How Spas Help Hotels Book More Rooms

By Stacy Dreyfus President, Orchid Resorts & Escapes | July 21, 2013

Speaking of ‘Spa’, what’s the first picture that comes to your mind? A relaxed, airy space next to the gym with an insignificant number of visitors mostly referred to as ladies walking in and out with white robes? This might have been true, a long, long time ago, but no longer applicable in today’s luxury travel business. The truth is, spas are now playing an increasingly important role in securing more leads for luxury hotels and resorts. This is truly creating amazing new opportunities and exciting challenges for management in the business.

As the spa business, along with the entire world of travel, both business and the leisure market, was severely crushed in 2008, studies have shown a healthy growth in spas with travel demand during the past two years. According to SpaFinder® Wellness’ “2012 State of Spa Travel” Survey, 68% of travel agents reported growth in 2012 spa bookings, up from 37% in 2011. As Founder of the Orchid Resorts & Escapes collection, I have worked on numerous requests for an excellent superb spa experience to give reasons for our well-traveled, affluent clients to ultimately finalize their booking. It is crucial for luxury hotels and resorts to prepare for their guests’ expectations and respond properly to the rising demand. And here we will explore a few aspects in the changing landscape of luxury business travel and how it helps to sell more hotel rooms with the inclusion of a spa.

The Healthy Routine

Both in physical and cultural senses, it is now the “healthiest” age for the affluent in human history- for once, we no longer take our body as a physical object in which we reside. Instead, we value our body and the experience which it takes along as a respectable part of our wealth. Not only are people fighting against illness and trying to stay away from discomfort, yet, we have also seen a trend in taking proactive actions to maintain it at its best (yes, just like Angelina Jolie so may say, yet can be a bit controversial). Among our stylish and celebrity clientele, it is almost regarded as a sin if you do not have a routine for work-out, styling, or healthy dining. Now the same rule appears to be applying to the spa experience as well. Massage and reflexology have been considered a healthy way and the most popular with hotels and resorts to relax your body after a long day at work, and even better with organic products.

As studies have shown, we have more and more guests who frequent spas locally at home, yet, what will they expect at a luxury hotel when traveling? An excellent spa, great service & unique treatments of course! A gorgeous spa can definitely be the highlight of the guests’ hotel memories and very likely a top reason that lures them to a weekend getaway again or perhaps extend for a longer stay during business travel.

Keeping The Message Uniform

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Coming up in February 2018...

Social Media: Engagement is Key

There are currently 2.3 billion active users of social media networks and savvy hotel operators have incorporated social media into their marketing mix. There are a few Goliath channels on which one must have a presence (Facebook & Twitter) but there are also several newer upstart channels (Instagram, Snapchat &WeChat, for example) that merit consideration. With its 1.86 billion users, Facebook is a dominant platform where operators can drive brand awareness, facilitate bookings, offer incentives and collect sought-after reviews. Twitter's 284 million users generate 500 million tweets per day, and operators can use its platform for lead generation, building loyalty, and guest interaction. Instagram was originally a small photo-sharing site but it has blown up into a massive photo and video channel. The site can be used to post photos of the hotel property, as well as creating Instagram Stories - personal videos that disappear from the channel after 24 hours. In this regard, Instagram and Snapchat are now in direct competition. WeChat is a Chinese company whose aim is to be the App for Everything - instant messaging, social media, shopping and payment services - all in a single platform. In addition to these channels, blogging continues to be a popular method to establish leadership, enhance reputations, and engage with customers in a direct and personal way. The key to effective use of all social media is to find out where your customers are and then, to the fullest extent possible, engage with them on a personal level. This engagement is what creates a personal connection and sustains brand loyalty. The February Hotel Business Review will explore these issues and examine how some hotels are successfully integrating social media into their operations.