Still battling the current economic downturn, spas are implementing fresh concepts to attract new clients and retain existing customers. Micro-luxury is a hot business tactic that allows spas to maintain their price and brand integrity while creating new markets for scaled down versions of the real thing. This price point allows consumers to sample briefer and consequently, lower priced treatments to goose bottom lines. For example: Hashani Spa at the JW Marriott Starr Pass in Tucson promotes 30-minute facials and massages. Santa Fe’s Ten Thousand Waves features a full menu of 25-minute treatments. The Fern Tree spa at Half Moon in Jamaica offers a spa sampler – free mini treatments from 10-11am so guests can test drive various offerings.
Spas are also promoting the latest trends such as socializing and wellness. While many traditional hotel spas don’t encourage a communal atmosphere, Qua Spas (Atlantic City and Las Vegas locations) are designed to promote socializing, creating an ambiance for relaxed “social spa-ing” within a common area surrounding the natural-rock pools. Guests can de-stress together casually in a central pool area.
Robert Seibel, spa director at Qua Baths and Spa at Caesars Atlantic City, explains that the spa’s unique social aspect encourages a cozy, communal feeling among guests, which he believes works wonders for the spirit. “They often start up lively conversations with other spa-goers, and the atmosphere lends itself to an easy exchange. Before you know it, you have clients leaving the spa with a new friend or acquaintance.” He says. “Since the element of water is very central to the spa, it encourages relaxation, and also communication. I think the power of water is a very strong influence on your well-being.”