Incorporating Nature Into the Spa and Wellness Experience

By Maggy Dunphy Spa Director, Stowe Mountain Lodge | July 26, 2015

Spending time in nature is the best remedy to improve your quality and outlook on life. It also provides the
simplest, most cost effective and innovative opportunities to have a positive impact on our overall well-being.

Global Wellness Tourism is a $3.4 trillion business as reported by the 2013 Global Wellness Report.

Dr. Deepak Chopra noted in a recent speech that, "Wellness is the number one trend in the world today." And
Ophelia Yeung, senior consultant, Center for Science, Technology & Economic Development, SRI, and one of
the report's lead researchers, argued that she only sees more growth ahead: "Prevention-challenged traditional
healthcare systems, and an obesity and chronic disease crisis, are simply costing people and governments too
much. So, it's a very good bet that the double-digit annual growth rates across these wellness sectors we've
tracked these last few years should continue, as more people proactively change the way they eat, exercise,
travel, work and live – and more governments are inevitably forced to shift more money to the prevention side of the medical equation."

This alone tells us that people are seeking opportunities to de-stress, eat well, sleep better and experience a better state of being. It is our obligation to provide this to the ever growing population of people looking to improve their lifestyles so they can experience and enjoy a more sustainable and happy life. The traditional spa offering of massages, facials, body treatments and manicures are just a small part of the wellness puzzle. Global Wellness Industry is telling us that consumers are seeking more than just opportunities to pamper themselves and look good. They are seeking the overall approach to living a better and more fulfilling life.

Wellness embodies all areas of our lives and is so much bigger than just physical well-being. There are actually seven dimensions of wellness that impact how we live day in and day out in the daily routine of our lives. These seven areas of wellness include social wellness, emotional wellness, spiritual wellness, environmental wellness, occupational wellness, intellectual wellness and physical wellness.

Each of these areas act together and synergistically in many ways that contributes to the quality of life we choose to live. To get a better understanding of the various areas of wellness I compiled information from several sources in order to define and better understand the wellness puzzle.

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Guest Service: A Culture of YES

In a recent global consumers report, 97% of the participants said that customer service is a major factor in their loyalty to a brand, and 76% said they view customer service as the true test of how much a company values them. And since there is no industry more reliant on customer satisfaction than the hotel industry, managers must be unrelenting in their determination to hire, train and empower the very best people, and to create a culture of exceptional customer service within their organization. Of course, this begins with hiring the right people. There are people who are naturally service-oriented; people who are warm, empathetic, enthusiastic, pleasant, thoughtful and optimistic; people who take pride in their ability to solve problems for the hotel guests they are serving. Then, those same employees must be empowered to solve problems using their own judgment, without having to track down a manager to do it. This is how seamless problem solving and conflict resolution are achieved in guest service. This willingness to empower employees is part of creating a Culture of Yes within an organization.  The goal is to create an environment in which everyone is striving to say “Yes”, rather than figuring out ways to say, “No”. It is essential that this attitude be instilled in all frontline, customer-facing, employees. Finally, in order to ensure that the hotel can generate a consistent level of performance across a wide variety of situations, management must also put in place well-defined systems and standards, and then educate their employees about them. Every employee must be aware of and responsible for every standard that applies in their department. The April issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some leading hotels are doing to cultivate and manage guest satisfaction in their operations.