It would have been pretty difficult for us to miss on this prediction since we threw a lot into the soup: Vibration, Sound, Music, Light and Color. And clearly we are seeing more attention paid to sensory experiences. So while I think we have earned an “A” I do feel compelled to assign a failing grade to a brand that, I think, will surprise you. Continue reading
Besides enjoying Ian Brewis’s British sense of humor, our dinner conversation was also insightful. First, I learned that the beautiful well known photograph of the first Shangri La Chi spa in Bangkok – the one with all the bold red colors, two massage tables, high quality woods, etc. – was not an actual spa suite at all. It was a prototype! Apparently they first build a prototype of their rooms to make sure that all of the details work out, and then use it as a model for the construction workers – kind of like building it twice. It makes sense that this is one of the reasons that the workmanship in their spas is so noticeably superior.
And then we discussed the popularity of gambling among Asians – especially the Chinese – and how this is affecting the spa world…
Visited Champneys Henlow Grange and the Spa Finder Europe office today. They are within about 15 minutes of one another. It was great to meet Sasha, Tina, Monica, and Jessica from the Spa Finder UK office, which opened last June. I finally got a chance to add faces to their names. Bright and energetic, they are the nucleus of the new Spa Finder Europe team along with Cassandra and Kevin, who head up the operation.
At Champneys Henlow Grange, we had lunch, experienced a moisturizing float spa treatment, and afterward had the good fortune to spend a bit of time with Stephen Purdew – who, along with his mother Dorothy, is the owner of the Champneys empire. They are developing it brilliantly….destination spas, day spas, a resort spa, various Champneys skin care and body care lines, electrical spa products, Champneys meals and nutritional supplements – and probably a few other extensions I didn’t have time to find out about.
But I just wanted to share my excitement about Champneys. They are truly destination spas, offering an outstanding program at a reasonable price. It had been more than ten years since I visited Grange – back then it was not called Champneys. And I must say I was amazed and impressed. It was busy, lunch was delicious, and it had a real English country feel. After spending time with Stephen, I am so glad that they will be expanding the brand further. There are very few people in the world today who “get it” when it comes to destination spas. Luckily for us, Dorothy (who I believe is in her mid-70s) is still alive, and her son has taken the business to another level, with his sights set on yet another level no one has seen yet.
Enjoyed day one of the spa conference I am attending here in London. The day’s focus was on innovation and implementation. We had speakers from France, the US, the UK, Switzerland, Russia, Bulgaria, and the Maldives. That’s what I like about this gathering – it is very international.
Today’s most fortuitous encounter was with Nina Tsymbal from St. Petersburg, the owner of a consulting company called Endeli Limited, who spoke on medical spas in Russia. Since I will be at the Virtuoso Winter Symposium in St. Petersburg this weekend, I was thrilled to be able to get her advice on which spas to visit while I’m there. I had been trying to get some suggestions for weeks with almost no luck. (Moscow has some renowned spas, but it seems St. Petersburg doesn’t have any of note yet.) Well, Nina invited me to experience a special medical-massage treatment at her facility, the International Medem Clinic and Hospital. And, of course, I said yes. The topics at these conferences are instructive – but Nina’s offer reminded me that the connections with other spa professionals are the real treasures.