Tying Your Spa Services into Your Hotel's Lifeblood

By Melinda Minton Executive Director, SPAA | February 05, 2012

Linking your hotel's lifeblood to your spa is not as difficult as you might imagine. In fact, much of what you do for guests in your hotel is naturally interlocked with the services and amenities offered at your spa. Making that connection, however, is imperative to the health of your entire organization.

Becoming a Destination

Given the health of the worldwide economy consumers are looking for affordable excursions that take them out of their everyday lives and into some other realm of daily living. This can mean a weekend away or a week of healthful renewal. Depending on your hotel's facilities arranging for a getaway may be linking with a variety of complimentary businesses to accommodate a comprehensive package for the spa-goer. Popular packages to include in escape offerings include:

Detox and weight loss - Complete with dietary specials a detox package can include a raw foods fasting, juicing, whole foods combining programs and cooking instruction. Inclusion in the spa would involve body wraps, hydrotherapy, deep cleansing facials, lymphatic drainage massage and various forms of dry sauna and plunge pool water therapy. A series of personal training sessions worked in with nutritional counseling is also ideal for this type of package.

Complete Makeover - Taking a weekend or week off to feel and look better is an obvious option when offered at a reasonable price. A visit to the salon for a new do and then some results oriented work at the spa matched with a consultation with a stylist and perhaps a little help in the clothing department makes for a whole new person. Oftentimes this type of a getaway is partially or wholly a business deduction. Furthermore, a makeover stay-over is the type of self help excursion that makes everyone happy.

Couples Getaway - Couples spa treatments have never been more popular. According to The Spa Association (www.thespaassociation.com) 28% of all spas have increased their facility's capacity to accommodate couples treatments in the last year and 67% of all travelers in 2008 reported that they would likely seek out spa services while visiting a destination with a significant other. "Couples" isn't necessarily confined to the typical married female and male pairing either. Good friends, mothers and daughters as well as homosexual couples are flocking to spas too.

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Guest Service: A Culture of YES

In a recent global consumers report, 97% of the participants said that customer service is a major factor in their loyalty to a brand, and 76% said they view customer service as the true test of how much a company values them. And since there is no industry more reliant on customer satisfaction than the hotel industry, managers must be unrelenting in their determination to hire, train and empower the very best people, and to create a culture of exceptional customer service within their organization. Of course, this begins with hiring the right people. There are people who are naturally service-oriented; people who are warm, empathetic, enthusiastic, pleasant, thoughtful and optimistic; people who take pride in their ability to solve problems for the hotel guests they are serving. Then, those same employees must be empowered to solve problems using their own judgment, without having to track down a manager to do it. This is how seamless problem solving and conflict resolution are achieved in guest service. This willingness to empower employees is part of creating a Culture of Yes within an organization.  The goal is to create an environment in which everyone is striving to say “Yes”, rather than figuring out ways to say, “No”. It is essential that this attitude be instilled in all frontline, customer-facing, employees. Finally, in order to ensure that the hotel can generate a consistent level of performance across a wide variety of situations, management must also put in place well-defined systems and standards, and then educate their employees about them. Every employee must be aware of and responsible for every standard that applies in their department. The April issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some leading hotels are doing to cultivate and manage guest satisfaction in their operations.