Harsh winter months mean dry skin thirsty for restoration, but we have good news! Spring is officially here, and now is an opportune time to “sprout” new spa offerings that will lure your customers through those doors. Just as your guests feel the need to be revived, so do your spa amenities so shake off those shivery winter blues and welcome the new season using these insider tips from your fellow hotel experts.
Put the last few months behind you and prepare for the increase of demand in treatments that relieve guests’ winter bodies and spring them forward into their rejuvenated selves. During colder weather, it’s no surprise that many of your guests are cocooned and bundled up in an effort to stay warm. Because these are the months when skin is often neglected and drier than any other time of the year, help your guests break out of their shells by promoting exfoliation services and ‘rescue’ treatments.
“Lapis has developed a Winter Rescue Kit of custom made products which includes a recipe and winter-rescue suggested services like ‘Rescue My Hair’ and body facials,” said Josie Feria, Director of Spa Operations for Fontainebleau Miami.
Giving your guests the freedom of creating their own packages ensures that they are receiving the exact treatments they wanted. Guests like to feel in charge of the experiences they are paying for. When it comes to pampering and relaxation, a spa package or promotion that is too structures makes the sale transaction a less promising one for the guest, so give them the option to tailor one to fit their needs.
This is also the time of the year when people are most conscious of their figures (especially after hiding their figures underneath sweaters and coats all winter), so it’s important to make sure your offerings allow your guests to ‘exercise’ their rights to a fit body.
Brennan Evans, Spa Director at Fairmont Scottsdale Princess disclosed details about the property’s “New Year, New You,” membership program, which features exercise programs in which members can participate daily. “Offerings like Aerial Hammock Yoga, RipSurfer simulated surfing classes, fusion classes and CrossFit are all focused on helping [guests] burn off that excess holiday weight.”
Not only do the daily offerings appeal to the local patrons but guests who lead active lifestyles back home can keep up with their physical activities while away on vacation. And people love being a part of something that offers perks that are exclusive to its members. Memberships, in any form or department, have their own appeal and thrive well when there are good products and services to support them.
Another suggestion is to partner with professional trainers and consultants who can offer nutritional advice that will help guests sculpt their problem areas and shed those extra pounds. Many of your guests may not be attracted to the idea of working out alone, but the accessibility of a professional trainer not only entices individuals who need that extra verbal and expert motivation but it’s also an attractive offering for people traveling with others mindful of their figures (think wedding parties or corporate groups).
“You can work with our onsite exercise physiologist to help design a fitness program for you while taking advantage of our cutting edge technologies like the Bod Pod body composition analysis. All of these diagnostics help us more clearly design a customized program uniquely focused on your specific body type for maximum results,” said Evans.
How do you make your training programs even more attractive? Partner with top, recognizable brands and companies that any yogi in the today’s day and age will be able to identify with.
Sharon Ogawa, Spa Director for Spa Grande in Miami’s Grand Wailea, said, “We have our own team of fitness instructors, most of whom are Lululemon ambassadors in their field of practice.”
Likewise, Evans shared, “we have developed strategic partnerships with our local Lululemon athletic store in fun and creative ways that allow us to showcase our spa/wellness facility to their target audience/guests in a mutually beneficial manner.”
Top fitness brands already have a built-in audience so piggyback on it if you can. Let these brands be the ambassadors for your spa; invite them in to experience your spa in exchange for them advocating your offerings to their loyal patrons.
Experts urge you to remember to ‘stay classy’ or in other words, make sure your leisure offerings includes a variety of classes to keep your guests entertained. In recent years, guests have shown an increase in demand for activities that teach, educate and renew not only their bodies, but also their minds. Keep up with the hotel revolution by schooling your guests, or at least challenging their physique. Take it as an opportunity to showcase your property’s other attractions and features. Are you a beachfront resort? Offer some paddle boarding lessons (if the water’s currents allow). Do you sit on a golf course? Promote a golf and lunch package, tied to an afternoon spa treatment for the Mr. and Mrs. Do you have a great fitness center that you want to show off? Consider hot yoga, pilates or spin class.
Spa Grande does it right by recognizing that wellness is more than skin deep and they know that many of their customers are seeking lifestyle changes rather than just temporary fixes.
“Spa Grande's newest focus is our FARM to SPA menu of services, including coconut, honey, taro and other treatments,” said Ogawa. “Each service sustainably uses every part of a plant/ingredient in creating unique, effective and decadent treatments for the body.”
The treatment is not only a dream come true for your marketing and publicity departments (it serves as a great angle to pitch), but it provides an unparalleled sensory experience while still being highly effective. Guests who are conscious of their wellness will naturally gravitate to services that shout those magic words – organic, natural and eco-friendly. They are music to many ears and for you, may mean more sales and traffic.
What do you say when your spa client asks for suggestions on dining establishments within your hotel following their two-hour treatment? Where would you send them? Communicate with your F&B outlets and make it a win-win for everyone. Making sure there are healthy options on their menus shows your guests that you care about their well-being during their entire stay, not just within the walls of your spa facility.
Evans shares, “we have recently taken our spa cuisine menu resort wide - now available in all of our resort property outlets. This menu was designed with our Well & Being Registered Dietician along with our Executive Chef.”
If your entire property embraces the wellness concept, not only will your guests appreciate it, but it will show them that your hotel genuinely cares about their needs since it will be clear across all departments (catering and meeting room offerings should be included). And with dietary restrictions on the rise, it won’t hurt to look into creating vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options for those outlets.
Communicate with your marketing department and make sure your spa specials have a prominent spot on the website’s homepage. If you have a property newsletter, whether it’s printed or electronic, let your new spring treatments shine. If the spa has something you know is unique and exclusive to your hotel, tell your public relations team.
Feria said that “twice monthly, the spa team meets with Fontainebleau’s marketing team to execute promotions and develop content for the web site.” They take it even further by dominating one entire section in their guest newsletter with spa/salon and gym specials and events.
At Fairmont Scottsdale, their collateral is placed in all guest rooms and key wellness messaging is displayed on shower hanger tags that guests can use to bring in to the spa for a complimentary Q&A session with their wellness professionals. Not only is this a fun “call-to-action” tactic but it allows you to quantify exactly what the return rate is.
What else are experts saying spas need to do to elevate their games and to differentiate themselves amongst competitors? It may be in the beat, so turn it up a notch and be extra selective with your facility’s music. Keep in mind the different treatment types, your clients’ wide age range, the purpose of the visit and so forth.
“Our spa music is segmented [and] we aim to set the mood to complement the ongoing activities,” said Feria. “Additionally the treatment rooms have three channels so the therapists have some flexibility in setting the mood and accommodating a change to the music, per the guest’s request.”
Just because a spa is known for relaxation, that doesn’t mean the music should be identical throughout.
And remember - happy staff means happy guests. Get with the hotel team and human resources to develop a promotion that allows team members the opportunity to experience your spa. Perhaps this means inviting new hires to a treatment or two? Perhaps this means rewarding employees for their excellent customer service with a spa package that you are currently promoting. Not only does this generate feedback from them but it gives them a first-hand look at why they should also take pride in their spa.
So take a deep breath and relax; you can increase your spa’s revenue stream by implementing the right strategic efforts. Pay close attention to every detail of not only the spa’s facilities – lockers, lounges, treatments rooms and saunas – but also to the details across property – in-room, restaurants, digital marquee signs, newsletters and the website. The turn of the seasonal leaf is a great excuse to celebrate your destination so refresh the menu with care, demonstrate your genuine interest in your guests’ well-being and sweep them off their tired feet and into treatment rooms by exercising effective communication, finding beneficial partnerships and maybe investing in a satellite music account.