April 29, 2009

6 ways to get pampered on the cheap! Use these tips to cash in on the best deals going.

Get on the E-List

An easy way to score a deal: Register to receive newsletters from your favorite spas or places you'd like to visit if the price is right (think Cal-a-Vie, Rancho La Puerta or Spa Ojai). You'll hear about special offers and mega-savings that don't appear elsewhere. If you don't yet have a dream spa trip in mind, here are two lists that will keep you up-to-date on all the latest deals: SpaFinder's Spa Insider and Spa-addicts.com.

Scout Last-Minute Deals

If the spas you're after don't offer newsletters, keep a list of sites to regularly check for spur-of-the-moment bargains. BnB.com and destinationspas.com list monthly specials across the nation, and don't miss the Last-Minute Hot Deals posted by Red Mountain Spa in St. George, Utah. When you have a handy list of sites to routinely check, just 30 minutes of bargain hunting can pay off. Start your spa-deals list with these: bnbfinder.com, destinationspas.com and redmountainspa.com.

Go in Groups

Follow this proof-positive motto when booking your spa retreat: There's no harm in asking for discounts! You have more bargaining power with a group, regardless of size. Many spas offer two-for-one deals. Larger groups can garner discounts of 20 to 30 percent off. Look out for destination spas, such as St. George Utah's Fitness Ridge, that are receptive to guests tripling up in rooms-a benefit that not only shaves costs but boosts girlfriend catch-up time, too!

Snatch Up Packages

The trick here is to do the math. Make sure you know exactly how a spa package is saving you money, in dollars and cents. Find out if taxes, gratuities and fees are included. When spa certificates are offered with a two- or three-night stay at a destination spa, check the prices of a-la-carte treatments to see how many you can get with the certificate. You want to ensure that you'll be able to mix and match to get the stress relief you're after. One to try: The Spa Girl Package at Silverado, in Napa, Calif.

Score a Resort-Spa Day Pass

Depending on the resort, you can pay as little as the price of a manicure to enjoy a day's worth of poolside napping, fitness classes and lounging in a hot tub and sauna. Some resorts, such as Dubunne Day Spa and Massage Center in South Bay, Los Angeles, offer an all-day pass ($25) that gives you access to all resort amenities without having to book a spa service. If you change your mind, you can tack on a 15-minute mini treatment for just $20. At LA's Voda spa, purchase any 50-minute treatment and you can spend the whole day at the relaxing oasis. Or skip the spa altogether and unwind on the lavish grounds with a day pass ($50). If you live, or are vacationing, in a resort area call around to find the best day-pass rate and ask what's included.

Nab Mid-Week Steals

If a destination spa is simply out-of-budget this summer, save big at your local day spa by booking treatments on weekdays, slow times when spa owners try to attract clients with lower prices. You can save 10 to 20 percent by going on a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday.