August 10, 2021

Eliminating Your Clients’ Stress With the Perfect Spa Environment

Woman receiving spa treatment - Atmosphere TV

Creating a spa environment that relieves stress and encourages relaxation can mean the difference between struggling to find new clients and thriving on repeat business from satisfied customers. On average, about 65% of a spa‘s business comes from existing clients, not new ones, so customer retention should be a high priority.

One of the aspects of customer retention that you have the most control over is your spa‘s atmosphere. You can create a relaxing spa environment that makes your clients want to return and gives them something they don‘t find anywhere else.

The Importance of Relieving Client Stress in a Spa Environment

People go to spas to relieve stress, relax, and get pampered for a few hours or a few days. Spas are a fairly recession-proof industry. When times are stressful, even during economic downturns, people are still willing to spend to relieve stress and feel better.

Even with 80% of spas worldwide closed at least temporarily during the earlier days of the COVID-19 pandemic, the United States spa industry still made over $12 billion in 2020. Revenue is expected to rebound rapidly as people who‘ve stayed at home and canceled their plans for over a year get back to their regular activities post-COVID.

People are more stressed than ever between the pandemic, political upheavals, and a media barrage of bad news from every corner of the globe. Stress doesn‘t just make us feel bad, either. Stress also hurts our physical health. Spa visits can make us feel better in the short term and improve our long-term health by relieving that stress.

Your spa environment should welcome clients into a safe and relaxing space where they can forget their troubles for a while. A soothing spa experience will create return customers eager to de-stress and be pampered.

Spa Ideas to Improve the Experience

When people spend their time and money in a spa, they want a complete sensory experience that includes touch, sight, sounds, smell, and taste. Each one of their senses should enjoy relaxing and calming stimuli for the best overall stress-relieving visit.

Spa Colors

Colors can influence everything from a person‘s mood to how much money they‘ll spend. To create a calm and relaxing space, you should avoid bright, saturated colors and stick with a softer, earthier color palette.

Avoid reds, oranges, and yellows that are intense and vibrant. These colors tend to have a more energizing effect instead of a soothing one, which is why McDonald‘s chosen color palette is red and yellow, colors believed to stimulate hunger and increase appetite.

The soft blues, grays, and greens found in nature are cool colors that have a calming effect on most people. Peachy pinks will also create a more relaxing atmosphere than bright, warmer colors. Choose slightly richer shades of blue and pink as spa colors rather than pastels that can come across as cold and less inviting than warmer tones.

Relaxing Decor

The design and decor of your spa will affect your clients‘ mood as much as the colors you choose. Simplicity is more calming than fussy surroundings with lots of details and different shapes and styles for the eye to take in. Some of the best spa ideas for decor include earthy, organic colors and shapes.

Clean lines will help create a more relaxing atmosphere. Items found in nature, such as water and plants, can help foster calming surroundings. Exposure to nature is good for us and can help lower the risk of many health conditions, so biophilia, bringing natural elements indoors, can help de-stress your clients.

Spa Lighting

Lighting, like the color palette, should be chosen to promote a soothing atmosphere. Tips for spa services and lighting vary depending on what takes place in each space. In a spa with a salon, the light in salon areas will need to be brighter so stylists can see details and colors better, for example.

Reception areas, treatment rooms, and relaxation rooms will need softer light with a warmer tone to promote relaxation and avoid creating shadows and lines that interfere with the look of a room. Wall sconces and diffused lighting to avoid harsh, bright lights or glare in your clients‘ eyes will encourage a more relaxing spa environment.


Aromatherapy pulls your clients‘ sense of smell into the mix and can help promote relaxation. Our sense of smell is linked directly to the brain‘s limbic system, making it a hundred times more likely that we‘ll remember a scent than a visual image. Scents can trigger memories and create an atmosphere immediately.

Calming scents like lavender and ylang-ylang can be beneficial for relaxation. In clinical studies, lavender appears to help lower people‘s anxiety and promote a sense of well-being, making it a great choice as part of a signature scent. Introduce scents through things like flowers, scented candles, or essential oils.

Avoid strong perfumes that can overwhelm the senses and may trigger allergies. Light, fresh scents like those found in nature, along with colors and designs, will create a sense of calm over harsh, unnatural smells. Don‘t spoil the spa environment for clients by allowing chemical or unpleasant aromas, like those from cleaning products, to permeate the space.

You wouldn‘t want the same scent throughout the entire spa in the same way you wouldn‘t want a similar scent profile in your bathroom at home as in your kitchen or bedroom. Each type of treatment or experience can benefit from a specialized atmosphere, including a unique scent.

Comfortable Linens

Rough, scratchy sheets and towels can put a damper on a client‘s ability to relax and enjoy the spa experience. High-quality sheets for massage and treatment tables are a must. A variety of fabric blends are available that will stand up to heavy use and repeated washing, but 100% cotton with a high thread count is a comfortable and cost-effective option that‘s easy to maintain.

Linen sheets are more expensive but have the benefit of being long-lasting and incredibly soft. Linen and cotton will probably require ironing or steaming to avoid a wrinkled appearance, but their benefits outweigh the extra time spent making them look crisp and neat.

Don‘t forget to consider the quality of the towels you use, as well. Lower-quality towels can look ratty and worn quickly. Towels of high quality cost more initially but will last longer and create less lint.

Tips for Spa Services and Refreshments

Like with colors and scents, handle food and beverages with a light touch. Unless your spa includes a complete lunch or dinner menu along with treatment and salon services, most people aren‘t coming to your spa to enjoy full-course meals. Drinks and snacks should enhance the spa experience and won‘t be the focus of the visit.

While things like pastries, bread, crackers, and wine can be good options, the theme of natural, organic surroundings can extend to the food. Fruit plates, raw vegetables and dips, and fruit-infused water are healthy and popular choices. Avoid heavily processed foods like packaged chips or foods that can cause gas or digestive issues like fried or fatty meats.

Keep water, plain and sparkling, as well as tea available at all times. Studies have suggested that matcha powder can help relieve stress, and green tea has long been valued for its ability to lower the level of cortisol, the stress hormone, in the bloodstream.


Expert tips for spa services usually include providing visual entertainment in reception areas, relaxation rooms, and some treatment rooms. Unlike in most waiting rooms, spas won‘t want to distract clients from their surroundings. The entertainment should enhance the atmosphere and become a seamless part of it, meaning that it may often be audioless.

Images that help promote relaxation, particularly images of nature, can help relieve your clients‘ stress. Studies show that sounds that incorporate nature like water, birds, and music designed around the rhythm of the natural word can even promote better health.

Consider entertainment made up of curated content designed from Atmosphere to fit perfectly within a spa environment that includes calming images and the ability to advertise your spa services and specials. The option for visuals without audio will allow you to play nature sounds or relaxing music while still offering your clients something soothing to watch if they choose.

Success with a Great Spa Environment

One of the best tips for spa services that can help you create repeat customers is consistency. People seek out the familiar to be comforted, so keep treatments and the general atmosphere relatively the same. Change is stressful, so a different spa experience each time a customer returns may create enough resistance to send that person somewhere else.

In a survey from 2010 where people gave details about their spa experience and why they go to a spa, 89% said they went to relieve stress. In the same survey, over one-third of respondents said they received a gift certificate that led them to try a spa for the first time.

To ensure those people trying your salon for the first time will come back, put these spa ideas for stress relief and relaxation into practice by appealing to all your clients’ senses. Create a spa environment that’s a calming space they can’t reproduce at home and will seek out regularly to improve their mood and their health.

Make sure to add the perfect final touch with streaming TV specifically designed for spa centers from Atmosphere to ensure people have relaxing visual entertainment. With the right combination of calming elements, your clients will return again and again to relieve their stress.