MODERN MAYAN WELLNESS

Following the Global Wellness Summit, I wasn't going to miss the opportunity to join a post summit trip to the newly opened Chable Resort in the Yucatan region of Mexico. Ten years in the making, Chable first opened its doors in November 2016 and was already heralding international acclaim, so I was certainly looking forward to the journey. 

Based on ancient Mayan culture and set on the most exquisite 750 acre property, complete with remnants of ruins to remind one of centuries past, a beautiful blue hacienda houses the reception, retail boutique, a bar and some other spaces. Beautiful furnishings, artworks and sculptures grace each room and meet us upon our arrival to this other worldly resort. 

After check in I am escorted along a winding path to my private villa, set in amongst the jungle. The room is spacious and well appointed with a bathroom that connects to the outdoors, a comfortable king size bed and sitting area, along with a private plunge pool and terrace. I am in heaven! After a very social 10 days of travelling I am ready to rest and sink into the surrounding nature. 

A light lunch is served at the restaurant that sits by the most magical pool, before I make my way to an afternoon in the spa. The treatment menu is like nothing I have ever seen before so I book 8 treatments in the space of 3 days. I want to take in all of this mayan healing. I have Janzu, Rain Goddess Ritual, a Bio Energy Lift Facial, Mayan Herbal Compress Massage amongst other things. The menu also offers a Traditional Ceremonial Temazcal, however unfortunately the shaman is unable to perform the ceremony on the needed day which gives me a reason to return. I could hardly imagine going to stay at Chable without having at least one spa treatment from this amazing spa menu. 

The stand out feature of the resort for me is the day spa, but then perhaps I am biased as I am sure a cigar smoker or tequila drinker might say otherwise. In any case the central spa facilities are stunning, with treatment rooms branching off along a circular path overlooking the central cenote, which is a fresh water hole considered to be sacred in Mexican culture. Having other facilities such as the fitness centre, a café, swimming pool and yoga deck connected to the day spa keeps the wellness activities nicely connected. There is also a café located at the spa which offers a complimentary daily tasting of small bites. 

The men’s and women’s change room each have an outdoor thermal bathing area with sauna, steam, salt room, showers and hot and cold pools. Near the entrance to the relaxation lounge is a small open room that displays the local ingredients and herbs that make up the spa products and smoking ceremony mix. A large white conch shell set in the middle of a pond resides in the centre of the spa. Here and before my first ritual I was guided across the stepping stones and into the centre of the conch for a Mayan intention setting and smoking ceremony. Depending on the ritual chosen, some rituals began with drumming, sounding of the conch, rattles or other instruments. Definitely the most unique ritual experience I have encountered to date and I loved it!

The resort had a visiting yoga teacher who offered a number of classes during the day that included yoga, meditation, guided visualisation, journaling and talks on mindfulness. Most classes were on the yoga deck that sat on the edge of the sacred cenote. There were also another couple from Spain that facilitated a qi gong class accompanied by live spiritual music. This was both unique and wonderful. Led in the courtyard under the expansive shade of a large tree I was transported to another place with the movements, breath and sound.

Chable has found a way to successfully offer wellness alongside other cultural traditions of Mexico such as a cigar bar and Ixium, the fine dining restaurant, which has a tequila collection of over 3600 bottles. The food menu’s were not entirely wellness focused, but they were small portions of Mexican style food and the staff always enquired as to whether I had any dietary requests, so they were ready and able to cater to dairy, sugar and gluten free options.

Overall, Chable Resort has found a way to merge authentic wellness, mayan spirituality and healing, along with traditional Mexican culture, which is what makes it the perfectly balanced wellness getaway. 

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GLOBAL WELLNESS SUMMIT

This year I had the fantastic experience of attending the Global Wellness Summit, which has held at The Breakers in Palm Beach, Florida. The professionals that attend this amazing event are at the forefront of the global wellness movement across a wide array of industries. The speeches, presentations and forums were of the highest calibre, with future thinking, ground breaking technology and what is happening across the planet being discussed and discovered. We had glamorous evening events to attend, round table lunches and the opportunity to meet the best in the spa and wellness industry. Inspiring on all levels! 

The eight wellness trends that emerged this year were the most left of field I have ever seen and can be found on the GWS website, so if you are reading this blog I will let you discover those for yourself. My personal favourite take homes were as follows;

Healthy Building Design: Why It’s a Smart Decision for Businesses and Investors - Delos presented research on guest satisfaction, loyalty and behaviours related to staying in hotels that offered a wellness environment via the stay well rooms. The results were very impressive and should certainly have hotels considering this approach.

Millennials are not Wellness Newbies: Presented by Good & Well - This was a fantastic presentation on the trends and behaviours of millennials in regards to wellness. Influencers have a major impact on a business having millennials as followers and are more likely to attract attendees to their retreats.  

Other Interesting Points Learned at GWS were;

Energy is 4 dimensional - Physically energised, spiritually aligned, mentally focused, emotionally connected

Energy expenditure has to be balanced with energy recovery 

Depression and anxiety cost the global economy $1 trillion dollars in lost work days 

People actually become happier as they age

Technology opens up Wellness and mental support to all people 

Eyes are direct connection to the brain and if we can stimulate the brain through the power of nature it will have a positive affect

Hotels need to integrate authenticity and sustainability 

When sustainability is only an economic drive the intention is upside down 

Equanimity within and compassion without are the core of living a well life 

Anytime we judge someone new we are judging them on... high warmth and high competence 

Move away from anti-ageing to age embracing 

We are sinking in data but starving in wisdom 

Fear is not a sustainable motivator to change. What is sustainable is fun, freedom, pleasure and love

Hot spring tourism has been emerging and developing rapidly over the past 20 years

There is great potential for virtual reality to be brought into the wellness space

The 2018 GWS will be held at Technogym HQ in Italy so a little sojourn to Europe may be on the cards.  

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HOT SPRINGS TOUR

My trip to Japan earlier this year, along with two other client projects, a couple of random meetings and then an invitation to Peninsula Hot Springs for the launch of Synthesis skincare, have all drawn me into the world of thermal bathing and hot springs. Therefore in following this new path of discovery I decided to join the Global Thermal Think Tank, which was a tour of 4 hot springs resorts in the USA right before the Global Wellness Summit.

Meeting with 20 other hot spring resort owners, developers, suppliers and enthusiasts we began our tour, with a two night stay at Glen Ivy Hot Springs in California. This resort offers a variety of bathing pools, a grotto, mud bath, cold plunge pool, magnesium pool, sauna, steam room and day spa with a menu of assorted treatments and therapies. A well stocked retail store, cafe, restaurant, yoga deck and labyrinth also add to the properties experiences.

The itinerary for this tour included free time to soak in the pools and explore the various facilities and activities. Glen Ivy management organised delicious health fulfilling meals and I had the opportunity to meet my co-travellers and learn of their interest and connection to this industry. In addition we had group forums, presentations and lectures in the schedule.  

Our next two day stay was at Two Bunch Palms, an oasis in the middle of the Californian desert which is quite literally named after the two bunches of palms that sit in the middle of this landscape and mark the hot springs. We were welcomed with an intention setting and smoking ceremony lead by the resident shaman, and then had time to soak and relax before meeting for dinner. The following day various presenters talked of the history, trends and progressions in the hot springs industry. 

Our final destination was two flights and a road trip away to Ojo Caliente located near Sante Fe, Mexico. Nestled in a valley on 1,100 acres, Ojo is deemed sacred by the Native Americans of Northern New Mexico. The legendary waters here have been soothing body, mind and spirit for centuries and are the only hot springs in the world with 4 unique, sulfer-free mineral waters. 

Throughout history, people have used thermal and mineral springs for bathing, healing, socializing, and spiritual reasons. Those traditions are the roots of today’s spa industry, and are finding a resurgence of interest as consumers increasingly seek authentic, natural, and place-based experiences.

There are over 26,000 establishments in 103 countries that have wellness, recreational, and therapeutic facilities and services built around thermal/mineral springs. Collectively, these establishments earned more than $50 billion in revenues in 2013. Only 6,500 of these establishments offer spa-related services such as massages and facials and because they earn much higher average revenues, thermal and mineral springs establishments that offer spa treatments account for nearly two-thirds of industry revenues.

Asia leads the world in thermal/mineral springs revenues at $26.7 billion, with the two main markets—Japan and China—accounting for 51% of global revenues. The Asian market is dominated by the thousands of onsen in Japan and the ongoing massive investments in hot springs resorts in China. The second largest region is Europe, estimated at $21.7 billion, with a mature industry of sanatoria, health resorts, and thermal stations that use thermal and mineral waters primarily for therapeutic, curative, and rehabilitative purposes. 

As the renewed interest in the special properties of thermal and mineral waters continues to pick up momentum, we expect to see a growing number of businesses built around springs in countries where the industry is less developed. In the well-established markets in Europe, many countries are refurbishing their facilities and modernizing their offerings to appeal to modern wellness consumers and travellers. 

I certainly now know that my preference from this point of discovery will to be have a combined hot springs and spa resort experience. Its just so fulfilling to have a connection to a life giving source of wellness whilst being outdoors in the sunshine or under the stars. And with the addition of a day spa ritual, there really isn't too much more one could want.  

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SWC PROJECTS

These past few months, myself and the team at Spa Wellness have had the opportunity to work on a few smaller, but no less important projects. So I thought I would share an update on whats been happening here at SWC HQ in Melbourne. 

AMARA WELLNESS CENTRE - MELBOURNE

Amara is a unique wellness concept that weaves together a range of services. Located in Brunswick, Melbourne and owned by Dr Zara Celik, this centre offers turkish hammam rituals, wellness coaching, chiropractic, endermologie, endermotherapie and a huber motion lab. Traditional spa culture meets modern day technology for a fusion of relaxation, rejuvenation and rehabilitation. 

Upon discussing the objectives we began working on copy for a new treatment menu and website. My graphic designer Stef worked her magic by refreshing the brand and designing the spa brochure and other signage. Marc, my web developer worked on a new website based on how I felt the site needed to be navigated and what it needed to offer. I enjoyed a lovely hammam ritual so that I could offer feedback on the guest journey and where it needed to improve. And we supplied SOPs and standard contracts.  

With these few important changes Amara Wellness Centre now has a greater opportunity to achieve and flourish in the competitive wellness industry.

SWISSOTEL - HOPE ISLAND, QLD

Hope Island Resort is quite a grand property sitting in the centre of a golf course on the sunny Gold Coast. However it is now under re-development and therefore I was asked to provide a design brief for a new day spa. Two architects had already prepared plans and while they were good, amendments were definitely required. The prep room, office and retail area was not sufficient, there were a few too many treatment rooms, with too few facilities and the circulation of traffic through the space was not going to flow. 

This is where having a consultant that knows the inner workings of a space is an imperative, both from an ROI and efficiency perspective, along with the fact that calm staff and good flow equals a seamless guest journey. With that knowing, we revised the floor plan, presented a new concept which meant reducing treatment rooms in favour of a thermal bathing experience, plus added the necessary back of house areas that would support staff efficiency, which thereby reduces labor costs and stress. 

The end result is a day spa, that already just on paper, is going to be more profitable, more attractive, more competitive and a deliver on a much nicer guest experience.

RACV ONE SPA - VIC, QLD

Did you know that RACV has a portfolio of hotels and resorts? No less their own brand of day spa, called One Spa? Neither did I until I received a call in March of 2016 with a request to put forth a tender to review all six One Spa sites. 

Two months later, and following a thorough review of each One Spa, which involved a mystery shopping audit and then a return visit to carefully observe and ask questions of the business, I put forth a detailed report outlining the existing challenges and solutions. From this report, RACV implemented many changes and went onto choose a new spa partner. This then meant changing the spa menu for each One Spa and this was approached strategically based on previous best performing treatments. 

We wrote the copy and drafted the initial spa menu design, which was then completed by the in-house graphic design team. A simple luxe paper stock was chosen as per recommendation and finally after many detailed hours of proofing and editing, the spa menu was launched in conjunction with Comfort Zone as the new spa partner. 

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IKIGAI

Many ancient indigenous cultures took time to honour the question of purpose through ceremony, vision quest and rites of passage in order to help reveal the essential role in the story of life. Unfortunately the space and reverence for this question does not always seem to exist today and for many, our decisions around life-focus unfold in a more reactionary way, propelling us into educational, professional and life-directional paths based less on deep inner calling or soul-inspired vision, and more on societal expectations or so-called ‘practical reality’ and what is required to survive in the systems we’ve created to live in. 

The distinguishing quality of many of the healthiest people is that they seem to be the most aligned or ‘called’ towards some primary focus of meaning in their life. They have a sense of purpose. And this is the single most powerful contributing factor to one’s health and vitality.

Japanese culture actually has a word which addresses this focus. The word is ikigai and translates simply as, ‘reason for being’.

According to the Japanese, everyone has an ikigai. To find it often requires deep enquiry and lengthy ‘search of self’ – a search which is highly regarded. The term ikigai is composed of two Japanese words: iki referring to life, and kai, which roughly means “the realisation of what one expects and hopes for”. Unpacking the word and its associated symbol a bit further, ikigai is seen as the convergence of four primary elements:

What you Love (your passion)

What the World Needs (your mission)

What you are Good at (your vocation)

What you can get Paid for (your profession)

When we are immersed in any endeavour that brings us into our hearts, that makes us come alive – and we are bringing ourselves fully to it – instantly we become more generative, more magnetic and more dynamic in our ability to navigate challenges and discover pathways of breakthrough.

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JAPANESE MINDFULNESS

I had the privilege of visiting Japan in May so that I could gain an insight into the culture and therefore conceptualise Japan's first wellness retreat. A luxury destination where guests can experience the Japanese approach to longevity and wellbeing, for which they are renowned. Beyond nutrition and movement, which is where we in the West often limit wellness, is the central concept of mindfulness that is inherent in the Japanese arts, and indeed in their very way of being. 

The simple, but compelling, act of mindful living offers an invaluable tool to cope with the pace of modern day living. Mindfulness reduces stress, improves sleep, cognitive function and balances the emotions. Here below I share a number of mindfulness practices that stem from Japan to offer a perspective on how meditation can be something other than 'the lotus position'. 

ZAZEN - In Zen Buddhism, zazen is a meditative discipline that is typically the primary practice. The precise meaning and method of zazen varies from school to school, but in general it can be regarded as a means of insight into the nature of existence. Zazen is practiced in different ways depending on its tradition. It may involve facing a wall or facing into the centre of the room with eyelids half lowered. It can also include a walking meditation in the room. 

JAPANESE TEA CEREMONY - The heart of the Japanese tea ceremony lies in simplicity of spirit which brings peace to the mind. The objective of the ceremony is not just to make a cup of tea; it is a deliberate exercise in being present in the moment, focusing on one task and appreciating the simple things in life. The ritual of the tea ceremony is based on the 4 fundamental Zen principles of harmony, respect, purity and tranquility.

IKEBANA FLOWER ARRANGING - Ikebana or kado is the beautiful, often strikingly minimalist, Japanese flower arrangement art. Ikebana means “giving life to flowers” and kado translates as “the way of flowers”. When Buddhism was introduced to Japan, monks started to arrange flowers to decorate the altars of temples.

KOTO LESSON - The koto is the national instrument of Japan. It is a stringed musical instrument that is plucked with ivory picks called tsume.

ORIGAMI - Japanese origami began sometime after Buddhist monks carried paper to Japan during the 6th century. The word "origami" comes from the Japanese language. "Ori" which means folded and "kami" which means paper. This traditional paper folding art is very relaxing and meditative. 

JAPANESE INCENSE CEREMONY - Kōdō ( 道?, "Way of Fragrance") is the art of appreciating Japanese incense, and involves using incense within a structure of codified conduct. Kōdō includes all aspects of the incense process, from the tools ( 道具 kōdōgu), to activities such the incense-comparing games kumikō (組 ) and genjikō (源 ).[1] Kōdō is counted as one of the three classical Japanese arts of refinement.

JAPANESE CALLIGRAPHY - Zen calligraphy is practiced by Buddhist monks and most shodō practitioners. To write Zen calligraphy with mastery, one must clear one's mind and let the letters flow out of themselves, not practice and make a tremendous effort. This state of mind is called the mushin (無 ? "no mind state”). For any particular piece of paper, the calligrapher must be fully present and has but one chance to create with the brush.

JAPANESE POTTERY - Learning to use the potter’s wheel takes patience, practice, and focus. It is also very relaxing and rewarding. Initially the class will make small bowls, plates or cups before progressing onto other forms. Hand building or sculpture, is another way to work with clay. The basic techniques are easier to learn than wheel throwing and there is a larger range of forms you can make. 

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JAPANESE WELLNESS

Last month I had the delight of making my first ever visit to Japan to meet with a new client wanting to create a health retreat in the heart of snow country. My tour included a few days in Tokyo, Kyoto, Niseko and Shima-Shi so that I could understand the country, its culture, the Aman hotel group and of course the onsen tradition. 

I landed in Tokyo and absolutely loved this city. Fashion, food and beautiful hotels. Finding a yoga or fitness class was not so easy, and it seems that the wellness scene as we know it, has a long way to grow in Japan. However, the Japanese have long been revered and studied for their long life expectancy. They have a diet that is largely fresh and unprocessed, with very little refined foods or sugar. And the Japanese tend to have a healthy attitude to food and eating. They have a traditional saying, “hara hachi bu”, a Confucian teaching, which means to eat until you are 80% full, and Japanese parents start teaching this to their children from a young age. Its this mindful approach and the way they serve their food that is the key to their longevity. Rather than having one large plate, they often eat from a small bowl and several different dishes. The Japanese are also strong believers of ‘flexible restraint’ when it comes to treats and snacks, enjoying them from time to time but in smaller portions. 

My next stop was Amanemu in Shima-Shi and overlooking Ago Bay. Built around natural hot springs, called onsen in Japanese, the hotel has 30 private villas inspired by the classic style of a traditional ryokan. Designed by Kerry Hill Architects and using natural materials that harmonise with the surroundings, each villa offers a luxurious approach to zen minimalism. Soaking tubs offer taps for cold, hot and hot-springs water, so that a guest can enjoy a private onsen experience in their room. Surrounded by gardens, the water-inspired Aman Spa offers 2,000 square metres of relaxation, including two private pavilions, a watsu pool and four treatment suites. Designed around a large hot spring, the onsen experience here is of a more contemporary nature and I could barely wait to have a soak in the warm water. My afternoon of spa treatments began with a deeply relaxing watsu, followed by a energy healing with a visiting specialist. I was then escorted back to the spacious changing area that connects to the outdoor onsen. The water was heaven! Each mineral spring in Japan has its own unique properties and the Japanese will travel to various onsen based on the healing effects of the water and their wellness goals. In the case of Amanemu, the thermal water left my my skin feeling silky and soft. To finish the day I joined my travel companion for dinner in the restaurant, where a menu of local delicacies, including spiny lobster, marbled Wagyu beef and foraged herbs offer the best of Japan. A good nights sleep gave way to a beautiful sunny day so I hopped on a push bike and explored the property and then went to the fitness centre for some exercise before a final soak in the onsen, followed by a delicious degustation breakfast. 

Our next stop was the beautiful city of Kyoto. Due to its exceptional historic value, it escaped destruction in World War II, therefore countless shrines, temples, gardens and other priceless structures remain intact. As this visit was more of a cultural than a wellness visit I simply planned to wander, but I did stop for a shiatsu massage, which is a form of Japanese bodywork based on Traditional Chinese Medicine using finger pressure, along with assisted stretching, joint mobilisation and manipulation. After 4 hours of walking the renewed energy and lightness I felt from the shiatsu treatment was quite unbelievable and allowed me to continue sightseeing for another 3 or 4 hours. 

Onwards to Niseko for a discovery tour of the region and its hotels, traditional ryokans and hot springs. A ryokan is a Japanese style inn found throughout the country, but especially in hot spring areas. More than just a place to sleep, a ryokan is an opportunity to experience the traditional Japanese lifestyle and hospitality, incorporating elements such as tatami floors, futon beds, Japanese style baths and local cuisine. I loved experiencing this side of Japan along with the traditional onsens. I finished both evenings soaking in an outdoor onsen that was under the stars and surrounded by forest. The perfect pathway to a good nights sleep. 

On return to Tokyo for my final 2 night stay, I checked into Aman Tokyo and soon thereafter went to the spa for an afternoon of treatments. I began, as you do in Japan, with a warm soak overlooking the city skyline. Then I succumbed to a 3 hour ritual. The entire journey was faultless with every last detail considered and the pace of the therapist unhurried and attentive. If visiting Tokyo please visit the Aman. Designed by none other than the iconic Australian architect Kerry Hill, this city hotel is absolutely exquisite in its approach to zen luxury. The aesthetic is both refined and a little 'wabi sabi', which is a concept derived from Buddhism with the characteristics including asymetry, roughness, simplicity, economy, austerity, modesty, intimacy and appreciation of the ingenuous integrity of natural objects and processes. Its this approach that makes the Aman Tokyo feel right in every way. In addition service excellence delivered with Japanese perfection ensures the stay is second to none. Upon checking out, I was driven to the train station with two hotel porters purchasing my train ticket and carrying my luggage to the correct platform and train carriage. What more could a travelling spa consultant ask for? 

In any case I look forward to returning to Japan as the Aman Moiwa Health Retreat continues to be developed. Its an exciting project on so many levels and I look forward to bringing the concept of Japanese wellness to wellness travellers and ski enthusiasts visiting Niseko. 

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THE GUEST JOURNEY

A seamless guest journey is a sum of many parts. If we want to 'wow' our guests and take them on an exceptional journey then its necessary to consider all of the pieces below. 

WEBSITE - The flow of business often begins with your website. People of all demographics and ages search for services via the internet and your website needs to be designed with some keyword and SEO silo capabilities. It also needs to use imagery to evoke anticipation and desire.

SPA COLLATERALS - First impressions count! Your collaterals present and ultimately sell your brand. The Spa menu needs to be readable, evocative and wet the Spa appetite. Promotions and PR also need to be in motion.

THE RECEPTION AREA - This ambient space is what sells your Spa when a guest enters. It needs to feel and look good, smell nice and feel calm.

THE SPA RECEPTIONIST - This person is your ‘peace and wellness’ representative and ideally the Spa Manager. They drive the business of the Spa through clever use of suggestive selling, upgrading and efficient management of calendar.

MAKING AN APPOINTMENT - The phone should be answered within 3 rings. Emails should be answered within 3 hours and walk in guest’s should be attended to within 30 seconds. This process has to be efficient and easy for the guest.

THE SPA WELCOME - The experience starts with a warm welcome and ease of flow into change room and serenity lounge. A spa refreshment and consultation form await. A spa therapist arrives well groomed, calm and smiling.

THE SPA THERAPIST - The therapist is professional, courteous and genuine.

THE TREATMENT ROOM - This space needs to be clean, ambient and inviting. It is also crucial that the therapist has the operational items, environment and the workable flow needed so that they can perform the treatment proficiently, calmly and quietly.

THE CONSULTATION - A consultation done well opens the way to upgrading, rebooking and retailing. It also makes the guest feel they are having a treatment tailored to their needs. Ideally discussed during foot ritual.

TREATMENT - This is where we really prove our worth. The treatment is tailored where appropriate, the therapist uses polished language, moves about the room quietly, is skilled, confident and trained to perform the treatment.

IN CLOSING - The guest is offered lifestyle advice, product recommendations, and is escorted to serenity lounge, served a refreshment, given a prescription form and tray with retail and upon return to reception is rebooked and billed. 

I hope this summary provides some guidance and if you are wondering how your spa stacks up, then consider engaging a mystery shopper to review the guest journey. Feel free to give me a call to find out about the service we offer in this realm, and till then remember its the tiny touch points that matter. 

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CREATING A SPA MENU

One of my roles as a Spa Consultant is creating Spa Menu's, and its actually one of my favourite things to do. I love the whole process from selection of skincare, to concept creation, to dreaming up rituals, to writing clever copy and then going through the design process  of branding and image selection. While its obviously a natural part of a pre-opening project, a spa menu is also often a key element that requires fixing within an existing day spa. 

Your spa menu is your key sales and marketing tool. Without a well designed and well written treatment menu your spa may lose potential business. When developing a Spa Menu the following needs to be considered:

Consumers gravitate towards imagery that captures the imagination, touches the senses and evokes a feeling of relaxation and rejuvenation. Images can be a mix of treatment, product and surrounding landscape. The spa facilities can be featured but only if the spa space evokes the feeling of luxury, escape and elegant design.

Every spa menu must open up to a concept statement that touches on the inspiration, spa treatment philosophy, the facilities, the professional skills of therapists and the products used. The statement may finish with a tag line such as escape, explore, enrich.

The order of spa treatments is very important and thus the menu should start with higher priced signature rituals that also offer the business a higher profit yield. The person reading the menu will work their way down to the treatment they can afford.

The spa copy needs to speak to a wide audience... the busy A type, men, women, savvy spa guests and newcomers etc.

Choose a name for the treatment that is reflective of the spa concept.

List the elements involved in a spa ritual such as body scrub, wrap and facial so that this is clear for those who want to quickly read through the menu.

The evocative details can be described in the main part of the description. Things such as ‘be smothered in lashings of organic coconut, lime and shea butter’.

Keep the timings of treatments consistent. For example: 30, 60, 90 mins.

Always finish the treatment description with 2 to 3 benefits. For example: wonderful for circulation, dry dehydrated skin, men, jet lag, relief of tension etc.

Add options to upgrade and accessorise treatments for higher profit yield.

Last page details spa etiquette and other spa details and policies. 

This month Spa Wellness was commissioned to write and design a new spa menu for One Spa at RACV, which has 6 locations, and Amara Wellness Centre in Melbourne. Its been a busy month of creativity, crossing 'i's and dotting 't's and design, but the end result for both businesses has me feeling excited for what profits will unfold. 

You can view our work on our Portfolio page, and if you have a spa menu that needs a bit of help don't hesitate to drop me a line. Photo taken on location for the collaterals at Island Day Spa, Fraser Island.

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CHOOSING A SPA PARTNER

It is important to research spa partners when creating a new spa or spa menu and to remain emotionally neutral. The main consideration is how this product aligns with your hotel and spa brand. Below are other important questions you need to ask when selecting a Spa partner:

Spa’s in your Region - Is There Another Spa With the Same Product Nearby?

Products Country of Origin - Local or International?

Unique Selling Point - High Tech or Natural?

It’s Positioning - Luxury Establishments or Local Salons?

Exclusivity - Across 50 Spa’s or 500 Spa’s?

Online Competition - Can the Product Be Purchased Online at 60% Off?

Retail Price - Is It Too Expensive or Too Cheap for Your Guest Demographic?

Profit Margin - Do You Receive a Full 100% Profit Margin or Less?

Treatment Costing - Does It Cost $8 or $40 to Deliver a Facial?

Testers - Are Testers Supplied and How Often Are They Replaced?

POS - Is Point of Sale Material Supplied for Free?

Training - Does The Company Provide Regular Training Free of Charge?

Therapist Incentives - Does The Company Give Products to Therapists?

PR Support - Does The Company Offer PR Support & Marketing?

Diversity of Treatments - Is There Enough to Create an Interesting Spa Menu?

Stock Holding - Do You Need to Keep a High Level of Professional Stock?

Treatment Protocols - Are These Labour Intensive and Hard to Train?

Retail Selection - Is There A Good Variety of Retail & Lifestyle Products to Sell? 

When evaluating a spa partner based on the questions above you can make an informed decision that will serve your business and your client in the best possible way. And if you need an unbiased opinion give me a call and I can help you find the perfect spa partner fit. 

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