How to Choose a Spa in Your City


Spa experiences are often thought of as fitting only for people who have plenty of disposable income, or as a special treat, or the perfect gift. While a trip to the spa is often the best gift you can give someone, the experience doesn’t need to be only for the upper-crust. You can incorporate spa and salon trips into your daily life with only a little effort, and the results will be well worth it.

Perhaps you like a regular manicure or that monthly hot stone massage to melt away the stress. Or perhaps you’ve only thought enviously of going and pampering yourself. And how do you go about choosing the spa? What qualifications should you look for to know that you’ve found the best Fort Collins spa?

The Building and Lobby

First impressions count, and no less so in a day salon and spa. The entrance should be clean and welcoming. The front desk should be clearly visible from the door, preferably right in front of it, not hiding behind displays of merchandise (I’ve been in spas like this!). It’s more important to be greeted by a smiling face and a receptionist who wants to help you than it is to see stacks of bottles for sale.

The ambience should also fit the type of spa experience you’re looking for. If you’re comfortable in an avant garde setting, feel free to scope out a spa with lots of glass and bright lights. Many of us prefer a more homey, relaxed feeling, which is fine too. Look for a spa that has rich colors, good flooring, and inviting displays. The details matter here. Don’t be afraid to look around at details of the lobby: chipped tile, dirty counter, or wet rugs? Any of these should be warning signs that the rest of the building may not be so clean either.

Staff, as always, is a big consideration when you first enter a Fort Collins spa. Do they greet you right away and ask how they can help? If you’ve made an appointment, they should be aware of that and ready to introduce you to the esthetician who will be helping you. If you’re a returning guest, they should remember your name and have some rapport with you. All of these factors will help to relax you and make the entire experience enjoyable.

The Stylists and Estheticians

Speaking of staff, you’re most likely at this spa to take advantage of the talents of this highly skilled men and women. After all, who wants to manicure their own nails when a professional can do it so much better? But since you’re there to benefit from their training, there are a few protocols that they should also observe.

The stylist should always be professional, courteous, clean, and punctual. Appointments may run long periodically, but then the receptionist will keep you informed of that. Any time that the stylist is held up because of another guest, she should apologize and ensure you’re still doing okay. Customer service is important, as is cleanliness. The stylist should always wash her hands before touching you, to ensure she isn’t transferring germs from someone else.

Estheticians should ask about your home skin care routine, simply as a way of better understanding your skin. She may have some recommendations for products or methods of washing or moisturizing. But you shouldn’t feel pressured into buying any of the salon products. That isn’t the purpose of the conversation, and a sales pitch is best left out.

Also, you should feel comfortable enough to ask questions before, during, and after the treatment. When done in a non-confrontational way, this can be an excellent way to benefit from the stylist’s training and experience. The answers may also help you improve the quality of your own hair and skin care at home.

Massages, Facials, and Body Wraps

Massage therapists should be sensitive to the type of touch you want. Some people can only stand small amounts of pressure; the therapist should learn this after one or two corrections, and be able to apply the right amount of pressure after that to avoid pain.

Some spas will leave clients alone during facials, body wraps, or hydrotherapy baths. While you may enjoy the alone time, this is not preferable spa practice for safety reasons. If the esthetician must leave, she should limit time away and ensure that the customer service doesn’t suffer. Stylist and estheticians should never take personal phone calls during your treatments.

And Lastly …

Of course, the most important consideration is whether you feel that the stylists are glad you’re there. If you’re simply another head of hair to cut and hands to manicure, then the experience is impersonal and you’re not likely to return. But when you feel that the stylist is concentrating all her energy and time on you, that can be the best spa experience ever. When you find that Fort Collins spa, feel free to keep returning again and again!

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