Defining the Size and Scope of Your Spa

By Elaine Fenard Partner & Chief Operating Officer, Europe and U.S., Spatality | February 22, 2010

In today's world there are many reasons for including a spa in the hotel footprint. Spas are no longer built simply as a differentiator. Spa has become a revenue generator and a guest expectation, leaving many owners and investors asking the question. "How much space do I really need to secure a place in the spa market, add value to the asset and meet the needs of my guest?" Hypothetically the answer is a simple one. The minimum square footage required to build a spa complete with locker rooms is approximately 4, 000 square feet.

However, we all know the simple answer is not always the best solution, so the question becomes 'what is best for the project?' There are generalizations we can use to address this simplifying the process and find a starting point.

The first task is to define what spa means to the hotel brand and its positioning. The principle objective will usually dictate the starting point. For example if the objective is to maintain a competitive edge, the first focus will be on the competitive set. Clearly understanding the competition will give you an indication of the size and scope you will need to compete. If you wish to differentiate then size will not be as much of an issue, you will need to be creative in order to differentiate. A market research study is often recommended in order to ensure you have an objective overview giving clarity to the objective as well as the potential and aligning both with the business case.

Note: If the property is to be managed by a hotel management company, it is wise to establish if there are or will be brand standards with the spa, and if so what provisions the management company has made to address this.

Generalizations can assist in the initial outline, utilizing a basic formula and information taken from industry standards to ascertain the treatment rooms to guest room's ratio...

Guest Room - Treatment Room Ratio

Coming up in January 2018...

Mobile Technology: Relentless Innovation

Technology has become a crucial component in attracting and retaining hotel guests, and the need to enhance a guest’s technology experience is driving a relentless pace of innovation. To meet and exceed guest expectations, 54% of hotels will spend more on technology in 2018, and mobile solutions in particular will top the list of capital investments. Many hotels are integrating mobile booking, mobile keys, mobile payments and mobile check-in into their operations. Other hotels are emphasizing the in-room experience, boosting bandwidth and upgrading flat screen TVs to more easily interface with guest mobile devices. And though not yet mainstream, there are many exciting technology developments on the near horizon. The Internet of Things (loT) is taking form in some places, and can be found in guest room control systems, voice activation systems, and in wearable sensors that can be used for access and payment options. Virtual reality headsets are available at some hotels so guests can enjoy virtual trips to exotic locations or if off-property, preview conference facilities and guest rooms. How long will it be before a hotel employs a fleet of robots for room service, or utilizes a hologram as a concierge, or installs gesture-controlled walls that feature interactive digital displays? Some hotels are already using augmented reality for translation services, or interactive wall maps, or even virtual décor. This pace of innovation is challenging property owners and brands to stay on top of the latest technology trends while still addressing current projects. The January Hotel Business Review will explore what some hotels are doing to maximize their opportunities in the mobile technology space.