Spa Consultants - Who Needs Them?
By Jane Segerberg Founder & President, Segerberg Spa Consulting, LLC | October 2008
The Consulting Business, in general, is a much maligned profession and probably for good reason. It is too easy, for one thing, to enter the business. Many a spa consultant has been "born" just with the cost of printing business cards and stationary. The term "consultant" is used to cover a wide range of situations. Consulting can be a temporary stop gap while out of work spa directors are between jobs or a cover for vendors of spa equipment and spa products to sell their products. The basic problem facing the consulting business as a whole, is one simple virtue - - integrity.
For the hotelier who is exploring the advantages of hiring a consultant or is already convinced that a spa consultant is a necessity for the project and wants to make a good choice, this article is intended to be helpful in understanding the role of the full service spa consultant and how to sort through the maize to find the right consulting firm for your property.
Resort and Hotel Spas have shifted their positioning in the hospitality industry.
Spas in resort and hotel properties are no longer an amenity that sets the property apart from its competitors - - spas are now a necessity and as a necessity, require more than build-it-and-they-will-will come planning. It is the ambience, creativity, level of service and signature pieces of the spa that position spas as a distinguishing factor for the resort/hotel property. A mediocre spa is no longer acceptable. Benchmarks and ratings are now being set that include guest comfort, cleanliness, a sense of luxury, level of service and staff courtesy along with distinctive and convenient physical facilities. As Mobil states, "Spas should relieve stress, not create it". For all of the glamorous environments and exotic treatments, the relaxing spa experience is achieved only when the guest is comfortable during the entire stay at the spa. A completely calm ambience that includes a well-planned facility and well-managed staff, offers an extraordinary guest experience.
With the new emergence of savvy spa goers, only those spas that offer the best of the best will maintain their level of notoriety and lend a distinctive element to the property. The challenge for the Spa Industry, as noted by the International Spa Association, will be to "keep service levels up while keeping operating costs down".
An appropriately chosen spa consultant brings sound expertise and perspective to the spa project, creating an opportunity to "win" in an increasingly competitive spa market place.