Library Archives

 
Elaine Fenard

Spa is being embraced by a broadening spectrum of consumers, growing beyond traditional demographic profiles and target audiences. As a result, the industry has responded with more choice, offering an array of business models and branded spa concepts that address these niche consumer segments. This of course is a boon for hotel owners, developers and operators in terms of identifying the ideal spa solution for a property's amenity platform. It also makes choosing the ideal spa partner a very critical part of the equation READ MORE

Judy Singer

While the supply of spas has been on a steady rise for many years, the growth has slowed and this is probably good because there are some challenges that need to be addressed... The supply has out-paced the demand, the labor pool from management to service providers is quite limited, and there isn't enough reliable economic information. These may be "symptoms" that need further examination in order to address any "health" issues that could impinge on the well-being of our industry. The challenge has been to define "what is financially profitable." It may be time to really have a "fiscal check-up" to see just how healthy we are. READ MORE

Casey Olsen

Your spa is a place that your guest delights in relaxation and escape. Not always. A spa facility has a myriad of liability pitfalls and potential risks, for both your guest and staff. It is alarming how many spa owners pay little attention to these issues, until, of course, they receive a notice from an attorney's office of a suit being filed. Then, your Spa Director is called in to determine "What happened?" By then it's too late. We offer the following guideline as a starting point to bring to light just some of the safety issues that you may not have addressed within your facility. Let's walk through your facility and address each area for its potential jeopardy. READ MORE

Casey Olsen

In the 21st century, American spas have had over 20 years in development and have expanded to a more sophisticated venue. But by creating this menu of enticing services, have spa managers and product companies traveled too far in their claims? I think today's spa guest well understands, for example, that by applying a daily moisturizer helps to keep the skin healthy, but will not reverse the aging process. When a spa list of services makes unrealistic claims such as this, or, stating that a product or a treatment will cure your ailment, you begin to tread dangerously in the liability arena. READ MORE

Judy Singer

Going green is not a trend... it has a life of its own that continues to grow and gain momentum. This phenomenon is becoming so prevalent that people are moving away from the term "green" and have embraced the larger concept of "sustainability" because it better describes the long-term and on-going evolution and revolution of personal, cultural, economic, environmental and global well-being. As more and more individuals and corporations are engaging in the sustainability culture, it is important to see how well-aligned this is with the spa revolution of the past 10 - 15 years. Spas went from being trendy to being on-trend; from being a luxury to a necessity; from elite to main street; from loss-leaders to profit-makers. Substitute the word "sustainability" for "spa" and you will see the similarities and synergies. READ MORE

Edward Donaldson

First it was a restaurant; then it was a gym; now the "must have" for luxury hotels is a spa. Responding to the increasing demands of luxury travelers for pampering and self-indulgence, several members of Small Luxury Hotels of the World have either opened a spa in the last year or are planning to do so in the coming year. Spas are truly changing the landscape of hotels and the way in which hoteliers structure their properties. Be it for business or leisure, guests are looking for those extra amenities to make their stay special. A spa is now that one thing that really represents the luxury lifestyle-experience. READ MORE

Casey Olsen

At first blush, this may sound a bit absurd to ask because most would think that, of course, if your property has a spa facility, your General Manager would definitely be supportive of that amenity, right? Not always, unfortunately. Regardless of the scope of your spa services, there are still those few General Managers "out there" that look at spas as something that only women indulge in and that they themselves would never be caught dead having a massage or facial and definitely not allow someone to scrub the dry skin from their bodies. So they keep a wide berth from the spa and what goes on behind those closed doors will forever remain a mystery. READ MORE

Peggy Borgman

Spa guests seem to be shopping virtually everywhere but their favorite spa. Mass marketers understand this, and have slapped the word "spa" on everything from dish soap to shoes. Spa guests are ready, willing and able to shop your Stay Spa. But what motivates them to buy? Will retail be merely an afterthought in your spa facility? The "Stay" Spa's notoriously weak retail performance-as low as 2% of revenues in some facilities-- has created a chicken-or-egg dilemma for spa designers. Do Stay Spas retail poorly because their clients aren't interested in home care products, or because the spas themselves make it difficult to shop? Here's how to ensure that you reap the rewards of retail. READ MORE

Dawn Walzak

While the Spa Inspired Guestroom concept is still very new, it is answering the needs that today's travelers are requesting - a true experience. This is a request that the hospitality industry cannot ignore. Many hoteliers do not want to hear that it is not about just the guestroom as travelers feel that most brands are equal when it comes to accommodations. Travelers today are time starved and as marketers we must begin to cater specifically to the traveler that fits within your hotels demographics. If you are marketing to a Baby Boomer, the services, amenities and training standards should be different than if marketing to a high power female executive who travels constantly and has children at home. No longer does one size fit all. READ MORE

Peter Anderson

Most hoteliers rely on third party feasibility analysis prior to building or expanding their rooms or related infrastructure, but they often turn a blind eye when developing or expanding their spa. Spas have gone from being the "red-haired step child of the resort world,"an amenity that we hope might break even, to the "must have amenity" if we want to be taken seriously. This proliferation of spas is both good and bad for the developer. Clearly, the market has embraced the need for spas--which is good. The dramatic building (and in many cases overbuilding) has made competition for the spa dollar fierce, and the spa user savvy--which can be bad if you don't do your homework. Now more than ever is why spa feasibility is a necessary part of the spa development process. READ MORE

Peggy Borgman

A memorable and satisfying spa experience is never an accident. Great service organizations combine three crucial ingredients to ensure that guests are "wowed" on every visit. The spa director must masterfully coordinate a trilogy of Values, Structure, and Aesthetics. Values and Structure are absolute essentials to good service, but Aesthetics is the "cherry on top" that makes the spa experience a delight and elevates it to the level of World Class. READ MORE

Gayle Bulls Dixon

In the not so distant past, resort spas were an added bonus for those few guests interested in soothing mind and body during their week of rest and relaxation, or were a special treat while away at a business meeting. Even though potential guests or meeting planners would often inquire, "Do you have a spa?" few would take advantage of the offering. Just knowing it was there and available was important; whether or not it was actually used was a different story. My how times have changed! Today, spas are the reason that many guests select specific resorts... in fact, consumers seek out the trendiest treatments and programs. So, while yesterday's spa was a wonderful property amenity, although not necessarily a money maker, today's spa should be viewed as a profit center just like other hotel divisions such as rooms and food & beverage, and it should be operated under many of the same guiding principles and philosophies. READ MORE

Peter Anderson

First and foremost, if you are contemplating the development of a spa at your lodging facility, do you already have an unused or underutilized space in your hotel, or will you need to build the additional facility? The cost difference between the two can be significant and because it is all about the revenue per square foot that your spa will generate, and its ability to enhance your existing revenue sources so that you can justify your construction costs. A spa in a lodging environment must compliment and enhance your current operations. Spas are no longer amenities reserved for 4 and 5 star resorts. They are found in many varied lodging products, and when done correctly significantly bolster room rate, extend length-of-stay, fill in low- and shoulder-season demand, augment food and beverage revenues and create added spa and related retail revenue. READ MORE

Casey Olsen

If you were to look at your mid week business and reflect on your occupancy, meaning treatment room occupancy, you will get an idea of how your spa business can improve. We've all designed those lovely mid-week packages, that are a great deal, but it seems that few often work enough to fill those treatment rooms during the week, unless there are guests already planning to come to your property. Having created such packages for years and tracked their success, they do little to motivate the guest that had no intention of taking a vacation at the time your package is targeted, however, they can be the reason why they chose your spa over another. So, although you may not think that they are worth the marketing efforts, do no dispense with them. They are offered by your competitors and a potential guest will take note and compare. READ MORE

Peggy Borgman

About ten years ago, spa receptionists came of age. Shedding the gum-smacking image of the salon receptionist, these front line employees were renamed "spa concierges" and "spa coordinators." No longer did they simply book appointments, check clients in and out, and catch up on the salon gossip between customers. Spas had evolved, and their receptionists were now part of a professional customer-care team... READ MORE

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Coming up in June 2020...

Sales & Marketing: Technology Rules

It is impossible for any hotel to develop an effective sales and marketing plan that doesn't include a wide-ranging digital strategy. Online platforms have impacted virtually every aspect of their business, due to major changes in how Internet users research, plan, and book their hotel visits. As a result, a successful plan includes generating traffic through the use of a hotel website, social media, email and a myriad of other digital marketing technologies. One such strategy uses data collection and automation technology to create personalized content to individual customers. The goal of personalization marketing is to engage potential customers by communicating with them as individuals - to establish a more personal relationship - as a way of encouraging them to visit a property. Video marketing is also extremely important. Showing someone authentic video from a specific location is immersive and engaging, and video is still the preferred way for customers to interact with a hotel brand. Voice and Visual Search are increasingly in demand, as consumers are moving away from typing queries into a search engine. Instead, they can simply speak their request into their phone, and find and book a hotel without ever typing a word. Similarly, other platforms allow consumers to search visually for almost any image, and find out pricing information, shopping comparisons and how-to-buy - all from the app. The adoption of Artificial Intelligence is also becoming popular. The ability of chatbots to answer simple questions or fulfill requests 24/7 is undeniably appealing. In addition, A.I. seems best positioned to qualify leads that can be later nurtured and closed by a human sales expert - all at a fraction of the cost of a traditional support team. The June Hotel Business Review will examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating these innovative technologies into their operations.