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 January 2019...

Mobile Technology: The Future is Now

Mobile Technology continues to advance at a relentless pace and the hotel industry continues to adapt. Hotel guests have shown a strong preference for mobile self-service - from checking-in/out at a hotel kiosk, to ordering room service, making dinner reservations, booking spa treatments, and managing laundry/dry cleaning services. And they also enjoy the convenience of paying for these services with smart phone mobile payments. In addition, some hotels have adopted a “concierge in your pocket” concept. Through a proprietary hotel app, guests can access useful information such as local entertainment venues, tourist attractions, event calendars, and medical facilities and services. In-room entertainment continues to be a key factor, as guests insist on the capacity to plug in their own mobile devices to customize their entertainment choices. Mobile technology also allows for greater marketing opportunities. For example, many hotels have adopted the use of “push notifications” - sending promotions, discounts and special event messages to guests based on their property location, purchase history, profiles, etc. Near field communication (NFC) technology is also being utilized to support applications such as opening room doors, earning loyalty points, renting a bike, accessing a rental car, and more. Finally, some hotels have adopted more futuristic technology. Robots are in use that have the ability to move between floors to deliver room service requests for all kinds of items - food, beverages, towels, toothbrushes, chargers and snacks. And infrared scanners are being used by housekeeping staff that can detect body heat within a room, alerting staff that the room is occupied and they should come back at a later time. The January Hotel Business Review will report on what some hotels are doing to maximize their opportunities in this exciting mobile technology space.