Hotel Spa: Back to Nature

Hotel Spa: Back to Nature

As the Wellness Industry continues to expand, hotel spas are also diversifying, placing a greater emphasis on overall well-being. For some spas, this means providing clients with all-inclusive packages that include fitness classes, healthy dining, and offsite leisure activities, in addition to their core services. For example, spas near ski resorts are offering packages that include lift passes, pre-ski yoga sessions, after-ski dinners and spa treatments. Other spas are offering packages that include massages, saunas, mineral baths, hot springs, and recreational hiking and snowmobile activities. These kinds of spa offerings are also part of a "Back to Nature" movement that encourages guests to get out and experience the healing qualities of nature. One such therapy is the Japanese practice known as "forest bathing" which has become popular with spas that are near wooded areas. This practice relies on the ancient power of a forest for promoting a sense of health and well-being. Other spas are incorporating precious metals and stones into their health and beauty treatments - such as silver, gold, pearls and amber. Silver ion baths relax the body and mind, reduce fatigue, and restore energy balance. Gold keeps skin radiant and can even treat various skin diseases and infections, due to its antibacterial qualities. Amber is used to calm the nervous system and to relieve stress. Other natural products and therapies that are increasingly in demand include sound therapy, cryotherapy, infra-red saunas, and even CBD oil, which is being used in massages, facials and foot scrubs, providing a new form of stress relief. The July issue of the Hotel Business Review will document these trends and other new developments, and report on how some hotel spas are integrating them into their operations.

Library Archives


This month's feature articles...

Mia A. Mackman

As the hospitality industry continues to encounter pervasive uncertainty and global challenges, making constructive use of this critical period is essential. Despite a natural yearning to pursue confident planning, reopening and immediate recovery; many of these plans are heavily contingent upon new and evolving urgencies. In this article, Mia A. Mackman, principal and founder of Mackman|ES, Spa and Wellness Consulting and HVS Managing Director, provides a thought-provoking silver-lining analysis of what is currently happening and what is yet to evolve in today's health & wellness industry. This article also shares perspectives on new demand cycles, recovery expectations and emerging possibilities through 2024. READ MORE

Herve Blondel

Hospitality expert and Rancho La Puerta's General Manager Herve Blondel shares his key takeaways in re-opening a destination spa in the wake of COVID-19. Most notably, he discusses the incredibly large focus on wellness (now more than ever) and the importance of providing guests with the ability to reset through customizable options and offerings. Additionally, Mr. Blondel speaks to the importance of integrating enhanced COVID-19 protocols and procedures into the guest experience - maintaining that it is imperative for guests to see the actionable steps in place to keep them safe and confident in their traveling experience, without disrupting their mindset of peace and relaxation. READ MORE

Camille Hoheb

When in a crisis, where can hotel spas look for practical business strategies to survive and thrive? It's the same place mankind has looked for inspiration – Mother Nature. A relatively new field called biomimicry has emerged that looks towards nature's engineering to solve modern-day problems. The genius in biomimicry extends to learning how to adapt during a crisis. Since the Industrial Revolution, humans have approached work in terms of areas of specialization, independence, and siloed thinking rather than organically working together as a system. Biomimicry can give insights into a variety of topics relevant to hotel spas from cultivating resilience, creating cooperation with peers to pivoting quickly in changing markets. READ MORE

Lisa Starr

As we recover from the current pandemic and guests begin venturing out again, their personal wellness will be a focus as never before. Whether for social-distancing requirements, or just the sense of space that guests crave, spas and hotels with outdoor spaces, or the incorporation of natural elements in the indoor spaces, will be more popular than ever. Utilizing the healing elements of nature creates a win-win in the spa and wellness facility environment, and fosters strong connections between the property and the guest in the future. READ MORE

Anne McCall Wilson

While spas may not be a current hotel priority, a concern for customer well-being certainly must be. As reopening starts, will brands and properties have the capacity, talent or capability to adapt their spas? What changing expectations will guests have? What about addressing the fears and expectations of spa employees and therapists? And with all of the downsizing who will lead these spa changes? Will brands even have time to re-imagine spas and take advantage of a potential opportunity to meet the needs of an increasingly sophisticated and growing wellness customer? This article discusses seven important considerations for future spa success. READ MORE

Laszlo Puczko

How much standardization is too much? It appears that such treatments, guest journeys, rituals and programs have been really memorable in a hotel spa context that could incorporate the locality to their value propositions. However trivial this may sound this can be a difficult task to accomplish. Given the strict brand standards of operators and management companies spa manager and therapists may granted with limited flexibility. Still, spas can gain real competitive value from all of the signatures. But can they really achieve that? Does this mean the end of standardized designs and treatment menus? How much flexibility brands can permit? READ MORE

Daniel Poulin

Forecasting is a skill our industry excels at in the best of times. From trends to revenue models, the quest to predict as accurately as possible what factors will have the greatest impact on our successes has proven to be a challenge since the COVID-19 health, social and economic crisis hit our industry in the spring of 2020. However, the 4.5 trillion dollars wellness industry may just be one of the crystal balls able to provide directions on how we adapt our wellness facilities and rethink our programming to welcome what we anticipate to be a health and well-being wave of unprecedented proportion that our industry for the most part may not be ready to handle. READ MORE

Laura Krohn

At this moment where there is heightened awareness and a global focus on health risks and disease prevention due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the need to strategize and re-imagine business operations in hotel and resort outlets has presented a unique opportunity for those offering spa and wellness programming. Hotel and resort spas have typically catered to the popular massage, facial, scrubs, wraps, fitness, and more recently, mindfulness offerings. What has been mostly absent from this sector is an integration of community partnering with science-based public health organizations, institutions, and experts. READ MORE

Cecilia Hercik

The Hawaii Spa Association is a non - profit entity, formed by Spa Directors from upscale hospitality brands located throughout all the Hawaiian Islands. We have spent extensive time and collaboration in the past few months working on creating re-opening guidelines for spa and beauty facilities that will help protect our guests and staff and create safe places for wellness. We have focused to keep the wellness community connected while most colleagues are in furlough without access to their jobs. Through weekly video chats and interviews with experts in different fields, we share advice and best practices keeping in mind how to maintain the aloha spirit we are famous for in this new normal. READ MORE

Robert Baldassari

The idea of getting back to nature has been a rising trend in hospitality during the past few years. No-one better than Mother Nature deserves the spotlight after her supportive way of just being there for us during this global pandemic. Record-breaking numbers of people have looked to nature during the last 3 months for hiking, biking, walking and SANITY. But, mother nature offers so much more. This is the perfect time to learn how mother nature heals…and also to make a commitment to help heal mother nature. READ MORE

Michael Koethner

We have arrived. We are here, at the doorsteps of the next dimensions of life. This is a clear and precise message for soul-filled humans. Our lives depend on each individual and the whole. The quote contains the purpose of each us on this planet and as a universal citizen. A strong message was delivered many years ago, that is right now taking place within each of us. Even the denial of that process is no longer valid. The old, very much outdated and incompatible systems no longer work and are literally disintegrating right in front of our eyes. READ MORE

Jeremy McCarthy

The hospitality industry is facing the greatest challenge in our lifetime as hotels around the world have been closed, international borders restricted, and flights cancelled in response to the novel coronavirus pandemic. There is no question that travel will return, but it won't be easy and the hospitality landscape is likely to be forever changed by current events. We are starting to see some signs of optimism in the countries that have made the most progress in terms of managing the virus, and these initial glimmers of hope are important because they give us a glimpse into the brighter future that lies ahead. READ MORE

Claire Way

The wellness industry pre Covid-19 had expanded rapidly. Hotel spas were diversifying placing greater emphasis on overall well-being. While at the time of writing this article many hotels are closed, the sentiment in the industry is positive. There is an all-time high in the level of interest for our health and well-being, with hotel spas poised to support this guest need. As a high-touch industry we need to re-imagine, for the short-term at least, how our programming remains relevant in the post Covid-19 landscape. This poses some challenges. Diversifying to attract a more wellness minded guest may be the solution. In this article we'll consider if a more diversified wellness offer is right for your spa and what low touch wellness services are trending with guests. READ MORE

Irene Macabante

While women all over the world have been staring and their hands and feet wondering when they'll ever get a mani-pedi again, nail salon owners have been anxiously awaiting word from local officials when it will be safe enough to reopen and serve their clients. By now, most know that it won't be business as usual, and many changes must be made to ensure the health and safety of not just guests and staff, but of society at large. If COVID-19 has taught us anything, it's that we all need to take science-based safety measures to prevent infection transmission. In the business of nails, it was important to have medical-grade sterilization before and now it's absolutely essential. READ MORE

Coming up in June 2021...

Sales & Marketing: Playing the Long Game

During an economic downturn, it is tempting to slash marketing budgets to make up for lost revenue. But smart hoteliers play the long game, knowing that companies who stay engaged with their customers will be the first to benefit from a rebound. Therefore, now is the time to renew and revamp sales and marketing strategies in order to be ready for what lies ahead. For example, this is a perfect time to refresh website content, social media and SEO.  The same for hotel blogs where content can be updated to give customers inspirational ideas as they begin to travel and meet again. Multimedia assets should also be revised with new photo/video shoots that provide accurate information about how setups, room configurations, and onsite offerings have changed to accommodate safer meetings and social distancing. The June Hotel Business Review will focus on the sales and marketing strategies that some hotels are adopting in anticipation of a recovery in 2021.