New Methods of Promoting the Hotel Spa

By Stacy Dreyfus President, Orchid Resorts & Escapes | May 22, 2011

For hotels seeking new methods of promoting the luxuries of their in-house spas, I kindly suggest you think of your potential clientele in terms of two groups: captive and non-captive audiences (meaning those both staying in your hotel and those that are not). These two groups can then be sub-divided by gender. Men and women make their own decisions based completely different with respect to direct purchases or spa services on beauty, self indulgence, relaxation and life in general.

Let's start with the captives. Captive guests can be marketed and promoted to in both "soft sell" and true classic ways. Some of which we most already know; a few prime examples are using specialty soap and one-of-a kind products in the rooms, sumptuous robes, new unique teas, etc., and in turn, sell these products retail at the spa, offering spa discounts to hotel and resort guests for multiple treatments, and so on.

Some ways to target men & women in a captive way are below...

Men:

  • If 'Fred' was staying at the hotel with his wife 'Wilma', who just had a fabulous massage and came back raving, perhaps it would benefit you to offer a discount on a second or third treatment, thus encouraging Fred to indulge when he otherwise wouldn't, and in turn generating more $$$.
  • Offer pressing and shoe shine services for men on-the-go while the spa treatments are underway.
  • Offer cuts and shaves complimentary with any 60 minute treatment
  • Locker room atmosphere and accoutrements; while you want to remain very upscale (no iron cage lockers, this isn't high school), offer higher end men's flip flops/slippers, dark colored masculine robes, products geared towards men, etc.
  • Place bath products in the shower areas for the male guests prior to bathing so they don't have to walk through the men's locker room carrying a loofah and scented body gel.
  • Include a pipe/cigar room private room or outside space if possible with city rules
  • Have spa treatments available wherever the guest may like (outside by pool, beach, in room, etc.) that could encourage more guests to indulge without having to leave their comfort zone or with a partner

Women:

  • Using environmentally friendly products is what a lot of ladies (& men) look for these days and having these products not being too strongly scented as this will mess with their usual perfumes or creams... An example would be a great new "environmentally green" product line by Bulgari. It is lightly scented and actually great for both sexes.
  • Offering specialty teas, wine or champagne while awaiting your treatment to start the relaxation process.
  • Starting off with a footbath or reflexology treatment…This could be a 10-15 minute special that is complimentary to get the ladies (or men) in the mood for their treatment. Foot baths are extremely inexpensive and can take the true treatment to the next level. It is the little things that make people talk about their spa experience and word-of-mouth makes the world go round!
  • Offering a take away gift with the hotel or resort spa logo based on the treatment they experienced to remind them to come back for more! Perhaps allowing them to take the flip-flops or lotion home with them?

Non captive audiences consist of local residents of a specific city or even those that travel from the surrounding area, along with guests at other hotels that may or may not include a spa. Be sure to promote the benefits and advantages that your spa offers over others in the city or local destination such as offering the special use of plunge pools, outside pool deck or sun deck along with other facilities that your hotel or resort offers. This entices new and repeat customers to come in and experience your spa and thus lead them to other areas of the hotel or resort. Special offers and promotions may include providing complimentary valet services at the resort or hotel or a spa lunch with certain treatments or packages. Takeaway gifts are a great way to remind your guests of their experience (which would, of course, be branded with your hotel's logo) and also promotes great word of mouth to friends, family and colleagues. Offer different spa packages or a spa passport that would include half or full days of various treatments and encourage them to buy more upfront in order to receive complimentary services and treatments at no extra charge or at a better price, similar to a spa passport idea. For high end or all inclusive packages, toss in a complimentary room night at the hotel or resort. This would encourage repeat business and promote higher occupancy too. Companion discounts are a great incentive to have a guest return and even bring back a friend, sister, daughter or a significant other.

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