The Loaded Question: 'What is a Spa?'
By Jane Segerberg Founder & President, Segerberg Spa Consulting, LLC | November 30, 1999
Haven't spas been around long enough that we know what they are? Why is it important to answer the question? And, even more emphatically, "Why do we care what a spa is"? The understanding can help properties develop, renovate or evaluate their spas or spa plans to produce a more successful spa business.
The past eighteen months have certainly had the hospitality industry scrambling, and at the same time; scrutinizing, evaluating and reflecting on what is valued by our guests. A spa and a hotel that can work well together are instrumental in helping guests feel that they just had "the best vacation of a lifetime". (Don't stop here - this just tells what a spa can do, not what it is)
More than ever before, we want and need to 'get it right' for our customers. There is no opportunity for smoke and mirrors or glamour and glam to woo our customers into overlooking the quality of the product they are buying and if it delivers on the promise or 'does the job' as promoted or expected.
Giving our guests what they want has been an old adage in the hospitality industry that has recently become paramount to maintaining or achieving a fiscally sound operation. So, why do we care to understand "What is a spa?" As we look ahead to better economic and travel forecasts and the goal of capturing a loyal market, we know it is time to evaluate what we have and to improve, expand, refresh or add to the current amenities in order to be at the forefront of the next burst of the economy.
Wise investments are made with a complete understanding of the product. Spat that deliver on the promise also deliver a healthy bottom line. To ensure the delivery, we have to understand the product and promise.
Is a spa a building? An experience? A special treatment program? A place? Spas can be and are multi-faceted, yet individual. The trick in leading a compelling renovation, evaluation, expansion or new build is in the understanding of the end result and then ensuring that it delivers.