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UK Spa Treatments: Our essential guide

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There is hardly anyone in the world that needs to be convinced of how wonderful a relaxing spa break can be.

Most spas are built in beautiful, relaxing locations and are decorated to the highest standards so as to ensure the peace and serenity of their visitors.

For most people, a spa break is a welcome break from the chaotic events of daily life. A break where they can enjoy delightful and luxurious treatments, one after the other, and they can treat themselves to some much-needed alone time for self-reflection and rejuvenation.

But with so many different treatments to choose from it can sometimes be hard to decide what the best treatment for you is. Or perhaps, you're seeking to gift someone a spa break vacation and you want to find the best fit for them.

If that's the case, then you needn’t look any further as we've created this guide with all the information on the different types of treatments available, so that you can ensure you are choosing what is right for you or the person who is to receive your gift.

Benefits of Spa Treatments

woman in sauna with golden rays around her
Shed your cares and any negativity with a great spa break!

The top reason to visit a spa is really to relieve stress and anxiety.

It’s a chance for a secluded and friendly getaway to focus on your personal wellbeing. Good mental health is key to feeling vibrant and to keeping your immune system high.

Your immune system is your body’s defence mechanism and with the current climate, it is more important now, than ever before to ensure it is working at its best.

For instance, while we all know a massage can be relaxing, did you also know that it will stimulate your circulation and lymphatic drainage, which can encourage detoxification?

Other therapies, such as the hot or cold therapy, may reduce inflammation, ease pain and promote relaxation.

Spa treatments involving healing through waters go back to the Roman era and wellness institutes have stood the test of time, providing a whole host of benefits for both mind and body.

Fitness classes, relaxing therapies, and heat and ice treatments are married together to aid your body’s natural defences.

So, when you are thinking about your spa trip, don't strictly think of stress-relieving treatments but also consider how these treatments could be beneficial to your health.

In response to the Coronavirus pandemic, spas across the UK have introduced strict hygiene protocols and preventative measures to provide peace of mind to their visitors. Whichever treatment you choose to do, as a guest you will be cared for so you can be carefree.

What treatments are available?

Diagram showing different spa treatments

It is normal to now be wondering what type of treatments exist and which ones are best for you.

But worry not, we're here to guide you, and honestly. No matter what service you end up going for at a reputable spa, you're guaranteed to have a great experience.

You could even close your eyes, place a finger anywhere on the menu, and whatever treatment you land on we're confident you'll enjoy!

Still, we know that it’s important to be prepared for your spa break, especially if this will be your first time immersing yourself in the wonderful world of spa treatments.

We want you to get the most out of your experience, and to choose the best package to suit your health and wellness concerns. Spa treatments are usually classified into 3 categories:

  • Body
  • Complementary
  • Beauty

We want you to understand them and be completely informed about all things spa!

So, let's run you through all the different available options in our guide.

1. Body treatments

Woman relaxed on massage table
Imagine how relaxing a body treatment can be!

Body treatments are the most common types of spa treatments available, which is why we wanted to cover them first. Depending on your body needs you're sure to find a treatment that suits you within this list.


The most common spa treatment is by far the massage. Massage is a treatment that uses physical contact, that is stroking, kneading, rolling,or pressing on the skin and muscles so as to release tension and encourage better blood circulation and reduce tension in the muscles. As there are different styles of massage, you can always ask your therapist which style they are most familiar with so that you can be best prepared for what’s to come.


Specialty treatments are specific to each spa that you visit. Most commonly they tend to include Hydro-facials, which is a treatment that cleanses, exfoliates and hydrates your face. This can have positive results in reducing spots and dark circles on your face. Other spas might offer Pure Oxygen Facials or Deep Cleansing Back Treatments, which is why we recommend that you check with your specific spa on the specialty treatments they offer and their health benefits.


A body wrap treatment is a treatment created to increase the health and vitality of the skin. It's also been used to reduce body measurements. During the treatment, an oil or formula is applied onto your skin which is then wrapped in cotton or bandages, or plastic film. This procedure allows toxins, dirt and excess water to be released from the body. Doing this treatment,your skin can appear healthier and more vibrant.


A scrub treatment is a treatment that will thoroughly exfoliate your skin, removing dead skin cells and leaving your body smooth. The type of scrub products used vary, but the usual treatment tends to include an oil-based moisturiser to soothe your skin after the exfoliation is over.

2. Complementary

Scenic indoor pool with floor lights
Water is a beautiful way to treat yourself

Complementary treatments differ depending on the spa that you have chosen to visit. Here we've compiled a list of some of the most common treatments available.


Hydrotherapy includes any treatment that uses water as a form of therapy. This could be a hot or cold water treatment and can be performed in a pool, whirlpool, hot tubs or might even require specialized equipment. The varying water pressure used during this type of treatment is intending to help with both physical and mental symptoms. If you're using it for skin-related treatments, it's always best to consult with your doctor or physician before visiting a spa.

Steam room/Sauna:

Steam rooms are rooms heated by a generator filled with boiling water, where saunas tend to use dry heat. Both of these can help relax and loosen your muscles, but a steam room that uses water vapor is thought to have more health benefits as it can improve circulation and clear congestions. Either way, both are a wonderful treat if you wish to relax your body completely!

Jacuzzi/Hot Tub:

Jacuzzis and Hot tubs tend to be a part of hydrotherapy as they are large tubs of water, usually warm, with powerful massage jets that allow the pressure from the water to help release the tension in your body. The combination of the jets and the water can offer a truly relaxing experience where your muscles are able to get a deep massage.

Experience showers:

Experience showers are truly multi-sensory therapeutic favourites!. Usually, there’s a variety of water effects to choose from, which can include waterfalls, mist or tropical rain and monsoons. These are then combined with lighting, music, and even incenses and aromas which make you feel far away from the busyness of life. This is one of the most pleasurable experiences in a spa,as it is completely personalised to your liking.

2. Beauty

Woman having nails done, manicure
Look after yourself all the way to the fingertips!

Finally, many spas will offer beauty treatments. These are treatments that can allow you to not only look your best, but also feel your best upon exiting your treatment.


A facial is a skin treatment that cleanses your face and pores and exfoliates your skin, removing any dirt or dead skin cells. The result will leave your face feeling fresh and glowing.


A manicure and a pedicure will include treatment of your nails, hands and feet. This can include putting oils on your cuticles, getting your nails done and even exfoliating your feet. This is a quick and relaxing treatment that provides immediate results.


Many spas will also offer a waxing service. The type of wax used in each facility might vary, but the result is either a full body or partial hair removal service that leaves your skin feeling soft and smooth.

Hair Salon:

Some spas will also offer a hair salon service, which means that during your spa visit you can get your hair cut, coloured, or just styled in any way that you want. While this is not a treatment unique to a spa it can be a nice touch especially for the day of your departure.

And finally...

If you're wondering what to expect from a spa vacation, including things like what to bring with you, we have a guide for beginners to help get you started.

How long or short you spend at a spa is totally up to you, the goal here is to create an experience that’s beneficial to your wants and needs.

And of course, apart from the treatments, there'll be many facilities available to you during your visit. These could include the fitness suite, hydro pool area and heat and ice experience rooms.

Many spas also have spa packages available which might be best for you if it is your first time and you're unsure of which treatments to get. Packages usually include a body treatment and allotted times to access the spa facilities.  

Choosing your spa treatments is a pleasure in itself, and the important thing to remember when picking what you want to do, is that there is no wrong treatment.

Everything will benefit you in one way or another and if at the end of your trip there are more treatments that you would like to test out, there's always next time.

Happy choosing!

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