Hotel Spa: Pursuing Distinction

The Wellness Movement continues to evolve and hotel spas continue to innovate in order to keep pace. Fueled by intense competition within the industry, hotel spas are seeking creative ways to differentiate themselves in the market. An increasing number of customers are searching for very specific, niche treatments that address their particular health concerns and, as a result, some leading spas have achieved distinction by offering only one specialized treatment. Meditation and mindfulness practices are becoming increasingly mainstream as are alternative treatments and therapies, such as Ayurvedic therapies, Reiki, energy work and salt therapy. Some spas specialize in stress management and offer lifestyle coaching sessions as part of their program. Other spas are fully embracing new technologies as a way to differentiate themselves, such as providing wearable devices that track health and fitness biomarkers, or robots programmed with artificial intelligence to control spa environments, or virtual reality add-ons that transport guests to relaxing places around the world. Some spas have chosen to specialize in medical procedures such as liposuction, laser skin therapy, phototherapy facials, Botox and facial fillers, acupuncture and permanent hair removal, in addition to cosmetic body shaping procedures and teeth whitening treatments. Similarly, other spas are offering comprehensive health check-ups and counseling services for those who are interested in disease prevention treatments. Finally, as hotel spas continue to become more diverse, accessible and specialized, there is a growing demand for health professionals with a specific area of expertise. There is a proliferation of top class, quality wellness practitioners who make a name for themselves by offering their services around the globe, including athletes, chefs, doctors, physical trainers and weight loss specialists. 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.

Trending articles this week...

David Stoup

The global spa market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 5.66 percent by 2021, and brand positioning enabling premium pricing will be the market driver of that growth. But hotel spas should not be regarded with a "build it and they will come" approach. In fact, if your hotel has an 80-percent occupancy rate, it's not unfair to suspect your spa is utilizing only 15 percent of its capacity on average. The problem is that many spas are built as an amenity for the hotel. That mentality needs to change if owners expect to capture the revenue potential of the space, especially in a world that continues to move to a wellness mindset. READ MORE

Diana Mestre

Traditionally spa and wellness operations have been centered on performance and profitability, with little regard for architectural design strategies that will allow the spa to perform efficiently and operate from a seamless experiential platform. Innovative new spa & wellness designs will have a definite impact on the guest´s experiences and expectations and will make a difference in the bottom line of the Spa. Planning how to design an operating a Spa under the seven senses is vital for the financial success of the spa, and for the creation and implementation of a memorable, impeccable and unforgettable wellness experience for the guest. READ MORE

Lynne McNees

What if you could bring the spa to your guests, in the comfort and privacy of their hotel room? Many hotels have learned they can fill a gap in the service market by offering in-room spa experiences and amenities without the need for extra staffing. Opening the door for guests to enjoy the limitless benefits of spa in their rooms for small fees boosts revenue and aligns the hotel brand with a passion for wellness experiences, which are becoming more and more sought after among traveling professionals. Do your rooms offer experiences? READ MORE

Alisha Fleming

Right now, at hotel resorts across the country, guests are enjoying the rejuvenating benefits of a spa day. They treat themselves to botanical facials, sip on complimentary beverages and indulge in an aromatherapy massage. But behind the scenes, an attentive spa staff is taking steps to mitigate risk and avoid potential workers' compensation or general liability claims. Spas regularly deal with workers' compensation claims, most often repetitive motion injuries and general liability claims resulting from slip-and-fall accidents. To help mitigate risk in their facilities, there are several best practices spas can put in place. READ MORE

Library Archives

Michael G. Tompkins

These are the best of times, and the worst of times... With spa and wellness industry data showing record numbers of visitors and revenues, increases in guest demand and therapist utilization are being offset by labor shortages of licensed massage therapists and estheticians, causing decreases in room utilization. What are spa businesses doing with those unused rooms to generate revenue during this workforce challenged time? Michael Tompkins, partner with Hutchinson Consulting and Past ISPA Chairman, discusses new trends showing up in the market to enhance revenue maximization in today's spas. READ MORE

Marcela Trujillo

While the core of revenue management remains constant, it can be maximized to drive growth in other areas like food and beverage, golf – especially the hotel spa. The spa appeals to a variety of travelers, from the guest on vacation to professionals in need of an hour of relaxation on a business trip. In this article, hotel revenue management expert Marcella Trujillo shares her best tips and strategies for applying the process to increase revenue and financial success at hotel spas. READ MORE

Jim Croghan

Millions of dollars each year are spent on launching the finest spas the world has to offer. Yet time and again, these sumptuously-designed spas with world-class amenities and fantastic technicians begin to struggle shortly post-launch. There are several reasons why these properties start to under-perform so quickly, but the number one reason that we've seen over our 20+ years in the business is a lack of standards training from seasoned professionals. The spa industry is built on wellness, compassion, beauty, and relationships – and successful leaders in the industry have a passion for all these things. Passion alone is not enough for success in this business, however. Successful operators excel because of training. READ MORE

Robert Baldassari

As people face challenges throughout life, they often need a restart button or something to give them a new, fresh perspective. Whether it is an illness, a divorce, a death, a job promotion or change in career, a new baby or a new relationship…life is hectic. Wellness travel helps to put life into perspective and find healthy outlets to make the most of a situation- creating a very fulfilling experience. Many guests find it beneficial to schedule these "resets" multiple times a year because of the difference they feel afterwards. READ MORE

Ann Brown

Impactful spa wellness is all about the approach, and that approach begins with self-evaluation. By answering three equally important questions - 1. How does our mission connect to our menu? 2. What do our guests really need? 3. How does my treatment menu advance our guests' wellness goals? - spa industry professionals can identify what's working, what's not working and how creative ways of integrating modalities can help guests along their wellness journeys. With the right modeling and encouragement of physical, mental and nutritional well-being, your clients will have all the tools they need to start new, healthy habits today. READ MORE

Claire Way

Wellness has been adopted by consumers with a passion that doesn't show any sign of slowing down. It has moved from niche to mainstream and millions are being invested up and down hotel value chains. Where spa is often eliminated from the urban hotel model due to space allocation and return, wellness has the potential to be a different value proposition. The days when location and cost were the only factors hotel guests considered when booking a hotel are fading rapidly. For an increasing number of guests another crucial factor in helping them decide where to stay; wellness! READ MORE

Cecilia Hercik

Trends in the wellness market are showing that the lines between Medical Spas, Resort Spas and Destination Spas are beginning to blur. Aside from spa amenities like tennis courts, lap pools, hydrotherapy circuits and lifestyle-shifting spa treatments, some Resort Spas are taking on the characteristics of a Destination Spa by offering a variety of exercise classes, wellness lectures and global therapies like acupuncture, cupping, sound baths or even full day wellness retreats. Likewise, some Medical Spas are taking on the natural wellness concept by blending natural therapies with their minimally invasive medical procedures and advanced skincare rejuvenation services in a relaxed atmosphere of a spa-like environment. READ MORE

Kristi Dickinson

According to the Global Wellness Institute, Wellness tourism is forecasted to grow at an average of 7.5% through 2022, considerably faster than the 6.4% growth estimated for overall tourism. The spend will hit $919B, with 1.2B trips taken annually, by 2022. Wellness travelers are high-spending, high-yield tourists. International wellness tourists spend 53% more than typical international tourists and domestic wellness tourists spend 178% more than average domestic tourists. Hotel spas must evolve to attract these travelers. Kristi Dickinson, leader in industry innovation, makes the case for educating guests on the wellness lifestyle and securing a lifelong relationship and revenue stream. READ MORE

Coming up in August 2019...

Food & Beverage: Millennial Chefs Lead the Way

Led by Millennial chefs, hotels continue to foster sustainability, sourcing and wellness within their dining rooms and banquet spaces, and by all measures, this is responsible for an increase in their revenues. In many hotels, the food & beverage division contributes 50 per cent or more to hotel sales and they are currently experiencing double-digit growth. As a result, hotel owners are allocating an increasing amount of square footage for F&B operations. The biggest area of investment is in catering, which is thriving due to weddings, social events and business conferences. Hotels are also investing in on-site market or convenience stores that offer fresh/refrigerated foods, and buffet concepts also continue to expand. Other popular food trends include a rise of fermented offerings such as kombucha, kimchi, sauerkraut, tempeh, kefir and pickles - all to produce the least processed food possible, and to boost probiotics to improve the immune system. Tea is also enjoying something of a renaissance. More people are thinking of tea with the same reverence as coffee due to its many varieties, applications and benefits. Craft tea blending, nitro tea on tap and even tea cocktails are beginning to appear on some hotel menus. Another trend concerns creating a unique, individualized and memorable experience for guests. This could be a small consumable item that is specific to a property or event, such as house-made snack mixes, gourmet popcorn, macaroons, or jars of house-made jams, chutneys, and mustards -all produced and customized in house. One staple that is in decline is the in-room minibar which seems to have fallen out of favor. The August issue of the Hotel Business Review will document the trends and challenges in the food and beverage sector, and report on what some leading hotels are doing to enhance this area of their business.