Hotel and Resorts Find Travelers Are Demanding Full-Service Spa Amenities

By Gayle Bulls Dixon Owner/Founder, Breathe Spa Management Company | February 13, 2010

Consumers are adding spa treatments to their discipline of health conscious regimens, along with exercise and a balanced diet. In the not-so-distant past, resort spas were an added bonus for those few guests interested in soothing mind and body. What used to be considered indulgent pampering was, for the most part, limited to manicures, pedicures and facials. Now spa visits are considered a critical regimen for many who want to keep their bodies relaxed, centered and detoxified of the stressors that accumulate as a result of day-to-day living.

Today, however, the spa is often a leading driver for many guests as they make hotel/resort selections. In fact, consumers seek out a spa experience they feel they can trust for high quality and value. Hotels/resorts can expect an increase in average daily rate (ADR), average length of stay, food & beverage revenues, as well as in the sale of other amenities offered by the property, if the leadership and staff understand how to utilize the draw of the spa to its consumers.

Many in the hospitality industry have not experienced spas as profit centers. As a matter of fact, they were often a loss leader. This is because spas have unique operational needs that do not match the needs of the other traditional hotel/resort departments. We have found that, when managed closely and diligently, spas are genuine profit generators. How times have changed! The sooner that hoteliers recognize this trend and treat their spas like an important business driver, managed specifically to perform as a profit center, the quicker they will experience success.

In fact, many resorts are renovating or expanding their current spas to make them more competitive and enabling them to offer the latest state of the art treatments. Still other resorts are constructing new spas from the ground up. Resort managers are still questioning how to manage to profitability with this specialized service.

Whatever the case may be, here are some simple guidelines to help you start and stay on the right track of spa profitability:

  • Consider Branding Your Spa - Like so many other "brands," we use each day, a spa brand, like Breathe Spa, indicates your commitment to a standard.
    Far from being cookie cutter, branding provides consistency, trust and an
    expected level of service throughout various destinations. While each
    individual spa may add local ingredients and ambience, the brand's
    offerings, service levels and standards permeate throughout, ensuring that
    patrons know what to expect and will not be disappointed. Brands also offer
    an additional marketing resource and may even offer services such as a
    nationwide reservations center. Expect other benefits, such as design and
    construction management and discounts on equipment, furniture and fixtures,
    etc., as the hotelier is building a new spa location or creating a new spa
    image within an existing facility.
  • Property Level Leadership Support - Guarantee that the leadership team that is managing your hotel/resort location is in absolute agreement that
    the spa is valuable to the property's business and profitability plan. No
    exceptions. Without this support your spa team will not be able to succeed
    to the level you will require in order to facilitate the ROI you desire.
    With this support your spa will prove to be a strong leader of revenues.

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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.