Spa Executive | October 2020


Spa Executive

For leaders in the business of wellness

ISSUE #21 – OCTOBER 2020




On Leadership &

Retail In The New

World Of Wellness

Spa Executive

For leaders in the business of wellness

ISSUE #21 – OCTOBER 2020























Sheraton Belitung Resort




On Leadership & Retail In The New

World Of Wellness














Roger Sholanki

Nima Chadha

Elizabeth Bromstein

Andrea Coreas

Samuel Peter





Accor has partnered with Three Sages, to launch restorative

in-room wellness program with video content.

Program will continue to

roll out

The pilot program launched at select

Fairmont, Sofitel and Swissôtel properties

in North America on September 23, 2020.

Additional properties will be added in the

coming year.

Global hospitality leader, Accor, has

partnered with wellness technology

company Three Sages to launch

comprehensive in-room restorative

wellness programming at select North

and Central America properties.

Guests are connected to


The partnership offers Fairmont, Sofitel

and Swissôtel guests complimentary

yoga, stretching, breath-work, mindfulness

and sleep practices on the in-room

entertainment systems. The in-room

wellness program comes in video format

and the content features spectacular

outdoor backdrops from awe-inspiring

locations and is designed to be restorative

and to help guests feel less stressed, more

relaxed and at ease while traveling. Guests

are connected to nature through videos

featuring spectacular outdoor backdrops

from beautiful locations.

“We are thrilled to partner with Three

Sages to offer an industry-leading caliber,

depth and breadth of in-room wellness

offerings for our guests,” Daniel Poulin,

Director of Spa and Fitness, Accor North

and Central America, said in a statement.

“During these stressful times, the option

of having a comprehensive restorative

wellness program like this to enjoy from

the comfort of your room further elevates

our guests’ overall experience while

on property and alleviates some of the

pressure from the travel experience.”

Greg Commins, Founder & CEO at Three

Sages, said, “Three Sages experiences

are intended to help guests virtually

connect with nature, find balance and

ground themselves. Our short format,

nature-inspired programs are the ideal

way to take a sip of wellness to de-stress,

relax and recharge.”

Complimentary access to the Three

Sages app will also be offered to all Accor

North and Central America employees

in support of the group’s commitment to

employee wellbeing.

Accor is a world-leading augmented

hospitality group offering unique and

meaningful experiences in 5,000 hotels,

resorts, and residences across 110

countries. Three Sages is a wellness

technology platform that delivers immersive,

nature-based restorative experiences where

people live, work, and play.

Three Sages’ flagship product is a

plug-and-play wall unit that creates a

relaxing environment with an interactive

touch screen and surround sound

that delivers proprietary travel-inspired

restorative content, along with the

necessary equipment for a restorative

holistic experience. The company also

offers mobile and streaming channels for

wellness on the go.

- 3 - Spa Executive | OCTOBER 2020 ISSUE





Hyatt and Amazon partner to launch the Amazon Halo service, which

gives users greater access to fitness programs offered through Hyatt’s

wellness brand, Exhale’s, streaming video platform.

Hyatt Hotels Corp. has launched a

collaboration between its Exhale spa

and fitness company, and Amazon

Halo, Amazon’s new wearable band

and wellness service. The Amazon Halo

service is a membership platform that

uses technology to provide personal

wellness insights and ways to improve

users’ everyday health.

The service gives users and Exhale

members greater access to fitness

programs offered through Exhale’s

streaming video platform, Exhale on

Demand. It is powered by a mobile app

and accompanying wristband.

Hyatt acquired Exhale, which provides

a full suite of award-winning boutique

fitness classes and spa therapies, three

years ago. There are currently 19 Exhale

locations in the US and the Caribbean.

“Exhale reinforces Hyatt’s commitment

to wellbeing by providing meaningful

wellness experiences that support total

mind and body through boutique fitness

classes, spa therapies and original

Spa Executive | OCTOBER 2020 ISSUE - 4 -

streaming content,” Julia Sutton, COO of

Exhale, said in a statement.

“We are thrilled to team up with Amazon

Halo and provide even more people with

the opportunity to easily access fitnessand

wellbeing-focused programs. Exhale

On Demand allows people to maintain

their wellbeing routines when they want,

where they want, and the collaboration

with Amazon Halo adds a new element

of measurement to help people better

understand personal health and

wellbeing and create a more connected,

informed approach to their everyday

wellbeing routines.”

The Amazon Halo app and band

launched at the end of August with

technology that combines a suite of

AI-powered health features to provide

actionable insights into overall wellness.

Dr. Maulik Majmudar, Principal Medical

Officer, Amazon Halo, said in a statement,

“Despite the rise in digital health services

and devices over the last decade,

we have not seen a corresponding

improvement in population health in

the U.S. We are using Amazon’s deep

expertise in artificial intelligence and

machine learning to offer customers a

new way to discover, adopt, and maintain

personalized wellness habits.

“Health is much more than just the

number of steps you take in a day or

how many hours you sleep. Amazon

Halo combines the latest medical

science, highly accurate data via the

Halo Band sensors, and cutting-edge

artificial intelligence to offer a more

comprehensive approach to improving

your health and wellness.”

Amazon Halo service offerings with

Exhale on Demand are one-to-four-week

programs that include:

• Event Prep Bootcamp: A fourweek

program that combines

strengthening, stretching and

sweating to help get users into shape.

• Target Your Midsection: A threeweek

program to help focus on the

core and trim the waistline with sixpack-focused


• Intermediate Barre: A three-week

commitment to complete four Exhale

Barre workouts per week.

• No Props, No Problem: Stay fit on

the go with bodyweight-only workouts

ranging from barre to yoga to cardio.

• Upper Body Program: A three-week

lab to build upper body strength with a

variety of workouts that will challenge

arms, back, shoulders and abs.

• Beginner’s Guide to Barre: A fourweek

introduction to all the benefits

of barre with detailed instructions and

step-by-step progressions.

• Intermediate Yoga: A program to

energize the body and take yoga

practice to next level in three weeks.

- 5 - Spa Executive | OCTOBER 2020 ISSUE







A new report has found that travel and hospitality

employees are the least likely out of all industries to

feel valued at work. Can we turn this around?

COVID-19 has hit travel and hospitality

employees hard – possibly harder than

those of any other industry. While there

are many positives to working in this

industry at this time, like working in an

area full of passionate advocates and

being at the forefront of tech wellness

and innovation, there are clearly some

issues to be worked out. Employee

culture is one of them.

Now, a new report from Qualtrics

has found that travel and hospitality

employees are the least likely out of all

industries surveyed to feel valued at

work. This is bad because it will cost

hospitality companies, including hotels

and spas, big.

Qualtrics writes, “As closed borders and

canceled conferences forced many across

the globe to either stay home or scramble to

get home, those in the Travel & Hospitality

industry faced furloughs and layoffs.”

It’s not just about layoffs

and furloughs

One might think that travel and hospitality

employees feeling undervalued can be

blamed entirely on layoffs and furloughs,

but this isn’t the case. Only 42% of travel

& hospitality employees who are still

working full-time say they feel valued

by their company. What gives? Some

people have some work to do. Moreover:

Spa Executive | OCTOBER 2020 ISSUE - 6 -

• 29% of travel & hospitality

employees who are still working

full-time say their employee

experience has gotten worse

since the pandemic — the

highest of any industry, and

the only industry where more

workers said it got worse rather

than better.

• Travel & hospitality employees

rated their company’s response

to COVID-19 the lowest, along

with automotive employees.

• 36% of travel & hospitality

employees say it’s been harder to

feel connected to customers now

compared to before the pandemic;

24% say it’s been easier.

• 42% of travel & hospitality

employees say it’s been harder

to deal with customers than

before the pandemic; 25% say

it’s been easier.

This matters for a number of reasons,

one of which is the cost of employee

disengagement for your company.

Research findings suggest that when

employees feel undervalued they are

significantly less engaged in their jobs,

and the fallout costs of this can be huge.

Unhappy employees may expect bigger

salaries and, anecdotally, may increase

costs by arriving late, leaving early,

and taking advantage of out of office

expenses. Poor employee engagement

can also hurt talent recruitment and

retention, customer acquisition and

retention, productivity, and revenue.

A disengaged workforce costs you at

literally every level, some say an estimated

$16,000 per employee per year.

Strategies for increasing

travel & hospitality

employee engagement

Qualtrics recommends the following

strategies for improving the situation:

Listen to and act on employee

feedback. Travel & hospitality was the

only industry where employees said their

experience is worse since the pandemic.

They were also least satisfied before

the pandemic with the ways in which

their managers listened to and acted on

feedback. Qualtrics suggests conducting

regular employee pulse checks to help

identify experience gaps and determine

the best course of action.

Make employee experience a

priority. Qualtrics found that people in

most industries expect the pandemic to

increase focus on employee experience

more than anything else, but less than

half of workers in travel & hospitality

believe the same. They suggest building

interactive tools for employees, especially

frontline workers, to help them feel like

part of the broader organization.

Communicate the positive changes

you make that are designed to improve

employee experience with your employees

– and hold your organization to them.

Here are eight more strategies for

increasing employee engagement at your

spa, wellness, or hospitality business:

Encourage ownership. Communicate

company goals and involve everyone in

achieving them. Be transparent and let

your team in on how you’re doing and

where you want to get to. People are

more committed to the success of an

organization when they feel they are an

important part of it.

Involve them in decision making.

Consult everyone at your company on

decisions related to it and encourage

their input. Again, if they feel more

involved they’ll feel more invested.

Recognize and reward success. Too

many employers only communicate with

their teams when something is wrong.

Give praise where it’s due – often and

effusively – and be a cheerleader along

the way.

Get to know your team. Being friendly

with employees and asking them about

their lives and interests is one sure fire

and very simple way of improving your

relationship with them.

Provide them with the tools they

need to succeed. Effectively train and

onboard new employees. They should

never have to wonder what is expected

of them and not know who to go to for

answers. Make sure they have what they

need at all times, be it available schedules,

insight into commissions, products on

hand, face masks, or clean towels.

Have tools and strategies for

difficult situations. Note that Qualtrics

found that customers have become more

difficult to deal with recently. Ensure

that your employees aren’t dealing with

this alone, and that they know you have

their backs and are providing tools and

guidelines for dealing with situations.

Support career development and

growth. Help your team members grow

and reach their career goals. If you’re

not in a position to promote internally,

support growth anyway. An employee

who moves on to move up will be easier

to replace if they feel valued because

they will be a promoter of your employer

brand rather than a detractor from it.

Don’t overdo it. Interaction between

managers and team members is good

but be mindful of people’s time as

well. If all your team building exercises,

trainings, and check-ins are piling on top

of endless meetings, this will be resented

rather than appreciated. People have

lives and families on top of their jobs.

Keep that in mind.

It’s never too late to change the way we

do things. We can improve this situation.

It just takes time and effort.

- 7 - Spa Executive | OCTOBER 2020 ISSUE






Live Love Spa founder and CEO, Lisa Michaelis, talked with Spa Executive

about recent changes in the industry and how events will change in the future.

The event landscape in all industries,

including spa & wellness, has

undergone a massive shift in recent

months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gatherings of all sizes have moved

onto digital platforms to allow people to

connect while keeping our distance.

We wanted to know what the spa and

wellness event world might look like in

the near and far future, so we connected

with Lisa Michaelis. Michaelis is the

CEO of Live Love Spa, a community for

spa professionals to connect, discover

and learn about new trends, products,

experiences and emerging insights

within the wellness space. She is

known in the industry for her wonderful

event hosting and community building.

We asked her what Live Love Spa is

doing to cope with the new challenges

brought on in recent months, and what

the coming years will bring.

First let’s talk about what

Live Love Spa does.

I started Live Love Spa because it’s a

way to connect people in this industry.

Directors really need to experience all

of the amazing wellness products and

services out there in order to understand

what they can in turn offer their customers.

I wanted to create a whole experiential

Spa Executive | OCTOBER 2020 ISSUE - 8 -

event instead of going to a traditional

trade show where people could come

into a spa and actually get into the

shoes of the guests. They can try and

experience treatments, talk to the

brand on a more intimate level, and

they actually became the guests for the

day. That’s the core of what Live Love

Spa regional events are. We connect

spa buyers to the most innovative

trendsetting products and treatments.

Now that things are a little bit different, we

can’t do experiences. But we’re all kind

of in the same boat and we have to figure

out how to be creative and still message,

connect and create community.

What does the event

landscape look like in the

foreseeable future?

Obviously, in-person events have

stopped almost completely. What’s

good about this is it has made us

push forward with new, innovative and

creative ways to connect. I don’t think

anything will take the place of an inperson

event, especially in our type of

industry where it’s all about connection

and being with people, but I do think we

have found some really amazing cost

effective and creative solutions through

virtual events. We’re really excited about

those things, but we also can’t wait to

see everybody again.

Talk about some of the

things you’ve got coming

up and how you are

making virtual events fun

and exciting.

Right now we have 11 new virtual events

on the calendar, held by region. These

last 90 minutes to two hours. We send

out a care package in advance with all

of the latest in trend-setting products to

our spa partners. We do a fun wellness

drink or a cocktail and a live unboxing

together with a brand leading as

everyone gets their product out of their

box. We also give the spas some ideas

on what they can do with their own

virtual events, because they are also

having to turn around and create unique

ideas to keep in contact with their

customers. We’ll have an energizing

break and some type of a virtual activity.

We’ve held a floral design class, and for

another event we’ll have a spa night at

home with a Halloween quiz. So, we

have a lot of ideas!

Our events are not only designed to get

people connected, create community,

and discover products, but also to help

others find revenue generating ideas and

ideas on how to maintain connection

with their teams and customers.

Have you found anything

in the virtual events that

is better than before and

that you’ll try to take into

the world in the future?

It’s very cost effective to do something

virtual. You’re not spending money on

flights, hotels, or food and beverage.

You’re saving a lot of money. That is

great. The experience is not going to

be the same but there are some big

positives. Because of that, I definitely

think virtual events are here to stay. I

think it’s a great platform.

What do you think this

industry will look like

in one year, two years,

three years?

I think it might take a year or two to get

things back to the level that they were

because people still think of spas as a

luxury. But I think our spas will get a lot

more savvy on staying connected with

their community and making sure that

their customer sees them as a valuable

place to go. Not only to get their spa

treatment, but for skincare products and

wellness advice. I think that spas can

really enhance their offerings and how

the customer perceives them.

A spa is not just a place to go get a wax.

It’s a way to connect and communicate

on how to live a better life and be

healthier. So, I think it’s going to take a

little time, but people will need wellness

more than ever.

What else are you

excited about?

I’m excited about digital connection in

general. We started

as essentially a discovery platform for

buyers and spa professionals to learn

more about brands. It’s like a trade show

in the cloud. There’s a membership

program, so people can discover items

before reaching out to the brand for

wholesale. It allows you to really see

what’s out there and it’s digital and

available 24 /7 from the comfort of your

own home. I have a background in

the computer industry and I’ve always

thought this industry could be more

connected all the time. We also have

an app that allows people to contribute

content and education. There are a lot

of ways that our community can stay

connected and together, and I am really

excited about those things.

- 9 - Spa Executive | OCTOBER 2020 ISSUE




The Sheraton Belitung Resort is a gorgeous new Marriott property in

Indonesia, surrounded by stunning scenery and fascinating wildlife.

Spa Executive | OCTOBER 2020 ISSUE - 10 -

Marriott recently opened the stunning

Sheraton Belitung Resort in Indonesia.

The 169-room hotel is located

45 minutes away from H.A.S.

Hanandjoeddin International Airport and

a short drive away from the coast of

Tanjung Kelayangsits. It is surrounded by

more than 100 small islands in a place

that is home to more than 1,000 different

types of flora and fauna. This includes

the Karamunting flower which only grows

in Belitung, and the Tarsius, one of the

world’s smallest primates, found only on

some islands in Southeast Asia.

Rooms at the Sheraton Belitung offer

ocean, lagoon or garden views, and

feature 55-inch LCD televisions, highspeed

wireless internet, and motion

sensors that automatically activate and

deactivate the AC when guests enter or

leave the room.

“We are delighted to be opening the

Sheraton Belitung Resort, which is the

8th Sheraton branded hotel to open

in Indonesia,” said Rajeev Menon,

President, Asia Pacific (excluding

China), Marriott International. “Sheraton

is Marriott International’s most global

brand, and this opening marks another

exciting moment in the continued brand

expansion across Asia Pacific. Belitung

is one of Indonesia’s best kept secrets,

and the arrival of Sheraton Belitung

Resort will only enhance its appeal as a

destination for couples and families alike

to enjoy this paradise together.”

The resort features three food and

beverage outlets, 7,480 square feet of

event space, a 24-hour fitness centre, a

kid’s club with educational programming,

an outdoor infinity pool, and a Shine Spa.

Local ingredients for

inspired treatments

The spa features six treatment rooms

and draws from local inspiration and

wisdom, using products with local

ingredients for treatments and services

inspired by the surrounding land. These

ingredients include: Daun Simpor

(Dilleniasuffruticosa), Peppercorn

seed (piper nigrum), and Calamansi

(Citrofortunellamicrocarpa). A Calamansi

Bath, which is a bathtub filled with the

aroma and fresh slices of the Calamansi

citrus fruit, soothes and revives guests.

According to Spa Manager, Sih Rini

Angernani, a wonderful treatment that

holds local wisdom is the relaxing

massage using the black peppercorn

compress ball, as Belitung is a main

producer of black pepper.

Shine Spa is using Book4Time software

and Sih Rini Angernani says that the

system has been very helpful, “especially

for the pre-opening team,” and that the

support team has been quick to respond

to questions while the spa team learns

the ropes and gets accustomed.

Indonesia’s hidden gem

“We are thrilled to open the first five-star

hotel in Belitung, and to welcome local

and international travellers to discover

Indonesia’s hidden gem with Sheraton

Belitung Resort,” said Yvonne Wan,

General Manager of the resort. “We

look forward to creating memorable stay

experiences for our guests that bring

to life Sheraton’s signature hospitality

initiatives, with a green conscience.”

- 11 - Spa Executive | OCTOBER 2020 ISSUE






Spa Executive chats with Gordon Tareta of Marcus Hotels & Resorts about being a good

leader and how spas can leverage retail sales to recoup lost revenue in tough times.

Gordon Tareta is a hospitality industry

veteran with an impressive history of

experience managing spas for some of

the biggest and best-known property

names in the world. He has worked

as a Spa Director for Banff Springs,

Corporate Director of Spa Operations for

Fairmont hotels, and Vice President of

Spa Operations for Hyatt Hotels.

Interestingly, in the middle of his

hospitality career, he then took what

looks like an about turn to become Vice

President of Services for Petsmart and

explore the world of retail sales, before

returning to hospitality and opening his

own consultancy company, Tareta Group

International. Currently, he serves as

Area Spa Director for Marcus Hotels &

Resorts and is located at Grand Geneva

Resort & Spa in Lake Geneva, WI,

while also overseeing the Well Spa at

Milwaukee's Pfister Hotel.

With his level of industry experience and

retail expertise, Gordon Tareta is the

perfect leader to talk about how spas

can leverage retail in the current climate.

Spa Executive | OCTOBER 2020 ISSUE - 12 -

As many properties have been forced to

scale back on occupancy, retail is one

area through which to recapture some

of that lost revenue. But many spa and

wellness managers and directors don’t

know how best to make the most of retail

opportunities. We asked Mr. Tareta for

some insight and advice on that, and

about what it takes to be a good leader

today, among other things.

How have things been

at Grand Geneva in the

past few months, since

the COVID lockdown?

One of the biggest jobs is navigating the

anxiety of our team members. I have

about 85-100 staff here and this situation

has taken a toll on everybody. We have

been trying to help everyone cope, and

doing regular pulse checks on how

people are feeling, making sure they are

comfortable and doing OK.

At Grand Geneva we’re in a unique

position, being in the country and a

two-hour drive from Chicago and a 40-

minute drive from Milwaukee. Nobody

wants to fly right now, so there’s no

shortage of demand for our services.

Obviously, we have had to scale back

our occupancy and implement safety

protocols like social distancing and

moving things around to facilitate this,

but things are going very well. We have

even seen improvements over last

year, when there was no COVID. Our

customer service scores were very high

and are now even higher. There has

been an increase in confidence in our

engagement with our customers and our

retail sales have been really strong since

reopening. There was a pent-up demand

for both our services and for retail. Not

that we want to be navigating in the

COVID world, but there are silver linings.

Talk a bit about

how you developed

your knowledge and

understanding of retail

I went from being Vice President of Spas

for Hyatt to becoming Vice President of

Services for PetSmart. After 20 years

in the industry, I was at a point where I

wondered if the skills that I had acquired

through hospitality and spa were

applicable to anything else. And I’d always

had a desire to try to learn retail because

spas, generally, weren’t good at it. So,

I immersed myself in that and had the

opportunity to learn from the best of the

best at a Fortune 500 Company. Then I

took my department from a $500 million

department to $650 million in 18 months.

What advice can you

give to other spa and

wellness businesses that

are struggling with retail?

A good place to start is with looking at

your brand and making sure that your

retail is aligned with your brand concept. I

often use a restaurant analogy: if you’re a

steakhouse, sell steak knives on the retail

side. Don’t sell chopsticks.

Also, ask yourself why you are selling

these products. Whatever product we

sell or use has to earn its place in our

business. Why this product? What’s

the story around it? When our service

providers understand and believe in our

products, why it complements our brand

vision and positioning, then they sell

from the heart versus from the head and

it’s much easier. I also look for brands

that are unique and are not available

everywhere. So that you have to buy it

from us. Though we also carry Lululemon

and that sells unbelievably well.

You have to have a retail strategy. Some

spa directors might be loyal to a rep,

which is fine, but does the product really

complement? And are you the only place

selling it? There can be 10 spas in your

area all using the same thing because

of a really good sales rep. And, if it’s the

best of the best, great, but I always look

for something that you really have to

purchase from us.

Can you talk about how

technology has been

helpful to your business?

We didn’t have online booking when

I first got here. We brought it in two

years ago with Book4Time. Cloudbased

solutions are great for the

industry, because we don’t have to

invest tens of thousands, or in some

cases, hundreds of thousands of

dollars in servers and maintenance.

So, cloud-based technology is really

helpful. Also, our capture ratio of services

is higher with online booking. The

average ticket is about 45% higher. This

is because of the ability to set the order

of the menu. For example, in a way that

shows premium services first, before

smaller services that are really designed

to complement or pair with other

services rather than be purchased as a

standalone. Our goal is to have about

20% of our booking done online and we

are at about 15%.

- 13 - Spa Executive | OCTOBER 2020 ISSUE


What are you excited

about right now?

I’m excited that the business has come

back, at least for us, and to know that

the demand is there. When we were all

in lockdown and you didn’t know what

the next day was going to bring, that was

worrisome. So, to know that the demand

is there is exciting.

What skills or qualities

would you say are most

important at this time in

history to be a leader in

spa and wellness?

Patience and care. We are in a very

emotionally charged time. And, in this

industry, we feed off of energy. So, you

have to be patient. Everybody’s dealing

with the many factors affecting them in

different ways. Some people are just

stressed out to the max with everything

going on and there are things you can

control and things you can’t. As a leader,

you have to be patient. You have to listen

and be understanding and thoughtful.

You should also have your own outlet, you

have to manage all of this with confidence

and, to do that, you need people to talk

to or activities to do to decompress. You

have to take care of yourself.

Spa Executive | OCTOBER 2020 ISSUE - 14 -





Condé Nast traveler readers choose the best hotels, resorts,

cities and more – and the best destination spas in the world.

Ananda in the Himalayas

Condé Nast Traveller has announced the

winners of its annual travel awards. The

awards are among the most prestigious

and influential in the hospitality world and

are designed to highlight travelers’ favorite

places around the globe.

CN Traveler notes that its 33rd Readers’

Choice Awards represent the first time that

voters chose their top destinations when

almost no one was traveling. Addressing

these travelers, the authors wrote:

“So the names in this year’s edition are

the ones that brought you comfort, that

you still connected with long afterward,

that got you through the months without

travel. These are the enduring gems

that can withstand the test of time and

the vicissitudes of circumstances. So

while it is always an honor to be on

this list, in this strangest of years it is a

special honor, indeed. Many readers

have told us that when we emerge from

this pandemic, they want to turn their

attention to the classics, whether that

means personal favorites or places they

know have brought joy to others.”

Hundreds of thousands of readers

reportedly voted for their favorites which

are divided into multiple categories. These

include, but aren’t limited to, the best

hotels and resorts in the world, the best

airlines and the best islands, cities, and

countries. There are lists of the best by

location, like the US, Europe, Asia, Mexico

and Canada

Also featured are the Best Spa Resorts in

the US and Around the World. The Ranch

Malibu (California) tops that list, followed

by Ananda in the Himalayas (India) and Six

Senses Duoro Valley (Portugal).

Condé Nast says, "'Wellness' may be

a trendy buzzword—and a multi-trilliondollar

industry—but at these soothing and

invigorating retreats, some of the best spa

resorts in the U.S. and around the world,

it’s the real deal. “

The list of the Top 30 Best Spa Resorts in

the US and Around the World is as follows:

1. The Ranch Malibu — Malibu, California

2. Ananda in the Himalayas — Uttarakhand,


3. Six Senses Douro Valley — Douro Valley,


4. Ikbal Thermal Hotel & SPA — Afyonkarahisar,


5. Cal-a-Vie — Vista, California

6. Vana — Dehra Dun, India

7. Lefay Resort & SPA Dolomiti — Pinzolo, Italy

8. VIVAMAYR Altaussee — Altaussee, Austria

9. Lefay Resort & Spa Lago di Garda —

Lake Garda, Italy

10. COMO Shambhala Estate — Bali, Indonesia

11. Shou Sugi Ban House — Water Mill, New York

12. SHA Wellness Clinic — Alicante, Spain

13. BodyHoliday — Cariblue Beach, St. Lucia

14. Bürgenstock Hotels & Resort Lake

Lucerne — Bürgenstock, Switzerland

15. Miraval Arizona Resort & Spa — Tucson,


16. Lake Austin Spa Resort — Austin, Texas

17. Andronis Concept Wellness Resort —

Santorini, Greece

18. Clinique La Prairie — Clarens-Montreux,


19. Vila Vita Parc — Alporchinhos, Portugal

20. Euphoria Retreat — Mystras, Greece

21. CIVANA Wellness Resort & Spa

Carefree, Arizona

22. The Lodge at Woodloch — Hawley,


23. Schloss Elmau — Krün, Germany

24. Bio-Hotel Stanglwirt — Going am Wilden

Kaiser, Austria

25. Aro Ha¯ Wellness Retreat — Glenorchy, New


26. Villa Stéphanie — Baden-Baden, Germany

27. Canyon Ranch Lenox — Lenox,


28. Preidlhof Luxury DolceVita Resort —

South Tyrol, Italy

29. The Retreat Costa Rica — Atenas, Costa Rica

30. Palace Hotel Merano — Merano, Italy

- 15 - Spa Executive | OCTOBER 2020 ISSUE





It’s been a tough time for hospitality but we can get through it. Try these five

marketing strategies for hotel and resort spas to thrive in the new world.

refers to the database of names, email

addresses, phone numbers, and other

information you collect from customers

(providing that you’re doing this right and

not inputting a bogus generic phone

number or email in your software in an

attempt to save a couple of precious

seconds when scheduling appointments

or selling retail). Building a list of local

customers is a core principle of success in

any environment, but now with COVID and

low hotel occupancy levels, it’s become

absolutely critical. And, all other things

being equal, the bigger your list, the more

money your spa will make from each

campaign you send out.

Months into the pandemic, many hotel &

resort spas are beginning to re-open their

doors to the public. With estimates that a

COVID-19 vaccine will not be available until

January to June of next year according

to an article in The Telegraph, and travel

forecasts looking dire until then, it is now

more important than ever for hotel & resort

spas to adjust and adapt their approach in

order to survive and thrive in the face of the

pandemic. I’ve outlined some marketing

strategies to help you pivot your business

model and marketing below based on

conversations that I’ve had recently.

1. Staycations

While many signs point to a quick rebound

for travel in 2021 with people looking to

make up for missed travel, hotel & resort

spas need to contend with today’s clear

and present danger – a lack of hotel

guests – and look at creative ways to boost

local business. One such solution is to

develop a day pass or staycation offering.

People are going stir crazy after months in

lockdown and looking to find ways to get

out of the house. A night or weekend at the

Four Seasons, Fairmont, Waldorf Astoria or

Ritz Carlton, complete with spa treatments,

yoga classes and lounging by the pool, is

the perfect remedy for the lockdown blues;

it combines the convenience of staying

in your own city with the glamour and

excitement of a vacation.

2. The Money is in the

list and personalization

You’ve probably come across the

expression “The money is in the list.” This

Now, maybe you’ve tried this but are

getting poor response rates from your

promotions. The key to boosting your

response rate (the number of people

who open your emails and take the

action you want them to take – booking

an appointment, buying a gift certificate

or buying a retail product) is to develop

a relationship with your customers. The

easier you make it for them to know, like,

and trust you, the more likely they will be

to open your emails and click on your

links. So how, exactly, do you develop

a relationship with the people on your

list? Get personal! When you write copy

for an email, look for ways to inject your

personality into the copy and incorporate

your personal and client stories. Also try to

segment the offers you send out based on

past purchase history vs. sending a single

generic message to your entire list. Your

Spa Executive | OCTOBER 2020 ISSUE - 16 -

campaigns should contain a personalized

“why you, why you right now” message.

And remember, your emails don’t always

need to be promotional in nature – make

sure you mix in a number of value-added,

nurture emails that don’t have a call to

action that requires your customer to open

up their wallet! If all of your emails contain

offers, your customers will turn blind to

them and tune them out.

3. Local marketplace

promotions for the win

Don’t have an extensive local database to

market to? Tight on marketing funds and

need to see an instant return on every

marketing dollar spent? Still experiencing

downtime during off-peak times? Turning

to Groupon or Travelzoo to capture local

business is a great tactic. These local

marketplaces have spent millions of dollars

building local databases that can help you

to bring in new guests and fill downtime

on a moment’s notice when the spa is not

as busy and give you a great opportunity

to drive trial with new guests, “wow

them” and drive repeat, regular business.

Concerned about getting an influx of calls

or creating lineups in the spa with voucher

redemptions? We recently launched

OpenBooker to help you curate specific

availability (time, date, service, therapist,

etc.) for these marketplace promotions

to help facilitate voucher redemption and

booking online, helping you to free up

the front desk, automate bookings and

avoid the unpleasant voucher redemption

conversations….if you know what I mean!

4. Reputation and

referrals are everything

standards. Spas should encourage positive

reviews and get ahead of negative ones.

This is achieved by sending out NPS

(Net Promoter Score) guest surveys after

appointments. If a customer is a promoter

and rates your service a nine or a 10, they

should be encouraged to write a review.

If they are a detractor, immediate steps

should be taken to intercede and fix the

situation BEFORE they blast you and

your spa and leave a negative review on

Google, Yelp or TripAdvisor. This is crucial.

Research has consistently found that

reviews matter a great deal. Some findings:

• Consumers are willing to spend

31% more on a business with

excellent reviews. They are just

looking for evidence that it’s worth

spending an extra $75-100 for a

massage at your establishment

vs. the local day spa.

• 92% of buyers are more likely to

purchase after reading a trusted


• 94% say an online review has

convinced them to avoid a


• Only 13% of consumers will

consider using a business that

has a 1 or 2 star rating.

We also trust our friends to tell us about

their experiences and will take their

recommendations. If you have found

yourself a new promoter, also encourage

that person to refer or bring a friend by

offering them a discount or promotion on a

product or return visit.

5. Ecommerce and

subscription boxes

lock down the economy, that shift became

a sudden wave, accelerating the trend to

where they thought it would be five years

from now. Spas can take advantage of

this trend by setting up their own online

storefront and by leveraging data to run

targeted, personalized campaigns –

Amazon’s recommendation engine simply

cannot compete with the guest preference

and purchase data that is housed within

your spa software!

In addition, subscription boxes are literally

piling up at doorsteps as consumers

increasingly shop from home. Just about

every day, I see two or three meal kit boxes

sitting at the concierge desk in my condo

building. Over the past four months, many

U.S. consumers turned toward the directto-consumer

subscription box market for

the first time, with one in five people buying

subscription boxes during this time period

to have products available to them during

the pandemic. Retail sales often make up

for 10-15% of a spa’s total revenue but

can represent an outsized 20-25% of the

profit – why not incorporate a retail product

element to your membership offerings or

create your own themed subscription box?

Try these strategies to help you survive and

thrive, and you’ll be way ahead of the game.

Reviews and word of mouth play a big

role in new and local customer acquisition.

The first place a customer will look when

shopping for a spa is at reviews. Probably

now more than ever, because people are

concerned with cleanliness and safety

Both Amazon and Shopify have been

aggressively building businesses that have

aimed to take advantage of the steady shift

in consumers’ buying habits from brick

and mortar to e-commerce stores. When

the coronavirus forced governments to

By Sean Anderson,

- 17 - VP of Global Sales Spa Executive at Book4Time | OCTOBER 2020 ISSUE




Enjoy the contactless experience

with Book4Time.

Spa Executive

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