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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Social Media: Getting Personal

There Social media platforms have revolutionized the hotel industry. Popular sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube and Tumblr now account for 2.3 billion active users, and this phenomenon has forever transformed how businesses interact with consumers. Given that social media allows for two-way communication between businesses and consumers, the emphasis of any marketing strategy must be to positively and personally engage the customer, and there are innumerable ways to accomplish that goal. One popular strategy is to encourage hotel guests to create their own personal content - typically videos and photos -which can be shared via their personal social media networks, reaching a sizeable audience. In addition, geo-locational tags and brand hashtags can be embedded in such posts which allow them to be found via metadata searches, substantially enlarging their scope. Influencer marketing is another prevalent social media strategy. Some hotels are paying popular social media stars and bloggers to endorse their brand on social media platforms. These kinds of endorsements generally elicit a strong response because the influencers are perceived as being trustworthy by their followers, and because an influencer's followers are likely to share similar psychographic and demographic traits. Travel review sites have also become vitally important in reputation management. Travelers consistently use social media to express pleasure or frustration about their guest experiences, so it is essential that every review be attended to personally. Assuming the responsibility to address and correct customer service concerns quickly is a way to mitigate complaints and to build brand loyalty. Plus, whether reviews are favorable or unfavorable, they are a vital source of information to managers about a hotel's operational performance.  The February Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to effectively incorporate social media strategies into their businesses.