As promised here are my thoughts regarding the presentations by the various vendors at the ISPA media event. Tomorrow I will talk about the research that was presented.
25 spas had booths each showcasing something special. I think that 25 might be a tad too many as I wasn’t able to get around to see everything despite staying the entire time from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm. I suppose I could have gone more quickly but everyone’s booth seems to have interesting ways to keep you engaged. Here is what stood out to me:
1. Since Spa Finder predicted the sleep health trend for 2007 it was especially gratifying to see Sundara Inn & Spa’s presentation since they really have made sleep health a cornerstone of their program! Sundara Inn & Spa brought in one of their famous featherbeds dressed with great sheets, duvet, pillows, etc. They were showcasing their new “Insomnia Relief Dream Facial” – an 80 minute facial with massage that relieves tension especially around the jaw. The guest can then sleep right where they are for another 30 minutes – or all night if they are in their room.
Sundara also gave out a little booklet titled, “Longing…for a good night’s sleep” which includes tips and testimonials from their hundreds of guests who write them saying things like “I don’t think we’ve slept that well since our son was born,” “The bed itself is worth the trip,Sinc” etc.
2. Since they had a Harley in their booth (and my hubby is a major motorcycle fan as you can see from recent posts), Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa got my attention. They now have a 40% men/60% women split of clientele which is great. (Most spas are more like 30%/70% and many day spas 20%/80% men to women.)
3. The Lodge at Woodloch, a destination spa had someone doing handwriting analysis and they gave out a beautiful journal. The analyst was quite accurate saying, among other things, that I am a detail person. (As my husband says, that’s a blessing and a curse.)
4. Mandarin Oriental, Miami demonstrated a massage with a bamboo stalk, tuning forks, and gem stones. I liked the idea of the bamboo stalk but it seemed like matching it with tuning forks and gem stones put a bit too much into the soup. The bamboo stalk massage could have stood on its own in my opinion.
5. Montage Resort & Spa presented its signature Surrender Retreat, a Personal Journey. They’ve been doing that for years now but you can’t argue with success. They are the only spa to have received the five star diamond award 2 years in a row. Kudos that they invest so much in their therapist training.
6. Spa of Colonial Williamsburg was interesting because I learned that Sylvia Sepielli created their treatment menu along the lines of various centuries. Since the spa used to be a museum, each century has a unique treatment. I always love the way Sylvia creates interesting spas and menus.
All in all, if someone were to ask me what trends I was seeing, I would say that there were a lot of “customized” treatments. This seems in line with what spas are really about… meeting individual needs.
I wonder if I will begin seeing the term “Bespoke” replace customized in the future. Bespoke is an old term used in tailoring which refers to something being customized exactly for you. I see this quite often now on European spa menus.
And in terms of future trends, I think the Willow Stream Spas at Fairmont Hotels & Resorts were right on the money – literally. They showcased a luxurious and expensive facial using real gold leaf as well as a “Generosity Massage” with proceeds going to a local charity.