Building a Spa Brand Around Teens

By Lucia Rodriguez Amasio Laniwai Spa Director, Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa, Hawaii | July 12, 2015

Today’s travelers not only seek wellness in their escape, but also have come to expect it. As a result, hotels and resorts—having recognized the demand for expanded and unique wellness programs—may need to take a closer look at their branding. It is critical to ensure the offerings are properly positioned in consumer-facing marketing and communications, as well as accurately reflected in the spa’s design, staff, food options and treatment offerings.

At Laniwai Spa located at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa in Hawai‘i, branding around the concept of family wellness has been at the forefront since our resort’s inception. At our spa, we believe it is important to creatively offer experiences for the entire family in an environment that embraces the Hawaiian connection to nature.

Our spa is aptly named Laniwai (pronounced lah-nee-vai), meaning “freshwater heaven,” to emphasize the cultural importance of water. Laniwai is an 18,000-square-foot full-service spa and wellness center with 15 treatment rooms, a fitness center and a full-service salon for hair, makeup and nail services. In addition, Laniwai is home to the Kula Wai, a 5,000-square-foot outdoor hydrotherapy garden for guests to enjoy before or after their spa treatments. The Kula Wai houses herbal pools, six unique “rain showers,” hot and cold whirlpools and plenty of outdoor relaxation areas with a menu of healthy foods and beverages. The state-of-the-art, 2,000-square-foot health club features Life Fitness cardiovascular and strength training equipment, a Kinesis machine, free weights and a stretching area.

Capitalizing on the niche of family wellness, Laniwai Spa offers a variety of family wellness programming to ensure each and every member of the family has a chance to immerse themselves in the magic that is Aulani. An example is the family massage, The ‘Ohana. Designed for three to six family members, this experience utilizes the healing touches of lomilomi in a family treatment suite.

Taking the family wellness concept one step further and diving deeper into the niche teen-specific wellness is where our concept of Painted Sky—the islands’ only teen spa—was born.

Seeing the Need: A Spa Just for Teens

Hotel Newswire Headlines Feed  

Holly Zoba
Jason Brown
Randa Tukan
Laurie Friedman
Michael Blake
Renu Hanegreefs-Snehi
Emily Venugopal
Peter O'Connor
Tony  Heung
Tim Peter
Stephanie Miller
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.