Going to a spa was never something I thought I’d like, yet here I am writing a post to tell you how I fell in love with the spa. I always assumed I wasn’t into beauty enough to appreciate it. There is also the fact that I’m super cheap and can’t stand the idea of paying someone to rub my body or paint my nails.

Hannah at the spa at PGA National Resort and Spa

Another factor is that I’ve never been a super girly-girl. Sure, I did ballet as a kid and I never leave the house without mascara, but I’m not the type of girl who has regular hair cuts or does her nails. It’s probably no surprise to find that my beauty routine is minimalistic just like my home decor. I like things simple. Therefor I always assumed I wouldn’t enjoy “the spa”.

Then I started travel writing. Even though I focus on “fine living on a shoestring budget”, I found that many hotels wanted me to try out the spa treatments.

My first one was in Cabo when I covered the food at the Hacienda Encantada for The Daily Meal. Even though I didn’t write about the hotel spa as an official assignment, the hotel offered me a spa treatment anyway. Since I was newly pregnant I opted for a simple mani-pedi.

Spa treatment from Hacienda Encantada

It was a nice experience, but nothing earth shattering.

A few months later Lake Buena Vista Resort Village and Spa offered me a spa treatment with my hosted hotel stay. I didn’t have time to take advantage of it and didn’t really care since I still considered myself “anti-spa”. Now I’m wishing I’d taken advantage of it!

Lake Buena Vista Resort Village and Spa affordable lodging in Orlando

Then I visited PGA National Resort & Spa in The Palm Beaches. I was nearly 8 months pregnant and super cranky and tired from taking care of my two boys. I desperately needed a break and the PGA Spa delivered. They set me up with a prenatal massage and a mani-pedi as part of a hosted stay.

Hannah at the spa at PGA National resort and spa pools

We started the spa day with lunch by the pool. I’d heard of people “lunching” at “the spa”, but I thought it was only for super fancy people. Turns out, lunch by the spa pool at PGA National Resort and Spa isn’t astronomically expensive. Salads and wraps ranged from $7-16.

Hannah getting lunch at spa at PGA national resort and spa

I hung out by the mineral pools for a while and found out that I’m a mineral pool person. Go figure. I don’t even like pools. I always assumed the spa was solely a place to get spa treatments, I never realized there was so much more to it, like mineral pools!

While I loved my spa treatments, I enjoyed the overall experience even more. I loved that I had access to a sauna and hot tub. I loved all the little special touches like coffee, tea, fruit infused water, and bathroom essentials.

What I realized is that I enjoyed being pampered for an entire day. I’ll never be the type of person to randomly get my nails done or buy myself a massage. That’s just not me. It turns out that I am, however, the type of person who doesn’t mind a relaxing day at the spa enjoying all the amenities. 

Hannah relaxing by the pool at PGA National Resort and Spa

I also realized that the prices aren’t that bad. In fact, you can get pretty great deals on spa treatments when you book spa packages with resorts. For example PGA National has spa treatments included in stays starting at $140 a night per person. If you’re going to pay the room, why not pay a little extra to enjoy the spa too?

Another great option is to take advantage of seasonal deals. Right now during the month of October, The Palm Beaches is doing Spa and Wellness month, a.k.a. “Spatober”.  All sorts of spas in the area offer great deals and give part of the proceeds to breast cancer research. I’m all for pampering myself for less and helping a charity. It’s a win win!

Lesson learned: don’t say you don’t like something until you’ve given it a shot. Now that I’ve found that I enjoy spa days I’m starting to wonder what else like that I’ve always assumed I don’t. Maybe I do like roller coasters. Am I really afraid of heights? So. Many. Questions. I guess I need to keep traveling and exploring in order to find out!