Hotel Spa: Pursuing Distinction

The Wellness Movement continues to evolve and hotel spas continue to innovate in order to keep pace. Fueled by intense competition within the industry, hotel spas are seeking creative ways to differentiate themselves in the market. An increasing number of customers are searching for very specific, niche treatments that address their particular health concerns and, as a result, some leading spas have achieved distinction by offering only one specialized treatment. Meditation and mindfulness practices are becoming increasingly mainstream as are alternative treatments and therapies, such as Ayurvedic therapies, Reiki, energy work and salt therapy. Some spas specialize in stress management and offer lifestyle coaching sessions as part of their program. Other spas are fully embracing new technologies as a way to differentiate themselves, such as providing wearable devices that track health and fitness biomarkers, or robots programmed with artificial intelligence to control spa environments, or virtual reality add-ons that transport guests to relaxing places around the world. Some spas have chosen to specialize in medical procedures such as liposuction, laser skin therapy, phototherapy facials, Botox and facial fillers, acupuncture and permanent hair removal, in addition to cosmetic body shaping procedures and teeth whitening treatments. Similarly, other spas are offering comprehensive health check-ups and counseling services for those who are interested in disease prevention treatments. Finally, as hotel spas continue to become more diverse, accessible and specialized, there is a growing demand for health professionals with a specific area of expertise. There is a proliferation of top class, quality wellness practitioners who make a name for themselves by offering their services around the globe, including athletes, chefs, doctors, physical trainers and weight loss specialists. The July issue of the Hotel Business Review will report on these trends and developments and examine how some hotel spas are integrating them into their operations.

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Library Archives

 
Omer Isvan

The relationship between wellness and hospitality is no longer a playful flirtation or a trend-enforced marriage. As wellness awareness increases at a great pace and as the power of leadership and authority in wellness moves from the hands of the wellness practice into the hands of individual consumers, there is a paradigm shift required in the way we think of spas and wellness facilities. With wellness trends, it becomes apparent that the ubiquitous 'hotel spa' as we got to know so well is now becoming an endangered species. The article also addresses trends in new hotel & resort development, stimulating fresh thought on the integrated hospitality investment methodology. READ MORE

Mary Tabacchi

Today's consumers want more than spa. They look for integrated wellness within hotels. U. S. Spas have a long history starting with colonial times when Europeans arrived on American shores. European customs included thermal or mineral spas. During the Civil War and the two World Wars, spas converted to military hospitals. As antibiotics evolved, spas closed for the "cure". Fast forward to the 1940s when Elizabeth Arden opened the first women's spa called "The Maine Chance" in Arizona and Deborah Szekely opened the first destination spa "Rancho La Puerta" in Tecate, Mexico. By the 1990s there were many independent day spas as well as hundreds of hotel spas. READ MORE

Daniel Poulin

"Feel Welcome" became the new signature of Accor back in 2015, which, according to Accor chairman, is a strong commitment to its audiences and enriches the bond between Accor and its brands. "Feel Welcome encapsulates the generosity and the very essence of hospitality. It is a promise addressed to all our audiences: customers, employees and partners, so that they feel expected, unique and privileged." During our 2018 Spa Director's Academy, a gathering of the entire Accor North and Central America Spa directors, we discussed the changing guest landscape and the correlating challenges and opportunities that enable us to deliver upon this promise especially for our guests recovering from cancer. READ MORE

Lisa Starr

The hospitality industry continues to ride a wave of 10 years of continuous growth (Deloitte), and the spa component is growing alongside. According to the Global Wellness Institute's 2018 Wellness Economy Monitor, the number of Hotel/Resort Spas worldwide reached over 48,000, producing revenues of $36.4 billion. In fact, the hotel spa category is the fastest growing among the six spa types measured by GWI. It seems that the hotel spa is benefiting from the continued strong growth in wellness tourism, as well as consumer's active engagement with wellness concept. Is your hotel spa keeping up with the wellness movement? READ MORE

Jeremy McCarthy

The spa and wellness industry continues to outpace other industries leading to greater and greater competition, particularly in the luxury hotel market. Spa operators today strive to stand out by differentiating themselves from their competitors and reinventing themselves to keep apace of the changing times. But they mustn't lose sight of their core identity. The successful spa brands and operators in this increasingly competitive market will be those who strike the right balance between innovation and staying true to the timeless principles that have always made spas so appealing. READ MORE

Michael Koethner

The preventive and alternative medicine sector and their importance and obligation to work together in order to assist humanity to move through these challenging times of renewal and renewed recognition, will allow us to find new ways of a healthier future environment. The potential of what can be done and achieved with preventive and natural medicine is yet to be re-discovered and explored. The spa and wellness environments provide the perfect settings in order to blend modern effective treatment techniques, advanced technology with mysticism and sacred knowledge. This is a melting point boundless, interesting, enticing, challenging but highly rewarding if done, performed and applied professionally. READ MORE

Renee Moorefield

Wise employers recognize a culture of wellbeing is core to sustainable success. With the rise of wellness offerings within the hospitality industry, thriving employees are key to presenting the best service to ensure satisfied customers and guests return again and again. After all, overworked, overwhelmed, and unhappy employees won't be at their optimal to deliver quality service, eroding customer satisfaction. In the growing wellness movement, the key to profitability doesn't just lie in the bottom line; it lies with leaders who are committed to wellbeing, in themselves and their teams, and a thriving culture that goes far beyond ROI. Wellbeing Leadership has become a must. READ MORE

Laszlo Puczko

In segmentation and motivation modelling, hotel spas follow the standard approach – Doing their best to understand what current and prospective guests may be looking forward to in regards to wellness. While it is imperative to understand what their guests want, they also need to know what guests do not want. Many customers do not always make decisions based on what a certain spa treatment does or skin care product contains, but rather often, what it is not! Does this represent a 'reverse logic' of the same approach or do hotels spas need to revise their business models completely? READ MORE

David Stoup

The global spa market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 5.66 percent by 2021, and brand positioning enabling premium pricing will be the market driver of that growth. But hotel spas should not be regarded with a "build it and they will come" approach. In fact, if your hotel has an 80-percent occupancy rate, it's not unfair to suspect your spa is utilizing only 15 percent of its capacity on average. The problem is that many spas are built as an amenity for the hotel. That mentality needs to change if owners expect to capture the revenue potential of the space, especially in a world that continues to move to a wellness mindset. READ MORE

Diana Mestre

Traditionally spa and wellness operations have been centered on performance and profitability, with little regard for architectural design strategies that will allow the spa to perform efficiently and operate from a seamless experiential platform. Innovative new spa & wellness designs will have a definite impact on the guest´s experiences and expectations and will make a difference in the bottom line of the Spa. Planning how to design an operating a Spa under the seven senses is vital for the financial success of the spa, and for the creation and implementation of a memorable, impeccable and unforgettable wellness experience for the guest. READ MORE

Lynne McNees

What if you could bring the spa to your guests, in the comfort and privacy of their hotel room? Many hotels have learned they can fill a gap in the service market by offering in-room spa experiences and amenities without the need for extra staffing. Opening the door for guests to enjoy the limitless benefits of spa in their rooms for small fees boosts revenue and aligns the hotel brand with a passion for wellness experiences, which are becoming more and more sought after among traveling professionals. Do your rooms offer experiences? READ MORE

Alisha Fleming

Right now, at hotel resorts across the country, guests are enjoying the rejuvenating benefits of a spa day. They treat themselves to botanical facials, sip on complimentary beverages and indulge in an aromatherapy massage. But behind the scenes, an attentive spa staff is taking steps to mitigate risk and avoid potential workers' compensation or general liability claims. Spas regularly deal with workers' compensation claims, most often repetitive motion injuries and general liability claims resulting from slip-and-fall accidents. To help mitigate risk in their facilities, there are several best practices spas can put in place. READ MORE

Michael G. Tompkins

These are the best of times, and the worst of times... With spa and wellness industry data showing record numbers of visitors and revenues, increases in guest demand and therapist utilization are being offset by labor shortages of licensed massage therapists and estheticians, causing decreases in room utilization. What are spa businesses doing with those unused rooms to generate revenue during this workforce challenged time? Michael Tompkins, partner with Hutchinson Consulting and Past ISPA Chairman, discusses new trends showing up in the market to enhance revenue maximization in today's spas. READ MORE

Marcela Trujillo

While the core of revenue management remains constant, it can be maximized to drive growth in other areas like food and beverage, golf – especially the hotel spa. The spa appeals to a variety of travelers, from the guest on vacation to professionals in need of an hour of relaxation on a business trip. In this article, hotel revenue management expert Marcella Trujillo shares her best tips and strategies for applying the process to increase revenue and financial success at hotel spas. READ MORE

Jim Croghan

Millions of dollars each year are spent on launching the finest spas the world has to offer. Yet time and again, these sumptuously-designed spas with world-class amenities and fantastic technicians begin to struggle shortly post-launch. There are several reasons why these properties start to under-perform so quickly, but the number one reason that we've seen over our 20+ years in the business is a lack of standards training from seasoned professionals. The spa industry is built on wellness, compassion, beauty, and relationships – and successful leaders in the industry have a passion for all these things. Passion alone is not enough for success in this business, however. Successful operators excel because of training. READ MORE

Robert Baldassari

As people face challenges throughout life, they often need a restart button or something to give them a new, fresh perspective. Whether it is an illness, a divorce, a death, a job promotion or change in career, a new baby or a new relationship…life is hectic. Wellness travel helps to put life into perspective and find healthy outlets to make the most of a situation- creating a very fulfilling experience. Many guests find it beneficial to schedule these "resets" multiple times a year because of the difference they feel afterwards. READ MORE

Ann Brown

Impactful spa wellness is all about the approach, and that approach begins with self-evaluation. By answering three equally important questions - 1. How does our mission connect to our menu? 2. What do our guests really need? 3. How does my treatment menu advance our guests' wellness goals? - spa industry professionals can identify what's working, what's not working and how creative ways of integrating modalities can help guests along their wellness journeys. With the right modeling and encouragement of physical, mental and nutritional well-being, your clients will have all the tools they need to start new, healthy habits today. READ MORE

Claire Way

Wellness has been adopted by consumers with a passion that doesn't show any sign of slowing down. It has moved from niche to mainstream and millions are being invested up and down hotel value chains. Where spa is often eliminated from the urban hotel model due to space allocation and return, wellness has the potential to be a different value proposition. The days when location and cost were the only factors hotel guests considered when booking a hotel are fading rapidly. For an increasing number of guests another crucial factor in helping them decide where to stay; wellness! READ MORE

Cecilia Hercik

Trends in the wellness market are showing that the lines between Medical Spas, Resort Spas and Destination Spas are beginning to blur. Aside from spa amenities like tennis courts, lap pools, hydrotherapy circuits and lifestyle-shifting spa treatments, some Resort Spas are taking on the characteristics of a Destination Spa by offering a variety of exercise classes, wellness lectures and global therapies like acupuncture, cupping, sound baths or even full day wellness retreats. Likewise, some Medical Spas are taking on the natural wellness concept by blending natural therapies with their minimally invasive medical procedures and advanced skincare rejuvenation services in a relaxed atmosphere of a spa-like environment. READ MORE

Kristi Dickinson

According to the Global Wellness Institute, Wellness tourism is forecasted to grow at an average of 7.5% through 2022, considerably faster than the 6.4% growth estimated for overall tourism. The spend will hit $919B, with 1.2B trips taken annually, by 2022. Wellness travelers are high-spending, high-yield tourists. International wellness tourists spend 53% more than typical international tourists and domestic wellness tourists spend 178% more than average domestic tourists. Hotel spas must evolve to attract these travelers. Kristi Dickinson, leader in industry innovation, makes the case for educating guests on the wellness lifestyle and securing a lifelong relationship and revenue stream. READ MORE

Coming up in December 2019...

Hotel Law: A Labor Crisis and Cyber Security

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