Stress reduction and relaxation are the primary reasons guests will visit a spa, according to a recent survey by the Small Luxury Hotels of the World brand, a collection of more than 320 independently owned hotels in 50 countries.

Guests typically book at least one treatment during every weekend stay and three during a weeklong stay, revealed the survey, which polled more than 1,000 frequent travelers and regular spa-goers in up to 20 countries.

More than one-third (36%) of survey participants indicated they spend more in hotels on spa therapies than they do on fine dining and wines.

Along with reducing stress and relaxing, survey respondents gave other reasons for visiting a spa including the desire "to look good/appear younger" and "to feel more sexy and attractive."

The survey also identified the 10 most commonly booked spa services. They are (in ranking order): aromatherapy massages; facials; local "signature" therapies; manicures; pedicures; more "creative treatments;" Ayurvedic massages; reflexology; body wraps; and hydrotherapy programs.

Spa goers also revealed their leading dislikes, which include:

• Having to appear naked for treatments or to use a mixed sauna without bathing suits or being bathed by strangers.
• Being subjected to "hard-sell" tactics to spend more on spa or beauty products;
• Treatments derived from chocolate or other dessert ingredients;
• Any evidence of lack of cleanliness or poor hygiene in the facility;
• Being ushered out quickly once the treatment is over;
• Pretentious spas which seem to prefer clients with "perfect" bodies;
• Having to make small talk with "over-familiar" staff; and
• Upon arrival, finding the spa fully booked with locals.

Small Luxury Hotels conducted the survey in conjunction with the release of a new publication, Spa Book, Exclusively by Small Luxury Hotels of the World, which highlights 53 full service spas around the globe at various SLH member hotels.

The Small Luxury Hotels of the World brand is a collection of over 320 independently-owned exclusive hotels in more than 58 countries. Carefully selected for their style and sophistication, Small Luxury Hotels feature award-winning properties including spas, country houses, golf resorts, island retreats, city sanctuaries, and game and wilderness lodges. Reservations can be made at any Small Luxury Hotel by calling toll-free on 800 525 4800 or via the Internet at