Building a Luxury Spa
Katie Howell

Katie Howell

Spa consultant

How To Build a Luxury Spa – 2

Part 2: Treatments and Product Demands

This blog is the second in my series on “How To Build a Luxury Spa” and this week I am going to discuss the second step in my Spa Ecosystem – Treatment and product demand.

Designing a treatment menu for your new luxury spa is such an exciting aspect of the build and it really starts to bring together your vision for your business. It also raises some key questions around your clientele and the logistics of how the spa will operate on a day to day basis. In my 17 years of experience I know just how important it is to be able to answer these questions so that you’re sure that your treatment menu and product offering is doing what it should for your clients and your spa.

What Does Our Ideal Customer Want From Us?

Let’s take our market research from last week’s blog (you can take a read here in case you missed it!) and continue with the theoretical opening of our luxury, destination spa. Firstly, let’s consider the clientele we want to attract to our spa. If we are opening as part of a hotel that is attracting a demographic of 50 yr – 65 yr olds then our focus may lean more to anti-aging treatments and our product line needs to take this age group into consideration as well. If our focus is on a younger generation, then our treatments need to reflect this and we should consider what the younger generation are wanting from a visit to a spa. Do they want to be able to have a glass of wine and chat with friends in between wellness treatments that are there to help alleviate the stresses of modern life or would they prefer more cutting edge technology based treatments?

How Do You Want The Spa To Feel?

Part of the vision of a new spa has to be emotive and we need to keep this in mind when designing our treatment menu. I often ask clients how they want their patrons to feel when they leave the environment or how long do they want people to actually spend at the spa? Is it a place for someone to come for the day or are they leaving straight after their treatments? I also ask clients to really think about how their spa should feel. Is it a place of relaxation and therefore quiet and serene or is it fun and more laidback?

What Do We Want From Our Brand Partners?

When we start to look at what brands and products we want to align ourselves with we need to ensure that they mirror the vision that we have for our spa. By operating in a luxury market, we know that we have more scope when it comes to stocking expensive brands and that we can offer our clientele a range of price points. It’s so important that whatever brand you choose to work with also recognises that this is a partnership. With this in mind, I enjoy learning what the brands can do for us. For example, I like to know what training I can expect for the therapists so they are as knowledgeable as possible about the product line. It’s  also important to know how often the product line changes or new products are released and what support we can expect from them during our partnership.

What Long-term Spa Trends Are Being Forecast?

I would never recommend that a spa designs its menu solely around fads but we can definitely take trends into account and study which of these have long term potential. A new spa is an opportunity to set yourself apart from the competition in your area, so look at how you can incorporate some of these trends into your business and how these can help connect you with your target market.

How Much Space Do You Need For A Spa?

It would be wonderful to have a limitless amount of treatment rooms and still have space for world class luxury facilities but unfortunately, we know that is never the case! When designing your treatment menu you need to look at how many of these treatments you can realistically offer at any one time. If you have a high end spa and there are machines required for certain treatments then how will this work, where will these machines be kept and will you have space for them in all rooms or just one or two?

Take A Step Back . . .

When you have narrowed down your ideas and you have an outline of what you want to offer, step back and think about your treatment menu from your clientele’s point of view. If this is their first introduction to your spa (via your website or social media) then what are they discovering about your business? What is it on this menu that is drawing them in and highlighting your unique selling point?

You may have noticed that I haven’t even mentioned revenue projections for a luxury spa yet. I advocate authenticity when it comes to your spa build so I believe it’s important to design your treatment menu with the highest vision of your business in mind and then we can look at the financials and determine how we will exceed your expected turnover.

That’s all to come in next week’s blog . . . Part 3 – Is Owning A Spa Profitable?

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