How to guides

How to…grab a spa bargain

Floating Frangipani

Everyone seems to offer deals, discounts and special spa offers online and via email. But they aren’t always what they seem and if it’s too good to be true – well perhaps it is. I am always asked for the low down on how to get a good deal at the spa, when to book and how to spot the best offer.

I spoke to Vicki Vilas, Editor of The Good Spa Guide about how to search for the best offers and what pitfalls to avoid.

What is the best way to grab a spa bargain?

Take time to find the right offer, don’t rush to book the first deal you see advertised at a super-cheap price. Think about what you really want, and what your maximum budget is. The best “bargains” aren’t always the lowest in value — “value for money” doesn’t have to mean rock-bottom prices. If you really want a deep-tissue massage to sort out those laptop shoulders, book it. You’ll feel the benefits afterwards, and it will feel like money well spent. Don’t be tempted into booking that half-price facial you’re not that fussed about, just because it’s cheap.

‘Impossible prices’

We’ve seen spa offers advertised at impossible prices. If a spa is offering a treatment at a price that won’t even cover its costs, chances are, you won’t get A-list treatment. Spas with cut-price time-limited offers are likely to be packed full with all the other bargain hunters who’ve bought the same offer.

‘What to look out for’

We’ve received comments from many of our readers about their below-par experiences after redeeming a ridiculously cheap spa offer. Some have found it hard to book a date as the spa has oversold their cheap packages. It’s extremely disappointing to pay for a spa package you have no hope of enjoying in the near future. Some have had treatment time cut short, and some said their spa experience felt like being on a production line.

 Remember to keep the saying ‘you get what you pay for’ in mind!

 Is there a best day to book?

Spas are generally less busy from Monday to Thursday. To increase mid-week bookings, spas often have much cheaper offers available on these days. Spa treatments will usually remain at the same price every day of the week, but packages will often offer a good discount on what you might pay for treatments, use of facilities, and food when combined.

The other thing to consider is the season. Spas with good outdoor facilities, or those based in stunning coastal or countryside locations are inevitably busy, and pricey, during the summer months. Booking out of peak season will save you money, and many spas keep some of their outdoor facilities open all year round. Don’t be put off by the lack of warmth – it’s lovely relaxing in an outdoor hot tub in the crisp autumn air!

When is the best time to go?

If you’re really on a budget, or don’t have enough time for a full day at a spa, the best bargains can often be for early morning or evening sessions at a spa. Many spas offer “twilight” packages that include use of the facilities, a treatment and a meal for much less than you might pay for a full spa day, and you don’t have a to take a day off work to enjoy them.

We’ve got a selection of twilight offers on our website here!


How do you work out which is the best deal?

Look at what is included in the package offered, and see what it would have cost full price. You should be able to find the spa’s treatment menu and price list on their website, and hotels will display room rates and sample menus. It might be a bit of extra homework, but it’s the best way to see what you’re really saving.