Tapas, the little plates served with sample-size morsels, aren’t just popular on the dining scene. They’re all the rage in the spa world, too. That's probably because the recession-friendly mini treatments, called Spa Tapas, appeal to two main concerns of spa-goers or those who want to be: lack of time and money.

Stand-alone Spa Tapas services can last about 15 to 25 minutes and are priced to match at around $50 or less. They might include a 15-minute poolside massage at the Four Seasons Houston for $30 or a 25-minute facial for $50 at the Hyatt Regency Newport in Rhode Island. A 20-minute blackhead relief facial at the Dermalogica Spa in New York City just clears and prevents breakouts, and dispenses with everything else normally included in a facial to keep the price tag at a super-reasonable $30.

While these low-investment, low-risk tapas-size treatments sound delicious, many spas use the term loosely – or incorrectly – so it’s good to read the fine print.

At the Sense Spa at the Carlyle Hotel in New York City, guests have the choice of several types of treatments within three categories – body treatment (scrub or wrap), massage, and facial. Kind of like a choose-your-own-adventure spa treatment. The three tapas total one 70-minute treatment and $180.

The Spa Tapas menu at the Sonoran Spa at Westward Look Resort in Arizona actually features “appetizers,” “main courses,” and “sides.” But here you have to buy a main course massage or facial for $79, before you can get a 25-minute ($59) side dish. And $10 appetizers like hot stones and essential oils are really just add-ons.
So you might show up for a snack, and end up buying a meal.

Find The Best Cruises
Find a cruise

Find the best deals!

Click on multiple sites to get the lowest prices

Click on multiple sites to get the lowest prices

Take Our Survey!

We want to deliver more of what you want, the deals you love, and stories that inspire you. It will only take a few minutes.