Hotel Spa: Exploring the Mind of a Trained Therapist

Insight into the true Intentions and Drive of a Therapist and how important it is to integrate this into the overall Hotel/Resort Operation.

By Michael Koethner Wellness & Healing Consultant, Michael Koethner | July 29, 2012

This article is about therapists, more specifically - therapists who have been trained and educated in the field of integrated bodywork, beauty and other spa related alternative therapies. It aims to explore how these therapists integrate into a wellness and spa environment of a day spa, hotel or resort spa. In order for the hotel/resort management or ownership to benefit from and enhance the qualities, qualifications and insights of the therapists, it has become crucial to talk and write about this topic. The article is not a scientific analysis, nor does it reflect any negative or positive point of view or statements. It is and meant to be an observation per se, a reflection of day-to-day operational experiences.

"All healing is first a healing of the heart". -- Carl Townsend

The purpose of this article is to initiate a thought process of positive change within the hospitality, spa and wellness industry. It does not matter if the spa is being outsourced or integrated into the hotel/resort. It is important to understand its function and purpose, because the guests will not differentiate between the outlets. The guests only see the overall experience, from point of check-in to point of check-out. The people in this industry also need to be aware of the radical change the spa industry is currently experiencing and be aware of the potential rapid growth.

Just as everyone has been focusing on rooms and F&B in the past, I think it is now time to learn more about the possibilities of how a wellness center and spa can be the added value to the overall business performance, instead of being a side business. Pretty much every hotel and/or resort, be it 2, 3, 4 or 5 star, has or will have a spa or wellness center included in its operation. Without it the hotel may experience decrease in occupancy and/or overall day-to-day business. It is not only about the exterior, the architecture and the design, it is also and mainly about the people working there. People create the experience, together with the exterior.

Your core associates in a spa are your therapists, like it or not, and based on observations, guest feedback and guest experience from within the industry there is just not enough focus and care given to employees in the spa and wellness industry. It is a process of education and creating more value. In order for the management to reduce staff turnover, increase guest return ratio and enhance the guest experience as well as to create more revenue, it is necessary to learn how to communicate with your key personnel – your therapists in this case. You need to understand where they come from, what drives them, what makes their brain tick, what makes them happy, what makes the tired or energized, what are their trying to achieve in their life, what is their career goal, and what is their greatest value they can bring to your team and into your business.

The heart is the center of the human body, the machine, so to speak, that keeps everything in the body going. Once you focus on the energy of your heart, and once you understand how powerful this organ really is, you will begin to realize that you don't really have to do anything except believe in and listen to your soul, all healing will follow, automatically. The body regenerates itself, all the time. Heal the core, your heart, and the healing energy will radiate outwards, attract more healing. This way of healing and/or regenerating can be applied to anything life has to offer. It can also be applied to a business enterprise, a company, a team and so forth.

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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.