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.

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Jessica Kaiser

While our nation's lockdown is loosening, we still won't see a 100% return to business as usual for some time. So your content marketing strategy shouldn't act like it has. According to Jessica Kaiser, CEO of leading hotel marketing agency Hawthorn Creative, if you're a hotel or resort that has recently re-opened or is in preparation to do so in the near future, here are the ways to best use your content (blog posts, email campaigns, and social media) to not just encourage bookings but to ease your guests' concerns and get them excited about future travel to your destination. 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

Allison Handy

The impact of the coronavirus pandemic has hit the hospitality sector like a sledgehammer. As hotels around the country prepare for reopening, however, it's incumbent upon hotel owners and operators to demonstrate that they have not only absorbed the blow, but also the hard-but-necessary lessons about what it will take to flourish in a post-quarantine world. The good news is that leading hotel management companies have been doing just that, pivoting to new approaches and integrating new operational realities. While the operational modifications safeguarding guest and employee health are likely to be the most visible evidence of that adaptive flexibility, it is behind the scenes in sales and marketing where there is potential for truly transformative change. READ MORE

Florence Quinn

Now that states have begun to lift stay-at-home orders, people are venturing out. For hoteliers to secure their business, it's important to first understand who is traveling, where they are going and what's important to them. Armed with this information, hoteliers can then craft messaging, programs and offers that cater to consumers' level of comfort, interests and desires. To recoup lost revenue and jump start the comeback, it's important that hotels get in front of American travelers to capture their attention and dollars. To start the creative gears churning, here are eight ways to increase buzz, connect with travelers and increase bookings. READ MORE

Jamie Sigler O'Grady

Over the last few years, travel and hospitality were at an all-time high, and the industry's biggest concern was the over-tourism of some of the world's most beautiful destinations. Fast forward to the COVID-19 global health pandemic, which has forced us to reevaluate the ways in which we think about, talk about and approach travel, resulting in a redesigned hotel sales and marketing landscape. In this article, Jamie Sigler O'Grady, founding partner of top hospitality PR firm J Public Relations shares her insights on how hotels must set aside everything we once knew about marketing and communications to best predict where we will go as we navigate these unprecedented times. READ MORE

Marie Profant

In support of the travel industry recovery, a Santa Barbara based company is offering strategic solutions for hotels seeking new ways to both increase hotel sales and offer new value for hesitant visitors. These techniques could influence success for a range of departments, from F&B to Convention Sales to Front Desk and online booking. Embedding virtual products within hospitality functions is a timely way for hotels to promote their property, encourage direct bookings, upsell appetizers, and keep the kids entertained. Since hotel managers have extreme reopening challenges, these strategies involve hands-free implementation based on technology, however they are bound by the premise that destinations stories are the "comfort food" of hotel marketing. READ MORE

Michelle Anseeuw

It is a new era for Sales & Marketing in the Hospitality industry. Uncertain future demand, new customer demographics, reduced base business, new venue restrictions and many similar factors are likely to impact how Sales & Marketing teams perform business during these times. It is imperative to consider all tactics and strategies that will deliver optimum results, as well as pushing them into fruition in order to redefine success. Old methods and customary approaches must be reimagined, and teams must be resilient in order to reinvent themselves and their hotels in order to gain a larger share of the smaller market. READ MORE

Brenda Fields

During this pandemic and for many years to come, there will be significant analysis on lessons learned. And there will be innovations and new ways of thinking and doing business. The thoughtful hotelier has already determined that life is irreversibly altered and our understanding of hotels has forever changed. Deloitte Consulting has provided a leadership framework that breaks down this process: Respond. Recover. Thrive. It is how that process is managed that is the key. And one can argue that, at the heart, is marketing. 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

Lucille Yokell

In preparing for this story I spoke with sales and operations people including general managers from the hotel side – small and large. Some are privately owned and flagged, some are independently owned and operated, some have management companies and others are part of the larger branded organizations. I spoke with customers – those with corporate travel programs, those who book individual travel, those who organize corporate meetings and events and those who contract with hotels to then resell the rooms to the public either directly or through another company. I also spoke to guests. And one thing we can all agree on is that some big changes are coming… READ MORE

Stephanie Smith

Along with many other budgets, marketing budgets for 2020 have been drastically cut to make up for a lack of revenue due to COVID-19 and travel restrictions. If you find yourself struggling to research marketing trends and evaluating your website performance, there are a lot of useful and free digital marketing tools available. In this article, Stephanie Smith from Cogwheel Marketing outlines TEN marketing resources that hotels can start using right now and will not cost a dime. These free marketing tools analyze your website performance, provide trend data and ways to analyze what the competition is doing. 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

Jeffrey Hirsch

Industry insiders across a range of businesses, including hotels, all seem to have the same rosy view of the future. "Working together, the (your category here) industry will come back stronger than ever." If it were only so. The corporate world has discovered that working from home and conducting meetings on Zoom, while not ideal, work just fine. Moreover, the trade-off of keeping people healthy (now) and saving significant sums on travel (now and in the future), will almost certainly offset any perceived advantages of in-person meetings. This article lays out the grim prognosis while offering recommendations for a new vision of the industry. READ MORE

Federico Pilurzu

Cala Luna Boutique Hotel & Villas strives to protect the environment and educate guests about its importance, all while providing world-class service in a paradisiacal setting. Travelers are getting savvier and are taking into consideration their carbon footprint while booking their vacation and even business trips. They are also thinking about the impact they have on the local community with over tourism becoming an important global issue. Cala Luna is proud to hold the highest Sustainable Tourism certification (level five) from the Costa Rican Tourism Institute. Their sustainability efforts include solar energy, sustainably-farmed produce, bamboo straws, beach cleanups, and more. READ MORE

Clifford Ferrara

The novel coronavirus pandemic has changed everything. Forward-thinking hotel owners and operators have moved past the initial urgent priorities of the early days and weeks of the shutdown to begin addressing planning and preparation for what's next. That planning includes not just operational changes, but fundamental shifts impacting every part of the sales process, from staffing to staying connected with guests. Smart hotel management professionals are sharpening messaging to address evolving guest priorities, becoming more flexible, more creative, and finding new ways to add value, as you will read in this article by Chesapeake Hospitality's Clifford Ferrara. READ MORE

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Coming up in August 2020...

Food & Beverage: New Technological Innovations

In the past few years, hotel food and beverage departments have experienced significant growth. Managers are realizing just how much revenue potential this sector holds, both in terms of additional revenue and as a means to enhance the guest experience. As a result, substantial investments are being made in F&B operations as a way to satisfy hotel guests but also to keep pace with the competition. Though it has been a trend for many years, the Farm-to-Table movement shows no signs of abating. Hotel chains are abandoning corporate restaurants and are instead partnering with local chefs to create locally-influenced dining options. Local, farm-sourced ingredients paired with specialty beverages or local wine also satisfies the increasing demand from Millennial travelers who are eager to travel sustainably and contribute to a positive impact. A farm-to-table F&B program also helps to support the local economy, which builds community goodwill. Also popular are "Self-Serv" and "Grab & Go" options. These concepts stem from an awareness that a guest's time is limited and if a hotel can supply them with fast, fresh, food and beverage choices, then so much the better for them. Plus, by placing these specialty kiosks in areas that might be traditionally under-utilized (the lobby, for instance), they can become popular destination locations. Of course, there are new technological innovations as well. In-room, on-screen menus allow guests to order from any restaurant on the property, and some hotels are partnering with delivery companies that make it possible for guests to order food from any restaurant in the area. Also, many hotels are implementing in-room, voice-activated devices, so ordering food via an AI-powered assistant will soon become mainstream as well. The August issue of the Hotel Business Review will report on these developments and document what some leading hotels are doing to expand this area of their business.