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 June 2019...

Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.