Travelers just want to relax. Perhaps it’s our busy overscheduled lives that’s getting to us, and people are carving the perfect excuse to be pampered. That’s why it’s more critical than ever to create compelling offers to make your spa perform at maximum capacity.
So ask yourself: What differentiates your facilities from the hotels in your area? What can you do to inspire your guests that a visit to your spa is worth “making time” for?
PFK Consulting USA showed in their 2014 edition of “Trends in the Hotel Industry” report that hotel spas averaged a revenue increase of nearly 5 percent, greater than the average increase seen by all other hotel revenue sources, with the exception of hotel rooms. Let’s chat about some of the ways you can create an experience within an experience for your guests.
First of all, take a deep breath. Now release that heavy sigh and let’s look at some of the guest demands the industry is seeing. There is a shift in consumers concern about their overall well-being – so the spa isn’t just a place for pampering anymore. Keep this in mind through your content, across all platforms.
According to SpaFinder Wellness’ 2014 trend report, “health-focused travelers now represent 40 percent of the travel segment.”
Take a look at your website and ensure you’re using language such as, “healing,” “improves blood circulation,” “offers nutrients to the skin,” “relieves chronic pain,” and so forth. People want more than just 50 or 80 minutes of pure bliss; they want to know they are benefiting their bodies, from the inside out. The Atlantis Casino Resort Spa houses northern Nevada’s #1 rated spa, and for good reason. Their website’s spa content dedicates a good portion of its copy to explaining why a spa visit is good for the mind, body and soul.
There is a huge audience that many hotels forget to accommodate, and it’s right in their backyards. Consider offering local residents an incentive to visit your spa. Las Vegas is a mecca for all things indulgent, and it’s one of the world’s best cities to visit for spa treatments. Locals need pampering too, so create a custom package, exclusively for anyone who visits with a valid state ID. Offer a local discount. Execute a buy-one-get-one free promotion, for locals only. Advertise these specials in the local weekly magazine. The sky’s the limit, and people love feeling as if they were receiving special treatment. Once they are on property, they are likely to open up their pocketbooks for other things, including dining and retail spending. At South Point Hotel & Casino’s Costa Del Sur Spa & Salon, they offer locals a 20 percent discount on all services, seven days a week.
SpaWellness’ report also shows that there is growing medical evidence that indicates the health benefits of simply surrounding yourself with nature. Society forces all of us to be so tuned in to our technology devices, it’s nearly impossible to find the time to “power down” or shut out all that “noise.” In the last couple of years, we’ve noticed a buzz word “buzzing” around: “earthing,” which can be defined as “the direct physical contact of the human body with the surface of the earth.” If you’re lucky enough to be a destination surrounded by natural beauty (and not in the middle of the city where the first thing you hear is traffic), then take your spa treatments outdoors. If it’s too much labor on your staff, do it exclusively for a limited time; consider offering a treatment, beachside, during warmer months. One of the most unique uses of their surroundings is the Tree Spa at Hidden Pond Hotel, Maine. How cool would it be to be eight-feet above ground while an expert therapist massages all the stress away? Another cool alternative would be floor-to-ceiling windows with views of the mountains or ocean.
Some guests prefer to relax in the comfort of their own hotel rooms, at whatever hour pleases them. If you build it, they will come…in this case, we’re referring to customizing one of your rooms into a retreat for guests (at a premium price that still shows value for potential travelers). Offer a room that is equipped with everything one would need for a relaxing night in, including scented oils, aromatherapy candles, a lavender or eucalyptus body polish and a soothing eye mask to escape from it all. A great example would be InterContinental Hotel Group’s recently launched EVEN brand, a family of hotels promoting overall wellness across the entire property. Their rooms are equipped with natural eucalyptus fiber bedding and eco-friendly bathroom products.
What’s the first thing you hear when you enter a spa room? Music. And there’s almost nothing worse than hearing the type of melody that you know you’ll never be able to relax to while you’re receiving your treatment. Offer your spa guests the option to choose their own music and genre while they’re receiving their massage or facial. Invest in the right technology so that each room can be easily customizable to fit your guests’ needs. Some folks actually relax better when they’re listening to hard metal; most people, on the contrary, don’t. But nonetheless, every guest is unique, and your therapists should be prepared to make their guests’ experience as relaxing as possible. The Hotel Bel-Air Spa in Los Angeles offers a variety of music menus for guests to choose from, which include classical, nature sounds and R&B.
Last, but certainly not least, you need to lay good groundwork for your spa, which means hiring the right people to represent you and your hotel’s overall brand. Sure, you can hire some of the best therapists in town, but if you aren’t investing in a stellar spa manager, things will eventually fall through the cracks of your beautiful spa facility. Find the right person who is committed to not just leading the team, but someone who is eager to make your bottom line and bring in that foot traffic. If you find someone who is just short of a couple skills, then take the time to train them. So much of what goes on behind the scenes is a testament to what your guests are experiencing in the locker rooms, the sauna and ultimately in their treatment rooms. When you have a strong person managing your spa, your vendor partners and the all the people who have direct contact with your guests, you’ll see a huge difference in not only employee morale, but guests’ overall satisfaction.
These spa implementations might take some time, but with patience and determination to reach an end goal, you’ll find that it was all well worth it. Your spa isn’t just another space in your hotel; it’s a financial driver that in today’s day and age, is actually helping put heads in beds, drive room rates, increase dinner reservations and enhance your overall yield.