Note: Almond Nails is reader supported. If you make a purchase through a link on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission - at no extra cost to you. This includes links to Amazon.

What Is A Spa Manicure? [Everything You Must Know]

“Spa.” The word alone makes people think of relaxing music, slow days, and luxurious massages and treatments. When people think of spas, they think of pure relaxation. The same can be said of the word “manicure,” though it’s not necessarily as relaxing as a good massage. So how do these two come together? What’s involved and included? Here is everything you want to know.

So, what is a spa manicure? A spa manicure is a luxury manicure that involves more in-depth treatment, including paraffin wax dips or hot stone massages, along with the traditional services that come with a standard manicure. While nails come first, the overall intention behind a spa manicure is as much about general stress relief as it is about nail treatment.

It’s no surprise that people are flocking to receive a spa manicure!

A manicure can change up your day, make you feel better about yourself, or just brighten your spirits.

Then there are all the benefits of the spa, too.

Let us now delve deeper into this particular manicure type, including all that is provided, how long it takes, how much it costs and when to get one if this sounds like the ideal afternoon for you (or a special person in your life). 

What Does A Spa Manicure Include?

A spa manicure involves many of the same features as a standard manicure. However, you will likely receive extras. These can include hand massage, cuticle-pushing, and other spa treatments. The biggest difference is the environment and the focus on stress relief, not just the nail results.

So, what makes a spa manicure so different from a normal one?

Oddly enough, despite there often being a few little extras thrown in, not much in the way of actual nail service.

You’ll probably get a massage, a little extra TLC, and maybe some other bonuses, which we’ll get to in a moment.

But the main difference you’ll notice is the relaxation.

Everything, from the light fixtures to the music, is chosen specifically to induce feelings of calm in people.

There’s no real hurry here, and you don’t have to deal with the noise and smell of a salon.

When getting a spa manicure, you’re probably going to be at a spa.

Shocking, right?

So you’ll likely be receiving some of the standard perks that spas offer their customers.

While you might have to make do with a soda or tea when getting your nails done at a salon (if that), you’ll probably find drinks such as cucumber water available for you here.

You’re also likely to be provided with comfortable robes, hot towels, and numerous other small pleasures.

That isn’t to say that there is nothing about a spa manicure that isn’t better than a standard!

Many spas include more than just the standard manicure in the package.

You might also be given a paraffin wax dip, which is excellent for cracked and dry hands.

Or you might even get a small hot stone massage to help relax your muscle and soothe any aches or pains you might be having.

There is one thing that you’re not going to get with a spa manicure: Acrylics, shellac, or gel nails.

These are all things that will not be included when you get your manicure.

If you want or need any of these, then plan ahead and be sure to schedule it. This isn’t something to bring up last minute.

Other than that? Relax!

That’s the entire point of a spa manicure and the most important takeaway that you’ll get. It’s all about the relaxation.

What Is The Difference Between A Spa Manicure And A Basic Manicure?

Basic manicures are done primarily for the end result. They might be relaxing, but relaxation isn’t the purpose. A spa manicure is more focused on the process and how soothing it is. Spa manicures also tend to have more services available.

The biggest difference between a basic manicure and a spa manicure is the location where it’s given.

A basic manicure is likely to be in your local salon.

You’ll be sitting under the harsh glow of fluorescent lights, with the fumes from numerous other nail art going on around you.

It’s likely to be loud, rambunctious, and busy.

That’s fine just for the results of a manicure. But for some serious relaxation?

You can do so much better!

On the other hand, a spa manicure is typically done at a – you guessed it – spa!

The atmosphere between the salon and spa is usually quite different.

With dim lights, soft music, and an environment that instills peace and relaxation, this is the place to go if your nerves are frayed.

Here, you won’t notice any harsh smells, any loud noises, or any harsh lighting.

It’s just pure bliss.

And that’s the biggest thing that you’re paying extra for The environment.

Of course, you’ll be getting more than just some dim lights.

A spa manicure can include much more than a standard one. Often, you’ll receive something like a paraffin wax dip, a salt scrub, a hot towel wrap, a hydrating mask, or even a hot stone massage.

Most of these you wouldn’t even be able to receive in a salon! They’re all amazing for your hands, leaving them in much better condition than they were before.

To find out what you’ll be receiving, visit the spa’s website or simply call.

They’ll be happy to fill you in on what you can expect. You can also grab a brochure if your spa offers one.

Aside from the actual services, you’ll also be allowed many of the perks that come with being in a spa.

Cucumber water, hot towels, soft robes, and so many other small things can take something a bit better than a standard manicure and turn it into something that feels more like a vacation than a manicure.

How Much Does A Spa Manicure Cost?

It really depends upon the spa itself. However, you can expect to pay between $30 and $70 for a manicure alone. Note that extras may be more expensive.

As with anything, it depends.

Different spas may charge different amounts, depending on the quality of the establishment and service.

While many people can expect to pay just $30 to $70 for a spa manicure, more exclusive locations can charge much more into the triple-digit range.

So, if you’re willing to settle for a less exclusive spa, you’re going to receive something that is far more affordable—heading to the hottest new spa in a busy area? Prepare to spend more.

A lot more.

Extras, too, may be an issue with your budget.

While you’ll likely get a little something with your spa manicure that wouldn’t come with a standard, you’ll probably miss out on something if you aren’t willing to pay for it.

Many of the luxurious options (paraffin wax, hot stone massage, salt scrub, or similar) are going to be an added cost to your final tab.

At some places, you might also be expected to pay for the use of a robe, even if it is returned to the spa afterward.

The key thing to remember is to go in knowing what you’ll need to pay for and how much it will be.

If you don’t have money to burn, you want to be sure down to the cent what things will cost.

Otherwise, you might find yourself suddenly less-than-relaxed after seeing the bill for your manicure.

And you don’t want to undo the progress you made before you’ve even left the spa!

Research is your friend here.

Calling, searching online, and digging through brochures can help you find the spa’s pricing guides.

Then, break out a calculator, and get to budgeting! Include any expenses outside of the manicure, such as for robes or towels.

Factor in everything that you can.

Then stick to your plan! You can’t be sure how much an unplanned extra is really going to be.

You might also find group deals that make the service less expensive all-around when you bring in some friends and family.

Ask the spa, check sites such as Groupon, and be willing to do a bit of work to find the answer. It will be worth it in the end!

How Long Does A Spa Manicure Take?

The manicure itself is fairly quick, taking just 30 minutes to an hour. But a spa manicure can easily last much longer than that. Bonuses such as wax dips and massages can add to the time, as can the slow-paced environment of a spa. This can certainly be an hours-long affair.

Normal manicures don’t take very long at all.

You can get one during your lunch break, and not be late.

The average time for it is 30 to 60 minutes, in a salon.

It’s done quickly to get you out of the chair and someone else into it.

A spa manicure is different.

There is no real set time for them to last.

It all depends upon multiple things: The spa itself, how many extras or complimentary services you receive, and how long you’re allowed to sit and enjoy the quiet before you have to leave.

Suffice it to say, you’ll be spending a lot of your day in the spa if you choose a spa manicure.

The basic manicure itself probably won’t take much longer than it normally would.

About an hour would be the correct time for that.

But a hot stone massage can take a while.

A paraffin wax dip can take even longer since you must apply it in layers or dip your hands in, and then wait for it to dry before removing.

Salt scrubs, hydrating masks, and anything else can add more and more time to your manicure.

Even when the manicure is over, that doesn’t mean that your relaxation has to end.

Many spas let you sit and relax for a while, sipping whatever beverages they’ve provided.

Take advantage, and make yourself comfortable in their cushy robes! It can be well worth the time.

But do be prepared to leave when it’s time.

You’ll need to call the spa itself to find out a general timeframe for the manicure.

But this is all about the journey, not the destination. So enjoy it!

Where To Get A Spa Manicure

You’ll need to go to a spa. While some salons offer a “spa manicure,” it’s not going to be as luxurious as the real deal.

For a spa manicure, you’re going to need a spa!

It seems simple, but there are many businesses that try to offer a spa manicure but don’t quite succeed in reaching their level.

Salons, in particular, aren’t well-suited for a spa manicure since they’re usually brightly lit and contain fumes that might not smell great.

There’s nothing better for a spa manicure than a good spa.

A day spa would be a good choice for someone looking for a spa manicure on a budget.

These are often local so that there’s no reason to travel overnight just for a manicure.

They also tend to charge less than their large, travel-destination brethren.

Shop around to be sure that you’re getting an establishment that knows what it’s doing and that has the facilities that you’re looking for.

You don’t want to avoid a salon, only to wind up in a glorified salon again! Remember: 

Relaxation is the goal here, not just nice nails and hands.

Of course, you can always go to a bigger spa.

Many hotels are partnered with a spa or have one included, making them great choices for a vacation, whether a long one or just a weekend away.

They tend to be nice and relaxing while also being relatively affordable.

You don’t necessarily have to stay in the hotel to access them, either.

Some resorts and cruise ships have spas on property or onboard. If you’re at a resort or on a cruise, you already know that things can be expensive.

How expensive depends on whether or not your vacation is all-expenses-paid or if you’re expected to pay for your manicure afterward.

Do some research before setting out or setting sail to be sure that you have the right expectations of the spa.

And always make appointments before going in!

Few spas take walk-ins for things of this nature, and you want to be sure that they can accommodate you.

Then, just settle in for your relaxing spa manicure.


Spa manicures are quite different – not just in the expected end result but in regards to the entire experience.

That’s what you’re primarily paying for here.

But they are incredibly relaxing and make for a great gift – either to yourself or a loved one.

Interested in, or are looking to try other types of manicures? Then check out my following guides to learn all about them!