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The Best Last-Minute Gift Ideas for Spa Lovers, Ranked by Customer Popularity

BY: Jolene Gilbert | Nov 14, 2016

It always happens. No matter how diligently you’ve made your list and checked it twice, you’re still in need of one or two last-minute gift ideas just days before the year’s biggest holidays. Getting an item shipped on time is not going to happen, and the mall is a rage-inducing nightmare. What are you going to do—tie a ribbon around a few candy canes?

Take heart: Groupon’s got enough gift ideas to go around. Although the prospect of finding the perfect item diminishes as the days inch closer to the gift-giving occasion, experiences almost never go out of stock or style. As beauty editors, we are, of course, a major purveyor of beauty and spa experiences that would make ideal gifts for her and him. But with such a wide range of services available, how do you choose? We sought out answers.

The most giftable Groupon beauty experiences

First, we wanted to know what beauty experiences our customers are actually gifting to their loved ones. We mined our site data to find out which services are being gifted the most in the final two weeks of December. (Every Groupon has a “Give as a Gift” option in the checkout section.) Here are the services that came out on top—and that you might want to consider as prime gift ideas:

  1. Massage
  2. Facial
  3. Hotel spa
  4. Pampering package
  5. Spa day pass
  6. Mani-pedi
  7. Steam room or sauna
  8. Reflexology

And just in case you’re wondering, we got nearly the same results when we expanded to data set to cover the final three months of the year.

Why have these categories become customers’ choice for gifts?

We think it’s because spa gift certificates are a boon to both the gifter and the giftee. For the buyer, these experiences are easy to find and purchase. The recipient takes the gift as a sign that the giver wants to spoil them, since these services would be considered a splurge and a treat for most people. And, as far as our beauty editors are concerned, “spa gifts are the most thoughtful and most heavenly gift you can give anyone.”

Tips for finding an experience you should gift


From here, we wanted to dig deeper into these spa experiences to find out which would be the most desired gift. Popularity among customers doesn’t guarantee popularity among recipients, after all. We surveyed our beauty team—chock-full of knowledge about these services—to find out which experiences they’d most like to receive.

With all of their thoughts together, we were able to tease out a few handy tips to keep in mind when deciding which beauty service to purchase for your next gift:

Go general

Our editors preferred the pampering experience because of the personal nature of a spa. They believed that most people will want the flexibility to choose their own services once they settle in for a relaxation session at the salon or spa.

Most everyone will love a massage

If you’re dead-set against giving a more general spa gift, a massage is the obvious next-best choice. According to our editors, they’re often the “biggest bang for your buck in terms of how much better they make you feel afterward.” Best of all, there’s a wide variety available. For example, a sports massage might benefit the athlete in your life, whereas a Thai massage might appeal to the adventurous.

Know your audience

Our editors shied away from gifting spa experiences to coworkers and others they might not be on intimate terms with. They also recommended making the spa day a group outing for any friend or family member who might be hesitant to go it alone.

“Some people just aren’t spa people”

While beauty and spa experience make great last-minute gifts for some, the most popular treatments aren’t for everyone. If there’s someone on your list who wouldn’t enjoy the typical services, consider booking them an outside-the-box experience like flotation therapy or cryotherapy. Or, as gifts for men—particularly older ones—our editors recommend straight-razor shaves and classic barbershop cuts for a bit of utilitarian pampering.