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.

Library Archives

 
Kimberley Matheson Shedrick

Research shows that guests see spas as nurturing environments to escape, heal and reconnect with their body and spirit. Successful hotel spas are creating spaces that use a holistic approach to wellness to give guests a healing setting for personal transformation. Spas that focus on a true wellness approach will be differentiated from the competition and build a successful business model as well. This article will explore the future of hotel spas and their place in creating deeply healing experiences for guests by taking ancient practices, adding pure ingredients and integrating modern results-driven science. READ MORE

David Stoup

Virtually every time I speak on a hospitality panel or at some other engagement and the subject of wellness comes up, the same four questions come up, What is wellness anyway? Can I increase profitability of my spa by integrating wellness programming? How can wellness (and my spa) increase the value of my property? After all the investment involved in building a spa and integrating a wellness program, can I achieve an acceptable return on my investment? The answers to these questions is the subject we will explore in this article. READ MORE

Michael G. Tompkins

The 2017 ISPA U.S. Spa Industry Study found that there are already an estimated 32,930 unfilled spa service provider positions in the United States. Massage therapists account for the largest number of unfilled positions with a total of 18,780 representing 57 percent of the openings in 2017. When looking at leadership positions, there were approximately 200 unstaffed full-time spa director positions and 1,030 spa manager positions. A shift in the senior living sector to become more mind-body-spirit-centric will naturally pull skilled workers from the spa and hospitality industries into senior living and healthcare. Conversely, the hospitality industry will begin to draw skilled employees from the healthcare and senior living industries. READ MORE

Ann Brown

In the midst of managing the day-to-day operations, hotel and spa owners and managers must constantly look forward and evaluate how to increase efficiency and profitability. As you balance overseeing current business and forecasting for the future, you are faced with the challenge of considering what changes will bring the most benefit to your organization. For spas, keeping watch of the latest trends in the spa industry and making relevant changes to your facility, treatment menu and customer service practices are important for success. But how do you know which trends and latest innovations will bring that success, and which ones may not be worth their return on investment? READ MORE

Renee Moorefield

Wellness tourism alone amounts to $1.6 trillion worldwide and has grown twice as fast as tourism overall. The business case for delivering a robust wellness proposition to your hotel guests is clear. Yet, is your organization authentically walking its wellbeing talk? This article shares how four organizations from diverse industries are making wellbeing strategic and building work environments to unleash human thriving for greater fulfillment, performance, and impact. The article also offers a vision of the hospitality industry as uniquely positioned to be a force for wellbeing, benefiting your organization, evolving humanity, and uplifting our planet. READ MORE

Nancy Griffin

The rewards of a successful spa retail program are vast. This article provides best practices to launch a robust retail program online and offline. With proper resources and support, hotels and resorts will realize healthy profits, a higher level of guest satisfaction, and recognition as a true wellness brand. Make a commitment to your guest’s wellness by offering home care programs that will extend the spa experience long after guests leave your property. Don’t underestimate the power of one spa product to carry positive memories that will lead to loyalty and repeat visits. READ MORE

Jeremy McCarthy

Wellness has gone mainstream in the hospitality industry, but few companies are considering that the largest driver of human wellbeing for the foreseeable future will be our relationship with technology. In favor of our modern devices we are sacrificing sleep, movement, safety, healthy relationships, mental health, productivity and more. Hotels and spas that are serious about wellness will need to educate themselves on the impact of technology on human wellness and consider their role in society as a place to experience the true modern luxuries: mindfulness, silence, meaningful connection, and respite from technology. READ MORE

Camille Hoheb

In this article, we explore wellness tourism and how the hospitality industry as a whole can better leverage wellness to maximize revenue. A new perspective and one that comprehensively addresses the domains of wellness can offer significant insights into maximizing hotel spa revenue by creating better products, experiences, and promotions. Further, research is introduced from Wellness Tourism Worldwide including PEACE, an acronym that frames the wellness traveler experience as both a mental process and as an outcome,. Other hospitality consultants weigh in on the subject. READ MORE

Vanessa Viadero

The word deprivation is defined as the state of being kept from possessing, enjoying, or using something – the state of being deprived. The word remains stigmatized by most, especially when referring to taking something away our basic senses. However, Sensory deprivation, or REST (Restricted Environmental Stimulation Therapy) has more benefits than it name portrays – from deep relaxation and improved serotonin levels to relieving chronic pain to promoting healing and energizing your skin and immune system, nothingness is the new everything. Floatation is part therapy, part meditation, part transcendence and all relaxation. Classically known as sensory deprivation, floatation therapy is suitable for everyone. READ MORE

Ann Brown

In today’s world, we’re connected in ways we’ve never been before. Our smartphones, tablets and laptops are great for building community and promoting businesses, but that constant connection brings high levels of stress — and our bodies are paying the price. Overexposure to environmental toxins exhausts us mentally, drains us physically and throws off our natural frequencies. By harnessing the healing properties of pure Himalayan salt in skillfully designed ways, hotels and spas, epitomized as places of rest and relaxation, can deliver the rebalancing our clients need and the calm they crave. READ MORE

Lisa Starr

Today’s hotel guest is often subject to increasing levels of stress, sometimes brought on by the journey to the hotel itself! Upon arriving at the hotel property, whether for work or leisure, guests are seeking a way to integrate wellness practices into their daily activities. The hotel spa beckons as a traditional oasis of calm and tranquility, offering guests a respite from the daily grind. But today’s hotel spas have evolved far beyond the standard menu; cutting-edge hotel brands are providing opportunities for guests to experience deeper and longer-lasting well-being activities and treatments, often extending outside of a spa treatment room, to positively impact their stay in multiple ways, and encourage return visits. READ MORE

Laszlo Puczko

Is it still relevant to think of hotel spas as designated spaces within a hotel building? Any hotel owner, developer or manager needs to be reminded that while the term spa refers to a physical space the more compelling well-being refers to a specific value proposition. Guests are looking more for valuable experiences and less for specific spaces. Still, many hospitality projects overdevelop the spa space which then underperforms in terms of financial return. The well-being concept can be applied to any hotel at any location. The application of the well-being concept can provide hotel with added value in the competition for market share. READ MORE

Trent Munday

Most hotel spas don't sell a lot of retail product. In fact, neither do hotels. But with a downward trend in bricks and mortar retail and an upward trend in Wellness, there just might be a new opportunity emerging. Instead of retail being an afterthought, how about taking a Retail First approach? In so doing, you will not only increase your revenues but also go a long way to establishing your hotel as a genuine Lifestyle Brand. The future for hotel and spa retail is now. READ MORE

Lynne McNees

In today's fast-paced digital world, spas have become a respite from the stresses of everyday life. As wellness vacations increase, resort spas have positioned themselves as the perfect place to unwind and disconnect, even if just for a little while. Every part of the spa experience should be seamless and stress-free, but to complete the wish of the savvy traveler, spas must be the ones to connect in order to allow their customers to disconnect. Spas need the latest technologies and operating systems to function at the highest level so their customers can truly have a worry-free experience. READ MORE

Coming up in November 2018...

Architecture & Design: Expecting the Unexpected

There are more than 700,000 hotels and resorts worldwide and the hotel industry is continually looking for new ways to differentiate its properties. In some cases, hotels themselves have become travel destinations and guests have come to expect the unexpected - to experience the touches that make the property unlike any other place in the world. To achieve this, architects and designers are adopting a variety of strategies to meet the needs of every type of guest and to provide incomparable customer experiences. One such strategy is site-integration - the effort to skillfully marry a hotel to its immediate surroundings. The goal is to honor the cultural location of the property, and to integrate that into the hotel's design - both inside and out. Constructing low-impact structures that blend in with the environment and incorporating local natural elements into the design are essential to this endeavor. Similarly, there is an ongoing effort to blur the lines between interior and exterior spaces - to pull the outside in - to enable guests to connect with nature and enjoy beautiful, harmonious surroundings at all times. Another design trend is personalization - taking the opportunity to make every space within the hotel original and unique. The days of matching decor and furniture in every room are gone; instead, designers are utilizing unexpected textures, mix-and-match furniture, diverse wall treatments and tiles - all to create a more personalized and fresh experience for the guest. Finally, lobbies are continuing to evolve. They are being transformed from cold, impersonal, business-like spaces into warm, inviting, living room-like spaces, meant to provide comfort and to encourage social interaction. These are a few of the current trends in the fields of hotel architecture and design that will be examined in the November issue of the Hotel Business Review.