Hotel Spa Brands – The Real Story

The journey of hotel spa brands has been an interesting one. Some who are old enough, like me, can still remember a time when hotels did not have spas. I clearly remember doing the SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) Analysis for my hotel in Perth in the early 1990s. Nobody was talking about their spas then, because no hotel, at least none in Perth had a spa. Our gym was highlighted one of our greatest Strengths versus our competitors, because most of them didn’t even have a gym in those days.

The Brand of Spa

You may recall in Episode 10 of Trent365! I spoke about The Brand of Spa. In that episode I discussed how Spa is something that most guests in a hotel these days are familiar with. As opposed to the early 1990s when they were a rarity, the Hotel Spa today is pretty much ubiquitous. In some ways, Spa is actually baked into the system. So, the awareness of the Hotel Spa is there. We have brand awareness.

What we don’t quite have today, however, is Product-Market Fit. Now, that’s a term we would normally associate with a Silicon Valley Start Up, but I think it applies equally here. Most Hotel Spas that I see today are operating at sub-optimal levels. The spa products and services we are offering, in most cases, is not resonating with the hotel guests. And that’s GREAT NEWS! Why? Well, we’ve achieved a high level of awareness with the hotel guests. They know we’re there – somewhere. They’re just not sure if we’re offering them something they value. So, all we need to do, is tweak our offering a bit to give them products and services they want and need, and we’re all set.

Have a quick listen to Episode 10 of Trent365! – Brand of Spa,  here…

Brand Pull

What’s interesting to me, when discussing the power of hotel spa brands with hotel owners and managers, is the concept of Brand Pull. Can hotel spa brands pull guests in to the hotel, purely on the strength of their brand alone? Many of the hotel owners and managers I speak to believe the answer is yes. In Episode 35 of Trent365! I share my thoughts.

Much as I’d like to think it is true, my honest opinion is that, in most cases, it simply is not. It comes back to the primary motivation of the guest when choosing a hotel. Issues of location, price and hotel brand make a much bigger impact on the decision of which hotel to choose. Sure, for some guests, the hotel spa brand is important. But in reality, that only holds true for a relatively small percentage of guests.

Hotel Spa Brands can still bring significant value to the hotel in terms of providing a high quality and reliable spa offering. This is something that many hotels still struggle with. Consequently, many hotel owners and managers prefer to partner with one of the established hotel spa brands rather than try to operate the spa themselves.

Listen to Episode 35 of Trent365! – Brand Pull,  here…

From Spa to Wellness

Back in December of 2017, in Episode 30 of Trent365! I shared detail of research report released by Technavio. It listed the top hotel brands in the world of wellness. And which hotel brand topped the list? IHG – InterContinental Hotels Group. As discussed in that episode, this wasn’t so much due to a strong collection of hotel spa brands within these hotels. Rather, it was on the back of creating the EVEN hotel brand, committed to “offering a holistic wellness experience that empowers the active, on-the-go traveler to maintain their daily routine while on the road.”.

Fast forward to yesterday when IHG announced the acquisition of Six Senses Hotels and Resorts, a brand synonymous with wellness and sustainability. You can read what IHG has to say about the acquisition… HERE

Oh, by the way, which hotel brand do you think I mentioned, way back in that December 2017 episode, that I was surprised didn’t even make this list? Go on. Have a guess. Or just go ahead and listen to Episode 30 of Trent365! – Top Wellness Hotel Brand, here…

This Wellness thing is a big deal. Delivering Wellness in a hotel environment, however, is not easy. It will take some commitment. But Hotel Spa Brands are ideally positioned to leverage this growing global trend. Perhaps, the big opportunity is for hotel spas to become the Organisational Face of Wellness. What do I mean by that? Well, it just so happens, I’ve produced a little eBook to explain further.

To get your FREE copy of the Organisational Face of Wellness, just click below…

hotel spa brands