Hotel Spa: Measuring the Results

As the Hotel Spa and Wellness Movement continues to flourish, spa operations are seeking new and innovative ways to expand their menu of services to attract even more people to their facilities, and to meet guest expectations. Among many new developments, there seems to be a growing emphasis on science to define and measure the results of spa treatments. Whether it's spa, fitness, wellness or beauty services, guests are becoming increasingly careful about what they ingest, inhale or put on their skin, and they are requesting scientific data on the treatments they receive. They are open to exploring the benefits of alternative therapies - like brain fitness exercises, electro-magnetic treatments, and chromotherapy - but only if they have been validated scientifically. Similarly, some spas are integrating select medical services and procedures into their operations, continuing the convergence of hotel spas with the medical world. Parents are also increasingly concerned about the health and well-being of their children and are willing to devote time and money to overcome their poor diets, constant stress, and hours spent hunched over computer, tablet and smartphone screens. Parents are investing in wellness-centric family vacations; yoga and massage for kids; mindfulness and meditation classes; and healthy, locally sourced, organic food. For hotel spas, this trend represents a significant area for future growth. Other trends include the proliferation of Wellness Festivals which celebrate health and well-being, and position hotel spas front and center. Finally, look for the Korean beauty movement to maintain its position as a world leader in affordable, innovative, and well-marketed cosmetic products for both women and men. The July issue of the Hotel Business Review will report on these trends and developments and examine how hotel spas are integrating them into their operations.

Library Archives

Krista Heinicke

Because of the various food-related television series, podcasts, and websites, today's guests are certainly more knowledgeable when it comes to the culinary aspect of their visit, whether it is for vacation or attending a meeting. Today, there is no longer a standard formula for group dining and the development of group dining menus, especially when specific dietary requirements need to be addressed. This creates an interesting challenge when creating and developing menus for hotels. However, whether it is a group of 10 or 700, the end goal is the same: Satisfy the needs and wants of each one of the attendees. READ MORE

Robert Habeeb

As so many hotel owners and operators can attest, food-focused travel is on the rise. The trend is unmistakable: more and more hotel guests are selecting destinations and planning itineraries around regional, local, or even restaurant-specific food and beverage options. These guests, referred to as culinary travelers, not only make food and drink experiences a priority during their travels, they are often willing to go well out of their way to make those experiences happen. Experience is the key word here. We are in an experience economy and consumers are placing a great deal of value on the F&B experience. Look at the trend in roof top bars for example. READ MORE

Eli Fortney

The dining experience in the hotel and resort environment has been changing for decades. Gone are the days when most Americans eat meat and potatoes, and the occasional salad, for dinner. Immigrants from all over the world who settled into the urban areas of our country brought culturally significant dishes that opened up a whole new supply chain of ingredients, and introduced flavor profiles unfamiliar to the food scene. READ MORE

John Signorelli

We, as Chefs, respectfully kick around the terms Hybrid, Old-World, and Artisanal often enough. Chefs know that hybrid, old-world, artisanal, or obscure ingredient usage in dishes bring a particular wow-factor to the plate. Sourcing and utilizing artisanal grains, starches, legumes or vegetables which are under-appreciated and under-utilized, or quite possibly forgotten about over time, is a highlight feature of today's creative chefs, many of whom will grow the ingredients themselves and feature on special menus, unlike any other. READ MORE

Bryan Green

A tremendous opportunity exists today for hotels and resorts to once again raise the bar and incorporate experiences crafted around trends that are presently driving the fitness industry. Today's best operators know that the lines between the commercial health club offering and the hospitality based fitness center are becoming increasingly blurred. In the world of fitness, two significant trends are driving the landscape by which new facilities are born, and existing spaces re-imagined: Functional Training & Technology. Together, these two factors are powering the emergence of socially driven exercise and virtually guided training sessions that are shaking the landscape of nearly every aspect of the fitness industry. READ MORE

Mia Kyricos

Travel and tourism remains one of the world's largest industries, representing over 10% of global GDP and forecasted to grow 3.7% in 20179.(1) Wellness Tourism, or travel associated with the pursuit of maintaining or enhancing one's personal wellbeing, is growing twice as fast as the overall sector, and exists at nearly a $600 billion global enterprise.(2) In her annual contribution to the Hotel Business Review, Mia Kyricos, an expert in wellness-driven hospitality, gives us the status of the wellness tourism industry as we know it today, as well as a glimpse of what new opportunities exist on the horizon. READ MORE

David Stoup

Properly operated hotel spas provide an owner the opportunity to boost property profits while driving additional value through the implementation of robust Social Media and Public Relations programming, and the sale of incremental, attractive room packages. The question is: are you providing your spa with the support and experience necessary to achieve these objectives? Unfortunately, it is all too common for Hotel Spas to be under-performing in some, if not all, the above categories. If that is the case, a spa asset manager may be a worthwhile investment for your property. READ MORE

Martin Kipping

At Viceroy Zihuatanejo, in 2015, I began forming a new vision for our resort spa to help guests achieve true wellness. I knew we needed to offer much more than just providing traditional spa treatments and services because achieving true wellness would require a resilient attitude and rejuvenating lifestyle to help balance our guests' physical, mental and spiritual energy. In other words, true wellness encompasses an on-going vibrant, stress-reducing way of living that leads to happiness and contentment. I also realized that just dispensing healthy facts would not necessarily lead guests to adopt healthier, wellness-oriented lifestyles. Instead, guests seeking wellness would need to feel inspired and empowered as well as being educated. READ MORE

Claire Way

How many of us would admit that we are addicted to our screens? The need to be in the know is a habit that is hard to break. Parents, recognizing this addiction in themselves, and the effects on their well-being are increasingly concerned about the effect screen addiction will have on their children. To counteract this, parents are investing time and money in helping their kids develop better habits; this is where spas can play a key role. Encouraging children to connect with wellness for prevention ensures they grow-up with the knowledge and passion to remain in the best health. READ MORE

Michael G. Tompkins

In the last decade, we have seen an increased willingness of hospitality and spa companies to cross geographical and cultural divides and move into markets outside of their traditional regions. It is really a function of and a result of globalization, which is impacting all business sectors. One geographical jump that seems to be getting a lot of attention these days is the Asian hospitality market. Big investors in the East are diving head-first into the Western wellness boom by buying landmark spa properties in the United States, recruiting top executive talent to lead their spa divisions in Asia, and integrating their traditional spa modalities with modern wellness culture. READ MORE

Sylvain Pasdeloup

Many luxury, five-star beach resorts on the world-famous holiday island destination of Bali put their spa and wellness services and facilities as among their top features. Many also promote their spa and wellness features as ‘one-stop' retreat highlights, with all-round spa-and-stay packages available, tailored to cover the essentials, ranging from health-conscious dining (oftentimes with calorie counts and other nutritional aspects taken in), various fitness and recreational activities to be had on the resort grounds, with treatments at the resort's dedicated spa facility or onsite beauty clinics. The trends in spa and wellness have recently gone further with science-based aspects included. READ MORE

Robert Vance

Wellness tourism not only drives revenue, it is a required service for any luxury property. Total revenue for the spa industry surpassed $16 billion in 2015 and is anticipated to exceed $20 billion by 2020. Further encouragement, a recent ISPA study showed that 56% of millennials have visited a spa within the last year; never have we seen a demographic so involved in wellness. Guests are savvier when it comes to healthy hotel concepts and hold higher programming expectations. Thus, as the hospitality industry commits to developing wellness platforms, the rewards of investing in guest health far outweigh the risks. READ MORE

Laszlo Puczko

Is wellness still attractive? Wellness providers need to look at developments in the wider healthcare (or medical) arena. There they will discover revived traditional healing approaches, cross-over services and treatments as well as new facility types which already challenge the wellness and tourism markets. Lifestyle medicine, longevity medicine and integrative health approaches will continue to complement, if not replace wellness services, and consequently spas... READ MORE

Trent Munday

Hotel spas have come a long way, yet they haven't really gone anywhere. While the world around us has changed significantly in the last twenty years or so, the hotel spa has not. Spas have become a standard feature in most 4 Star and 5 Star hotels. Guests have come to expect a spa in these hotels. But does that mean they will use it? The numbers seem to suggest the answer is no - at least not like they used to. So, what is the Future of the Hotel Spa Business? Here's some thoughts for you to consider. READ MORE

Leslie Wolski

Over the last ten years those of us in the spa industry have been embracing the Wellness Movement. Wellness has been the core value of spas for centuries, but hotel spas finally started focusing on it. Health benefits were highlighted and the old school pampering label was discarded. Menus were expanded, new and innovative services added and in some cases spas completely rebranded. This paradigm shift was made in the hopes of meeting our guests' growing demand for all things wellness. Now, however, our guests are asking us why and how. Why and how does wellness work? READ MORE

Ann Brown

Today's hotels and spas must step up to meet the needs of today's more wellness-savvy consumer and stay competitive in the marketplace. Today's guests understand what aging and stress can do to their bodies, and they want to minimize the damaging effects caused by busy lifestyles. Increasingly mainstream awareness about holistic health and wellness needs has led to guests looking for spa and hotel experiences that provide a true circuit of wellness — a comprehensive experience that begins from the moment they walk onto the property and is intentional throughout their visit and helps them achieve their longevity and wellness goals.? READ MORE

Greg Miller

When hiring a great spa director, and in my time, I have hired a few, you look for qualities that will lead to a successful business. Historically, those qualities include operational acumen, relentless service focus and the almost supernatural ability to motivate passionate spa types. We rely on our directors to run these business units yet their skill set may lean more towards nurturing than analytical. After all, it's rare to find a leader who does everything well. Being resourceful sure helps especially considering the data we have at our fingertips that can influence strategy and critical decisions, like price. READ MORE

Cecilia Hercik

Designing a Spa Menu can be considered the most important part of owning a spa. This one small bit of media can be the difference between an extensive amount of revenue, a large and dedicated clientele, and high employee morale, versus next to no revenue, no clients, and an unhappy team. The task may seem a daunting one, but once you are underway, you'll find creating your menu will not only be easier than you thought, but you'll have fun doing it. READ MORE

Jacqueline Clarke

Science has been part of the spa, and the in-spa conversation for a long time. Indeed, you might say that the modern spa is built upon science and scientific arguments. The modern spa industry is built on science in that the very treatments, that were key to launching and to scaling this industry, originated in the many different “scientific pasts” that the modern spas of today lay claim to. Today these born-in-science treatments are synonymous with, and also iconic of, the spa. One such treatment is a beauty treatment, and another is a wellness treatment. The beauty treatment is medicalized skin care, and the wellness treatment is massage. READ MORE

Jim Vandevender

Spas have been a revenue generating mainstay for resorts since travelling began. Resort and hotel spas make up only about 20% of the global spa market, and smart hoteliers know that the lucrative group market is not only a primary consideration in filling a resort's guest rooms, but it also is a significant contributor to the spa's revenue generating capacity as well. But just as important as it is for a resort to keep up on spa trends, unique challenges face a resort's spa business in the form of increased competition. If the rooms are not filled, available spa appointments go unreserved. READ MORE

Coming up in July 2018...

Hotel Spa: Oasis Unplugged

The driving force in current hotel spa trends is the effort to manage unprecedented levels of stress experienced by their clients. Feeling increasingly overwhelmed by demanding careers and technology overload, people are craving places where they can go to momentarily escape the rigors of their daily lives. As a result, spas are positioning themselves as oases of unplugged human connection, where mindfulness and contemplation activities are becoming increasingly important. One leading hotel spa offers their clients the option to experience their treatments in total silence - no music, no talking, and no advice from the therapist - just pure unadulterated silence. Another leading hotel spa is working with a reputable medical clinic to develop a “digital detox” initiative, in which clients will be encouraged to unplug from their devices and engage in mindfulness activities to alleviate the stresses of excessive technology use. Similarly, other spas are counseling clients to resist allowing technology to monopolize their lives, and to engage in meditation and gratitude exercises in its place. The goal is to provide clients with a warm, inviting and tranquil sanctuary from the outside world, in addition to also providing genuine solutions for better sleep, proper nutrition, stress management and natural self-care. To accomplish this, some spas are incorporating a variety of new approaches - cryotherapy, Himalayan salt therapy and ayurveda treatments are becoming increasingly popular. Other spas are growing their own herbs and performing their treatments in lush outdoor gardens. Some spa therapists are being trained to assess a client's individual movement patterns to determine the most beneficial treatment specifically for them. The July issue of the Hotel Business Review will report on these trends and developments and examine how some hotel spas are integrating them into their operations.