Your Hotel Spa is a Profit Center

By Melinda Minton Executive Director, SPAA | October 28, 2008

My husband and I recently trekked out to Chicago where my association, The Spa Association (SPAA), was hosting a spa track at a convention. As we were packing I noticed that he wasn't packing work out gear. He simply commented that amenities like fitness areas and spas were never great at hotels so why bother. These two vignettes absolutely speak volumes on how to serve guests-give them the little extras. Give them more than they expect. Your spa can help you do that!

What's Your Theme?

The theme of your hotel should match the theme of your spa and that theme should consistently run through every element of the guest's experience. The theme that you choose for your hotel or spa addition might have to do with your geographical area. It might also have to do with the type of emphasis on theme experienced in your restaurant. Themes are also successfully built on things like historical era, international or cultural schemes, experiential themes (think Disney). That theme needs to be tied to your approach to customers, their experience in the spa and their experience in their rooms. Call the Paris hotel in Las Vegas and you will experience some of that-"Bonjour" as a greeting, for instance.

Your Spa Menu

The same feel of your theme should be represented in your spa menu. This means that if you are the Venetian you should be representing the Italian types of treatments and therapies. If you are, on the other hand, a Greco-Roman spa, the Roman bath themed modalities are the track you should be on. Your menu should evoke the feel of your theme as well as the represent the theme of your hotel. When creating your menu keep "passive treatments" in mind as profit builders. Passive treatments are those services requiring little or no attention by your spa technicians. Things like hydrotherapy, Vichy showers, oxygen bars, steam rooms and dry saunas are all amenities that you can either offer for free as a perk or that can be built in to other services as packages. While hydrotherapy bath might go for $45 for 20 minutes your product and labor costs to offer such a service are almost non-existent. Furthermore, throwing in a service like a eucalyptus steam will allow you to get more money from your core services and will add a flare of professionalism and extravagance to your overall offerings.

Presence in your Hotel

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Coming up in March 2019...

Human Resources: An Era of Transition

Traditionally, the human resource department administers five key areas within a hotel operation - compliance, compensation and benefits, organizational dynamics, selection and retention, and training and development. However, HR professionals are also presently involved in culture-building activities, as well as implementing new employee on-boarding practices and engagement initiatives. As a result, HR professionals have been elevated to senior leadership status, creating value and profit within their organization. Still, they continue to face some intractable issues, including a shrinking talent pool and the need to recruit top-notch employees who are empowered to provide outstanding customer service. In order to attract top-tier talent, one option is to take advantage of recruitment opportunities offered through colleges and universities, especially if they have a hospitality major. This pool of prospective employees is likely to be better educated and more enthusiastic than walk-in hires. Also, once hired, there could be additional training and development opportunities that stem from an association with a college or university. Continuing education courses, business conferences, seminars and online instruction - all can be a valuable source of employee development opportunities. In addition to meeting recruitment demands in the present, HR professionals must also be forward-thinking, anticipating the skills that will be needed in the future to meet guest expectations. One such skill that is becoming increasingly valued is “resilience”, the ability to “go with the flow” and not become overwhelmed by the disruptive influences  of change and reinvention. In an era of transition—new technologies, expanding markets, consolidation of brands and businesses, and modifications in people's values and lifestyles - the capacity to remain flexible, nimble and resilient is a valuable skill to possess. The March Hotel Business Review will examine some of the strategies that HR professionals are employing to ensure that their hotel operations continue to thrive.