Creating a Spa in Your Hotel

By Melinda Minton Executive Director, SPAA | February 02, 2011

As a consultant I see a great many spas in hotels that just don't measure up. Read on for 5 big mistakes and a list of easy "do's" for making your spa facility more complete within your hotel.

The spa is disassociated from the rest of the facility

As if an afterthought or an unexplained addition to a made over house, many times a hotel will add a spa. Sometimes it is located away from logical amenities that would compliment the services offered, like the whirlpool/pool area.

Furthermore, some spas are simply ill placed within the larger structure. A spa that I visited at a well-known Los Angeles hotel and fitness club had its massage rooms within the locker room. During my massage I was treated to women chatting, babies crying and endless lockers slamming. Not a pleasant experience, to say the least.

A spa can be added on to an existing facility; however, site planning must be carefully analyzed. Sometimes the expense of moving walls or extending plumbing to make the facility design functional is not a choice, it is a must. What is that phrase that our mothers used when we did poorly as children? "Either do it right or don't do it at all." As a hotel facility looking to add spa services or a spa area to the existing or new hotel, the commitment to do the project right the first time must be made for the spa's budget and space allowances. Anything falling short of that will be a disaster.

The spa is not marketed correctly

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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.