January 17, 2007

LEXINGTON, Ky. – When you walk through the doors of your favorite spa, sit down in the massaging pedicure chair and stick your feet into the water that isn’t quite the right temperature, do you say anything to your therapist? What about if you walk into a treatment room for your Hot Stone massage and the music is too loud? Or, the stones are too hot? Do you just lie on the table and grin and bear it?

“Spa experiences are your time to relax, reflect, revitalize and rejoice. The spa is meant to de-stress, not stress you,” said International SPA Association President Lynne Walker McNees. “Not only should you say something, you actually have the right and responsibility to do so. You have the right to control your spa experience no matter what type of spa you wish to visit or treatment you choose to enjoy.”

Spas are for everyone. Just like diet and exercise, they are part of the modern healthy lifestyle. One in four American adults have been to a spa and 15 percent of spa-goers are new to spas each year. With these numbers only expected to grow, it is more important than ever for spa-goers to be aware of their rights and responsibilities once they enter a spa. As the authoritative voice of the spa industry, ISPA created the Code of Conduct in partnership with the Resort Hotel Association to enhance the level of comfort for spa-goers.

“Consumers want to be free to express their expectations and concerns and feel safe in the process,” said ISPA Chairman Jim Root. “With the development of this new code, both parties are able to share in the responsibility of creating an engaging and empowering spa experience.”

The Code of Conduct is a list of rights and responsibilities for spa guests. It ensures that each spa experience be professional in communication, confidentiality, privacy and spa treatment. The code is especially helpful for those who are new to the spa industry because it describes spa etiquette and helps to manage a guest’s expectations.

A few of the guidelines from the Code of Conduct include…

As a spa guest, it’s your responsibility to:

  • Communicate your preferences, expectations and concerns
  • Communicate complete and accurate health information and reasons for your visit
  • Use products, equipment and therapies as directed

As a spa guest, you have the right to:

  • A clean, safe and comfortable environment
  • Stop a treatment at any time, for any reason
  • Be treated with consideration dignity and respect

Before booking your spa appointment, know your rights and responsibilities as a spa guest and look for a spa that “knows the code” – this will help ensure your satisfaction with your experience. Choosing an ISPA member spa is your ticket to finding this quality experience. You may read the Code of Conduct, which is available in four languages, as well as gain access to ISPA’s 2,700 members, at

About the Resort Hotel Association

The Resort Hotel Association is a not-for-profit, member-managed insurance association that specializes in providing insurance programs specifically designed to cover the risks unique to independent destination and ranch resorts, spas and historic and luxury hotels.

About the International SPA Association

ISPA is recognized worldwide as the leading professional organization and voice of the spa industry. Founded in 1991, ISPA’s membership is comprised of more than 2,700 health and wellness facilities and providers from 75 countries. ISPA advances the spa industry by providing invaluable educational and networking opportunities, promoting the value of the spa experience and speaking as the authoritative voice to foster professionalism and growth.

Spas are places devoted to enhancing overall well-being through a variety of professional services that encourage the renewal of mind, body and spirit.

Scroll to Top