Congratulations, you're getting...massaged. Together. In the same beautifully appointed room. We understand this can be strange for some, especially if this is your first time receiving a dual treatment. But it doesn't have to be and is, in fact, meant to be a blissful, relaxing time for you and your partner.
The couples suite at the Guerlain Spa at the Waldorf Astoria New York hotel, for instance, is almost twice the size of the spa's other treatment rooms and features dual rain showerheads and a private steam room and sitting area. Heaven! But don't be intimidated by all that French luxury; even if you're a complete massage/spa newbie, we have all the tips and tricks to help you fully enjoy this crazy-great treat.
Clear Your Post-Massage Calendar
One of the hallmarks of a great massage? You're in a bit of a blissed-out coma afterward and will likely not want to leap tall buildings in a single bound. So pick your time slot with care. If you and your honey are sporty and plan to hike, ride horses, or parasail on your honeymoon, save your massage for after all that activity. "Evenings are truly the best time," says Kristina Hinkson, spa director for the Trump Spa at Trump International Hotel & Tower New York. "The main objective is to relax."
Clean up Real Nice
We're sorry, but we really need to "go there" with the personal hygiene stuff: As a courtesy to your massage therapist (and to boost your own confidence level), make sure you've shaved and bathed prior to your treatment. Plenty of spas allow you to pop into their showers, saunas, and steam rooms up to 20 minutes before start time, so if you arrive early enough, that's another get-spiffy option.
Don't Overeat Beforehand
While tummies are not typically a focal point of a full-body massage (unless you specifically request that, of course), trust us when we tell you that you don't want to dive into a 16-ounce rib-eye steak just prior to treatment. Instead, have a light, healthy meal—like a yummy salad laced with a little protein action—about two hours beforehand. By giving your food time to digest, says Trump Spa's Kristina Hinkson, you'll "minimize any distractions."
Save the Serious Boozing for Later
Sure, lots of couples-massage packages include a bottle (or at least a flute) of bubbly, often served alongside chocolate-dipped strawberries or truffles. But skip the urge to "pregame" on your own. "No alcohol is recommended because it impairs the sensations," says Hinkson. "But a glass of red wine after is fine."
Unplug and Dial Down Your "Outside" Voice
Wired like the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center? For the ultimate massage experience, turn every one of those gadgets and gizmos off, advises Angela Portella, former spa director at the Guerlain Spa at the Waldorf Astoria. To keep tech-obsessed lovebirds away from their gear during treatment, Guerlain equips its couples suite with chargers. So while you're zen-ing, your iPhone is juicing. How's that for clever?
Undies Are Optional (But Not Optimal)
Feeling shy? Try to get over it for your own sake. If you're in your birthday suit under that big spa blankie, your massage therapist will have a much easier go of it. "From a technical point of view, completely disrobing does allow for more thorough work," says Hinkson. But don't fret; you'll be discreetly draped at all times.
Get Rubbed the Right Way
At many spas, including Guerlain and Trump, you'll be given a choice of a male or female massage therapist. Though most spa-goers opt for gals, those who prefer a stronger, deeper massage frequently ask for guys. But either way, top therapists always check in with you throughout the treatment, adjusting the pressure according to your preferences. If yours doesn't, pipe right up.