Spa code of conduct

by Janice Odonkor

This story is part of our 'Funny Spa Stories' series, featuring tales from luxury hotel guests which were sent in for our travel writing competition.

Photo by Thomas Wanhoff.


I never thought I would ever be telling this story to win a competition.

My name is Janice Odonkor, from Ghana. I really love adventure and exploring new things. I've always loved reading about spas and resorts and all the brouhaha around relaxation travels. So I decided to treat myself to my very first spa treatment.

I booked myself into one of the city spa centres on my birthday for a full body massage and all the perks that came with it. The staff were very professional - almost like a convent of stoic-faced, white-clad ladies milling around in silence and the only sounds you hear are quiet whispers and the twang of some guitar playing from speakers in the ceiling. The service was fantastic, right up until I had to strip and lie on the massage bed. My masseuse introduced herself and explained what treatment I was going to receive and the benefits it would do for me. Of course I was pleased, so I told her to massage away!

As a human being of considerable knowledge of my own body, I had no idea that there were places, when touched, that could send me into violent fits of laughter! To the masseuse’s chagrin, I could tell I was not the best customer she had ever had. In my state of catatonic euphoria, I failed to notice the lines of a frown on her face. I strongly believe that, in her bid to get me to sober up, she decided to apply more pressure on her strokes and guess made my situation even worse. I guess my laughter could be heard right up to the reception area.

I believe I had the best birthday at that time. Unfortunately for the masseuse, she did not. Which leads me to ask the question: "Is there a standard code of behaviour that one has to exhibit at the spa or are you expected to bring your body, as it is, to a place that professes the utmost skill in the art of relaxation and giving clients a good time?" I got my relaxation for sure, but will the spa ever allow me back?

Since then, I have had numerous massages and have toned it down just a little bit. But it is great to know that there are places for people like me to go.

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