Spared from embarrassment – by a close shave

by Angela Menezes

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 Swami Stream.


Some years ago, I travelled on business to a small town in India. The hotel was quaint, but in the mid-budget range so I didn’t expect many luxuries to be on offer. Therefore, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the hotel had an outdoor swimming pool and even offered spa services. As I had a couple of hours spare before dinner, I decided to pamper myself with a spa treatment.

The pool attendant offered me some fresh towels and directed me to a changing room nearby. In his half-English, he gestured to a nearby door indicating that I would find the steam, sauna and spa there.

As a single female traveller, I am always a little cautious so I decided to check it out first before I disrobed. On opening the door, I was taken aback to find myself in the gym. A couple of interested chaps stopped their exercises to see what I was doing there. I quickly stepped through the door on the other side of the room and found myself outside the sauna room.

I peered through the door, and to my horror, found that the small room was filled with five men in their towels. When I enquired with a passing staff member, he told me that a “women’s only” session was reserved for the morning, but that I could use it now if I wanted to. I quickly ran back to my room, thanking my lucky stars that I hadn’t decided to change into my towel before I went on my spa seeking journey. If I had, I’m sure that the conservative little town would have had something to talk about for years to come.

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