Spa Etiquette Your guide to what to wear (or not wear) at spas around the globe. Nudity etiquette exposed.
While asking for precise guidance is a good idea, the fact is very few people actually do; after all, those who are confused and anxious about nudity issues are generally not likely to want to even discuss them with a stranger. So here are some tips that will hopefully give you the information you need before you visit a spa in any country around the world so you can achieve what you came for in the first
Most spas have separate locker rooms for men and women where you change into a robe and slippers. While some spas have private changing cubicles, many do not and you have to change in front of others. If you’re uncomfortable, you can always change in a bathroom stall. Some spas will invite you to change in the actual spa treatment room.
People generally go to a spa’s relaxation room before or after a treatment in their robe and slippers with nothing, a swim suit, or underwear underneath. Be careful with how you are positioned/sitting in the waiting room, especially if the robe is small for your body size. Many spas have extra large robes but you need to ask for them specifically.
Spas offering these facilities generally incorporate them into the men and women’s locker room area. In that arrangement you can go totally nude, go nude and wear a towel around you, or wear a swimsuit (unless you’re in a country that doesn’t allow swimsuits in these facilities). In coed facilities, one generally wears a swimsuit except in countries like Austria or Germany where coed nudity is the norm.
For popular massages the therapist will generally explain the treatment, advise whether you should be face up or face down on the table, and then (and this is the law in some countries) step out of the room while you take off your robe and slip underneath the sheet. The therapist will knock before reentering.
In onsens (hot spring) and sentos (public bath), the sexes are generally segregated these days, although coed nudity can still be encountered in a minority of settings. You will be given a small modesty towel that you wring out and put on your head while in the bath. Wash your body with soap and rinse thoroughly before entering the bath.