SEspecially now, when the hours of sunshine per day are numbered, when you turn up your collars and grab your hat, the desire for comfort and deep relaxation increases. What used to be a mug of hot chocolate with cream by the tiled stove at grandma’s is now called wellness.

Germans love having fun in many spas. “Professional” relaxation is definitely in demand, according to a survey by the Travelzoo experts for travel and leisure offers: For 43 percent of survey participants, a visit to a spa is something very special. They like to receive it as a gift or treat themselves to this pleasure on selected occasions.

“But that’s not all. 31 percent of those surveyed are so enthusiastic that they even go to a wellness studio at least once a month – some even more often,” says Christina Bathmann, spokeswoman for Travelzoo Germany. “Only about a quarter of those surveyed are not interested in wellness.”

Those who like to relax also take the time they need and consciously treat themselves to something good. More than half of wellness fans spend more than three hours in the spa with pool and sauna area. Another 29 percent spend one to two hours, and 17 percent spend the whole day there. Most (52 percent) simply want to do something good for themselves and relax.

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The search for relaxation is one thing, but health reasons are also cited for visiting a spa or wellness area (44 percent). “However, only a few think exclusively about their health,” says Christina Bathmann, “because only three percent of those surveyed use so-called ‘medical spa’ offers.”

Massages instead of detox

Even though detoxification is recommended in many places, detox is the last of the most popular treatments at 5 percent. On the other hand, the survey participants particularly enjoy massages (74 percent) or book an all-round wellness package (61 percent). But facial treatments (38 percent) or manicures and pedicures (32 percent) are also popular. Those who want to do something for their health primarily choose an Ayurvedic treatment (26 percent). The respondents were able to answer multiple questions.

Relaxation for couples

Wellness is a very private matter. “Most people therefore choose their companions very carefully and prefer to go with their partner (61 percent),” says Bathmann. And while a third of those interested in wellness say they prefer to relax alone, 38 percent enjoy the company of a friend. Only 14 percent would want to relax with the whole family, siblings or parents.

And what about colleagues or business partners? Very few people come up with the idea of ​​mixing work and private life when it comes to wellness (multiple answers were possible).

100 euros is the limit

When asked what criteria they use to choose a new spa or beauty salon, almost three quarters of respondents said they pay attention to the price. People are apparently reluctant to spend more than 100 euros on cosmetic or wellness treatments. 43 percent of survey participants would be willing to pay either between 10 and 50 euros or between 50 and 100 euros.

But a nice ambience can also be the deciding factor (58 percent). The location of the provider also seems to be crucial. 40 percent of survey participants prefer to visit houses that are close to their home or work. Almost a quarter pay attention to recommendations on the Internet or in the media. Those surveyed were able to give several reasons for choosing a new provider.

Five tips for proper behavior in the spa

1. Planned relaxation: Anyone interested in a massage or wellness treatment should always make a personal appointment in advance – both at the holiday hotel and with the spa provider at home. And do this as early as possible, because demand is high. Some services are only offered on selected days. In contrast, access to pools or saunas is generally not tied to appointments, but only to general opening times.

Although it is not a mandatory rule, it is better for those seeking relaxation to arrive at the spa a little earlier so that they can really relax. Newcomers in particular should allow themselves around ten to fifteen minutes to arrive.

Shower massage in Aix-les-Bains around 1920

Shower massage in Aix-les-Bains around 1920

Source: Roger Viollet/Getty Images

2. The gender question – who massages? If you feel uncomfortable being massaged by an employee of the opposite sex, it is better to express this early on. As a rule, the guest has a say in this matter, he just has to use it. After all, he should be able to relax. However, it is customary to cover the parts of the body that are not currently being treated with towels. This protects your privacy.

3. The (comfortable) dress code: Anything that is comfortable is allowed. If you check into a four to five star wellness hotel, you will usually find a bathrobe, slippers and sauna towels in your room for a relaxing spa visit. Massages are usually enjoyed naked, but covered with towels. And if you want to take a bath or relax in the whirlpool, you should think about swimwear. There are special rules for visiting the sauna.

4. Sauna etiquette: Before the first sauna session, it is usual to shower thoroughly. The same applies to the plunge pool. However, the sauna itself is then entered dry. To prevent the heat from escaping, the doors are closed again as quickly as possible. It is important that a towel is always placed between the body and the wooden benches. Otherwise, saunas in our region are a textile-free zone. If you feel very uncomfortable, you can wrap a towel around yourself first.

But if you are planning to go to the sauna abroad, it is better to find out about local customs in advance. In North America, Italy, France and often Great Britain, people prefer to sauna lightly dressed. Germans have often caused amusement and irritation here – and not just in mixed saunas.

5. Tipping: Employees in all service areas are happy when their good work is rewarded. This is not only the case in restaurants, but also when visiting the hairdresser or spa. A small tip is therefore quite common. A good guideline is ten percent of the price of the treatment.