One of the biggest fears for spa goers is the issue of nudity. This isn"t just a source of anxiety for those hitting a spa for the first time- it can be an issue for even the most seasoned spa enthusiast who is experiencing a new spa treatment for the first time, or is in a foreign country where nudity "etiquette" and customs may be different. No one wants to be the only one in a sauna without a bathing suit on, or the only one in a sauna with a bathing suit on. Should one be naked for a massage, Vichy shower or hydrotherapy bath? What about when getting a salt scrub with a therapist of the opposite sex? Most guides give you a few tips and then simply suggest you ask the therapist if you have questions. 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 place: total ease and relaxation.

Locker room

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.


Relaxation 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.


Sauna, steam, and Jacuzzi

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). (See details below.) In coed facilities, one generally wears a swimsuit except in countries like Austria or Germany where coed nudity is the norm. 

Massage room

For popular massages such as Swedish and Deep Tissue most people like to be naked, although if you prefer to wear a swimsuit or underwear you can. 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. When you turn over half way through the massage, the therapist holds the sheet up so they can"t see you. When the massage is over the therapist generally steps out of the room while you get up and don your robe and slippers.


Facial room

Similar procedure to the massage, however many people wear their robes or a curtain-like towel with Velcro during the facial. Note: because the therapist will massage your upper back, shoulders and dcollet, it"s best to remove any upper body garments that might get in the way.

Body treatments such as salt scrubs and Vichy Showers

Some spas offer disposable panties for both hygienic and modesty concerns and they may or may not be required. You are more likely to be exposed during these kinds of treatments.


Hydrotherapy treatments

Many spas suggest you wear a swimsuit although in some you can go nude.