are likely to reap even more benefits, Prager says. Consider some of the following:
- Stress control: Massage actually functions like a meditation, allowing your mind to calm and move away from everyday worries.
- Muscle mobility: If your muscles are not as mobile as you would like them to be, massage also offers therapeutic results by working them to gain flexibility and suppleness.
- Improved circulation: Massage can improve your blood flow to certain muscles and therefore improve circulation in your body.
- Skin rejuvenation: A facial can reduce the look of fine lines and wrinkles as well as rid your skin of dead and dull-looking outer cells. Your skin will be softer and feel suppler.
- Overall skin health: Most spas offer “scrubs” that will slough off that layer of skin that is dull and damaged, leaving behind a softer, more healthy looking epidermis.