There’s a certain etiquette to spa dressing. Stephanie Smith has advice for those who want to stand out in the chicest way, without breaking the rules.
It’s hardly surprising that the health and beauty spa has become the short break of choice for many of us. It offers rest, relaxation and full-on pampering without ever having to leave the environs to do all the sightseeing and culture-catching stuff that you feel obliged to engage in on a short city break.
Plus, there are so many companion options – a friend, close relative, a hen party. Even your partner, if you have to.
But there is a certain etiquette to spa style that needs to be adhered to, in order to enjoy the break to the full.
Spas can have varying rules about what to wear in different areas, usually for very sensible reasons (no one wants to acquire an infection, or an eyeful of unexpected nudity, on a spa break).
On a recent visit to Ragdale Hall, I noted that, although many guests wandered around in the provided bathrobes and slippers during the day, an equal number, at least, did not, preferring to wear their own chic athleisure attire. In the evenings, the restaurant was really quite swish, and dress for this was smart-casual, with an edge of glamour (very suited to the country house backdrop).
Titanic Spa in Huddersfield, which has recently had a refurb, has the following advice on what guests should bring for a short stay, beginning with “suitable swimwear” and exercise wear, if you want to use the gym or join in classes. It adds that swimwear is obligatory in the Titanic Heat Experience and recommends a change of swimwear so you don’t have to attend treatments feeling damp. Robes and slippers are also provided for all day guests and overnight breaks and own footwear cannot be worn at the poolside or within the Heat Experience. Like Ragdale, there is an informal dress code for lunch which includes being able to wear your robe, but dinner is smart casual dress, so no robes.
Anyway, here’s what to take for the perfect spa break: