spa business

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RHIANON HOWELLS
Rhianon Howells was launch editor of Spa Business and established
it as a journal of note. As consulting editor she is closely involved
with its continuing development, while also writing widely on health,
fitness, travel and leisure as a freelance journalist.
CHRIS MCBEATH
Chris McBeath has more than 20 years’ experience in the tourism
industry, working with hotels, resorts, cruise ships and tourist
organisations and as a professional journalist. She writes for a
variety of international consumer and business-to-business titles.
JAMES OSCHMAN
A biophysicist and biologist from the University of Pittsburg,
US, James Oschman has had 30 research papers published
on complementary medicine. He has also written two books on
energy medicine and is the founder of Nature’s Own Research, an
association which explores modalities of natural medicine.
LEONOR STANTON
Leonor Stanton is the founder of LLS Consulting, specialising in
market and commercial assessments and financial planning in
the hospitality and spa sectors. She was previously with Deloitte
Consulting and Deloitte Corporate Finance.
JENNIFER TODD
Jennifer Todd has been a regular contributor to Spa Business
magazine for the last six years and has established herself as a
leading commentator in the industry. Currently living in Melbourne,
she specialises in writing about the Asia Pacific leisure sector.
JONATHAN WHITTLE
Jonathan Whittle has worked in the magazine industry for more
than 20 years with IPC, EMAP and Nexus. His career as a publisher
has embraced consumer and business-to-business titles such as
Travel Trade Gazette and The World Travel Guide, allowing him to
develop valuable insight into the global travel market.
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a new model
M
any operators have been
knocked sideways by the
recession as customers have
stopped turning up, leaving staff
standing and bills mounting.
Research indicates that even though people still
have cash in their pockets, a spirit of austerity rules
and they’re more likely to bank it than spend it. This
behaviour is driven by fear, so until consumers feel
more confident, things are unlikely to change.
Most operators report that the period leading up to the downturn was
the most buoyant they’d traded through, meaning the industry was at full
tilt when the recession hit. The speed of onset and extent of the fall-off in
business caught most by surprise and plans have been hurriedly changed –
often with serious consequences for the businesses involved.
We’ve seen casualties, but also a stabilising of business as costs are cut
and plans put on hold to bring the operation in-line with the new reality. Many
operators are licking their wounds and the question now is, what next?
There’s no doubt the ‘pay and play’ business model adopted by most
spas has left them highly vulnerable to recession and in this issue, we look
at the concept of spa memberships and suggest that this may be one of the
solutions which could be adopted by the industry.
Spa Business’s publisher, The Leisure Media Company, has six other
publications – among them, a magazine called Health Club Management.
Although this is effectively the first recession for spas, it’s the third for health
and fitness and from our work in this sector, we’re aware of the power of
memberships to create stable and profitable businesses. We’re also finding
that in this recession, our health and fitness readers are faring better than
our spa readers. As a result, our starting point for analysing the concept of
spa membership has been to talk to key health and fitness contacts who’ve
launched spas, to find out how memberships work for them (page 20).
We would argue that spa operators needs to adopt new business models
such as those based on membership, to survive and thrive: increased
customer loyalty, greater perception of value and predictable income
streams are among the benefits associated with this model.
There seems to be great enthusiasm for this idea among consumers and
Mandarin Oriental found 70 per cent of a strong consumer sample taken
over two years would be interested in signing up. Other operators report that
they can start the month with over half their financial target achieved through
membership payments – a very exciting prospect in today’s market.
We’ve been told by some that spa membership is an old fashioned and
outmoded idea which has no place in the modern spa industry, but we
would urge operators to revisit the idea and to examine ways in which it can
be applied successfully. With spa operators of the experience and calibre
of Red Door and Mandarin Oriental extolling the virtues of memberships, we
think it may be just what the industry needs right now.
ON THE COVER:
CHI, the Spa at Shangri-La
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The Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group researched the market
for spa memberships and found 70 per cent of consumers
who responded would be interested in signing up
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SPA BUSINESS 3 2009
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Contents » issue 3 2009
10
LETTERS
Spas are ideal environments for
treating anxiety disorders, say Emma
Fletcher and Martha Langley
14
NEWS
New architects appointed for the
landmark Hermitage Towers project in
France, a €25m spa specialising in
thalassotherapy launches in Croatia,
and Starwood’s W brand makes its frst
appearance in the Middle East
20
EVERYONE’S TALKING
ABOUT SPA MEMBERSHIPS
Could membership-based business mod-
els work in the spa industry? Rhianon
Howells investigates
24
INTERVIEW
ANDREW LANE &
FRANCES HAYTER
Spa and Salon International is aiming for
100 Dove Spa and Pond’s Institute sites by
2013. Rhianon Howells talks to the man
and woman at the helm of the businesses
30
SPA SPY DOVE SPA,
OAKVILLE, ONTARIO
Caroline Wilkinson pays a visit to the
frst Dove Spa in Canada
32
RESEARCH
INSIDE INFORMATION
Leonor Stanton reviews ISPA’s latest
research on global spa-goers and gets feed-
back on the fndings from the industry
36
LEASE OF LIFE
Hepburn Springs, a historic, min-
eral bathhouse in Australia, has been
transformed into a world-class spa facil-
ity. Jennifer Todd pays a visit
41
THE WAY I SEE IT
ALAIN MASSAZA
Te French thalassotherapy specialist and
the man behind Accor’s LeSpa brand on
the importance of creativity and freedom
42
TRENDS
FEEL THE FORCE
Biophysicist James Oschman looks at the
diferent approaches of energy medicine,
their ef cacy and how they can be incor-
porated into spa oferings
in this issue...
Te ef cacy of energy medicine p42 esea c : g oba spa co su e s p3
Spa spy: Dove Spa, Canada p30
spa business
uniting the world of spas
epbu Sp gs, ust a a p36
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SPA BUSINESS 3 2009
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46
THE REAL THING
As it expands globally, Indian op-
erator Ayurcare is staying true to authentic
ayurveda practices. Chris McBeath reports
50
PROFILE
PAUL LEHR
Te president of Florida’s Pritikin Lon-
gevity Center reveals his plans to target a
new audience at home and abroad
54
I’M A BELIEVER
Jonathan Whittle tells us about
what the Pritikin programme did for him
58
TALES OF THE ORIENT
We take a closer look at Mandarin
Oriental’s new treatment concept
62
WORLD OF WELLNESS
Ayurveda and golf give Turkey’s
LykiaWorld Antalya resort a competitive
edge. Caroline Wilkinson fnds out more
66
FITNESS
EXERCISE HIGH
Kate Cracknell uncovers the benefts of
simulated altitude technology and looks
at what it might add to spa facilities
70
PRODUCTS
Product and equipment launches
74
FINISHING TOUCH
GREEN TALK
Asian consumers are only paying lip serv-
ice to the green movement, a survey shows
LykiaWorld Antalya, Turkey p62 S u ated a t tude t a g p66
Profle: Paul Lehr p50 oes G ee Se s a? p7
Change the way you read
Spa Business magazine
SIGN UP ONLINE:
www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/green
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that you can
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Spa Business in
its new, greener,
paper-free, digital format?
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write to reply
I
n 1972 the King of Bhutan frst ex-
pressed the term Gross National
Happiness (GNH). In Buddhism,
inner happiness is the purpose of
life and since Bhutan is a Buddhist coun-
try, the king felt responsible for defning
its development in terms of the happiness
of the people, rather than traditional eco-
nomic measurements such as GDP.
Almost 40 years on Bhuthan is still fol-
lowing this unique GNH development
model: taking into account ecological and
wellbeing metrics such as pollution and
controlled incoming tourism, over mate-
rial consumption. Tis is beginning to
form a basis for conventional Western de-
velopment which integrates non-material
elements such as cultural, social, wellbeing
and nature-based values.
But the biggest challenge is in imple-
menting local ‘happiness’ initiatives for
individuals and communities. Tis fts in
well with spas, wellness centres and even
hospitals where personal and planetary
wellness is the next big thing. Operators
could introduce programmes to increase
inner and outer happiness – laughter
yoga, for instance, is already practised in
UK and US spas, or they could encour-
age guests to ‘discover the art of doing
nothing’, where doing nothing, is doing
something. Another possibility for spas is
ecophyschology – therapy through nature
and our surrounding architecture.
Te old, mainstream model for Western
development, especially in the context of
wellbeing, is being seriously challenged.
While the alternative is far from clear the
GNH way is one way forward.
What can spas bring to the Gross National Happiness Index?
Motti Essakow, founder, OmWard Bound, Canada
A
nxiety disorders are one of the
most common mental health
illnesses. Most of us will feel
anxious at times, but if this
becomes permanent and focused on a
phobia or obsession, then an anxiety
disorder has developed. Such disorders
include panic attacks, phobias (like ago-
raphobia), obsessive compulsive disorder
and generalised anxiety disorder and
suferers ofen become housebound and
isolated. In the current economic climate,
these disorders seem likely to increase.
Most suferers also experience deeply
uncomfortable physical symptoms, such
as shakiness, raised heart rate, dizziness,
needing to go to the toilet and feeling faint.
For those with mild to moderate anxiety,
self-help is a viable option.
Tere are many aspects of behaviour
and thought processes that need to be ex-
amined, but among the most important
are regular relaxation, aerobic exercise
and calm steady breathing. Clearly the
spa environment is ideal for promoting
and supporting these goals.
It is quite likely, therefore, that staf
will meet clients with anxiety who are
hoping to beneft from the therapies on
ofer. Te simplest advice is to accept the
client’s requests without judging them.
For instance, a person with claustropho-
bia may ask to have the treatment room
door lef ajar, or someone with a social
phobia may wish to avoid the waiting
room. As long as there are no health and
safety issues, it should be possible to meet
their needs and requests.
Taking it further, spas could ofer pro-
grammes specifcally tailored to anxiety.
Advice on exercise, relaxation and breath-
ing could be combined with sessions with
a trained counsellor. Yet this would need
to be individually tailored as there is no
one-size-fts-all approach for anxiety.
Fletcher and Langley wrote the self-help
book Free Yourself from Anxiety
A call for spas to treat anxiety
Emma Fletcher and Martha Langley, co-authors, Free Yourself From Anxiety
Do you have a strong opinion, or disagree with somebody else’s point of view on
topics related to the spa industry? If so, Spa Business would love to hear from you.
Email your letters, thoughts and suggestions to theteam@spabusiness.com
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Regular relaxation and
calm steady breathing can
help to alleviate anxiety
Letters KATIE BARNES » MANAGING EDITOR » SPA BUSINESS
SPA BUSINESS 3 2009
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I
appreciate visual elements of the
spa environment, but I feel the spa
journey ofen ends with feelings of
incomplete sensory satisfaction.
As a spa management student, this led
to my study investigating whether design-
ers and developers consider the sensory
impact of spa architecture.
Spas are typically visually stunning, en-
gaging the sense of sight, but what of the
other senses? What thought, for exam-
ple, is given to acoustics – the qualities of
sound and how sound reverberates within
a space, how it travels between spaces or
how it interacts with the other senses? Te
way that sound is used could add to the
ambience and atmosphere of a spa, thus
afecting mood and ultimately the quality
of the spa experience.
My study revealed that, in principle,
there is an awareness of the infuence of
the environment on the senses. In prac-
tice, however, little consideration appears
to be taken to strategically engage all of
the senses through design.
It’s suggested that this may be due to
many factors such as design training,
sight bias as well as project budgets. It
could also be due to design trends: in the
West, for example, a popular contempo-
rary design theme is minimalism, which
can feel clinical and consequently have
minimal afect on the sensory experience.
It is fair to say not all spa users will be
aware or even appreciate the efort made
to improve their surroundings through
sensory application, but cognition is not
required to beneft from the experiences.
In order to enhance the experience for
the spa user and for a true sense of wellbe-
ing (emotional, sensual and intellectual) I
propose that all of our fve senses should
be stimulated. Afer all, if we design out all
sensory cues in an environment we are es-
sentially lef blind, deaf and numb.
Why doesn’t spa design stimulate all of the senses?
Sonia Alexis, graduate, BSc (Hons) International Spa Management, University of Buxton, UK
Tapping into emotions is key to spa operations and product success
Crispin Reed, managing director, Brandhouse
E
motion. Te most important
seven letters in business. But
business doesn’t like talking
about emotion. Rarely dis-
cussed, it’s locked away while rationality
reigns supreme.
Yet in this age of oversupply, product
parity and commoditisation, businesses
are forced to forge deeper emotional con-
nections with their consumers.
In our 2009 study, Te Brandhouse
Emotion 100™, we set out to measure the
‘emotional competitive advantage’ of 100
leading brands in the UK. We found that
the stronger the emotional anticipation of
a brand, the bigger its competitive advan-
tage. Interestingly, service brands, such as
hotels and resorts including Center Parcs
and Four Seasons, performed less well than
tangible product brands such as Kelloggs.
Tis could be because a consumer’s ex-
pectations might be higher when it comes
to the service category, making it harder
for brands to achieve a better score. Or
it may be down to the fact that they sim-
ply don’t deliver service levels of a high
enough standard.
Te key here for spa operators is to de-
velop strong emotional connections with
customers. It’s important they deliver
‘meaningful’ customer care – by this I
mean a truly personalised and individual
approach where service shines through
over a ‘cookie-cutter’, formulaic one.
Another tip is for spas to defne their
brand story – this could be highlighting
the training staf undertake or relating
to the inspiration of the founder, for ex-
ample. Te brand story will underpin the
emotional competitive advantage.
Te brand story is also relevant to
spa product houses. In a very crowd-
ed marketplace full of claims from the
straightforward to the bizarre, expressing
rational benefts in an emotionally engag-
ing way is crucial – a good example of this
is Dove and its Campaign for Real Beauty
(see p24). Also key is deeply understand-
ing your consumer base. Tis may sound
obvious, but it’s amazing how many
brands and companies don’t do this.
Companies may also want to take the
lead from Kellogg’s, which performed
very well in our survey. Firstly, this is
an everyday, trusted, well-liked brand,
which always delivers what it promises (as
evidenced by a strong score against the
emotional territory of contentment).
Secondly, and this is something we’re
seeing across a number of brands, Kel-
logg’s consistently delivers incremental
innovations (in favours, packaging etc).
We believe that particularly in times of
recession, those brands that deliver lots
of incremental innovations rather than a
couple of big ones will be successful.
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It’s suggested that while visually stunning, minimalist designs can feel clinical
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News update
NorgeSpa set to open
second site in Norway
Norwegian spa manufacturing group
Olavesen has launched a new spa
franchise concept called NorgeSpa.
The franchise package includes
a range of options, such as spa de-
sign and management. It also offers
franchisees a revenue share on all
products and treatment equipment,
which Olavesen manufactures.
The first NorgeSpa opened in De-
cember 2008 in Fenstad, Norway,
with a second preparing to open in
late 2009 at Magnor, on the border of
Sweden and Norway.
It is hoped that the brand can even-
tually be extended to the US and UK.
news update
A development for the La Défense busi-
ness district in Paris has been revised,
with a new architectural practice driving
the scheme forward in the future.
Called Hermitage Plaza and designed
by Foster + Partners, the twin tower
buildings will take the form of interlock-
ing triangles which face one another and
enclose a large public piazza.
As the towers rise, they will turn out-
wards to ofer residents sweeping views
across the city from large feature windows.
Covering a total site area of 161,458sq
f (15,000sq m), the frst tower will have
91 foors and the second will have 92.
Tere will be 538 apartments, as well as a
panoramic spa, a hotel and of ces.
Design features will include glazed
façade panels with diferent points catch-
ing the light throughout the day as the
sun moves. Te building will be braced
by a diagrid structure and incorporates
a number of sustainable features. Tese
include angled façade panels, which will
promote self-shading and vents which
can be opened to draw fresh air inside.
Work is scheduled to begin in 2010 and
be completed by the end of 2014.
Parisien spa tower project gets new look
s t e towe s se, t ey w tu outwa ds, o e g pa o a c v ews ac oss t e c ty As the towers rise, they will turn outwards, ofering panoramic views across the city
Raison d’Etre to create tent experience
Spa development and management
consultancy Raison d’Etre is to work in
partnership with Sujan Luxury Hotels to
create a tented spa for Te Serai camp in
Jaisalmer, Rajasthan.
Opening later this year, Te Serai
will feature 21 canvas tents for accom-
modation, divided into three categories,
including one tent with a private spa
area, a swimming pool and a lounge.
Te spa at Te Serai will boast four
treatment tents and will be set apart
from the main camp.
Each treatment tent will be split into
three parts: a welcome area where guests
will receive a welcome drink and meet
their therapists; a changing area; and a
large treatment space.
Locally-sourced stone and canvas are
being used throughout the spa, while all
tents will be air-conditioned in the sum-
mer and heated in the winter.
A range of spa products have also been
created exclusively for Te Serai, using
plants, herbs and spices from the sur-
rounding Rajasthani area.
First foreign chapter of
BISA is founded
The first international chapter of the
British International Spa Association
(BISA) has been founded in Japan.
BISA Japan launched at the British
Embassy in Tokyo by the chair of the
new chapter: Masatsuyo Matsumoto.
Matsumoto has established the
goals of this chapter of the organisa-
tion, which strongly focus on setting
standards for Japan’s spa industry
and emphasise the need for spa man-
ager and therapist education.
In addition, BISA Japan will be com-
mitted to promoting Japan as a spa
destination around the world.
oca y sou ced ca vas w be used o t e te ts Locally-sourced canvas will be used for the tents
SARAH TODD » NEWS EDITOR » SPA BUSINESS
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Cliff Lodge spa opens
at Ulusaba Reserve
A new Cliff Lodge, which will be ac-
cessed via a wooden walkway, has
been added to the Ulusaba Private
Game Reserve in South Africa.
The lodge comprises two suites, a
large swimming pool and a small spa.
South African-based brand Africol-
ogy spa treatments will be offered.
The reserve is part of Virgin Limited
Edition, Sir Richard Branson’s private-
ly-owned collection of luxury retreats.
June debut for Rocco
Forte Verdura in Sicily
The %124m (US$174.62m, £108.27m)
five-star Rocco Forte Verdura Golf and
Spa Resort, located by the beach
on the southern coast of Sicily, is on
schedule to open in June 2009.
The resort will have two champion-
ship golf courses, as well as a 4,000sq
m (430,556sq ft) spa complex with four
thalassotherapy pools, 11 treatment
rooms and a swimming pool. There will
also be a 60m outdoor pool, an open-
air amphitheatre and a private beach.
Designed by the Italian architect
Flavio Albanese, the property is the
first resort in The Rocco Forte Collec-
tion, which currently has 12 hotels.
Starck spa launches
at Viceroy Miami
Viceroy Resorts & Residences has
opened its flagship spa in Miami within
the Icon Brickell Tower in Florida, US.
The Spa at Viceroy Miami was styled
by French designer Philippe Starck
and covers 28,000sq ft (2,601sq m).
The spa features a 5,000sq ft
(465sq m) Water Lounge boasting
views over Biscayne Bay.
Designed to resemble a floating
library, the lounge has bookcases, an
oversized chandelier and waterborne
sofas and chairs. Other facilities in-
clude 10 treatment rooms.
Therapies will use Swiss brand
Valmont and the US-based lines
Arcona and Ola Organics.
%25m Novi Spa centre opens in Croatia
A new %25m (US$35.2m, £21.83m) spa
and wellness concept has opened at the
Novi Spa Hotels & Resort property in
Novi Vinodolski, Croatia.
Te spa has wall-to-ceiling windows
throughout, ofering views over the Adri-
atic Sea to the Island of Krk and includes
22 treatment rooms and six spa suites.
Designed by the architect Ante Niksa
Bilic from Studio Ante Murales in Za-
greb, Croatia, the concept of the spa
focuses on traditional Oriental philoso-
phies combined with a more traditionally
Western, holistic approach.
Facilities include a total of 14 saunas
including an outdoor Finnish sauna, a
laconium, three steambaths, a salt peel-
ing bath and a Kneipp area.
Tere is also a whirlpool with heated
seawater and indoor and outdoor thalas-
so swimming pools featuring waterfalls
and a counter-current system.
Treatments include a range of signa-
ture massages as well as thalassotherapy
and hydrotherapy rituals. Product houses
used include Germaine de Capuccini,
Charme de O’rient and a Novi Spa-
branded cosmetic line.
Vinotherapy spa
opens in Madeira
A vinotherapy-based spa has just opened
in Te Vine Hotel on the Portuguese
island of Madeira.
Located above the cobbled old quarter
of the city of Funchal, Te Hotel Vine has
57 hotel bedrooms as well as the large spa.
Te %1m (US$1.41m, £873,000) spa
features a TeraVine-branded range of
vinotherapy treatments and products.
Originating in South Africa, Tera-
Vine was developed in the wine region
of Stellenbosch and especially uses the
pinotage grape in its treatments.
Additional wellness facilities include
a panoramic roofop swimming pool and
a large whirlpool. Guests w e joy g ape e t act t eat e ts Guests will enjoy grape extract treatments
e bu d g s s tuated e t to t e d at c Sea a d o e s a y t a assot e apy t eat e ts Te building is situated next to the Adriatic Sea and ofers many thalassotherapy treatments
16 Read Spa Business online spabusiness.com / digital
Marketing
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cybertrek 2009
Salamander resort
and spa on schedule
Work on a signature new resort and
spa from the Salamander Hospital-
ity group in Virginia, US, is halfway to
being completed.
Launching in early 2010, the luxury
Salamander resort and spa will be lo-
cated in the village of Middleburg.
The spa will cover a total of
23,000sq ft (2,136sq m) and offer 14
treatment rooms, many with private
outdoor terraces. It will also feature
two outdoor ‘treehouse’ treatment
rooms on the edge of the woods,
overlooking a stream. Project archi-
tects are the US-based WATG group.
The Grange Spa
opens in Lincolnshire
A luxury new 8,395sq ft (780sq m) spa
with six treatment rooms has opened
in Pointon, Lincolnshire, UK.
Called The Grange Spa, treatments
use Thalgo, Aromatherapy Associates
and Jessica nail products.
The heat experience area was de-
signed by Schletterer Wellness & Spa
Design and consists of two
feature showers, an aroma bath, a
herbal bath, an ice fountain and a
gemstone steambath.
There is also a 1,076sq ft (100sq m)
fitness suite which has been
equipped by three suppliers: Escape
Fitness, Matrix and Keiser.
ISPA releases Global
Best Practices guide
The International Spa Association
(ISPA) has released a list of Global
Best Practices to ensure that all spas
provide quality service to guests.
The document is intended to act as
a checklist and was created by a task-
force of spa industry professionals to
aid their peers in creating the best spa
experience possible for their clientele.
ISPA president Lynne Walker
McNees said: “Two years ago, we in-
troduced the ISPA Code of Conduct,
which helped to develop a Global Best
Practices guide. We are ensuring that
our members have the tools they need
to stay relevant in meeting consumer
needs and expectations.”
e odge s s tuated o a 50 ac e s te o a dge at W ow Va e
Facility launches at Australian retreat
A AUS$650,000 (US$518,100, %367,950,
£321,150) spa has opened at the Gold
Coast Ruf es Lodge in Australia.
Te 3,982sq f (370sq m) day spa
is intended to focus on the lodge’s
surrounding Mount Tamborine envi-
ronment and complement the existing
10-bedroom boutique accommodation.
Te spa is fnished in materials such as
New Guinea rosewood and granite and
features three treatment rooms.
Other facilities include a six-person
capacity steamroom, an infra-red sauna,
manicure and pedicure areas and a large
relaxation room. Terapies use the bo-
tanical-based WaterLily range. Signature
treatments include the Organic Honey
and Cocoa Body Wrap.
Sydney-based architectural frm Allen
Jack+Cottier, which also created Aus-
tralia’s Golden Door Health Retreat in
the Hunter Valley, was responsible for
the spa design. Tere was also input from
consultants Kirrien Withers.
Located on a ridge at Willow Vale, the
lodge is set on 50 acres (20 hectares) of
land and is around an hour’s drive from
Brisbane and the Gold Coast airports.
Middle Eastern entry for W brand
Starwood Hotels & Resorts has
extended its W Doha Hotel & Residences
to Doha, Qatar, marking its entry into
the Middle Eastern market.
W Doha launched in early March
this year and is located in the West
Bay of Doha on the Qatar peninsula.
Te property features 292 guest rooms,
restaurants, a poolside outdoor shisha
lounge, a champagne bar and a Bliss Spa.
Te spa has nine treatment suites –
with one VIP suite – a nail lounge with
‘movie-while-you-mani’ stations and a
retail boutique. It also features laconiums
and men’s and women’s water lounges,
complete with lounge pools, relaxation
space, steamrooms and saunas.
Starwood expects to open a further
11 W Hotels around the world in 2009,
Starwood plans 27 W Hotels by 2011 Starwood plans 27 WHotels by 2011
including W Barcelona – a 473-bedroom
waterfront hotel and spa.
W Barcelona will follow the W Istan-
bul as the brand’s second hotel in Europe
and its frst in Spain. Starwood ultimate-
ly plans to launch 27 W hotels by 2011.
News update
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A 16,500sq f (1,532sq m) free-standing
spa has opened at the Pueblo Bonito Em-
erald Bay resort in Mazatlan, Mexico. Te
site is one of seven in the group’s portfolio.
Te Emerald Bay Spa has a wide range
of signature features, including a chro-
motherapy room, refexology paths and
aromatherapy areas.
Provided in the men’s and women’s
steamrooms, chromotherapy (or colour
therapy) will enable users to enhance
their spa experience.
Elsewhere, the refexology paths are
intended to aid guests’ relaxation, while
the scent of lavender will be used in the
reception area, and citrus to help refresh
both the wet areas and the ftness centre.
Tere are also 11 treatment rooms, in-
cluding a couple’s massage room, while
therapies will use Natura Bissé products.
Other facilities include aromatherapy
and Swiss showers, a cold plunge pool
and a relaxation area with two fatscreen
televisions showing peaceful videos.
Luxury spa unveiled at Emerald Bay
Late 2009 opening for Izuran in Morocco
Izuran, a luxury resort situated on the
outskirts of Marrakech, Morocco, is set
to open in late 2009, featuring a 16,146sq
f (1,500sq m) medical spa.
Hamptons International is behind the
37-acre (15-hectare) development, which
has been designed by Moroccan architect
Karim El Achak in partnership with in-
terior designer Miguel Cancio Martins.
Te development also includes 10
luxury villas, two swimming pools and
gardens designed by landscape architect
Christophe Girot and Moroccan archi-
tect Ahmed Bentaher.
It is claimed that the spa will be run
by renowned medical professionals. Te
therapies on ofer will be tailored to suit
each spa guest – the philosophy is that
individuals are the result of a balance be-
tween genetic history and the impact of
the everyday environment, and therefore
have specifc individual needs.
e cou tya d a ea o t e ,500sq spa, des g ed by a c ak
Te 16,500sq f spa will complement the luxury resort’s existing facilities
19-21 July 2009
Cosmoprof North America
Now in its seventh year, this expo in Las
Vegas, US, will include pavilions for spa,
hair and nails and cosmetics. More than
730 companies took part in 2008.
T: +1 916 774 8682
www.cosmoprofnorthamerica.com
8-9 August 2009
Sydney International Spa
& Beauty Expo
One of Australia’s largest spa and beauty
trade events with the latest products,
treatments and equipment. Held at the
Sydney Convention & Exhibition Centre.
T: +61 2 9422 2535
www.internationalbeautyexpo.com.au
2-4 September 2009
Natural Therapies
& Natural Health Expo
This expo in Sydney, Australia, aims to
provide natural health solutions for pro-
fessionals in the natural health industry.
T: +61 2 9660 2113
www.naturaltherapyexpo.com.au
4-6 September 2009
Vita Spa 2009
Staged at the Sheraton Libertador Hotel in
Argentina, this South American show and
conference is for owners and operators of
spas, medi-spas and aesthetic clinics.
T: +5411 4758 4340
www.vitaspaweb.com
13-14 September 2009
European Spa Summit 2009
This conference, targeting European spa
industry professionals, will be located in
the Porte de Versailles, Paris, France. It
is hailed as a must-attend event for all
those who are looking to develop or in-
vest in successful new spa projects.
T: +33 1 44 69 95 69
www.spasummit.com
13-15 September 2009
European Spa
Exhibition 2009
An exhibition for European spa indus-
try professionals in Porte de Versailles,
Paris, France, which runs alongside the
European Spa Summit (above).
T: +33 1 44 69 95 61
www.beyondbeautyparis.com
News update
b[_ikh[Z_Who$Yec
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www.experienceispa.com | 1.888.651.ISPA (4772)
spa memberships
T
he ftness industry boom
brought a revolutionary new
business model to the fore:
the private health club, whose
members signed a contract which
commits them to paying a monthly fee –
usually by direct debit – for the right to
use the facilities at any time.
More than three decades since this
model was introduced, it’s an industry
norm, used by ftness centre chains
and independent operators across the
globe. Spa operators, on the other hand,
have remained largely reliant on ad hoc
business from the local market and/or
host hotel – that is, until now.
With spa increasingly being seen as a
lifestyle choice rather than an occasional
treat, an growing number of operators
are starting to explore the option of
ofering memberships to guests who are
willing to make a serious commitment
to their health and/or beauty regimes.
Te advantages of a membership-
based versus a pay-and-play business
model are clear: it delivers a predictable
revenue stream, encourages usage (and
therefore secondary spend), and makes
it much easier to track customers’ needs
and preferences and to deliver value.
So why doesn’t every spa introduce
a membership scheme? According
to some experts, not every market is
ready for this kind of business model
– in emerging markets, for example,
consumers may not be willing to make
the kind of fnancial or psychological
commitment needed to make a spa
membership pricing structure work.
Another issue is balancing the
commitment to regular members with
the needs of other ad hoc spa bookers.
Tis could be a particular issue for spas
within hotels, especially those that see
a surge of business during particular
times of the week or year when the
needs of the two groups could clash.
Once you’ve decided to go ahead and
launch a membership scheme, you’ll
need to decide how much to charge
and what benefts to include in order to
ensure the membership ofers suf cient
added value to members, while also
being of maximum beneft to your
business bottom line.
So could membership-based models
work in the spa industry? We ask four
industry experts for their views.
SPA BUSINESS 3 2009
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cybertrek 2009 20 Read Spa Business online spabusiness.com / digital
An increasing number
of spa operators are
looking at introducing
membership schemes
aimed at stimulating
usage and boosting
revenue. We investigate
Everyone’s talking about...
Zensation spas in Spain and Portugal
ofer a monthly membership for €50
RHIANON HOWELLS » CONSULTING EDITOR » SPA BUSINESS
SPA BUSINESS 3 2009
©
cybertrek 2009 21 Read Spa Business online spabusiness.com / digital
F
or the last fve years,
we’ve conducted a
survey of spa cus-
tomers across the globe. In
2008, 39,700 people were
contacted, with a response
rate of 5.3 per cent, which
is signifcantly above the norm of 3 per
cent. One question asked was, ‘would you
be interested in signing up for a spa mem-
bership?’ Around 70 per cent said ‘yes’.
As a result of this, we’re considering how
to implement a spa membership scheme
in some Mandarin Oriental spas. Te
fnancial benefts are clear: you get a guar-
anteed amount of revenue up-front, and in
terms of yield management, you’re able to
estimate much more accurately how much
business you’re going to get in the future.
As to what benefts a membership might
include, that will vary from operator to
operator, but there has to be some kind of
added value. Treatment benefts might be a
pre-sold, value-for-money block of treat-
ments (such as buy 10, get one free) or a set
discount across all treatments. In addition,
a membership might include priority
bookings, a newsletter and special events,
as well as access to the gym, swimming
pool and thermal suite, where available.
Signifcantly, another fnding from our
survey was that access to saunas, steam-
rooms and spa pools was an increasingly
important reason for choosing a spa, fourth
only to quality of services, quality of facili-
ties and ambience. Termal facilities were
also the most preferred ‘treatment’ afer
massages, signature treatments and facials.
For hotel chains introducing spa mem-
berships, creating a global
network, so members of
one spa can use others in
the chain, might seem logi-
cal. However, this would
be complex to deliver,
because management com-
panies work with multiple owners, and
dividing revenues would be challenging.
I’m not sure why spas are only just start-
ing to look at memberships. It could simply
be that the market wasn’t ready before –
and public perception will still be a barrier
in some markets. A lot of people will ask if
they really can’t live without their club.
Te ftness industry is a wonderful exam-
ple for us because it’s already gone through
the process [of promoting memberships]
and has developed a very ef cient business
model. In the 1980s, it was a challenge for
private health club operators to persuade
people to sign up for memberships. Tey’d
say, ‘the local authority facility provides
everything I need, why would I join a
private club?’ Today, people not only join
them, they use them three times a week.
Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group operates 17
spas within its hotels across the globe (see p58
also). Details: www.mandarinoriental.com
ANDREW GIBSON
Group director of spa,
Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group
“The fitness industry is a wonderful example for us because it’s
already gone through the process of promoting memberships
and has developed a very efficient business model.”
spa memberships
W
e launched
our frst spa in
Cascais, near
Lisbon, in 2006. Before
that, we had spas in our
health clubs, but the man-
agement was outsourced.
We now have 17 Zensations spas in our
clubs in Spain and Portugal, and we’ll have
three more by the end of this year. With
the exception our fagship site in Cascais,
which ofers seven treatment rooms and a
relaxation area, all our spas have between
four and fve treatment rooms.
It wasn’t until a year afer launching Zen-
sations that we decided to introduce a direct
debit membership scheme for the spas. We’d
been over-optimistic about the margins we
could achieve with spas, especially as Spain
and Portugal’s stringent employment laws
make it very expensive to replace under-
performing staf. We realised early on that
the business was quite unforgiving.
In looking for ways to improve the
model, we decided to leverage some of
the know-how from our personal training
(PT) business, which is an area we’re very
strong in. We’d originally started selling
PT in packages of 10 or 20 sessions, but
we later moved to a direct-debit model,
whereby clients commit to one, two or
three sessions a week and we debit them
once a month. It was challenging at frst,
but now 80-95 per cent of all PT we sell is
by direct debit. So applying this model to
the spa business seemed a real opportunity.
Our Zen spa membership is open to
both club members and non-members,
and for €50 (US$70, £44) a month, they
get a 15 per cent discount on treatments,
additional ofers on special occasions such
as Mother’s Day, and priority booking.
Spa membership works not only
because the revenue builds predictability
and forecasting into the business, but also
because it gets psychological and fnancial
commitment from the guest: it stimulates
them to come to the spa regularly, and
gives therapists and managers the oppor-
tunity to cross-sell and up-sell products
and services. It also lets us track their
behaviour and spending patterns, which
enables us to apply CRM principles and
market specifcally to them.
Our most successful spas are those that
are most efective at building their direct-
debit membership. Why? Because our
revenue targets are €15,000
(US$20,900, £13,100)
to €40,000 (US$55,750,
£34,950) a month, with a
20-25 per cent margin –
depending on the size of
the spa and time of year
– and spas that do well at driving direct
debit start the month with over 50 per cent
of these targets already achieved.
A strategy is only as good as the people
executing it, and I’d rather take on a man-
ager with a sales background, with passion
for spas, than someone from the spa indus-
try who needs to be taught about sales.
Motivating therapists to sell member-
ships can be challenging, as selling doesn’t
come naturally to them and a direct-debit
contract is harder to sell than a one-of
service. My number one recommenda-
tion is to integrate membership sales into
your commission structure, so staf have
to achieve a set percentage of their sales
targets through memberships in order to
start earning: if you make something as
fundamental as this optional, you’re not
going to get anywhere.
Holmes Place launched in Iberia in 1997.
It now has 30 sites in Spain and Portugal.
Details: www.holmesplace.pt and
www.holmesplace.es
NICK COUTTS
CEO, Holmes Place Iberia
(Spain and Portugal)
SPA BUSINESS 3 2009
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R
ed Door Spa Hold-
ings has created a
new division, called
Simply Face & Body, to roll
out a membership-based
spa model. Ofering facials,
waxing and massage, the
operation is aimed at a broader demo-
graphic than the Red Door Spa division.
Members pay a monthly fee of US$59
(€42, £37). Tis includes a complimentary
50-minute facial or massage and a 15 per
cent discount on retail. All services there-
afer are charged at US$49 (€35, £31). We
make no proft on services. If guests don’t
use their complimentary service during a
given month, it rolls to the next month.
Each Simply Face & Body site ofers
three- and 12-month memberships. Tose
signing for three months pay a US$29 (€21,
£18) joining fee, which is waived for those
committing to a 12-month membership.
If guests choose not to become members,
we ofer them an introductory service at
US$49 (€35, £31) and subsequent services at
US$79 (€57, £50) – but our belief is they’ll
fnd the frst service to be such good value
that they’ll become members. Our goal is
1,000 members per site, and we anticipate
that each member will average one-and-a-
half to two services a month.
A typical site will have 12 treatment
rooms, and we’ll be aiming to deliver 60
treatments a day. Te primary beneft
of membership is afordable treatments
delivered by highly trained professionals in
a safe, clean environment and convenient
location. While thermal facilities are nice,
they add to the cost of doing business and
would require us to charge higher prices
for our core services. Our goal is to bring
wellness to segments of the population
previously blocked by price barriers.
Te biggest challenge with a value-driven
concept is fnding and retaining qualifed
staf, who are used to earn-
ing commissions on much
higher-priced services.
However, we’re fnding that
our commitment to train-
ing and development, and
the benefts and mobility
ofered across the Red Door network, is
enabling us to attract higher-calibre staf.
So far, we’re fnding that word-of-mouth
and referrals from existing members are the
primary source of new guests, and universal
praise from beauty editors and bloggers has
af rmed our belief in the concept. In this
challenging economic environment, the
value proposition of frst-rate services at
rock-bottom prices in exchange for a rea-
sonable monthly membership fee is proving
to be very compelling for consumers.
Red Door Spa Holdings operates 23 stan-
dalone Red Door Day Spas and eight Red
Door Spas in a resort environment. Te frst
Simply Face & Body opened in New Jersey,
US, in January (see SB09/2 p24). Details:
www.reddoorspas.com
TODD WALTER
CEO, Red Door Spa Holdings, US
Everyone’s talking about... spa memberships
O
ne Spa was de-
signed to cater for
hotel guests, day
guests and members, and
it’s a sound business model.
About half of our revenue
comes from memberships
and about half from our treatment business.
Originally the Sheraton in Edinburgh
was a business hotel. Since the opening
of the spa in 2001, it has attracted more
weekend visitors, but from Monday to
Friday the spa’s capture rate of guests
from the hotel is low. Without ofering
memberships, we’d have to rely on day spa
business during the week, which would be
a lost opportunity. Memberships give us
a regular stream of income during quieter
times, and raise our profle in the commu-
nity – word-of-mouth recommendations
are better than any marketing campaign.
We currently have 1,400 members. Just
over a quarter are ftness members, who
pay £68 (US$109, €78) a month for access
to the gym, swimming pool and spa pools;
just under a quarter are Aqua members,
who pay £79 (US$126, €90) a month to use
the swimming pool, spa pools, roof-top
hydropool and thermal suite; and half are
At One members who pay £100 (US$160,
€115) to use all the facilities.
Interestingly, in the last few months,
we’ve seen a very slight increase in the
number of Aqua memberships we’re sell-
ing versus ftness memberships. We’re also
fnding that many of those who sign up for
the ftness membership upgrade to the At
One membership, afer using the compli-
mentary voucher we give them when they
join to try out our thermal suite.
Also included in all our membership
packages is an incentive to book treatments.
Encouraging secondary spend from mem-
bers is dif cult in my experience, both here
and at the previous spa I worked at – pos-
sibly because they’ve paid a monthly fee, so
psychologically they don’t want to pay more.
To begin with, we gave members com-
plimentary vouchers that entitled them to
a discount of treatments, but take-up was
low. About two years ago, we replaced that
with a card, which gives
them a 20 per cent discount
across the board from
Monday to Friday. Tis has
proved much more popular,
and now about 8 per cent
of our treatment business
comes from members – it doesn’t sound
much, but it’s considerably higher than it
was before we introduced the card.
Te main challenge of ofering member-
ships while also catering for hotel and day
guests is getting the balance right. In terms
of treatments, this tends to be controlled by
the number of rooms and therapists avail-
able, and because the discount card only
works from Monday to Friday, this discour-
ages members from coming at the weekend,
when we’re busier with hotel guests.
With regards usage of the gym, swim-
ming pool and thermal area, this is harder
to control. By and large, we fnd members
tend to self-manage and stay away at
weekends of their own volition. Also, use
of the gym by guests staying at the hotel
over the weekend is low anyway, as they’re
usually there to relax, so that helps.
You can’t claim to be ofering a hugely
exclusive experience to members if you’ve
also got the potential for lots of hotel guests
to come in, and you need to consider this
when you’re developing your business plan.
One Spa is housed in a standalone building
next to the Sheraton Grand, Edinburgh (see
SB08/1 p94). Details: www.one-spa.net
MARK PERKINS
General manager, One Spa, Te Sheraton
Grand Hotel, Edinburgh, UK
“Without offering membership, we’d have to rely on day
spa business during the week. Membership gives us
a regular stream of income during quieter times.”
Interview
SPA BUSINESS 3 2009
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C
onsidering he’s working to grow a multi-
national business in the midst of a global
recession, Andrew Lane, director of Spa and
Salon International, is surprisingly upbeat.
“Like any business, we’re infuenced by consumer spend-
ing, so it’s not the easiest environment,” he concedes. “But
we’re actually feeling quite pleased, because the changes
we’ve made to our business over the past year have made
us much more robust and better able to contend with it.
“In the UK, the fourth quarter was actually our strong-
est last year, and that’s not because there’s anything
unique about our piece of the market, but because the
processes we’ve put in place are enabling us to swim
against the tide – although it is frustrating that the tide is
holding us back from making even more progress.”
Spa and Salon International was formed in 2007 as a
merger of two beauty chains: Pond’s Institute in Spain,
Spa and Salon International – owner of the Dove Spa and Pond’s Institute brands – operates 48
sites across four countries, and is aiming for over 100 by 2013. We talk to the man shaping the
company’s strategy, and the woman he’s charged with overseeing Dove Spa’s global growth
RHIANON HOWELLS » CONSULTING EDITOR » SPA BUSINESS
launched in 2000 by Unilever Spain; and Dove Spa,
launched in the UK in 2006 through Serve Health &
Beauty, an existing salon operator (see SB06/2 p34).
Te common link was that both companies licensed
their brand names (Dove and Pond’s respectively) from
the global conglomerate Unilever; and Unilever Ventures,
Unilever’s private equity arm, was a signifcant share-
holder in both businesses. Following the merger, Unilever
Ventures holds a 48 per cent stake in Spa and Salon; two
institutional investors and the founders and former chair
of the Serve business also hold signifcant shares.
Today, the company has 48 sites, and plans to have over
100 in the next three to four years. So how do you take not
one but two retail brands and turn them into successful day
spa chains across four countries and two continents in just
a few years? And what is it about the business model that is
enabling the company to swim against the tide where more
experienced operators are struggling to stay afoat?
Building an idea
Te driving force behind Spa and Salon – and the rollout of
both Pond’s Institute and Dove Spa – is company director
Andrew Lane. Sofly spoken yet direct, Lane was one of two
Unilever employees who helped set up Unilever Ventures in
2002 with a view to helping the company leverage its exist-
ing core strengths to develop new business models.
Two years earlier, Unilever Spain had launched a beauty
centre in Madrid to support its Pond’s retail skincare
business – a leading brand in Spain. Building on an
existing marketing concept that cited an abstract ‘Pond’s
Institute’ as an authority on the brand, Spanish marketing
director Miguel Angel Rivera pushed through the idea for
Andrew Lane & Frances Hayter
Unilever Ventures aims to have
Dove Spa and Pond’s Institute
franchisees in place by 2010
Andrew Lane
Frances Hayter
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a bricks-and-mortar centre by the same
name. It was another Unilever employee,
Richard Lagnado – looking for ways to
build the company’s personal care brands
through new channels – who put Rivera in
touch with Lane, who, in turn, saw enough
potential to invest in a rollout.
It was the success of Pond’s Institute that
sowed the seed for Dove Spa. “I could see
the Pond’s Institute business was working
in Spain, and I knew we had a powerful
brand in Dove,” says Lane, who graduated
from Cambridge University with a degree in biochemistry
before joining Unilever as a marketing trainee in 1985.
“However, in an organisation like Unilever there are nor-
mally several people involved in building an idea,” he says.
“In the case of Dove Spa there are four parents: Miguel
Angel Rivera, now vice-president for Unilever in Europe,
who showed how a day spa business could beneft and add
back to a retail brand; Richard Lagnado, who put Miguel
and I in touch and worked on the initial concept for Dove
Spa; myself, whose role it was to secure the fnancing,
fnd a company to invest in to carry out a pilot, and pull
together a brand licence agreement; and Silvia Lagnado,
the then global brand manager for Dove, who saw the
idea’s potential and was willing to license the brand to a
company Unilever did not control. Tat was a big step, as
Dove is one of Unilever’s most valuable brands.”
Te decision to trial Dove Spa in the UK was partly
strategic, as the Dove brand had a strong presence there,
and partly practical, as Unilever Ventures was based in
London. In 2004, Lane found a UK company he thought
would ft the bill as a partner: Serve Health & Beauty, the
operator of a chain of 25 salons called re-aqua, which was
growing quickly through acquisition. Te frst Dove Spa –
a conversion – launched in Reigate, Surrey, in 2006, and a
rollout followed, with some businesses built from scratch
but more converted from existing operations (the company
now owns 29 sites in the UK, of which 24 are Dove Spas).
As an investor, what Lane was looking for was “the
evidence that if we changed the brand, and also put in
our own products, treatments, systems and marketing, we
would get growth.” He knew the Dove brand alone – al-
though clearly a signifcant advantage – would not achieve
this. “It would be easy to be arrogant and say, ‘Dove’s a
£2bn [US$3.2bn, €2.3bn] brand, of course it’s going to get
people fooding in’, when what actually brings people in is
how the brand is expressed through the service.
“What was obvious was that this was very much a serv-
ice business, and we needed people who understood it.
We found that in re-aqua, and in particular, we found Fran
[Hayter, then operations director]. Fran for us was one of
the major reasons to get involved with the company.”
Tus, when Spa and Salon International was formed a
year afer the UK launch, Hayter went with the company as
international brand development director for Dove Spa.
Real beauty
With over 30 years’ experience in the beauty industry, since
starting out as a therapist in the 1970s, Hayter was well
placed to help create a concept for Dove Spa, which in-
cluded developing a whole new range of premium skincare
products as well as a design template for the sites, brand
standards and protocols, and a strong marketing message.
Te company plans to
retail its professional
spa product lines
to expose more
consumers to the
brand. Direct spa and
online sales are already
25 per cent of turnover
In shaping Dove Spa, the Serve/Unilever teams drew on
the strengths of the parent brand: its reputation for honesty
in the claims it makes for its products and the success of
the Campaign for Real Beauty: Dove’s iconic global market-
ing campaign, which used ‘real women’ of all sizes, colours
and ages to promote an attainable idea of beauty in contrast
with the media ideal of size-zero, airbrushed models.
“We’re proud of our heritage and the great things Dove
brings to what we’re doing,” says Hayter, who was director
of beauty for Regis Salons before joining Serve in 2000.
In line with the philosophy of catering for real women,
a strategic decision was made early on to eschew city-
centre sites in favour of suburban areas and small towns
where signifcant numbers of women actually live.
As with the Dove brand, all marketing material features
and targets real women, rather than models, while the
sites – each with between four and 12 treatment rooms
plus a large retail and reception area – aim for “contem-
porary minimalism coupled with warm comfort”, with
visuals reinforcing the key brand messages. Meanwhile, in
association with the Dove Self-Esteem Fund in the
UK, specially selected therapists are trained to hold
BodyTalk workshops in nearby secondary schools, which
are aimed at helping young girls explore their feelings
about physical appearance.
In terms of services, the emphasis, says Hayter, is on de-
livering real, honest results. “We’re positioning ourselves
as real skincare experts,” she says. A particular USP is the
free skin diagnostics consultation ofered to every client,
which uses a specially commissioned machine to measure
hydration and oil levels, UV damage and elasticity.
Te products and treatments, meanwhile, have been
designed in close consultation with the company’s
therapists – with a view both to accessing their frontline
knowledge and giving them ownership of the end result
– and formulated by Unilever’s research and development
team. “Unilever has a face-care business worth nearly
€1bn [US$1.39bn, £869m],” points out Lane, “so we have
access to a lot of experience and technology.”
It didn’t take long for the model to prove itself. “We’ve
had spectacular growth,” says Lane. “When we acquired
our frst site it was achieving sales of £120,000 [US$191,900,
€138,050]. Last year, it achieved sales of just under
£300,000 [US$479,850, €345,200] – that’s a two-and-a-half
fold increase in just over two years.”
Despite this, Dove Spa has not been universally wel-
comed by the spa industry in the UK, with some leading
players questioning the company’s right to use the word
‘spa’ at all, on the basis that the sites don’t ofer pools or
wet facilities or even relaxation areas. Straight-talking
Hayter has no patience with such purists.
“I don’t actually care what our business is called,” she
says. “For me, it’s about the perception our guests have of
what a spa delivers, and that perception is that a spa is a
place you can go to be cared for and pampered. By adding
the word ‘spa’ to our name, we’re telling our guests that
we’re exactly that place. I’m afraid saying that you can’t be
a spa unless you have water just doesn’t work any more.”
Dove’s iconic global marketing campaign uses ‘real women’ of all
shapes, sizes, colours and ages to promote an attainable idea of beauty
in contrast with the media ideal of size-zero, airbrushed models
Interview
FRANCES HAYTER AND ANDREW LANE
What’s your favourite book? FH – Anything by Philippa Gregory.
AL – The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K Le Guin
What’s your favourite spa treatment?
FH – A full-body massage. AL – A facial
What do you do for fun? FH – I have a girly evening
with my friends, mostly laughing. AL – Hike in the local
countryside, go to the cinema or play strategy games
Who do you most admire? FH – Nelson Mandela:
after 27 years in jail he still came out fighting. AL – Bill
Gates: he knew when to step down from Microsoft and
then helped treat diseases of the world’s poor
What do you worry about? FH – The future for
my daughters. AL – Letting people down
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever
received? FH – Always have a sense of humour and
laugh at yourself a lot. AL – Listen to people
PERSONAL FILES
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Creating synergies
So how does Dove Spa compare to its
older sibling, Pond’s Institute? According
to Lane, the two businesses are delivering
“pretty much the same message and serv-
ices but with a diferent tone of voice.”
In real terms, what this means is that
while the size of the sites, the mix of facili-
ties, the emphasis on technology and the
focus on results-based treatments are very
similar – the products are manufactured
by the same R&D team although they
do have completely diferent formulations – the Pond’s
Institute brand image is more traditional beauty than ‘real
beauty’, featuring models rather than ordinary women in
its marketing campaigns. As Lane puts it: “Te positioning
of Pond’s Institute is more around transformation.”
Also in contrast with Dove Spa, all 17 Pond’s Institutes
in Spain – all of which are greenfeld sites – are located in
cities: 13 in Madrid, two in Zaragoza, one in Valencia and
one in Seville. However, this is actually in line with the
company’s philosophy of locating its sites near where its
target market lives, says Lane. “People in Spain live much
more in the city centres than in the suburbs, in much
denser housing than in the UK, so our Spanish customers
typically live within walking distance of the beauty centre.”
Te decision to call Pond’s Institutes beauty centres
rather than spas is also culturally motivated. “Te term day
spa originated in the US and Canada, and because the UK
is closer to those markets than the rest of Europe, we have
a fairly clear idea of what that means,” says Lane. “In Spain,
a spa has to have water, while a salon implies hair; so in
Spain, the term beauty centre best describes what we do.”
According to Lane, the merger of Pond’s Institute and
Dove Spa under the umbrella of Spa and Salon Inter-
national has resulted in synergies that “enable the two
businesses to nurture each other, so they’re more alike
today than they were two years ago”. For example, Pond’s
Institute has drawn on Dove Spa’s experience to introduce
massage and IPL (intense pulsed light) technology to
its ofer, while Dove Spa has emulated Pond’s Institute’s
results-focused treatment programmes. Te general
managers for the two countries – Sue Shepherd in the UK
and Javier Valiente in Spain – “really respect each other
and are continually comparing notes,” adds Lane.
Global growth
Another motivation for merging the two businesses, ad-
mits Lane, was to create a strong platform for worldwide
expansion. “Te Dove brand is very strong in Europe and
North America, while Pond’s is very strong in Spain, Asia
and some Latin American countries,” says Lane. “So if
you consider that our ambition is to grow globally, we are
actually in a very good position with those two brands.”
Te frst step towards achieving this was the opening of
two Pond’s Institutes in Mexico City in November 2007.
“We chose Mexico because the brand is very strong there,
and because it’s Spanish-speaking, which made it easier to
transfer the training and marketing materials, and also for
our Spanish team to provide support,” explains Lane.
Canada was chosen as the second testing ground for
Dove Spa for similar reasons, with the frst site launched in
the suburbs of Toronto last October (see p30), and a second
opened in a downtown location in April. “Dove is stronger
in Canada than anywhere else in the world, even the UK;
it’s an iconic brand there,” says Lane. “Added to which it’s
Pond’s Institute and
Dove Spa share
similar business
models in terms
of facilities and
treatments, but the
brand image of each is
very diferent
SPA BUSINESS 3 2009
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an English-speaking country, and Toronto,
in particular, is a great place to start.
“Greater Toronto has a population of
nearly six million, which gives us the
capability to open at least 20 sites there.
Tat creates a cluster model, which is a
much easier business to run, because you
can move staf between sites and it’s also
easier to manage the training.”
Lane anticipates opening 20-30 sites in
Canada and sees the potential for the same
number in Mexico over the next three to
four years, if the pilots prove successful. He’s confdent that
once the company has consolidated its foothold in Canada
and Mexico, it will be in a strong position to expand fur-
ther. “If it works in those four countries, there’s no reason
it shouldn’t work in almost any other country,” he says.
Of course, having a parent such as Unilever is bound
to help any young spa company taking its frst steps into
foreign lands: “It provides us with contacts within the
country, as well as marketing and PR support, which
makes it easier for us to expand the business,” says Lane.
For now, however, the focus is on consolidation, and
outside its four key markets, Spa and Salon is in the
process of opening just one other site: a Dove Spa located
within Unilever Germany’s corporate of ces in Hamburg,
which will cater for both employees and the general
public. Operated by Unilever, but supported and closely
monitored by Spa and Salon, the operation will enable the
company to test the model in Germany.
At the moment, all Dove Spas and Pond’s Institutes are
owned and operated by Spa and Salon, but as part of the
strategy for future expansion, Lane and his team are ac-
tively looking for franchise partners. “Our ideal franchisee
would be an independent spa or salon operator who’s
already doing a good job, but who we can help to develop
their business to make it more proftable,” he says. “We
need to make sure our systems and processes are properly
set up to support franchised as well as managed spas, but
once we’ve got that got sorted out, I’d be disappointed if
we didn’t have franchisees in place by 2010.”
Another growth opportunity, recognised by both Lane
and Hayter, is the potential to take Dove Spa products
into retail – the homecare items are currently only for sale
via the website or in Dove Spas, yet retail still accounts for
25 per cent of the company’s overall sales. “We’d want any
retail environment to be true to our brand, but we don’t
want to be exclusive,” says Lane. “Retail is a good way to
get in front of consumers and it all helps to build scale.”
As the company grows, Hayter accepts that fnding
quality staf will become more challenging, making “train-
ing and retention absolutely key”. However, while far from
complacent, she says Dove Spa has a relatively low churn
rate compared to other operators, as the opportunities for
development and promotion make working for a group
more attractive than working for an independent operator.
Proftable business
Lane acknowledges that his joint position as director of
Spa and Salon and director of Unilever Ventures gives him
a unique advantage when it comes to growing a business:
“I’m in a lovely position of being an entrepreneur with a
hell of a lot of backing and support behind me.”
And although he has just seven years’ experience in the
industry, he demonstrates a genuine passion for the busi-
ness. “I spend about 50 per cent of my time working on
Spa and Salon,” he says. “It’s the largest of the investments
I’m responsible for within Unilever Ventures, and it’s the
one I’m most passionate about. It’s an absolutely engaging
business, and I could easily spend all my time on it!
“What’s got me so excited is the combination of brand,
product, people, systems and marketing, which is giving
us a successful unit model. Te company overall is not
yet proftable, but the unit model looks good, and we’re
confdent that by expanding it we’re going to move the
business into proft very soon.” ●
Dove Spa ofers a
range of treatments
using its own
dedicated professional
skincare line and has
collaborated with
Pond’s on the transfer
of skills and concepts
Interview
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Fax +49 7833 707 425, export@duravit.de, www.duravit.com
SPA BUSINESS 3 2009
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cybertrek 2009 30 Read Spa Business online spabusiness.com / digital
Spa spy
Our spa spy is delighted by the welcoming
environment at Dove Spa and pleased by the
experience and service – despite the odd frustration
Dove Spa, Ontario
CAROLINE WILKINSON » JOURNALIST » SPA BUSINESS
THE EXPERIENCE
Located barely a minute of the congested
Queen Elizabeth Way – one of the prov-
inces busiest highways – Dove Spa in
Oakville has evidently been positioned with
accessibility rather than the aesthetics of the
surroundings in mind.
Te spa’s road-front position – part of
a commercial plaza – didn’t seem at frst
glance to be the ideal environment to
satisfy a craving for peace and relaxation.
Nevertheless, situated next to a children’s
Little Gym, the business, with its iconic
dove-shaped sign, beckons passing custom-
ers – especially mums with an hour to spare.
On a winter’s evening in –20˚C weather,
the white glow from inside gave a welcom-
ing frst impression, even before I was
greeted by the receptionist’s ear-to-ear
smile. I was seated in the salon to wait for
my treatment – an efective marketing ploy,
as the well-presented baskets and display
of Dove Spa professional skincare products
kept me occupied. Tis was less overt ad-
vertising than in the relaxation room, where
I felt bombarded by looped silent videos
about Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty.
Te rest of the spa was calming. My
spacious treatment room was simply deco-
rated, with sof lighting, white walls and
minimalist décor and I was impressed when
entering to be asked to select a music style
to accompany my treatment.
Following booking advice from a very
cheery woman, I’d opted for the 60-minute
ayurvedic-inspired BHAM treatment:
designed to cleanse, purify and detox. I was
frustrated, however, by the fact that holistic
therapies are only available on Wednesdays
and Saturdays and massages with a regis-
tered therapist on Fridays and Saturdays.
Te treatment, which comprised full-
body scrub, mud wrap and full-body
massage was delivered with care and
technical competence. Communication was
comprehensive, and a balance of small talk
and treatment knowledge put me at ease.
I was given the choice of two massage
scents, but no further product information
was volunteered. More could have been
done to sell the products and although I
purposely showed interest, little was done
to link the treatment with the retail items.
For the most part I was well directed:
told how to lie, what to do and where to
go. Operating the digital steam-shower,
however, was a challenge. Although my
therapist advised that I sit in the steam to
loosen the mud, I couldn’t alter the scolding
temperature and had to resort to moves best
reserved for a Hokey Cokey to get clean.
Unfortunately, following the mid-treatment
shower I had to put the disposable under-
wear back on, which was covered with mud.
Post-treatment I was led to the lounge
and ofered green tea – a perfect fnishing
touch. It arrived in a glass cup with a hand-
tied bundle of fragrant jasmine. However,
as the lounge is on the main thoroughfare,
I felt on view and found myself rushing my
post-treatment drink, which was a shame.
My 90-minute experience was efortless,
comfortable and simple. Subtle touches of
luxury – a welcome change from intimidat-
ing, over-indulgent frills – lef me feeling
pampered and refreshed while the reason-
able prices and ef cient service made me
want to book another appointment. Treatment rooms are simply decorated, with a warm and relaxing ambience
Dove Spa made its Canadian
debut in the af uent Toronto
suburb of Oakville, Ontario in
October 2008. Te experience
has been designed around mak-
ing women feel beautiful every
day by inspiring them to take
care of themselves and to appre-
ciate their natural beauty.
Dove prides itself on providing
a professional and accessible
environment based on honesty
and clarity, so clients feel they are
well informed about their treatments.
Dove Spa was launched in the UK
in 2006 and is owned by Spa and
Salon International (SSI) (see p24),
which licenses the Dove name from
Unilever. Tere are now 24 in the UK.
SSI chose to launch in Canada due
to strong levels of brand recognition.
Te 3,000sq f (279sq m) spa, designed
by the Khachi Design Group, has
been followed by a fagship in down-
town Toronto and is the frst of up to
50 sites planned for North America.
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Set on one level, the seven treatment
rooms are accessible from one corridor
which is wide enough for a wheelchair but
which would be hard to navigate on a busy
day. Before and afer my treatment I was
directed to the four-seat relaxation lounge,
which I expect could also get congested.
On arrival I was escorted to a single
dressing room, equipped with a chro-
matherapy steam-shower and keypad
lockers, was given a robe and slippers and
introduced to the Dove toiletries that also
awaited me post-treatment. As it’s the only
changing room available, most clients dress
in their treatments room, all of which are
equipped with wardrobes. Te only other
steam-shower is attached to a treatment
room devoted to colonics and mud thera-
pies so, according to my therapist, most
customers go without.
Other facilities include a two-person
pedicure bench and a manicure bar, an IPL
laser room (for skin rejuvenation and hair
removal) and St Tropez spray-tanning booth.
POPULAR TREATMENTS
Dove’s customised facials are at the heart of its menu. Each starts with a free skin diagnosis to determine a client’s skin condition and
to ensure the right treatment is administered. Te facials range from single-session signature treatments such as the 60-minute Hydro
Cleanse and Microdermabrasion facials which cost CA$135 (US$121, €87, £76). Dove also ofers a selection of skincare programmes lasting
four to eight weeks ranging from CA$635-1,100 (US$569-985, €409-708, £358-620), each treatment lasting approximately 60 minutes.
Te treatment menu is also extended to body beauty treatments and massages, holistic therapies – such as reiki, hopi ear candling
and hot stone massage – and a selection of mud wraps and ayurvedic treatments, featuring BHAM which cost CA$110 (US$98, €71, £62).
RIGHT OF REPLY
Fay Chapple, managing director,
Dove Spa Canada

“Te frst few months of operation in-
volved assessing the treatment mix most
requested by our guests in order to ensure
we ofer exactly what they’re looking for.
As of February 2009, Dove Spa in
Oakville was able to ofer holistic treat-
ments seven days a week as well as
registered massage therapist services by
choice of female or male therapist. Te
same mix of services is now available at
our brand new spa in Toronto that opened
to fantastic reviews on 28 April 2009.”
THE SCORE
Booking ......................................................................... 7 / 10
Service ............................................................................ 9 / 10
Treatment ..................................................................... 8 / 10
Afercare........................................................................ 7 / 10
Value for Money ...................................................... 8 / 10
Overall ............................................................................ 8 / 10
VITAL STATISTICS
Dove Spa
355 Iroquois Shore Road,
Oakville, Ontario, Canada.
Contact: +1 905 339 0772
Opening hours:
9am-10pm Monday to Friday,
9am-6pm on Saturday and
11am-5pm on Sunday.
Details: www.dovespa.ca
FACILITIES
Dove’s Real Beauty campaign encourages
natural beauty (above); the manicure bar
(right); Dove Spa’s product line (below)
SPA BUSINESS 3 2009
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Research
D
escribed as “an insight into
the universal spa-goer” by
Lynne Walker McNees, the
president of the International
Spa Association (ISPA), the 2008 ISPA
Global Consumer Study analyses the
spa-going habits of consumers from 15 dif-
ferent countries. Walker McNees says: “For
the last decade, we’ve known stress was the
number one reason people went to spas
in the US and that massage was the most
popular treatment, now we know this is
the case worldwide”.
Conducted during September and
October 2008, the online-based research
study, which surveyed 1,000 respondents
per country, was undertaken by global
market research agency Research Inter-
national on behalf of ISPA. Te countries
covered include six in Europe – Austria,
France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK;
three in Australasia – Australia, Japan
and Singapore; and two in the Americas
– Canada and the US. In addition, results
from China, India, Tailand and Russia
were provided, but these are referred to
as a ‘convenience sample’ because of the
countries’ low internet penetration levels.
Te 2008 Global
Consumer Study revealed
by ISPA delves into
the minds of spa-goers
worldwide. We review
the fndings and reveal
the industry’s response
information
I NS I DE
LEONOR STANTON » CONTRIBUTING EDITOR » SPA BUSINESS
Te results from this convenience sample
need to be treated with caution because “it
does not represent the entire population
so it is considered biased”. Te samples
from these countries are generally younger
than the population as a whole, “more
likely to be employed and are more likely
to be in a high income or social class”.
Te study found that Tailand, followed
by Singapore, had the highest level of ac-
tive spa-goers – defned as people who had
visited a spa in the previous 12 months. A
facility was classed as a spa when it ofered
0%
100%
80%
60%
40%
20%
*
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Active Spa-Goers Inactive Spa-Goers Non Spa-Goers
*Convenience sample countries
graph 1 — Spa Incidences Per Country
“at least two of the following: a massage (eg
full body), body treatments (eg facials) or
skincare treatments (eg hydrotherapy)”.
Surprisingly, Japan and France had the
lowest number of spa incidences, and
accordingly the highest proportion of
non-spa goers (see Graph 1). Six countries
had 20 per cent or more respondents stat-
ing they were inactive spa-goers – in other
words, they had attended a spa previously,
but not in the last 12 months. At the head
of these was Russia with 26 per cent inac-
tive spa-goers. Five other countries with
a relatively high proportion of inactive
spa-goers included Austria, Germany,
Canada, the US and Australia.
Tis part of the study concluded that
globally, active spa-goers average four
visits per annum. However, this varies
from eight in China, Russia and Tailand
to six in Singapore and two in France.
Treatments and costs
In keeping with other industry studies,
Research International found that day
spas were the most popular type of spa in
every country except Austria and France.
Similarly, it was day spas which were
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About 30 per cent of spa-goers say they’d be
most likely to try refexology in the future
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visited most ofen, except in Austria and
France where resort/hotels spas were more
popular and visited most frequently.
Massage was by far the most popular
treatment globally (see Graph 2); cited as
the top treatment by the majority of survey
respondents. Interestingly, it also generally
came top in terms of “most likely to try”.
Categories where there was a noticeable
discrepancy between existing popularity
and likely future popularity include move-
ment/ftness classes, where a signifcantly
higher proportion of respondents intended
to try the activity than practised at present.
On the other hand, responses relating to
body scrub or wrap and aromatherapy
suggest that more people now buy these
treatments than intend to in the future.
Not surprisingly, there was a strong corre-
lation between the top fve treatments and
the most recent treatments experienced.
According to the survey, only three
countries had a lower proportion of
purchased treatments than those that had
been given as a gif or were complimen-
tary: Germany with 43 per cent treatments
purchased, France and Austria each with
49 per cent (see Graph 3). Te other half
of treatments were ofered as a gif or were
given on a complimentary basis.
Canada had the lowest level of compli-
mentary treatments at 3 per cent while
Japan had the highest at a surprising 31 per
cent. Germany had the highest proportion
of treatments which were bought as a gif
at 48 per cent and Singapore had the low-
est. However, respondents from Singapore
stated that one of their main motivators for
visiting a spa was a gif certifcate, whereas
respondents in Germany did not rate a gif
certifcate as being a major motivator.
Te survey reports a signifcant range
in average expenditures on spa treat-
ments – from US$220 (€159, £138) in
India to US$937 (€676, £588) in Singapore.
Te survey did not distinguish between
expenditure at diferent types of spas or
diferent quality levels. Tus, comparisons
among and between countries is dif cult.
Nevertheless, the fndings show that spa-
goers in Singapore, Italy and the US spend
the most on treatments and overall, includ-
ing retail spend (see Graph 4).
Also interesting was an analysis of the
proportion spent on treatments versus
retail, showing that retail accounted for 10
to 29 per cent of total expenditure in the
vast majority of countries surveyed. Tis
proportion rose to unbelievable levels in
the countries which made up the conven-
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graph 2 — Top Five Treatments versus Tose Most Likely To Try
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Germany had the highest proportion
of treatments which were bought
as a gif certifcate at 48 per cent
and Singapore had the lowest
SPA BUSINESS 3 2009
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ience sample – the highest being in Russia,
where the proportion of retail spend was
71 per cent of total expenditure!
Why visit a spa?
Friends’ and relatives’ recommendations
were found by the researchers to be the
key motivational reason for visiting spas.
However, the primary reason for visiting
was found to be to “relax and relieve/
reduce stress”. Accordingly, a stress-free
environment was the key element leading
to the enjoyment of the experience.
Te key reason cited for not visiting spas
was that they are “very expensive”, by all
groups – active, inactive and non spa-
goers. Although this was ofen a reason
cited for not buying, given the current
economic climate, the fact that it tops the
list isn’t alarming. ISPA president, Lynne
Walker McNees says: “We know people are
still going to spas, but booking fewer and
shorter treatments. Although spa visits
are up, the amount people are spending
is down. Tis may be because many spas
are ofering 30-minute treatments, instead
of the typical 60- or 90-minute – allowing
people to de-stress and nurture themselves
while still watching their budgets.”
Te second most important reason for
not visiting spas for active spa-goers and
non spa-goers was “I don’t have enough
time to go to a spa”. Te ‘uncertainty’ rea-
sons also appeared in the inactive spa-goer
and non spa-goers responses, as reasons for
not visiting. Tese included: “I don’t know
what services spas ofer”; “embarrassed
others may see me without clothing”; and
“I don’t know what to expect in a spa”.
Industry response
With a number of surveys on the spa
industry being launched annually, it’s
interesting to evaluate how useful they are
to operators and industry professionals.
It is clear a global survey is a major
challenge from a methodological and
evaluation perspective. Ian Brewis, senior
director of spas and health clubs at
Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts, says: “To get
complete accuracy in a study like this is a
monumental task.” Tis is also recognised
by Serena Spa’s managing director, Jesper
Hougaard: “Like any statistical data, the
ISPA 2008 Global Spa Consumer Study has
its limitations, simply because more detail
requires more data and as a consequence,
more resources and more time.
“Te study is a broad overview of the
global spa business, surveying consumers
using all types of spa, from owner-opera-
tor day spas to large fve-star destination
spas. It would of course be interesting
with greater segmentation, but then the
question of where to begin and where to
end comes into the picture. I feel this is a
very valuable study and the frst credible
attempt to include and compare the spa
industry in diferent countries.”
Tis view is mirrored by Wanda Love,
CEO of Leading Spas of Canada: “In
reviewing research fndings, it’s always
prudent to view the data as providing a
guideline and basic benchmarks, while
recognising it may lack detail on
specifcs. I do, however, fnd the ISPA
research data to be helpful overall in
providing an excellent snapshot of where
the industry is at and by interpreting the
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Purchase Gif Complimentary
*Convenience sample countries
graph 3 — Purchase, Gif or Complimentary Treatment
A signifcantly higher proportion of respondents
said they were most likely to try a movement/ftness
class, than those who actively do so at present
Research
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data, it can greatly assist in providing
some directional guideposts.”
Despite the study’s use as a broad over-
view, some operators query the accuracy
of some of the data. Shangri-La’s Brewis
wonders whether the fndings have been
afected by the terminology. He says: “How
they have defned a ‘spa’ on the report (see
p32) does not apply worldwide.”
Given this, both Brewis and Shangri-La’s
corporate director of brand quality, Sheila
McCann feel they cannot use the study for
benchmarking purposes. McCann says:
“Te report compilation [terminology and
methodology] might explain questions
about the data.” In particular, both were
shocked with the statistic that 78 per cent
of French and 67 per cent of Japanese
respondents are non spa-goers. Tis view
is echoed by Wanda Love: “I’m surprised
by the average number of spa-goer visits
per 12 months. Canada shows as three,
which would seem a reasonably accurate
average from feedback of spa operators;
however I’m surprised that the numbers
in Europe are not higher. Te Europeans
have historically adopted spa as much
more of a lifestyle than North Americans.”
McCann’s past experience as spa direc-
tor for Spa Botanica in Singapore also
leads her to question the respondents’
stated expenditure (by active spa-goers
in the previous 12 months) in this coun-
try – at US$937 (€676, £588), this was the
highest of all countries. Spa consultant
and educator in Taiwan, Victoria Liu, also
queries spend: “I don’t see the China data
is correct for that [spend] information.
Singapore is enlarged too.” Love from
Canada adds: “Typically the Canadian
industry is closer to the US in terms of
development, growth, etc: I can’t immedi-
ately explain why the average US spend is
that much higher. I would have expected
it to be higher, just not that much [US$357
(€258, £224) in Canada compared with
US$537 (€388, £337) in the US]”.
Despite these quandaries, operators still
found some statistics matched their own
operations. In particular, McCann says
her experience in Canada at the start of
her career supports the fndings that a very
high proportion of gif certifcates (61 per
cent) motivates customers to visit in that
country. Love agrees: “Savvy spa operators
[in Canada] recognise the need to focus
marketing eforts on driving gif card sales
to increase traf c.” Likewise, the report
found that a “membership option that
ofers better pricing or additional benefts”
attracted 40 per cent of respondents to
spas in Singapore. McCann’s experience in
Singapore again supports this fnding.
Overall, all industry insiders agree that
this study is a brave and credible attempt
to analyse the global spa market but
should be used as a reference with caution.
● To buy the 2008 ISPA Global Consumer
Study for US$800, visit www.experien-
ceispa.com, or call +1 888 651 4772.
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Treatments (US$) Retail (US$) *Convenience sample countries
graph 4 — Average Spent (US$)
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Active-spa goers average four
visits a year. Overall day spas
are the most popular type of spas
and massage is by far the most
popular treatment globally
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H
epburn Springs in Victoria, Australia, has been
known for its healing waters since Europeans
frst settled in the area in the 19th century.
Captain John Hepburn discovered the min-
eral springs in 1836 and, when gold was found there in the
1850s, it prompted a massive infux of miners from around
the world. Te existing settlers established a reserve to
protect the springs from the ravages of mining and, by the
turn of the century, the area was booming with tourists
taking the waters, reputed to treat a wide range of illnesses,
including osteoporosis, rheumatism and psoriasis.
In 1894, Hepburn Bathhouse was built on the reserve
and became a gathering place for local residents. It has
undergone several renovations since – in the 1920s, 1980s
and 1990s, when a new bathhouse was built and the
original building was extended and turned into a spa.
In the 21st century, the springs have remained central to
the local community, with a vibrant spa tourism industry
built around them; the area is marketed as ‘the heart of
spa country’ by Hepburn Shire Council. However, it is the
most recent redevelopment and extension of the bath-
house complex, in 2008, which is fnally putting Hepburn
Springs on the international map.
INVESTMENT NEED
Located 110km from Melbourne, Hepburn Bathhouse and
Spa is built on crown land owned by the government of
Victoria, and maintained on its behalf by Hepburn Shire
Council. As land managers, the council is responsible for
the entire mineral springs reserve, including the bath-
house and spa buildings, as well the surrounding parkland
and a number of other facilities including nature walks,
BBQ areas, a children’s playground and a café.
In 2002, the state government and the council recog-
nised the need to invest in the complex to capitalise on
the tourism opportunities presented by the rise of the spa
industry. Te buildings were sufering from structural de-
fects caused by corrosion from the mineral water, plus, it
was decided that the facility needed greater capacity and a
solution to the circulation crossover created when people
moved between the dry and wet areas in the spa wing.
At the time, the bathhouse was being run by a private
operator. Assisted by an independent feasibility study, they
came up with a design brief, which was then passed to a
‘project control group’, made up of the Victorian Mineral
Water Committee, Hepburn Shire Council, the state
government’s Department of Infrastructure and Environ-
ment (DOI&E) and Cox Architects, the practice that had
been charged with redesigning the facility.
It was decided that the north wing, where the pools
were housed, would be demolished and a new bathhouse
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Belgravia Leisure is a management
group that operates 50 leisure
facilities throughout Australia. It
specialises in partnering in the
capital development, extension
or refurbishment of major leisure
facilities, with a particular focus
on aquatic centres, health clubs,
sports stadiums, hospitality venues,
golf courses and tennis centres.
The Hepburn Bathhouse is the
first spa for the group. However,
it is currently in discussions with
three landlords about introducing
spas into its existing leisure
facilities and hopes to launch its
first day spa this year, with at least
two others opening in the early part
of 2010. All spa services will be
managed by Belgravia.
Belgravia Leisure background briefng
lease of life
A SIGNIFICANT INVESTMENT OF GOVERNMENT MONEY HAS SEEN
A HISTORIC BATHHOUSE IN HEPBURN SPRINGS, AUSTRALIA,
TRANSFORMED INTO A WORLD-CLASS SPA FACILITY
Mineral spa
Cox Architects’ design
allows natural light
to food the new spa
buildings (below)
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built. Te south wing housing the spa, incorporating the
original heritage building and a 1980s extension, would be
refurbished. Major Projects Victoria (MPV) would over-
see the redevelopment on behalf of the state government.
Creating the new facility, which was 1,243sq m (13,379sq
f) and is now 1,750sq m (18,8360sq f), cost AU$10.6m
(US$8.44m, €6m, £5.24m), of which AU$8m (US$6.38m,
€4.53m, £3.95m) came from the Victorian government’s
Regional Infrastructure Development Fund. Hepburn
Shire Council contributed AU$1.2m (US$956,300,
€679,100, £593,000), which it forecasts will be paid back
in 15 years, while the remainder came from the DOI&E,
the Victorian Mineral Water Committee, the Sustainable
Energy Authority of Victoria and the federal government.
Before the construction began, the existing operator’s
lease came up for renewal, and the DOI&E ran a public
tender process to fnd a new management company.
Appointed in March 2008, the successful candidate – the
Belgravia Leisure group (see box opposite) – was given a
completion date of September 2008, when the bathhouse
and spa would reopen for business.
NORTH AND SOUTH
Te frst thing Cox Architects did was to test the design
brief – and according to project associate Marc Raszewski,
it was immediately obvious the budget was going to be
a problem. “Te aspirations of the client, and ourselves,
for what the building deserved to be, given its location
and history, meant we had to work really hard to get the
outcome we did on such a tight budget,” he says.
Te new bathhouse now contains one large pool, with
room for 75 people, a spa pool and unisex changing rooms
with 80 lockers and seven private cubicles. Tere’s also a
relaxation deck and an area called the Sanc-
tuary, which houses another pool featuring
‘spa couches’ with massage jets, a salt-water
foat pool, an aroma steamroom and mon-
soon showers. Entry is via an upper-level
mezzanine with a bridge from the car park
to the reception. A glass walkway links the
new building to the southern wing.
To stay within budget, the architects had
to be clever. Rather than overlay walls and
ceilings with expensive fnishes, they chose earthy materi-
als to blend with the fabric of the building, such as steel,
recycled ironbark and cast aluminium bronze elements.
To keep costs down, the walls and ceilings are made from
raw concrete, which became the defning material for the
building. “A very strong design intent from the beginning
was this idea that the bathhouse would be carved from
rock,” says Raszewski. “In an ideal world, guests would
be enjoying bathing in the mineral waters in the natural
environment, surrounded by rocks, so we tried to recreate
that sensation with the use of concrete.”
Light also plays an important part in the design. Te
building has foor-to-ceiling windows ofering views of
the adjacent creek, while skylights in the roof let in more
light. Te huge skylight above the salt-water pool, says
Raszewski, was inspired by a painting they found of a
woman lying in a cave bathed in sunlight. Te design was
also infuenced by traditional Japanese bathhouses, as well
as architect Peter Zumthor’s Terme Vals in Switzerland.
One challenge was the location. Construction was
delayed because the foundations and pipework for the
town’s drainage and sewer works lay adjacent to the build-
ing. Tese had to be relocated, causing a time delay.
Raw concrete and
wood are used
throughout to give
bathers the impression
that they’re bathing in
a natural environment
‘carved from rock’.
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OLD AND NEW
Refurbishing the southern wing of the complex, housing
the spa, was challenging for diferent reasons. Te treat-
ment rooms were basic, requiring them to be stripped out.
Te foor was removed and sections of the wall replaced
within the existing, non-heritage part of the structure.
“Te amount of work we had to do to bring the southern
wing to a reasonable level was incredible,” says Raszewski.
Te redesign increased the number of treatment rooms
from 15 to 19, while the number of private baths was re-
duced slightly, from 14 to 12. Raszewski admits the simple
interior – a cream and white palette with just a few tiles on
the wall in each room to add interest – was a response to
the budget as well as a way of creating calm.
As in the bathhouse, light is central to the design. Each
treatment room has a large window overlooking the creek,
which Raszewski says ftted their vision to “create a spa
where you didn’t need to turn lights on when you walked
in to the room if you didn’t want to”.
As well as renovating the treatment area, Raszewski
and his team were also faced with converting the room
housing the original waiting room, from a reception with
a mezzanine of ce to a relaxation area. Te of ce was
stripped out to re-establish the sense of space and Rasze-
wski says this was one of the most satisfying parts of the
project, as it gave them plenty of scope to showcase the
original architecture, mixing materials such as stainless
steel with the original timber and brickwork to underline
the sense of history. “We kept the room
faithful to how it would have looked in
Edwardian times,” he says, “[while mak-
ing] the modern design elements clearly
discernable in order to accentuate the
diference between the old and the new.”
Also in the south wing, the architects
built 12 private mineral bathrooms, each
with its own concrete bath; whereas the
pools in the bathhouse are 50 per cent
mineral water, 50 per cent potable water, the private
mineral baths use 100 per cent pure mineral spring water.
Just two months of opening, the concrete has stained.
However, this is no surprise to Raszewski, who says
that they flled a replica bath with mineral water for six
months before confrming their choice, and were happy
with the way it built up a patina over time. “A pristine
white porcelain bath would quickly have looked dirty and
tarnished, he says. “We love the fact the concrete baths
will develop their own character over time, refecting the
changing conditions of the natural landscape.”
WATER AND ENERGY
Alongside preserving the building’s historical features,
creating a sustainable building was high on the agenda for
the project control group. Te objectives were to make the
water and energy consumption more ef cient, protect the
natural springs and ensure the building’s longevity.
Mineral spa
Te design for
Hepburn Springs was
infuenced by the
work of architect Peter
Zumthor who created
the Terme Vals spa
in Switzerland
Te aim was to create a spa where “you
didn’t need to turn lights on when you
walked into the room, if you didn’t want to”.
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One of the greatest obstacles, says Raszewski, was
juggling the demands of a community gripped by water
restrictions with a business that uses water as its saleable
item and wanted to double its capacity. Nevertheless, they
managed to maintain the amount of water used by switch-
ing fltration systems from a sand flter to an ultra-fne
alternative, which reduces water waste by 10 per cent. Tey
also created a system whereby water coming out of the
aquifer can be collected at quieter times and stored until
peak times – mainly weekends. Finally, no-fush urinals
were installed and rainwater used for all other toilets.
New boilers helped increase energy ef ciency, as did
double glazing and the use of recycled ironbark timber
(which has low thermal conductivity). Meanwhile a plan
to include an outdoor element in the bathhouse design
was shelved, on the grounds that it would have been too
energy-intensive to keep the pool water warm.
When it came to extending the life of the building,
protecting it from corrosion was key. Te ironbark timber
was used as a thermal break throughout the project to
stop the cold creating condensation, as it has low thermal
conductivity. Sourced from an old pier in Sydney, it is
proven to be able to withstand the rigours of salt water.
WORLD-CLASS FACILITY
With just six months to get the facility up and running,
Belgravia Leisure used technical staf and managers from
its existing aquatic centres to set up operations. However,
having never run a spa before, the group appointed an
experienced manager to run this side of the business.
Kim Whitehouse, who previously managed multiple-
site spa operations for Voyages Hotels and Resorts
(formerly P&O Resorts) and Mandara Spa, came on board
in July 2008. Although she admits that it would have
been better if she’d had longer to bed in, she says it was
surprisingly easy to recruit for the spa. “Because Hepburn
Springs is an alternative lifestyle area, the talent pool was
very experienced. Tat, and the fact the community took
ownership of the baths, meant there were lots of ap-
plicants.” Te result is a mature team of male and female
therapists with an average age of 32.
Overall, Whitehouse is happy with how the design
works in practice, although she admits to facing a few dif-
fculties. “At peak times, the reception area can get so busy
that noise levels can compromise the spa experience,” she
says. “A separate entrance for spa goers and those using
the baths would have been preferable.” She also believes
the unisex changing rooms are an issue for some guests
and that the couples’ treatment rooms are too small.
So far, business at both the bathhouse and spa – which
uses Talgo, LaGaia and Sodashi products – has been
good. “It is an interesting facility to manage,” Whitehouse
says, “because it combines traditional leisure baths aimed
at the masses with a fve-star spa experience.”
Competition is ferce in the heart of spa country, so
marketing for the new Hepburn Bathhouse and Spa
focuses on the heritage of the bathhouse as well as the
healing properties of its natural mineral springs. Belgravia
is also working with Hepburn Shire Council to develop
the parkland around the bathhouse, in the hope that
guests will come for the day and extend their stay.
Whitehouse, however, is already confdent of success:
“Tis is a historic facility with a bathing tradition that can’t
be replicated elsewhere, so we’re enjoying the opportunity
to be custodians of a world-class facility that sits very
diferently to anything else in Australia.” ●
Massages account for 70 per s
cent of the spa’s turnover
Nearly 60 per cent of all spa- s
goers upgrade their booking to
include a private mineral bath
Use of the mineral relaxation pool s
and spa pool for two hours costs
AU$15 (US$12, E8, £7), from
Monday to Thursday and AU$30
(US$24, E17, £15) from Friday
to Sunday. Local residents are
charged AU$10 (US$8, E6, £5).
Use of the Sanctuary area costs s
an additional AU$35 (US$28, E20,
£17) from Monday to Thursday,
and AU$55 (US$44, E31, £27)
from Friday to Sunday. Towel hire
is AU$3 (US$2, E2, £1).
Private mineral baths cost AU$65 s
(US$52, E37, £32) and treatments
range from AU$95 (US$76, E54,
£47) for a 45-minute body polish
to AU$480 (US$382, E272, £237)
for a four-hour spa ritual.
Hepburn Springs by numbers
Hepburn combines traditional spa
bathing with a fve-star spa experience.
Te changing rooms (above) and the
relaxation area (right)
My favourite spa treatment is a simple, basic
massage. For me, a good spa is one where
the guests are satisfed and the owner makes
money. In a great spa, however, guests are very
satisfed and the owner makes a lot of money.
Alain Massaza, 59, founder,
Imagine International, France
I worked for Club Med for 20
years, frstly as a professional
pianist, then as chef de village
[resort general manager] in
Mexico, Morocco, Turkey and
the Bahamas. Tis quickly
taught me how to really un-
derstand guests’ needs and
attitudes on vacation, which
helped me when I went on to
develop spas. I admire Gilbert
Trigano [the co-founder of Club
Med]: Club Med came just afer
the World War II and he had a
vision of making a business out
of making people happy.
He taught me about what is im-
portant in life.
I was born in Africa in 1950 and stayed there
until I was 12, then lived in France until I was
18. Te fact that I was from nowhere in particu-
lar and ready to go everywhere has shaped my
life. I’ve lived in many countries and freedom
is very important to me. Although I’m now set-
tled in Paris – that’s where Accor and Imagine
International are based – I travel as much as
possible with my family in my free time.
When I frst joined Accor I developed leisure concepts for its Novotel and Mercure brands,
but as Softel was an upscale brand introducing a spa was an obvious thing to do. Te LeSpa
concept was simple: it was the perfect blend of French beauty, expertise and service standards
delivered by the best in the industry, mixed with the very best from each site locally – be it ar-
chitecture or indigenous plants – to add a unique touch. Te overall aim was to make guests’
skin as healthy as possible and to instil a blissful sense of wellbeing within the body.
Although working with Accor was great, I really wanted my own company. While at Accor I
set up thalassotherapy centres under its Accor Talassa division and realised there was no one
company that provided advice on concepts, feasibility, design, architecture, fnance, human
resources, operations and marketing for thalassotherapy centres. Tat’s why I set up Imagine
International: to ofer all this expertise in one place. My long-term ambition is to become the
world’s best company in developing and managing thalassotherapy centres and spas.
We’re also developing spa concepts
for two major French cosmetic
companies. Esthederm, well-known
for its skincare (especially suncare)
lines, will launch its spa by May
2010. Dessanage, renowned in hair-
dressing and skincare, will open its
frst spa in the next 12 months.
Guests want more results from
their spa experience, that’s why
medical spas will be one of the
biggest trends in the future.
I also think spas will become
totally integrated into the life
of consumers, playing a role
in their health as well as how
they look. Spas need to develop
more professionals in diferent
felds to cope with this demand:
they’re certainly not ready yet.
My favourite flm is Lawrence of
Arabia: I’ve watched it about 30
times. Peter O’Toole is one of the
best actors and his character [the
lead role of T E Lawrence] is very
inspirational – Lawrence has an
ambition in life and despite being
used and manipulated by the po-
litical and military forces of World
War I, he reached his goal. Eve-
rybody wants to be Lawrence of
Arabia: I read that afer the flm the
character never really lef O’Toole.
Being creative, and having the freedom to be creative,
is very important to me: it’s what drives me. I don’t like
to manage, I prefer to create something, make it hap-
pen (or build it) and then move onto something else.
We have 15 staf and our headquarters are in Paris, but we’re working on about 15
projects worldwide, from the Caribbean and Canada to Morocco. One of the most in-
novative developments is in Pléneuf Val-André [a resort in north-west France] which
will open in June 2010. Te 1,500sq m (16,146sq f), 24-treatment-room spa is the frst
to mix the best of thalassotherapy, with sea water relaxation and exercise pools and
thalassotherapy wellbeing packages with a high-end design and service.
As a new company the global f-
nancial crisis has not hit us yet.
We have enough projects for this
year, but I’m more concerned
about 2010: if the worldwide
economy doesn’t improve then I
think many projects will be put on
hold. We’ve noticed that big hotel
companies have reduced their
investments, or are postponing
projects until 2010 or 2011. Invest-
ment is still happening in some
countries such as Morocco, but the
Middle East has been hit particu-
larly hard – we have no work there
at the moment. Our plan to weath-
er these hard times is to be more
careful when spending and to be
more aggressive when it comes to
selling and marketing.
Massaza began his career at Club Med in 1977 and eventually became the group’s director of operations worldwide. In 1998 he founded a
hotel management firm and created the Village Ocea holiday hotel concept, which was bought by Accor when he joined as director of mar-
keting, tourism and leisure products in 2000. Massaza developed Accor’s first spa brand, LeSpa, for its Sofitel hotel chain which he rolled
out in over 30 sites globally. Last October he left Accor to set up Imagine International, a consultancy which specialises in thalassotherapy.
UIFXBZ*TFFJU
ABOUT ALAIN MASSAZA
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People KATIE BARNES » MANAGING EDITOR » SPA BUSINESS
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Modern research is backing up the efficacy
of energy medicine. We explore the different
approaches and why operators should
open their eyes to this emerging field
feel the
Force
JAMES OSCHMAN » FOUNDER » NATURE’S OWN RESEARCH
W
hen I received the invitation to present at the
2008 Monaco Spa Event, I thought the organisers
had made an error. Why would leaders in the spa
industry be interested in hearing from a biophysi-
cist specialising in energy medicine?
I found out the answer soon afer arriving. A leading spa archi-
tect and one of the event organisers, Dagmar Rizzato, informed
me that my two books on energy medicine – Energy Medicine: Te
Scientifc Basis and Energy Medicine in Terapeutics and Human
Performance – had become standard references for spa design in
Europe. Tis was a delightful surprise.
It was not long before Rizzato and I were discussing the ancient
arts and sciences of placement, and the crucial understanding
that there are ideal locations for healing, as well as places to avoid
because of certain emanations from the earth. Unknown to most
in biomedicine, both the Hartmann Net and the Curry Grid map
reveal geomagnetic disturbances over the world and many health
problems have been consistently observed over the centuries
when dwellings have been constructed on such sites.
Our relationship with the earth has become one of my favourite
subjects, as I am engaged in research on the benefts of connecting
ourselves to the earth, as happens when we take our shoes and
socks of and walk barefoot in the grass. In collaboration with
several scientists, I have reported the physiological and health
benefts of connecting to the earth, such as better sleep and the
rapid reduction of aches and pains. An earth connection deliv-
ers electrons and subtle rhythms to the body, which can help to
normalise the daily rhythm of the stress hormone, cortisol, help-
ing to reduce infammation throughout the body.
Tis is, in fact, one of the most exciting developments in the
feld of energy medicine, and has enormous implications for the
spa world. Adding an earth connection at various locations in a
spa would not be dif cult and would have a variety of benefcial
efects. I am exploring what happens when barefoot contact with
the earth is combined with other energetic approaches. A grassy
walkway between a pool or sauna and a treatment facility can
provide a few minutes walking barefoot in conductive contact
with the earth, and enhance the benefts of a wellness spa. Or
barefoot pads could be added to relaxation couches and treatment
tables. Te pads contain conductive silver fbres that connect to a
wire leading to a stainless steel rod inserted into the earth. Tese
would deliver the same benefts as walking barefoot around a spa.
Te efects are so benefcial that it will not be long before every
bed in a spa/hotel will have a barefoot system.
SEEING WITH NEW EYES
Energy medicine can be defned as the diagnostic or therapeutic
use of energy – heat, light, sound, gravity, pressure, vibration,
electric, magnetic, chemical or electromagnetic – whether pro-
duced or detected by a medical device or by the human body. It is
not really a new subject, it is just that for a variety of reasons we
have been taught to keep our eyes closed to energetics.
However, modern research on energy medicine has enabled
energetic therapies to acquire the respect, validation and interest
Trends
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they deserve. Energy medicine
is emerging as a breakthrough
paradigm for healthcare world-
wide. Te reason is that patients
and healthcare systems are
recognising the value of preven-
tive measures that are cost-efective, non-invasive and that have
few if any side efects. Biomedical research worldwide shows that
virtually all diseases are related to chronic infammation, caused
by excess free radicals. Energy medicine techniques can be used
to quickly neutralise free radicals to treat existing chronic pains
or to treat them in the early stages before they become serious. A
growing number of patients are enjoying working with practition-
ers of energy therapies. Many medical issues make more sense to
the patient when the energetic aspects have been explained, and
this greatly facilitates the healing process. Tis shif in interest has
infuenced the medical community, as more patients are asking
their physicians about energy medicine, and more physicians are
learning energy medicine techniques. As one example, over 1,800
medical doctors in the US have become acupuncturists, some-
thing that was unheard of a decade ago. Hence energy medicine
provides many opportunities and challenges for the spa industry.
IT MAKES SENSE
Touch, hear, look, smell and taste was the theme for the Monaco
Spa Event I spoke at. Te focus was on delivering these sensory
worlds to guests. Te same fve senses provide a perfect theme
to introduce you to energy medicine, since each sensation is a
window into part of the energetic landscape surrounding us and
that enables us to function and enjoy our environment. And each
sensation introduces a set of energetic therapies that are destined
to become a part of the spa of the future.
Touch is a good place to start our exploration of energy
medicine. Touch therapies such as massage and bodywork are
well accepted components of the spa. Energy medicine research
teaches us is that there is more to massage than meets the eye. It’s
long been established that massage can stimulate the circulation
of blood and lymphatic fuids and thereby enhance the operation
of the body’s immune and detoxifcation systems. Less appreciated
is the ability of touch therapies to relax muscles and reorganise
sof tissues so movements become smoother and more ef cient.
In the development of the sof tissue manipulation technique
Rolfng®, Ida P Rolf documented the malleability or plasticity of
the body: the connective tissues can be re-shaped to make one’s
entire physical structure more balanced in the gravitational feld,
and therefore more fexible and energetically ef cient. When
we become balanced around a vertical line, gravity ceases to
be ‘the enemy’, ceases to pull us down, but instead makes us feel
A barefoot earth connection
(above) has been said to
help normalise the
production of hormones
and reduce infammation
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supported, even lighter. Tis sensation not only feels good, but
is indicative of less stress on the musculoskeletal system. Since
gravity is a form of energy, bodywork therapies that appreciate the
role of gravity in health and disease have become extremely valu-
able. For example, gravity is one of the leading causes of physical
debilitation in the ageing population.
A frequent but less obvious reason for
visiting a physician is the prolonged
misuse of the body and poor body
mechanics such as improper lifing of
heavy objects or sitting for long peri-
ods with poor posture.
One way touch therapies have deep
efects on the body is by the piezo-
electric or pressure electricity efect.
Touch and pressure cause the tissues to
generate electrical felds that infuence
physiological regulatory processes. To
summarise, touch is a form of energy that can afect the ways the
body utilises other forms of energy, such as movement and gravity.
Hear refers to the vibratory sense that enables us to communi-
cate verbally, but there is much more. What is it about music that
relaxes us, makes us feel good or even upset? Music therapy has
long been used to help with medical and psychiatric disorders,
physical handicaps, sensory impairments, substance abuse, and
ageing. Sounds can also be used to improve learning, build self-
esteem, reduce stress, support physical exercise, and facilitate a
host of other health-related activities. Again, there’s more to the
story than relaxation.
Energy medicine teaches us that sound is one communication
media within the body, and that certain sounds can open up
channels for information fow that have been blocked due to
injury or illness. For example, muscles produce sounds when they
are functioning properly. Tense muscles relax when provided with
a tone at the natural frequency they
have when functioning normally. Tis
is an example of rhythmic entrainment,
or resonance, and is part of the energy
medicine feld known as vibrational
medicine (see SB06/4 p88 for more
about how this can be used in spas).
Music therapy is an interpersonal proc-
ess in which a therapist uses music and
its facets – physical, emotional, mental,
social, aesthetic, and spiritual – to
help people improve or maintain their
health (see SB08/1 p86).
Look refers to another key vibratory or frequency sense that
enables us to see the colourful world around us. Connected to our
eyes (our visual receptors), is a vast energetic network – the brain,
which has the capability of recognising, storing, and interpreting
the constant stream of visual pictures that are a major part of our
experience of life. Once we interpret what’s going on around us,
decisions are made about where to go and what to do; decisions
that are communicated to our muscles enable us to move, grasp,
type, play a musical instrument, and so on. Light therapy or
phototherapy, a form of energy medicine, consists of exposure
to daylight or to specifc wavelengths of light using various light
Trends
The potential benefits of
energy medicine – hands on
or technological – are virtually
unlimited, everyone can have
their diverse needs met and the
spa is the ideal place for this
P
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Eyes connect to the brain: a vast
energetic network (top lef);
re-shaping connective tissues
makes us more energetically
ef cient (this picture and lef)
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sources such as lasers, light emit-
ting diodes, fuorescent lamps, or
bright full-spectrum light, for a
prescribed amount of time and, in
some cases, at a specifc time of
day. Light has proven efective in
treating a variety of medical conditions including skin conditions,
depression and seasonal afective disorder. Low level laser light
therapy, produced by ‘cold’ lasers (which do not heat tissues) has
proven efective for a variety of musculoskeletal conditions and
has demonstrated remarkable success in maintaining the strength
and enhancing recovery in athletes engaged in competitive events.
Smell and taste are key senses related to our enjoyment of life.
While there’s debate about the precise mechanisms by which these
senses operate, there is no question that a wonderful fragrance or
a delicious taste can bring about a delightful change in attitude.
A BENEFIT TO ALL
By this time, you may be realising that all the sensory/energetic
modalities have corresponding therapeutic approaches. Yet
there’s also room for machine-based energy medicine in spas.
ONDAMED® is a battery-powered biofeedback device that can
be used to determine which frequencies of sound, as well as
weak-pulsed electromagnetic felds, cause a response in a patient’s
autonomic nervous system. Temporary stimulation by these fre-
quencies, combined with the patient’s cognitive and non-cognitive
participation, promotes relaxation, muscle re-education and other
prescription uses such as pain relief, stress relief linked with reduc-
tion of infammation and improvement of the immune system.
Other possible technologies include: the L.I.F.E system, which
can perform thousands of medical tests in a few minutes by using
electromagnetic felds to quickly locate and correct energy blocks
and imbalances; and CEM-Tech, which records signals emitted by
diseased tissues and then feeds them back into the body to treat
bacterial and viral infections as well as oncological diseases. Tere
are many other technologies, but you get the picture: such modali-
ties can be used to bring everyone up to the optimum health that
can be achieved for them and provide the best of prevention and
treatment if illness or injury arise.
Te challenge is to think holistically about how all these
approaches – hands on and technological – and the energetic en-
vironment can beneft all concerned. By ‘all concerned’ I refer to
the whole community: the owners, the investors and the staf, as
well as those who visit the spa. Obviously such a project should be
done in collaboration with a wide variety of healthcare profession-
als, including the various physician specialists and in association
with hospitals and clinics, but the spa is an ideal place to ofer
them. However, the potential benefts for various members of this
‘family’ are virtually unlimited. All can have their diverse needs
met, and a special opportunity arises for the elite athlete who
must maintain optimum physical functioning and rapid recovery
from injury should it occur.
Te homework from this article is to pay attention to the vari-
ous forms of energy you experience everyday and note how they
contribute to the quality of your life and to the wellness of those
around you. Trough such observations you can become your
own expert in energy medicine and better able to evaluate tech-
niques that you might want to implement in your spa. ●
Light therapy (above)
can help with a variety of
conditions including skin
complaints, depression and
seasonal afective disorder
PIZHICHIL: luke-warm herbal oils are
poured all over the body continuously
for about 45-90 minutes a day for
seven to 21 days. This treatment
is most effective in rheumatic
diseases such as arthritis, paralysis,
hemiplegia and paralysis-agitans.
NJAVARAKIZHI: the whole body, or
a specific part, is made to perspire by
the application of certain medicinal
herbs applied for 45-90 minutes a
day for 14 days. This treatment is
given for rheumatism, emaciation
of limbs, high blood-pressure,
cholesterol and certain skin diseases.
ABHYANGAM: an oil massage given
for 45 minutes a day for 14 days. The
treatment is said to be highly effective
in combating obesity, loss of skin
lustre, sleeplessness and fatigue.
SHIRODHARA: a warm oil is poured
onto the forehead for 40 minutes
a day for seven to 21 days to treat
insomnia, loss of memory, headaches,
mental tension and certain skin
diseases. This is generally applied
after a ‘vasthi’ head massage.
UDVARTHANAM: a powder
massage effective for obesity,
hemiplegia, paralysis, skin diseases,
and impaired circulation.
NASYAM: involves the application
of juices and medicated oils for
seven to 14 days to cure headaches,
paralysis, mental disorders,
certain types of skin diseases.
SNEHAPANAM: the oral intake of
medicated oils for body purification.
AYURCARE TREATMENTS
Ayurcare offers both ayurveda-influenced spa
treatments and panchakarma: medicinal ayurvedic
therapies for chronic ailments which include:
licensed by the state following thorough,
graduate-level medical training.
Authenticity is the battle-cry of Ayur-
care, the operator of ayurvedic wellness
centres in southern India. Te company is
taking its one-stop-shop concept – which
ofers a full range of ayurvedic services,
from nutritional guidance, herbal medi-
cine and rejuvenation and purifcation
therapies to exercise practices, such as
yoga – to international markets. Already
a major player in India, the company has
recently established franchise partnerships
in South Africa, Canada, Australia and
Europe, and is now putting in place the
infrastructure to build a global network.
Setting a benchmark
Established in 2002, Ayurcare has the
largest portfolio of ayurvedic centres in
India, with 32 locations (some owned, some
franchises) operating in the southern states
of Andhra Pradesh, Tamilnadu and Kerala.
Depending on location, a typical
Ayurcare centre covers 1,500-1,800sq f (139-
167sq m), with three treatments rooms: one
containing a swedana casket (steambath);
another with a traditional, wooden dhroni
massage table; and a consulting room. All
centres have an on-site doctor trained in
both ayurvedic and allopathic medicine,
and many have a on-site pharmacy.
Company profle
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A
yurveda may be thousands of
years old, but until recently, this
ancient approach to wellness
was comparatively unknown
outside India. Not so today: in 2006, the
World Health Organization said that
ayurveda had become the most popular
alternative health practice in the world.
Te spa industry has helped to popu-
larise ayurveda; spas were among the frst
non-Indian facilities to adopt its unique
therapies, herbs and oils. However, purists
say that although this trend has raised
the profle of the discipline, it has led to
the dilution of both the authenticity and
efectiveness of many ayurvedic practices.
In India, ayurveda is a legitimate
medical system, used by 70 per cent of the
country’s population. Practitioners are
Te Real Ting
Ayurvedic therapies
are available across
the spa world, but how
many do justice to the
ancient Indian wellness
system? Indian company
Ayurcare is facing up
to the pretenders by
taking its ayurvedic
concept to the world
Shirodhara helps
with insomnia,
loss of memory
and mental tension
CHRIS MCBEATH » JOURNALIST » SPA BUSINESS
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Te secret of Ayurcare’s success must be
attributed, at least in part, to its collabora-
tive approach. Te primary partners in
Holistic Healthcare Pvt Ltd, Ayurcare’s pri-
vately held parent company, are seasoned
in ayurvedic doctrines as well as interna-
tional marketing and business practises.
Concerned by how ayurveda was being
interpreted by non-specialist operators,
they saw an opportunity to bring the
practice back to its roots and contribute
positively to community health, while also
establishing an authentic ayurvedic brand
overseas. “We want to set the benchmark
for ayurvedic wellness,” says Ranveer Puri,
Ayurcare’s executive director.
Currently valued in excess of US$5.2m
(€3.73m, £3.26m) – calculated on revenues,
assets and franchise agreements – the
company has grown at a rate of 30 per cent
a year since its inception. Ayurcare’s direc-
tors are so confdent in their model that
they expect to buck the depressed economy
to sustain this strong growth, with a view
to foating the company on the Indian
stock exchange in 2011. Expansion plans
include opening sites within all Accor
hotels in India, exploring merchandising
opportunities and rolling out overseas.
Bennett, Coleman & Company, India’s
largest media company, came on board
in 2008 as an investor, while Canadian
Tumuluri Hospitality invested CA$1m
(US$898,150, €643,750, £562,900) for a 20
per cent holding and the right to franchise
the brand internationally.
Also backing Ayurcare is the Indian gov-
ernment, which has identifed ayurveda as
one of the country’s fastest growing indus-
tries. Although ayurveda is integral to life
throughout India, it involves completely
diferent approaches from one end to the
other: in the south, a more purist system
uses medicinal tree and herb extracts,
whereas in the north, the system uses
metals such as chromium, zinc, nickel and
copper; traditions also vary widely from
region to region, as familial practices pass
from one generation to the next.
Consequently, Ayush, the government
department responsible for regulating al-
ternative practices in India, is now working
with private companies such as Ayurcare to
standardise ayurveda’s protocols. Its man-
date, over the next fve years, is to create
an international brand standard for the
system by which all others can be judged
Global growth
To serve as a showcase to potential
franchisees overseas, Ayurcare opened
a prototype facility last year in Tofno,
British Columbia. “All international
franchised operations are valued at ap-
proximately CA$250,000 (US$224,400,
€161,000, £140,700) for an estimated ROI
Te bolus treatment uses warmed
ingredients wrapped in a tight ball
(top lef); heated herbal liquids are
poured over the body in the dhara
therapy (top right); vasthi uses a
dough bowl flled with warm oils to
relieve localised pain (right)
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of CA$600,000 (US$538,500, €386,300,
£337,600),” says Ram Tumuluri of Tumu-
luri Hospitality.
“Te majority of revenues will be derived
from treatments which, at the outset, will
be priced competitively to build brand
awareness and loyalty. Ayurvedic massages
are, however, more value-orientated than
regular massages, since many involve two
therapists and use oils which are custom-
blended to suit a person’s body type.”
Unlike other ayurvedic operators
outside India, Ayurcare maintains its own
training institute in Hyderabad, India.
Accordingly, ayurvedic resources and
expertise can be exported to any franchise
location where local supply falls short.
Ayurcare will meet up to 50 per cent of a
centre’s staf ng needs with graduates of
its training institute in order to ensure
standards and cultural understanding
(on both sides) are more easily integrated.
“Tis ensures quality and consistency of
delivery in centres around the world, as
the international Ayurcare model fnds its
footing beyond Tofno,” says Tumuluri.
In December 2008, a 1,600sq f (149sq
m), three-room centre opened on Illovo
Sandton in Johannesburg – Africa’s ‘em-
bassy row’. Initial investment was ZAR1.2m
(US$148,600, €106,800, £93,650), which,
based on 10-12 treatments per day, is
expected to turn a proft within two years.
Plans are underway to open more centres
in Durban and Cape Town later this year
with a projected half-a-dozen operations in
South Africa by the end of 2010.
Meanwhile, back in Canada, a location
is set to open in Whistler for Canada’s 2010
Winter Olympics, and although the eco-
nomic climate has slowed ambitious plans
for Europe are still underway, franchisee
agreements are in the works for the UK
(London and Manchester), the Netherlands
and Germany; as well as the US (Washing-
ton State and California), Australia (Sydney
and Perth), Malaysia and Singapore.
Firm belief
In addition to its tie-up with Tumuluri
Hospitality, the company has a key alliance,
closer to home, with the Dhanwantari
Vaidyasala Ayurvedic Institute. Over 70
years old, the institute is highly regarded
in India for its training courses and pan-
chakarma programmes, as well as for
manufacturing and distributing in excess
of 350 herbal medicines. Te partnership
gives Ayurcare access to the institute’s
2,000 acres of organically grown herbs for
its beauty product line – Ajara Skin Care
by Ayurcare – as well as a signature brand
of medicinal products, Ayurcare Medical.
Te Ajara Skin Care products have been
formulated to suit the diferent ‘doshas’
(mind-body types) found in ayurveda –
vata, pitta and kapha, and their various
combinations. Ajara is a sanskrit word
which means ageless, and the collection
includes essential oils, skin cleansers,
masks, shampoos, conditioners, bath salts,
shower gels, and eye creams; and for men,
a shaving cream and a hair gel. Ayurcare
Medical, meanwhile, will comprise half-a-
dozen patented natural products to address
cholesterol, arthritis, obesity, weight loss,
diabetes, and pain management.
With appropriate licensing now in place,
both lines are launching this year via
e-commerce and retail in Ayurcare’s spa
centres and selected distribution outlets.
Together, revenues are estimated to reach
CA$3.7m (US$3.32m, €2.38m, £2.08m)
within two years – largely because Euro-
pean and North American markets still
consider ayurvedic medicines to be natu-
ral food supplements, which means they’re
not subject to pharmaceutical regulations.
Also in partnership with the institute, Ay-
urcare opened a 25-bed ayurvedic hospital,
complete with spa centre, in January 2009 –
a move that not only underscores the health
focus of Ayurcare, but also advances the
emerging trend of hospital spas.
Elsewhere, Ayurcare is developing
its own brand of destination resort. Its
fagship Ashram Spa opens this year on
Kerala’s beachfront, a popular health and
spa destination for international visitors.
Because future spas will be situated in
resort or hotel premises – either as a joint
venture or franchise agreement – the
size of facilities will vary. As a minimum,
they will share the same blueprint as the
standalone wellness centres, but with
accommodation and resort amenities on
hand, Ashram Spas will ofer residential
programmes of three to 21 days.
While the next few of years will see many
businesses facing tough times, there’s a frm
belief at Ayurcare that its brand of authentic
ayurveda will ride the tide. ●
Company profle
Ayurcare opened a 25-bed ayurvedic hospital,
complete with spa centre, in January 2009, a
move that advances the concept of the hospital spa
Ayurcare ofers a full range of ayurvedic
services including herbal medicine
(above right) and yoga (above lef)
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hink of an iconic American
brand – Coca Cola, McDonalds,
Marlboro – and the chances
are it won’t be associated with
health. So it’s surprising to learn that, while
it’s less well known globally, Pritikin is a
household name in the US. Ask anyone
stateside, and they’ll probably be able to tell
you something about the diet-and-exercise
programme that claims to be able to pre-
vent and reverse some of Western society’s
most pervasive health problems, including
obesity, heart disease and diabetes.
Te programme was originally devel-
oped by Nathan Pritikin, an engineer
who became interested in nutrition afer
being diagnosed with advanced coronary
heart disease at 41. At that time, in 1956,
the standard advice given to heart disease
patients was not to over-exert themselves,
to carry on as normal and wait to die.
Unwilling to accept there was nothing
more to be done, Pritikin took it upon
himself to study world cultures which had
a low incidence of heart disease. He used
what he discovered to develop a special
diet, and went on to live for another 28
years (eventually dying from unrelated
causes connected to leukaemia).
In 1975, Pritikin set up a centre at his
home in Santa Barbara, California, to share
his fndings with others. But it wasn’t until
he met Dr David Lehr, a renowned car-
diologist, that anyone took him seriously.
Convinced Pritikin had caught on to some-
thing big, Lehr contacted the producers of
the US current afairs TV show 60 Minutes
and persuaded them to investigate.
Pritikin and Lehr appeared on the show
twice – in 1977 and 1978 – alongside three
men with advanced heart disease, who all
saw huge improvements in their health
by following Pritikin’s diet and lifestyle
recommendations. Te publicity gave
the programme the credibility it needed,
and in 1978, Lehr and Pritikin opened
the Pritikin Longevity Center in Miami,
Florida, where patients could get started
on the regime under medical supervision.
Over 30 years later, the business – now
Te Pritikin Organization, LLC – is still
going strong. Since the Pritikin family
sold its stake following Nathan’s death, the
company has been co-owned by the Lehr
family and a silent investor. When David
Lehr died in 1996, his son Paul, a lawyer,
took over the stewardship of the company.
In 1999, the centre moved from its origi-
nal home to its current 78-room site in the
City of Aventura, and Lehr is now looking
for a bigger site in the Miami area to meet
demand. But as well as continuing to
develop the mother ship, Lehr is working
to take the programme to a new audience
through a raf of initiatives and deals.
Profle
RHIANON HOWELLS » CONSULTING EDITOR » SPA BUSINESS
The Pritikin Longevity Center in Florida has achieved
commercial success and scientific repute in its
three-decade lifespan. Now the son of its co-founder
and president Paul Lehr is taking the brand to a
new audience, both at home and abroad
Paul Lehr
SPA BUSINESS 3 2009
©
cybertrek 2009 50 Read Spa Business online spabusiness.com / digital
Te Pritikin website gives programme
guests access to information and support
once they’ve completed their visit
Exercise, fresh fruit, vegetables, lean animal protein and whole grains – these are the bedrock of the Pritikin approach to wellness and health
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A signifcant source of revenue for
Pritikin is its publishing arm, and its latest
book – Te Pritikin Edge: 10 Essential
Ingredients for a Long and Delicious Life,
co-authored by Lehr and Dr Robert Vogel,
a cardiologist and weight consultant – is
currently being promoted. Also launched
is a web-based scheme – MyPritikin –
which enables members worldwide to get
daily coaching from the doctors, nutrition-
ists and other experts at the Florida centre.
Te company also has a supplements
line, and a Pritikin packaged-food brand,
which was bought by Quaker Oats in the
1980s, before being sold to another com-
pany and recently bought back by Pritikin.
Elsewhere, Lehr has confrmed a
partnership with real estate developer
Boymelgreen to create a 235-unit Pritikin
Living project in Houston, Texas, and
a licensing deal with Indian health and
beauty operator VLCC to roll out 12-15
Pritikin day centres in India within three
years. Further deals with operators in the
UAE and Singapore are under discussion.
Meanwhile, the US government has
passed legislation which, from 2010, will
allow participation in the Pritikin Program
for heart-disease patients to be covered
by Medicare – its public health insurance
scheme – thereby greatly increasing the
potential for a domestic rollout. Speaking
to Spa Business, Lehr explains what makes
the Pritikin approach unique and shares
his vision for the brand in the 21st century.
When and why did you join
the family business?
Growing up, the Pritikin Center was right
across the water from my house. Because
my father was the owner, I used to go there
all the time, and run around and wait for
him to fnish work. I got to meet all these
movie stars and I just thought it was nor-
mal! When I was older, I never really had
any intention of following in my father’s
footsteps. I was a musician for a while, liv-
ing in Paris, and when I came back to the
States I went to school to become a lawyer.
But when my father passed away, I started
looking afer the business, and eventually
realised that I needed to take care of it.
How would you sum up the
Pritikin philosophy?
It’s essentially one of prevention and re-
versal. We believe that if you lead a healthy
lifestyle you can either avoid or reverse the
diseases that kill most people in the world,
such as diabetes, heart disease and obesity.
Our goal is to give to people the tools they
need to change the way they live.
We prefer prevention to reversal: we’ve
got a family programme, where people can
bring their kids from the age of seven. But
some people wait until they have a health
issue before they come to us – they want to
reverse the problem or avoid surgery, and
we’re successful there too. In one study, 80
per cent of people who came afer being
told they needed heart bypass surgery
didn’t need it afer fve years of follow-up.
“We believe that if you lead a healthier lifestyle you can either avoid or reverse most of
the diseases that kill most people in the world, such as diabetes, heart disease and
obesity, so our goal is to give to people the tools they need to change the way they live”
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Paul Lehr is leading
the company into
joint ventures and a
Medicare tie up
52
Who do you compete with?
Tat’s hard to answer because Pritikin does
so many diferent things. Pritikin has sold
more than 10 million books, so in a sense
we compete with popular diet and lifestyle
books. In terms of our one or two day
executive physicals programme, we com-
pete with the facilities that ofer those. In
terms of our one and two week residential
lifestyle change programme, I don’t really
think there’s another facility that competes
with us directly because our programme
is more medical and results-oriented.
Te dramatic health improvements and
weight loss results achieved by our guests
are not marketing claims, but rather have
been published in more than 110 studies in
the top peer reviewed scientifc journals
like New England Journal of Medicine and
Archives of Internal Medicine.
So while we have a great spa as part of
our program at Pritikin, I don’t believe any
of the top spas who people compare us to
have published scientifc studies showing
their health and weight loss results. It’s the
results achieved at Pritikin that set us apart
from others and they’re one of the reasons
we have such devotion from our guests.
How important is the scientifc
research to Pritikin’s credibility?
Incredibly important. Our money doesn’t
go into marketing. If you look in any of the
magazines where you see spas advertising,
you won’t see us. All our money goes into
science, because we’re trying to change
the way America and the world looks at
nutrition and exercise – so they become
the frst line of defence in healthcare rather
than drugs and surgery.
Most of the studies are done at UCLA,
some at Washington University in St Louis
and some are going to be done here at
the University of Miami. Tey’re funded
by outside resources or our non-proft
Pritikin Research Foundation, but if that
ever doesn’t have enough money then
the company will sub it out of ongoing
expenses. It’s that important.
Pritikin has dramatic results. Can you
explain, in lay terms, how it works?
It’s not only in some cases; in the most
recent study, 74 per cent of diabetics, and
44 per cent on insulin, came of and stayed
of their medications. In another study, 83
per cent of people on hypertension medi-
cation came of it. Tese are medications
that doctors have told people they’re going
to be on for the rest of their lives.
What happens is this. You go to the
doctor and get diagnosed with high blood
pressure. Te doctor tells you to cut salt
out of your diet and come back in 60 days.
Sixty days later, you go back and you’re
still hypertensive, so the doctor says ‘salt
clearly isn’t the problem’ and prescribes
medication instead, telling you you’ll be
on it for the rest of your life.
So what’s the magic pill we ofer at
Pritikin that allows these people to get of
their medication? Well, it’s not magic: it’s
a healthy diet and lifestyle, and the educa-
tion to sustain it. Doctors don’t learn about
nutrition in medical school, so they don’t
know to tell people that if they stop using
salt-shakers, they’ll only be cutting 11 per
cent of the sodium out of their diet; the
rest of it is in the processed food they’re
eating. People don’t realise there’s more
sodium in cornfakes and bread than there
is in potato chips and pretzels.
Te diference, when they come to us,
is that they really are getting less sodium
in their diet, and we also show them how
to avoid it in everyday life. We have our
daily cooking school for those who like to
cook; we take people to the supermarket
and teach them to read labels; we show
The Pritikin Longevity Center s
employs close to 200 staff
Maximum capacity is 100 guests s
at any one time, with occupancy
at close to 100 per cent
62 per cent of visitors are repeat s
visitors, worked out as a yearly
average; around 80 per cent of guests
return to Pritikin at least once
Average length of stay is two weeks s
Around 20 per cent of guests come s
from outside the US, with the
biggest contingent, after Canada,
coming from the UK; other guests
come from France, Italy, Spain,
Greece and the Middle East
Pritikin Enterprises, LLC, has s
published 10 million books
02)4)+)."9.5-"%23
Read Spa Business online spabusiness.com / digital
Profle
02)4)+)."9.5-"%23
Te Pritikin Centre also ofers wellness
programmes for children and families
SPA BUSINESS 3 2009
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them how to read menus at their favourite
restaurant; with the kids, we take them to
the food court at the shopping mall. We
teach them to make better choices – and
the fact is that when you cut out salt, you
can lower your blood pressure, and when
you eat a better diet, you can control
diabetes and heart disease. It’s that simple.
You’ve launched a less rigid version of
Pritikin. What’s the thinking behind it?
Te new programme has been in develop-
ment and beta testing for a couple of years.
It was originally called Pritikin Lite, but
we’ve changed the name to Pritikin First
Step, which gives a clearer indication of
what we’re aiming to accomplish. It’s similar
to what we do with the kids, but we’ve never
had an of cial programme for it before.
It’s got slightly looser guidelines for
sodium and animal protein, and includes
more foods that, while not perfect, are not
bad in limited quantities. Tis may make
it easier for some to follow. It’s suitable for
those in reasonable health who want to
stay that way, and allows us to cast the net
wider for a younger, healthier clientele. But
if you come to us with severe diabetes or
a heart disease, we’ll still strongly recom-
mend the traditional Pritikin programme.
How’s the deal in India progressing?
We’ve granted VLCC a master licence;
we’re providing the know-how, programme
and recipes, but they’ll be running the
centres. Tey’re sending key people to us
for training, and we’re helping with hiring.
Te centres are going to ofer non-resi-
dential programmes similar to something
we ofer here, called the PM Program,
where people sign up for a 12- or 16-week
course and come in two or three times a
week for an exercise session, a lecture and
a meal. We’re doing feld research to see
what’ll work in India in terms of schedules.
Will you expand in any other countries?
We’re speaking with potential partners in
Singapore and the UAE, but they’re not
confrmed. We’re particular about who we
do business with to ensure our programme
is adhered to so guests get consistent results.
We’ll only look at forming partnerships
in countries where there are signifcant
cultural diferences from the US. If an
opportunity presented itself in England,
for example, we’d operate that ourselves.
Is the Pritikin Living on track?
Tis project’s a partnership – Boymelgreen
will develop and we’ll provide the Pritikin
services. Tey approached us before the
real estate market dropped and while
every place else was sufering, Houston
continued to do well for longer, as it’s an
oil economy. We’re hopeful the developer
will complete without signifcant delays.
I don’t expect there’ll be many opportu-
nities [for Living projects] now, but there
will be in the future, because people are
focusing on health and longevity.
You bought back the Pritikin food
lines. What are your plans for it?
Plans include reformulating and we’re in
discussions with larger food companies
about licensing. We’re in 20 per cent of the
US, and want to expand.
What’s next on the agenda?
Our relocation in Florida to accommodate
expansion and the Medicare rollout: as from
January 2010, Medicare will be authorised
to cover certain people to undergo the
programme in 72 one-hour sessions.
Tis will be non-residential business,
and Medicare will pay for doctors, exercise
classes and nutrition lectures. We’ll be
setting up non-residential centres in local
communities ofering 12- or 16-week
programmes. Tis will enable us to expand
across the US and where Medicare goes,
private insurance companies follow.
Medicare realises it’s worth investing a few
thousand dollars for someone to go through
our programme, if it means they can avoid
surgery or get of their medication. ●
See p54 to read our writer’s verdict of his stay
at the Pritikin Longevity Center.
Pritikin is reformulating its food lines and plans
to expand by setting up a licensing deal with
a food company that has a national network
Guests are advised to opt for fresh rather
than packaged foods to keep sodium intake
down and avoid high blood pressure
First person
SPA BUSINESS 3 2009
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A
46-year-old man, I’ve long
been in possession of too
much weight, thanks to years
of food-fuelled self-abuse. But
the trigger to making a trip to the Pritikin
Longevity Center and Spa (see p50) and
actually doing something about my health
was a visit to a new doctor about a non-
weight-related problem. Having dealt with
my minor complaint, the man turned his
attention to the elephant in the room: me.
Te exchange that followed was depressing.
Did I smoke? Yes
How many a day? Too many
Did I drink? Yes
How much? Too much
Did I exercise? Yes
How much? Not much. Not if I’m honest
Did I eat well? No. Not if I’m honest
What did I eat? Lots of meat, dairy,
microwave meals and take-aways
Ten he weighed me, measured me and
took a lot of blood pressure readings. Over
the next few weeks, further tests revealed
the extent of the dreadful condition I was
in. Pills were prescribed to deal with my
high blood pressure and cholesterol level,
JONATHAN WHITTLE » JOURNALIST » SPA BUSINESS
numbers and are users of US healthcare
and health insurance systems. Pritikin
feels American, rather than international.
Another preconception was that the
operation was rather evangelical. Every-
thing on its website, marketing collateral,
and in the interaction between staf and
prospective guests, was ‘on message’ and
continuously reinforced. To the uninitiated,
this had the faintest hint of cultism about it.
However, I also suspected that Pritikin
had the potential to be life-changing. Its
claims that it could deal with the dread
diseases of the modern Western world –
hypertension, diabetes, obesity – led me to
hope it would give me a set of tools, possi-
bly even an approach to life, which would
redress all those years of over-indulgence.
But could it really be that good?
NEW BEGINNINGS
Te Pritikin Longevity Center and Spa is
located in the City of Aventura, Florida, a
30-minute drive from Miami Airport. Hid-
den among high-rise condos and clustered
around a marina for mega-yachts, the
complex itself is unostentatious. But once
through the sliding doors and into the
while more doctor’s visits to see how I was
progressing only served to increase the
strength of the medication, or add new pills
to deal with new problems. All because,
despite the appalling impact my size was
clearly having on my health, I still wasn’t
willing to lose weight or change my lifestyle.
Te Pritikin Center’s website seemed to
suggest it could cure all my ills: the facility
appeared to have been created to deal
with people like me. I asked my doctor
whether he recommended the Pritikin
approach. He’d never heard of it; nor had
the diabetic nurse, nor the staf at the
hypertension clinic. Pritikin may be well
known and well regarded in the US, but it
doesn’t appear to register on the collective
consciousness of the medical fraternity in
the UK, let alone that of the public.
My initial dealings with Pritikin, prior
to my trip, further reinforced the view that
this was primarily an American operation.
If one doesn’t live in the US, one can’t use
Pritikin’s online questionnaires and forms,
because they’ve been constructed on the
assumption that all its guests have US
addresses, US telephone and mobile (cell)
Jonathan Whittle signed up for a programme at the
Pritikin Longevity Center and Spa afer doctors told
him that, if he didn’t change his lifestyle, he could
die. He explains what the experience did for him
I’m a believer
Te Pritikin Center is located on a marina
in the City of Aventura, Florida (right)
Te centre is near a number of golf courses
and nature walks which guests can use
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glacial lobby, flled with marble, water
features and attentive staf, it’s obvious this
is a place that’s taking itself seriously.
During the welcome tour, the true
purpose of Pritikin starts to show itself.
Most of the facility is housed in a build-
ing that used to be part of a yacht club.
Te wood panelling, brass fttings and
huge models of old boats attest to its previ-
ous life, and, while everything is in perfect
working order and beautifully maintained,
it is, stylistically, a bit of a throwback. Tis
part of the centre contains the reception
and administrative of ces; dining and
public areas for residents, including an
alcohol- and cafeine-free bar; a clinical-
looking medical centre; a lecture theatre,
and some guest bedrooms.
Te rest of the centre has been built
alongside the marina. Te site is shared
with boat owners, and some of the facilities,
such as the open-air swimming pool, are
shared with non-residents. Past the pool, a
three-storey building houses an extensive
gym and spa complex, along with more
health-testing facilities, while a short walk
along the dock leads to another accommo-
dation block, where my room is located.
Te rooms are immense. Mine has a gar-
gantuan bathroom containing a whirlpool
bath large enough to keep a medium-sized
porpoise. Although the décor is old
enough to almost be retro-chic and, in
places, a bit tatty, the rooms are immacu-
lately clean and fully accessorised; among
the more unusual in-room amenities are
vials for collecting urine.
GETTING STARTED
Pritkin operates on a one- or two-week
cycle, though many guests book in for
much longer. Saturday and Sunday are
registration days for new arrivals, which
means rounds of blood tests, medical
questionnaires, consultations with doctors
and physical assessments. As a result, I
spend most of my frst couple of days at
the centre being prodded, poked, weighed
and measured. I can’t help feeling like a
child on my frst day at school, doing what
he’s told but not really knowing where to
go next and rather worried about getting
something wrong. I certainly don’t feel as
though I’m on vacation.
In these early days – before I fully adjust
to the idea that this is a medical centre
rather than a fve-star resort – it’s easy to
pick holes in Pritikin. Many of the staf are
paramedics, doctors and other healthcare
professionals with a tendency to treat
guests like patients; they’re polite but de-
tached, even a touch brusque. In contrast,
the hotel employees, from the maids to the
waiting staf, are universally lovely.
To begin with, the diet is a huge chal-
lenge, as the approach is uncompromising:
no cafeine, alcohol, refned sugar, salt,
or fat and very little animal protein. Tis
means that, to an unreconstructed palate
such as mine, the food is, frankly, awful.
What this does, however, is help to
create a bond between guests. Whether
comparing notes on the headaches we’re
getting from cafeine withdrawal (cafeine
tablets are provided to those in serious
trouble) or moaning about the lack of salt,
all everybody talks about is the food. We
all hate the food. But the food isn’t bad;
the food is very good – we’re just not used
to good food. Te staf and repeat guests
reassure us that the frst few days are the
worst and it will get better.
On the plus side, we can graze as much
as we like on fresh fruit and there’s plenty
of choice during meals. Te staples of the
“We all hate the food, but the food isn’t bad; the food is very good
– we’re just not used to good food. Te staf and repeat guests
reassure us that the frst days are the worst and it will get better”
Guests are assessed by trained professionals,
including doctors and dieticians
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diet are fruit, vegetables, unrefned grains
and the occasional bit of tofu or fsh. In
my opinion, the food tastes better when
prepared and served simply, while at-
tempts to make healthy ingredients mimic
full-fat, bad-for-you foods are much less
successful. Te Pritikin version of cheese-
cake or chocolate mousse actually leave
me wishing for a nice tasty apple.
SUPPORTIVE ATMOSPHERE
Afer a couple of days, my taste buds adjust
and the old hands are right – I start to
appreciate the food for what it is, rather
than for what it isn’t. I also start to see the
impact of the diet on my health. Afer just
24 hours without salt in our diet, those
of us with high-blood pressure start to
see our levels returning to normal. Sud-
denly the relationship between what we
eat and our health seems undeniable. It’s
a revelation. Eating the right things in
combination with exercise can arrest
debilitating conditions. It can even reverse
conditions that you had thought were
chronic and intractable.
Many people, though not all, come
to Pritikin with a serious health prob-
lem – usually linked to diet – with which
they need help. It makes sense, then, that
during my stay the majority of guests are
over 45. Although it welcomes children,
Pritikin is not a family-centred resort; this
is a place to come and get well, away from
the distractions of the real world.
Most of my fellow guests are American,
though a few come from Canada, and one
or two from Europe and elsewhere. As
Pritikin is not cheap, most are wealthy. But
within these boundaries, the centre seems
to attract all sorts – my peers include the
CEO of one of the world’s largest compa-
nies, a globe-trotting lawyer, an oil magnate,
an alligator farmer and a housewife. One
of the great strengths of Pritikin is that it
brings people together with a common
purpose. What you do outside is of little
RIGHT OF REPLY PAUL LEHR » PRESIDENT » THE PRITIKIN ORGANIZATION
Te spa at Pritikin was designed by the same company that worked on Canyon Ranch
First person
consequence; the conversation revolves
around how you’re doing here, which
makes for a very supportive atmosphere.
GET WITH THE PROGRAMME
Te driving force of everything at the
centre is the Pritikin Program. Tailor-
made to each guest, this covers three key
areas – medical consultation, exercise
and education – and flls almost every
hour of the day. Although everything is
voluntary, guests are expected to engage
C
ongratulations Jon, on your
Pritikin-inspired successes:
weight loss, major reductions in
blood-pressure medication, and newly
normal blood-sugar levels.
Your article said “some claim Pritikin
may be nutritionally lacking”. This claim
was made by those who inaccurately
grouped Pritikin with vegetarian dietary
programmes. Pritikin petitioned the
dietary committee that made this claim to
review the evidence and this statement
was retracted. Indeed, Dr Janet King,
chair of the American Dietary Guidelines
Committee, commended Pritikin’s
nutritional benefits and wrote “computer
analysis of Pritikin’s menus shows it’s
nutritionally adequate and the inclusion of
animal protein sources eliminate the need
for supplements.” Not only is the program
nutritionally adequate, it’s precisely what
the Western world’s population – growing
more diseased with diabetes and plaque-
ridden arteries – desperately needs.
Prevention is the future of healthcare.
Fresh fruit, vegetables, whole grains, lean
animal protein, and exercise – so simple,
so inexpensive, yet so powerful!
Your son spoke the truth – “you can
check out any time you want, but you can
never leave”. We teach the best choices,
and you change your lifestyle as much as
you desire (or your health status requires).
The degree of your adherence fluctuates
based on these factors. You may even
want to come back for a check-up and
re-education. You’re a great success story
and we applaud you.
SPA BUSINESS 3 2009
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fully with the programme, which means
that, sometimes, life at Pritikin can seem
a little puritanical. While the benefts are
self-evident, I can’t help wondering if the
centre could lighten up a little without
losing its sense of purpose.
From Monday to Friday, the frst part
of the morning is given over to exercise: a
personalised programme of cardiovascular
and resistance training alternated with
core stretching. Tis is supplemented, in
the morning and afernoon, with optional
classes such as yoga or aqua-aerobics. Te
rest of the day is given over to classes on
nutrition, exercise, health and lifestyle.
Te education programme is a real point
of diference at Pritikin. It’s an opportunity
to learn exactly what’s going on in our
bodies, what’s going on in our food, what’s
going on in society – and what’s going on
when we put too much of the wrong stuf
into our bodies and don’t exercise enough.
Taught by highly qualifed professionals,
mostly doctors, the classes are interactive
and authoritative, supported by the most
up-to-date research into the impact of diet
on health. Te science is compelling. It
feels trustworthy and important.
A LITTLE MIRACLE
For those guests who come to be con-
verted, Pritkin ofers an experience that
is almost religious. For those who believe
in and follow its teachings, the rewards
will be better health and a longer life. And,
like all good religions, Pritikin can ofer
‘miracles’ to help the faithful to believe. My
own little miracle was that I was able to
stop taking my blood-pressure medication
less than a day afer I arrived.
An even bigger miracle was visited on
a fellow guest who arrived the same day.
Walking with the aid of sticks, he was a
big man, bowed down by excess weight
and assailed by illness. Quiet and patently
unhappy, he told me Pritikin was his last
resort. A week later, I encountered him at
dinner, his walking sticks forgotten, tuck-
ing into a salad, laughing and entertaining
his table with jokes and tricks – unshackled
from the misery his lifestyle had wrought.
Pritikin has its critics. Tere are those
who say that the strictures of the diet are
untenable in the real world, while others
claim that the very low fat levels impair
one’s ability to absorb essential vitamins.
Once in the Pritikin bubble, however, and
feeling the tangible benefts of the pro-
gramme, such criticism seems irrelevant.
During my stay, I was concerned that
half the guests I met were repeat visitors.
Did this mean that, post-Pritikin, we
would revert to our bad habits and have to
come back to start again? But while some
people inevitably relapse, I’m inclined to
believe that return guests are as likely to be
looking for re-af rmation as re-education.
Pritikin makes you feel good, physically
and emotionally; it’s a life-af rming place
So did it work for me? In the short term,
there’s no denying it. During my stay, I lost
nine pounds, got my blood-pressure read-
Whittle big game fshing of Florida during
his visit. Te programme advocates exercise
and fresh air. (Te fsh was put back!)
ings back to normal and took myself out of
the at-risk bracket for type 2 diabetes.
Te longer term, of course, is a diferent
story. Back home, I was talking to my
young son about my time at Pritikin. He
said it sounded like the Hotel California,
from the song by Te Eagles: “You can
check out any time you like, but you can
never leave!” In a sense, he’s right. I’m no
longer in the Florida sunshine thinking
only about that day’s programme. But I
learned things I won’t forget for a long time.
Te real test is how far I can remain true to
the Pritikin lifestyle in the real world.
FOUR MONTHS LATER,
JONATHAN WHITTLE SAYS:
I’m still a work in progress but, in headline
terms, my weight has gone from around 18
stone when I went to Florida to around 16
stone today (afer a very substantial ‘break’
for Christmas!). My blood-pressure read-
ings have gone from 150:110, with lots of
medication, to 110:80, with much reduced
medication. In addition, my blood-sugar
and insulin levels are now within normal
ranges, reducing my risk of developing dia-
betes. I sleep two hours a night longer than
I used to, which, coupled with the exercise
I now do regularly, is having a continued
and positive impact on my energy levels.
So, broadly speaking, it’s all good! ●
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Treatments KATIE BARNES » MANAGING EDITOR » SPA BUSINESS
THE MANDARIN ORIENTAL HOTEL GROUP HAS LAUNCHED A TREATMENT
AND PRODUCT CONCEPT ACROSS THE GLOBE. WE FIND OUT MORE
Tales of the Orient
T
his month, the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group (MOHG)
will roll out its own-branded treatments and products
worldwide. From 1 June, 11 MOHG spas – stretching from
Tokyo to London and Miami – will be ready to win over
guests in these times of economic gloom with a series of innova-
tive new oferings. Te seven other spas in the portfolio will follow
suit once licensing approval is granted.
Tis isn’t just another private-label launch however, this is a new
spa therapy concept: a hybrid of traditional Chinese medicine
(TCM) and aromatherapy. Neither is this something introduced
on a whim to win over customers in the credit crunch: it’s some-
thing the group has been working on for more than four years and
has invested hundreds of thousands pounds in.
ORIENTAL HERITAGE
While it’s good practice to keep treatment oferings fresh and
interesting, an investment of this amount is not something any
company makes lightly. Tis is serious business. “Mandarin Ori-
ental Spas are not sub-branded, like many of our competitors: the
brand is Mandarin Oriental,” says Andrew Gibson, MOHG’s group
director of spa. “We’re a rapidly expanding global chain that needs
a core. While each spa has a degree of individuality, such as local
treatments, they need a common binder and that’s what this is. It’s
a tangible expression of the Mandarin Oriental philosophy.”
Te idea to develop an own-branded product and treatment line
was something that had been on the cards for around two years
before Gibson joined MOHG in early 2007.
“Te process began with me trying to crystallise the Mandarin
Oriental philosophy,” Gibson says. “We have a strong Oriental
heritage, so the treatments had to have this base. Tere are strong
elements of TCM in what we’re doing, although we don’t want to
label ourselves as this. We also wanted our products to be natural.
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[Aromatherapy] oils and scrubs are the easiest
way to do this and keep authenticity.”
Ten came choosing a company to make the
products and here, afer a tendering process, the
decision was made to go with Aromatherapy
Associates. Geraldine Howard, co-founder,
says: “People think it’s easy to put a product
line together, but it isn’t. Tere’s a massive busi-
ness consideration. Logistically we needed to
determine whether we were able to distribute the
products to all the countries [that MOHG is based in]. We also
needed to be sure we could meet the criteria to get the products
registered, accepted and legal in all of these countries. Ten it’s
about production, cost-efectiveness, minimum order quantities
and stockholding. We did a lot of research into numbers and it’s a
massive process to work out how many products are going to be
used in all of these spas around the world and this is something
that people just aren’t aware of.”
It wasn’t until January 2008, however, that the real shaping of
the concept occurred, when key fgures from the two companies
got together for a fve-day brainstorming session. From MOHG
was Gibson; Andrea Lomas, the head of group spa operations who
has been a major driving force for the concept since its inception
and has had an integral role in its development; MOHG’s re-
gional trainers from the Americas and Asia; and an independent
Chinese, holistic medical doctor, Claire Beardson. From Aro-
matherapy Associates was Howard; two of the company’s senior
trainers; and Howard’s business partner Sue Beechey – the frst
time in 15 years that Beechey and Howard have collaborated on a
new line of oils for spas. “It was a phenomenal team,” says Gibson.
“Everybody knows the ef cacy of aromatherapy and meridian
massage, which is a real Chinese massage, but trying to get them
to work together is very complicated,” he adds. Yet
with this experienced team collaborating around
one table things seemed to slot into place. Howard
says: “We all worked well together and learned
from each other. Essential oils are complex sub-
stances, so unless you really understand them, it’s
dif cult to get them working efectively in TCM.
All of the essential oil blends we’ve developed link
to one of the fve Chinese elements. And although
many people think aromatherapy is just Swedish
massage with essential oils, it’s not. Aromatherapy massage (based
on the Marguerite Maury technique) is based on Eastern tech-
niques and meridian massage.”
WHEEL OF WELLNESS
Te Mandarin Oriental Spa Terapies have been devised as a
tailor-made treatment for each guest. Te experience, which lasts
for two hours, begins with a questionnaire and a physical analysis
of the spine’s pressure points to determine the individual’s person-
al and current state of wellbeing. Based on this, the therapist gives
the guest two oils to smell and choose between for their treat-
ment – refecting yin and yang. Tere are fve oils altogether, each
of which have been custom-blended by Aromatherapy Associates
to support the problems associated with each of the fve Chinese
elements: wood, fre, earth, metal and water. Te earth oil, for
example, comprises lemon, lemongrass, coriander and cardamon
oils, as these help to energise people and work particularly well
on the digestive system. Both of these are troublesome areas for
people who are linked to the earth element.
Te 90-minute massage that follows focuses on certain merid-
ian points over the body, depending on the answers given in the
questionnaire. “Tere are probably about 10 diferent massage styles,
Mandarin Oriental
Spa Terapies have
been devised as tailor-
made treatments for
each guest, based on
their personal, current
state of wellbeing
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Treatments
which are based around the meridians,” says
Gibson. “Te therapist may start on one side of
the body, or work up or down. It’s very complex.
“It’s been tested with our staf and manage-
ment for the best part of a year, in addition,
we’ve tested it on consumers in Hong Kong and
Chinese doctors have checked it for authentic-
ity to ensure we’re hitting the right meridian
points. If you are a person that understands spa
treatments, then you’ll recognise the complexity
of what we’ve done. If you don’t, it doesn’t really
matter: all you’ll need to know is that you’re
going to get a fantastic massage.”
But the concept doesn’t stop at the massage.
As well as a signature retail line, bespoke nutri-
tional and exercise guidance is ofered to guests
according to their original consultation – this
has been developed in conjunction with Hong
Kong-based lifestyle coach Ross Eathorne. In
the future, the group will also extend this line of
thinking to teas and music for customers. “We
call this our wheel of wellness: we’ve looked at
the diferent components of wellness and we’re
building that into our concept,” says Gibson. “It’s
this thought process that makes us unique.”
BRAND VALUES
In parallel to treatment and product develop-
ment, MOHG has been putting its spas through
a ‘treatment menu engineering exercise’, based
on an adapted version of the menu engineering
process from Cornell’s Restaurant Administra-
tion Simulation Exercise (CRASE). “We took
every single treatment from our spas worldwide
and analysed them on cost versus sales,” says
Sonee Singh, MOHG’s regional director of spa –
the Americas, who headed up the exercise. “Te result was a grid
of Stars (low cost, high sales), Plow Horses (high cost, high sales),
Dogs (high cost, low sales) and Puzzles (low cost, low sales).
Our aim was to maximise Stars and Plow Horses, and minimise
Dogs and Puzzles, but maintain a well-balanced menu.” As such,
MOHG has cut its spa menus down to 25 treatments, leaving
enough room for the new signature therapies to make their mark.
To further prepare for the rollout, each treatment manager from
12 spas underwent two weeks of training – headed up by Aroma-
therapy Associates representatives, Lomas and MOHG’s regional
trainers – fve months before launching.
So, with everything in place, what is MOHG hoping to achieve?
“Te investment has been very high end,” Gibson says. “If we get
that back within three years that would be very good. It’s more
than worth it though because this is giving us a foundation to
really take the [Mandarin Oriental Spa] philosophy and expand it.
“But the real upside is the brand value. We’ve now got a tangible
core to our wellness philosophy and you can’t place a value on that.”
Howard says: “For me, as a therapist, what really makes me tick
is knowing how these fantastic treatments and products are going
to help people.” Gibson agrees: “I think that would be the reward
for all of those involved: to get all the guest feedback forms saying
that this is something they really enjoyed.”
Although Gibson admits that the timing of the launch at the
height of a global recession is far from ideal, he’s remaining posi-
tive. He concludes: “I think it will ofer some glimmer of hope to
people, something positive. I think it will actually motivate a lot of
people and give them a reason to come and see us.” ●
The Mandarin Oriental signature product line, developed in conjunction with
Aromatherapy Associates, incorporates body and bath oils matched to each of the
five elements, as well as a generic body scrub, body wash and body lotion and a
range of candles and travel-sized products. The prices start at £10 (US$16, E11) for
the travel body wash and go up to £31 (US$49, E35) for a pack of five body oils.
All the products use natural ingredients and are devoid of chemicals such as SLES
and parabens (see SB06/1 p22 for more details about the use of chemical ingredients
in skincare). All the packaging is eco-friendly. “This is something both of us feel strongly
about,” says Aromatherapy Associates’ Geraldine Howard. Mandarin Oriental’s Andrew
Gibson adds: “The challenge is to deliver on luxury, but to also have respect for the
environment. That’s something personal to me, but I also think that if you’re a public
business today and you’re not taking care of that, you’re losing an advantage.”
HOME IMPROVEMENT
As well as a signature retail
line, bespoke nutritional and
exercise guidance is ofered to
guests according to their original
consultation – this has been
developed in conjunction with
Hong Kong-based Ross Eathorne
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T
he beautiful, humbling Taurus
mountains provides a ftting
backdrop to the Sanitas Spa &
Wellness centre in Antalya, Turkey
where helping guests to regain a personal
sense of perspective is high on the agenda.
Sitting on 2.5km of secluded Mediterra-
nean coastline, which can only be reached
via a long, narrow, dirt track snaking
between pomegranate crops and shanty
towns, the centre is a central element of the
fve-star LykiaWorld & LinksGolf (LWLG)
Antalya resort. Te resort is part of the
LykiaGroup portfolio and is owned by
Turkish company Silkar Holding (see p64).
Te 449-room resort, located over 30km
from the nearest tourist hub and the ancient
towns of Belek, Side and Manavgat – has
two clearly defned USPs, aimed at distinct
world of wellness
Te LykiaWorld Antalya resort is combining links golf
with the Indian discipline of ayurveda to give itself
a competitive edge in Turkey’s top tourism region
markets. For golfers, there’s an 18-hole links
golf course (the country’s frst), with every
hole facing the sea, plus a training academy
and 16 golf villas. Meanwhile, for those
seeking rejuvenation, the wellness centre
is one of just a handful of facilities, in a
region with over 70 hotel spas, specialising
in the Indian discipline of ayurveda.
Costing €6m (US$8.53m, £5.15m), the
4,000sq f (372sq m) wellness centre was
developed by ayurveda specialists Sebose
Spa Consulting, or SSC (see p65), in collab-
oration with the LykiaGroup and architects
Artspa. Alongside a whole gamut of other
spa services, the facility ofers numerous
ayurvedic therapies, and plans to launch
a full programme – supervised by a quali-
fed ayurvedic doctor and incorporating a
signifcant dietary component, including
ayurvedic cooking classes – by 2010.
Yoga in the Zen garden: the
resort sits on 2.5km of secluded
Mediterranean coastline
The region has over 70 hotel spas, but only a handful specialise in ayurveda...
There are plans to launch a full programme for this discipline – supervised by a
qualified ayurvedic doctor and including ayurvedic cooking classes – by 2010.
CAROLINE WILKINSON » JOURNALIST » SPA BUSINESS
SPA BUSINESS 3 2009
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COMPETITIVE EDGE
Spas are becoming an essential ingredient in
Turkey’s new hotels and resorts, particularly
in the province of Antalya – ofen referred
to as the country’s capital of tourism.
Antalya welcomes almost 30 per cent of
Turkey’s tourists, which have increased by
10.5 million since 2004 to 23.8 million in
2007. Tis has had a signifcant impact on
the Turkish spa industry, says Ingrid Seliga-
Bostanci, founder of SSC and manager of
the LykiaWorld wellness centre, who has
27 years’ experience in the sector: “In the
early 1990s, no hotel had a spa. Tey had
just a small corner for massages, a post on a
beach or a facial cabin. But now every hotel
with more than 30 rooms has a spa.”
Attila Silahtaroglu, a LykiaGroup board
member, adds: “A good spa is one of the
most important investments to diferentiate
a holiday product from its competition.”
To give the LykiaWorld facility a com-
petitive edge in the region, SSC decided to
avoid the term ‘spa’ and the water-based
treatments associated with it, focusing in-
stead on ayurveda and ‘wellness’. Almost 80
per cent of LWLG guests are Russian, while
the rest are Turkish, British or German
nationals, and according to Seliga-Bostanci:
“[Ayurveda] is nothing new to this clientele;
around 70 per cent regularly travel to India,
other parts of Asia or America, so have
experienced ayurvedic treatments.”
To add authenticity to its ofering, the
facility’s 24 treatment rooms include two
massage suites with ‘dronis’ – surprisingly
comfortable, traditional wooden beds that
absorb the warm sesame seed oil used
generously during ayurvedic treatments.
Tere’s also a room for kalari massages –
ayurvedic massages performed with the
feet and hands; a room for Tai massage
and shiatsu; a balneo room with a Vichy
shower; two couples’ suites with private
whirlpools and two beauty treatment rooms.
In addition, the centre has a range of
other facilities, including a thermal area
with bio, Finnish and Russian saunas and
steamrooms and an indoor, Japanese pool
lined with cedar-wood and an extensive
relaxation area. Rebalancing classes, such
as yoga, t’ai chi and meditation, take place
in a, shore front Zen garden.
However, the centre also maintains
its Turkish roots. “A Turkish spa can not
be without Turkish baths,” says Seliga-
Bostanci. In line with this, the facility has
a group hammam and two private ones,
including one for couples, while the resort
itself features duplex ‘hammam residence
suites’ with private Turkish baths.
Activities on ofer at the resort – from
belly-dancing and Turkish cooking classes
to swimming, tennis and water sports –
complement the wellness experience.
DUAL CONCEPT
Turkey sits between two continents – Asia
and Europe – and this is refected in its cul-
ture. Tis duality is consciously evoked in
Te resort at night (top); wooden
treatment beds or ‘dronis’ absorb the
sesame oil used during treatments (lef);
the women’s changing rooms (right)
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the wellness centre, which ofers treatments
from both Eastern and Western traditions.
It took Seliga-Bostanci four months to
create the treatment menu, which com-
bines a wide range of ayurvedic therapies,
massages from other cultures – including
Swedish massage and Hawaiian lomi lomi –
and beauty treatments. To tap into the golf
market, the centre ofers golf-specifc treat-
ment packages, while to cater for families,
there’s the Ayurveda Happy Family bundle,
including a massage for mum, dad and
baby and a seminar on baby massage.
For guests staying at least a week, there
are three multi-day programmes. Tese
include the fve-day Ayurvedic Laksmi,
Goddess of Beauty programme, a tighten-
ing cure for the body which is ideal for
new mothers and the fve-day Maharadsha
Kings Cure, which is designed to relieve
chronic exhaustion, sleep disorders and
headaches through a combination of
marma abhyanga (stimulating ayurvedic
massage), shirodhara (the pouring of warm
oil onto the forehead, or ‘third eye’) and
Tibetan singing bowls therapy.
Skincare products are supplied by French
company Algotherm, which ofers paraben-
and phenoxyethanol-free, seaweed-based
products; Swiss brand Mavala, and Tai-
land-based Panpuri. For some ayurvedic
body treatments the products are made
fresh on-site using organic, Eastern herbs,
yogurt, fruits, green tea or cofee.
In contrast with common practice in
resorts with spas, treatment menus are not
placed in guest rooms or on the website, as
ofen, “the treatment a guest wants isn’t the
most suitable for them, as needs change
from day to day,” says Seliga-Bostanci.
Instead, guests are encouraged to take
up the ofer of an ayurvedic analysis prior
to their treatment. Ayurveda focuses on
rebalancing a person’s ‘dosha’, or psycho-
physical type. Tis can be predominately
‘vata’, ‘pitta’ or ‘kapha’ or a combination
of these. According to Seliga-Bostanci, if
a person is vata, their imbalance is likely
to be related to muscles, nerves, spirit or
organs. Pitta is linked with digestion and
metabolism and for a kapha person, the
immune system is likely to be the source
Te resort (above) has 449 rooms and
about 20 per cent of guests use the spa;
treatments include those incorporating
Japanese singing bowl (below lef)
Resort spa
The resort is part of the LykiaGroup
portfolio, owned by Turkish company
Silkar Holding, which entered the
tourism sector in the 1980s and has
become a pioneer in recreation tourism.
The LykiaGroup portfolio comprises
LykiaWorld Ölüdeniz, which includes
the thalasso-focused Manolya Spa
(also launched by Sebose Spa
Consulting), LykiaLodge Kapadokya,
and LykiaConference Turkey.
Another subsidiary of Silkar Holding
is Silkar Mining Joint-stock, which
specialises in marble and natural stone
production and supplies the floor-
to-ceiling marble that can be seen
throughout LykiaWorld & LinksGolf
Antalya. Details: lykiagroup.com
ABOUT THE LYKIA GROUP
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of any problem. Once the dosha has been
established, a treatment can be prescribed
to bring the body into balance.
At the LykiaWorld wellness centre, this
analysis takes the form of a 30-minute
questionnaire, answered on the day of treat-
ment, although Seliga-Bostanci says she can
get a good indication of someone’s aliments
by looking at skin texture and build, as well
as the way they talk, walk and behave.
GROWTH POTENTIAL
Seliga-Bostanci recruits most therapists
fresh from college with a basic qualifcation
in massage or beauty, and trains them in
ayurvedic therapies herself. Between 2006
and 2008, she and Yücel Bostanci, her hus-
band and business partner, completed two
six- to eight-week courses at the College
of Ayurveda and Panchakarma in Kerala,
India. Crucially, she also holds an Ustalik
Diplomasi, the state qualifcation needed to
conduct in-house training in Turkey.
Te centre employs seven Turkish staf,
and took on an additional three foreign
workers during the busy summer season
(March to September). Although under
Turkish law, an employer must have 10
Turkish nationals to every foreigner, this
Te cedar-lined Japanese pool (above) is
an unusual addition to the experience on
ofer at the Sanitas Spa & Wellness centre
isn’t an issue for SSC, as the wellness
centre’s numbers are balanced out by the
Turkish staf count within the resort overall.
However, while recruiting local staf was
relatively easy, considering the small size of
the Turkish spa market, employing foreign-
ers was challenging, says Seliga-Bostanci, as
non-Turks must demonstrate a rare special-
ism in order to get a work permit – for
instance, a lymphatic massage qualifcation
that can only be obtained in Germany.
While Seliga-Bostanci insists communi-
cation inside the treatment room is crucial,
the language barrier is an issue. Although
therapists are provided with a basic list
of instructions and questions in English,
conversation outside these boundaries
is limited to hand signals and gestures.
During my visit, the Czech receptionist,
who spoke fve languages, was called on to
conduct consultations and translate queries
from guests. I couldn’t help but wonder
how they would manage during the winter
months (November to February), when she
and the other foreign staf had lef.
As business grows, Seliga-Bostanci hopes
to increase staf to 30, adding that she
would like to employ three Balinese thera-
pists for the summer season, as she believes
they’re particularly skilled in massage.
So far, in the frst year of opening, 20
per cent of the resort’s guests have used the
centre, and Seliga-Bostanci is confdent
this will improve next year. Meanwhile,
LykiaGroup’s Silahtaroglu says they expect a
return on investment in eight years, arguing
that good value for money in Turkish hotels
will lead to an increase in the number of
visitors coming to the country in search of
spa and wellness experiences. ●
SSC is a family-run firm specialising
in thalasso, wellness and ayurveda,
owned by German-born Ingrid Seliga-
Bostanci, her Turkish husband Yücel
Bostanci and her sister Susanne
Seliga (both massage therapists).
Ingrid Seliga-Bostanci has been a
qualified beauty therapist since 1982,
moving to Turkey from Germany in
the early 1990s. Her first project with
LykiaWorld was the Manolya Spa,
Turkey’s first thalasso spa, at LykiaWorld
Ölüdeniz, where she worked as both a
consultant and a therapist, before going
on to manage numerous other spas.
The Sanitas Spa & Wellness centre is
SSC’s fourth resort spa project in Turkey.
Other projects the firm has consulted
on include a thalassotherapy facility
within the five-star Kempinski Hotel
ABOUT SEBOSE SPA CONSULTING
Fitness
66 Read Spa Business online spabusiness.com / digital
S
hort of breath,
heart rate
rising – and
yet I was
standing
totally still. But that’s what
happens when the oxygen
levels in the air surround-
ing you are reduced to
simulate high altitude environments.
I’d come to Te Altitude Centre, in the Metis Physi-
otherapy and Rehabilitation Centre in London, UK, to
fnd out how simulated altitude (or hypoxic) training can
be used for rehabilitation and how it can be incorporated
into ftness centres and possibly spas. In order to appreci-
ate its applications, however, it helps to understand the
science – and, I was assured, to experience it for yourself.
And so it was that I found myself climbing onto an ex-
ercise bike in the centre’s hypoxic chamber. “‘Hypo’ means
less and ‘oxic’ is oxygen – ‘less oxygen’,” explained Richard
Pullan, director of Te Altitude Centre, as I started to
pedal. Right on cue, the on-screen number indicating my
body’s current oxygen levels began to drop.
“By changing the air you’re breathing, we’re making
your heart beat faster,” he continued. But what did that
mean physiologically? What were the ftness benefts of
reducing the oxygen supply to my body?
STRESS LEVELS
“If you train at the gym, you stress your body. It adapts to
that stress and gets used to it – that’s how you get strong-
er,” Pullan explains. “It’s the same with breathing. If I give
you the stress of reduced oxygen, your body will adapt and
become more ef cient with the oxygen it breathes.
“Tis has many benefts. Every chemical reaction in
your body requires oxygen – the body produces energy by
metabolising oxygen and glucose, for example. Training at
altitude is like giving your body a tune-up. You feel better,
have more energy, you can run faster and further, there’s
less wear and tear. You’re more ef cient generally.”
Pullan thinks some of the benefts would be of interest
to spa-goers: “It can help with weight loss, as it changes
the way your body metabolises food and can help treat
cellulite by speeding up lymphatic drainage and boosting
collagen production: poor drainage and weak collagen
production is the cause of these uneven, fatty deposits.
“In addition, it helps you look and feel younger by en-
couraging the body to produce more regenerative human
growth hormone – something it naturally does less as you
get older or heavier. It can even help bring down blood
pressure and cholesterol levels, as it changes lipid levels.”
HYPOXIC REHAB
Increased production of human growth hormone is also
one of the reasons hypoxic training can be used for reha-
bilitation, a service which spas can and do ofer.
“Human growth hormone is responsible for producing
new cells – it stimulates the body to recover,” says Pullan.
“Also, if you break or tear something, the oxygen supply is
cut of. It’s that hypoxia that stimulates the osteoblasts in
the cell to produce more collagen type 1 and 2, more red
blood cells, more capillaries to help the body repair itself.
In the same way, if you do hypoxic training, your body’s
more likely to produce these things, which help it mend.”
When someone is injured, there are various ways
hypoxic training can help. “If they can’t weight-bear, they
can do intermittent hypoxic training,” says Pullan. “Tat
requires no exercise at all – simply breathing hypoxic
air – and can help improve hormone levels responsible for
recovery. It can speed up metabolism levels, encouraging
the body to mend quicker by making everything work
Options: There are two ways of providing
hypoxic training – through a mask, allowing
users to breathe hypoxic air when training
on any piece of equipment on the gym floor,
or building a small hypoxic room in which
you then place standard fitness kit.
Hardware: Equipment is made by
Hypoxico and is distributed in the UK by
The Altitude Company. The UK is its biggest
market, although it has partners across
the world including China, Thailand and
Australia. The equipment works by reducing
the oxygen in the air to reflect the number
of oxygen molecules in the thinner air at the
heights being simulated (around 2,500–
3,000m for a first session).
Costs: £3,500 (US$5,600, `4,050) for the
mask set-up; from £15,000 (US$23,900,
`17,250) for a hypoxic room.
Training: No formal qualifications are
available at the moment. However, The
Altitude Centre and ATS are developing a
training programme catering for all levels
from personal trainers to a masters degree,
which they aim to offer through a UK
university. Distance learning will be an option.
Risks: “You should check fitness levels,
medical history, blood pressure and so on,
just as you would in any normal health club,
but there are no reported cases of negative
effects of working at simulated altitude,”
says Pullan. “Indeed, it helps asthma; you
don’t dehydrate as you do at real altitude,
so there’s no increased risk of thrombosis.
Your body protects itself – it can’t go to the
same maximum heart rate as at sea level.”
EXERCISE HIGH
Thanks to simulated altitude
technology, altitude training is starting
to gain a foothold in the fitness
industry. We find out about its benefits
and whether spas could offer it too
SETTING UP A HYPOXIC OFFERING
KATE CRACKNELL » JOURNALIST » SPA BUSINESS
SPA BUSINESS 3 2009
©
cybertrek 2009 67 Read Spa Business online spabusiness.com / digital
Te City Point Club
in London, UK, has
Hypoxico equipment
supplied by Te Altitude
Company and has opted
to install the mask
system which allow
users to breathe hypoxic
air while training on any
standard item of ftness
equipment in the gym
SPA BUSINESS 3 2009
©
cybertrek 2009 68 Read Spa Business online spabusiness.com / digital
faster. Just by breathing less oxygen, ath-
letes can train their bodies and maintain
some level of ftness. You can’t discount
the psychological beneft in that.
“Ten, when they’re able to weight-
bear they can start to train in a hypoxic
environment. Obviously they can’t train
at the same intensity as when they’re ft so
they’re not getting the same CV challenge.
However, CV stress is higher in a hypoxic
room, so you can exercise at a much lower
intensity, putting less load on your injury,
but still get the same CV workout.
“Alistair Brownley, the [UK] junior
triathlete who was selected for the Ol-
ympics, got a stress fracture in 2007 and
was on crutches. We did the full package
with him: he slept in a hypoxic tent, did
intermittent hypoxic training and then, when he could
weight-bear, trained in hypoxic conditions. Afer just fve
weeks of proper training, he got the silver medal at the
Junior World Championships.
“In the professional football clubs in the UK where
we’ve built hypoxic rooms – Liverpool and Tottenham, for
example – when someone is injured for more than three
weeks, the physio hands them over for hypoxic training.
It helps them stay ft, so they can go straight back into full
training as soon as the injury’s repaired, and they’ve been
able to get players back into the system quicker.
“At the moment, it’s mostly elite athletes who use hypoxic
training for rehabilitation; the public tend to come to me
with a goal in mind – for example, to lose weight or to train
to climb a mountain or some other physical challenge.”
HYPOXIC WELLNESS
But is there a market for hypoxic training in spas? “Def-
nitely,” says Pullan. His company has already installed an
altitude centre in two UK venues: Champneys Tring, and
the day spa at City Point Club in London. He’s also installed
a hypoxic room at an anti-ageing clinic in Barcelona.
“More gyms are becoming wellness orientated too,” he
says. “Te best benefts of hypoxic training come from a
course, usually lasting about two weeks, but short-term
exposure can have benefts.”
One such short-term exposure could include devising
a bowl to ft onto headrests on treatment tables, hypoxic
air could then be pumped into this when the client is lying
face down. “At the European Football Championships the
Belgium team had massages while breathing in hypoxia.
With a hypoxic massage muscles will be more relaxed and
your capillaries will dilate to increase blood fow.”
Pullan feels that hypoxic systems could be used to create
a mountain chillout room, imitating an ofering which is
usually restricted to spas in high altitude climates. Just by
breathing in the air, Pullan says “you will feel calm and
relaxed due to a rise in serotonin and dopamine.”
Another suggestion is to use hypoxic systems to add
another dimension to sleep health. “We already supply
Olympic athletes so they get the benefts of altitude training
in their sleep,” says Pullan. “We can convert hotel bedrooms
so people can get a 24-hour treatment in their sleep.” Tis
could provide a unique selling point to the growing number
of hotels and resorts which are launching spa bedrooms.
FIT FOR GYMS
Te area where Pullan sees the most crossover in spas,
however, is installing hypoxic chambers in ftness suites
to aid general ftness. Tis is something that health clubs
operators are already doing. Te Tird Space, a high-end
club in London has a hypoxic room, in which circuit
classes are held – known as Hypoxic Fives – where partici-
pants switch between fve pieces of CV kit. Members can
use the room at any time as part of their membership.
Meanwhile, in Australia, Pullan’s partner company
ATS (Altitude Technology Systems) has set up the world’s
frst hypoxic group cycling studio. “Hypoxic training has
particularly taken of in New Zealand and Australia,” says
Pullan. “In Australia, ATS has built hypoxic rooms in four
health clubs and is talking to a large chain about launching
in their sites, while New Zealand has a population of
5 million people and about seven of these centres.
“I have some Danish people coming over who want to
build a hypoxic spinning studio – spinning is massive in
Scandinavia, so I can see it taking of there. You could, of
course, use the room for yoga or pilates too, giving those
classes a cardio training element.
“Most of the facilities we’ve built in the UK are in uni-
versities, institutes of sport and professional sport clubs.
However, we’ve built one at the Stephen Price gym in
Chelsea, as well as the installation at Te Tird Space.
“If you’re looking for calorie burn, the more intense the
workout the better – and you get a higher intensity work-
out at altitude. And, of course, hypoxic training means
you can have a quicker workout. For members who are
short of time, it’s about getting maximum returns.” ●
Fitness
Te Tird Space health
club in London, UK, ofers
circuit classes in its hypoxic
chamber. Called Hypoxic
Fives, participants switch
between fve pieces of CV
kit to get a high intensity
workout (top right). Te
Altitude Centre’s kit at
Champneys Tring (top lef)
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Denise adds 16 kph to her serve.
Your club adds £70,792 to its bottom line.
Balanced Body
®
Pilates
t
Innovative group programming
t
Onsite instructor training
t
A trusted partner
For functional training at
its best, call 00-800-7220-0008
or visit www.pilates.com.
Movement for Life
TM
The i-sopod relaxation device is unveiled
Floatation centre Te Floatworks has revealed the i-sopod, a new senso-
ry relaxation device designed for commercial use. Based on three years
of research and development, the i-sopod can be produced in a range
of colours. Containing 1,000 litres of water and 500kg of Epsom salts,
the water and air inside are heated to skin temperature, 35.5˚C, so users
can’t work out when their body is in contact with the water. A scrolling
interior light display can be used, accompanied by sof music, or silence.
spa-kit.net KEYWORD: I-SOPOD
/
Spa Products
Ecocert-certified hair range
launched by La Biosthetique
A haircare range, which has been certifed ‘eco-friendly’
by the French organisation Ecocert, has been launched
by the La Biosthetique brand under its Natural Cosmet-
ic range. Te luxury line contains products from almost
100 per cent natural sources, is free from silicones, pa-
rabens and paraf n oils and is made without synthetic
colourings or fragrances. Te range has been intensively
research by La Biosthetique scientists.
spa-kit.net KEYWORDS: LA BIOSTHETIQUE
Yon-Ka’s new anti-ageing range launches
Two new products have been introduced under the Yon-Ka brand. Te
Advanced Optimiser Serum is rapidly absorbed and has hibiscus as a
key ingredient, while the Advanced Optimiser Creme contains white
lupin. Other ingredients include marine collagen, vitamin C and
silicon-rich horsetail extract. Both products have undergone rigor-
ous clinical tests, contain ingredients that are 80 per cent natural in
origin and are being marketed as a ‘personal trainer for the skin’, for
people who are 35-years-old and above. Te products are intended
to stimulate cellular activity of the epidermis and dermis, as well as
repairing and protecting the face. A new lifing and frming facial
treatment has also been launched to further support both products.
spa-kit.net KEYWORD: YON-KA
Balineum debuts Braga bath mat
Balineum has unveiled its latest addition – the
Braga bath mat. Named afer the region in Portugal
in which it’s made, Braga features a woven foral-
geometric pattern inspired by traditional Portuguese
textile designs. Made from 100 per cent sof cotton
with a heavy weave, it’s claimed to be both thick
and comfortable under a client’s feet when they step
out of the shower. Furthermore, its luxury weight
is intended to make sure the edges won’t curl once
it’s been washed. Available in two colours – clay and
white – the bath mat is also machine washable.
spa-kit.net KEYWORD: BALINEUM
SPA BUSINESS 3 2009
©
cybertrek 2009 70 Read Spa Business online spabusiness.com / digital
Spa products SARAH TODD » PRODUCTS EDITOR » SPA BUSINESS
Innovative massage
tool is launched
A versatile, eco-friendly massage
product called Lava Shells has
debuted in the UK and Europe. A
patented self-heating solution called
LavaGel that contains natural min-
erals, algae and sea kelp is placed
within the shells. When combined
with salt water, the gel generates
heat for up to an hour-long massage.
Terapists then use one or two shells to deliver continuous heat during
the treatment. Sourced from the Philippines, the shells were previously re-
garded as a waste product of an everyday Filipino seafood diet.
spa-kit.net KEYWORDS: LAVA SHELLS
spa-kit.net For more information, or to contact any of these companies, log onto:
Anti-age skincare collection by
Aromatherapy Associates
Aromatherapy Associates has enhanced its port-
folio of products with an anti-age skincare range,
comprising six new retail products and an in-
troductory set. Containing pure plant extracts
and essential oils, the range includes a Fine Line
Facial Oil and a Rich Repair Eye Cream. All are
intended to slow the ageing process and leave skin
plumper and more supple. An Age Repair Facial,
incorporating the new range, has also launched.
spa-kit.net KEYWORDS:
AROMATHERAPY ASSOCIATES
Two products added the Elemis portfolio
Elemis has developed the Pro-Collagen Body Serum and the Tri-Enzyme
Resurfacing Gel Mask. Te body serum aims to restore frmness in specifc
areas of the body, including the backs of hands, décolleté, the arms and ab-
domen. Easily absorbed, it contains an anti-ageing peptide, combined with
acacia, paracress (a South American herb) and padina pavonica (a brown
alga from the Mediterranean). Te other new product, the mask, is the lat-
est addition to Elemis’ Tri-Enzyme Programme. Containing amino acids,
acerola cherry, the anti-ageing tetra peptide and the patented Tri-Enzyme
Technology, the mask is formulated to remove dead skin cells and acceler-
ate cell-renewal to leave skin appearing smoother and more radiant.
spa-kit.net KEYWORD: ELEMIS
Disability lifts for spa
pools and hot tubs
Two disability lifs specifcally de-
signed to be used in spas, swimming
pools and hot tubs have been un-
veiled by aquatic lif developer Aqua
Creek Products. Te manual Super
EZ Lif is operated by a hydraulic
ram, while the Super Power EZ Lif
has a battery-assisted ‘lif and lower’
function, allowing a smooth transi-
tion into and out of the water. Both
lifs are made of epoxy powder-coat-
ed stainless steel, and have a lifing
capacity of 28.5 stones.
spa-kit.net KEYWORDS: SUNTRAP SYSTEMS
Rare Tea Company extends
mountain tea range into spas
Te Rare Tea Company is further expanding into
the international market with a number of new
launches into spas. Te ingredients from the teas
can be incorporated into bathing rituals, as well
as being used in refreshments. Currently popular
types include the Jasmine Silver Tip Tea, which is
scented with fresh jasmine fowers, and the Flow-
ering Silver Tip Tea (above). A selection from the
company’s range will soon appear at the spa in
Blythswood Square hotel in Glasgow, Scotland.
spa-kit.net KEYWORDS: RARE TEA
SPA BUSINESS 3 2009
©
cybertrek 2009 71 Read Spa Business online spabusiness.com / digital
Certified organic facial products for Pinks
Te Pinks Boutique Organic Facial range has launched. Designed to help
restore the skin’s natural balance, the products contain herbs, essential oils,
natural antioxidants and plant extracts to promote clear, hydrated, radiant
skin. Te range conforms to European safety standards and contains organic
ingredients from sustainable sources that are certifed by the UK’s Soil Asso-
ciation. Suitable for vegetarians, the products are packaged using recyclable
glass and minimal plastic and card, to prevent excessive waste. Te full Pinks
Boutique range includes: Organic Lemongrass and Mandarin Cleanser,
Toner, Facial Massage Oil and Moisturising Lotion; Organic Ocha Cleanser,
Toner and Facial Massage Oil; as well as Organic Eye Make-up Remover;
Deep Cleansing Facial Melt; Night Balm; and Anti-Age Serum.
spa-kit.net KEYWORDS: PINKS BOUTIQUE
New web bookings software
introduced by Gumnut
Gumnut Systems has unveiled its new Real Time
Web Bookings Interface. Te intelligent interface
gives spa clients real-time website booking access
directly into Gumnut Systems. Clients can use the
website to not only book appointments, packages
and classes but also purchase gif vouchers and
products online. Managers and owners have total
control over what services and packages are avail-
able on any particular day or specifc times of day.
spa-kit.net KEYWORDS: GUMNUT SYSTEMS
Parmar & Parmar’s bespoke furniture
Te UK-based furniture company Parmar & Par-
mar is setting its sights on the international spa
industry. It ofers exclusively designed pieces such
as inlaid glass tables (pictured) and hand-painted
silk pictures, alongside exterior pieces such as
planters, spheres and intricately carved wall pan-
els. In addition, it stocks an array of reclaimed
Indian furniture and artefacts. Te company is
working on a number of spa projects, providing
furniture and adornments as well as architectur-
al, interior and landscape design services.
spa-kit.net KEYWORDS: PARMAR AND PARMAR
Handcrafted baths from Spa Vision
Spa Vision has introduced a collection of luxurious traditional baths, each
of which are hand-crafed from either copper or brass. Each individually
handmade bath takes skilled crafsmen 120 hours to create, resulting in a
unique and matchless piece. Tere are a wide range of options for fnishes
to suit both contemporary and traditional projects, while a durable coating
allows the baths to withstand high volume usage. An added beneft of the
range is that copper and brass warms up instantly, retaining the tempera-
ture of the water. Surprisingly light, the baths weigh from 45-80kg and are
said to be a great addition to any spa suite or hotel room.
spa-kit.net KEYWORDS: SPA VISION
Ghd IV styler in limited
edition tribal style
Te RARE hair straightener
set has just been released by
ghd. Available at all approved
ghd spas and salons, the lim-
ited edition set contains a black
ghd IV styler with golden plates,
a heat-resistant leopard print
styler pouch and a black case.
2009 also marks the third year
that ghd has been voted as one of the coolest brands in the UK via the
annual CoolBrands
®
survey initiative.
spa-kit.net KEYWORD: GHD
SPA BUSINESS 3 2009
©
cybertrek 2009 72 Read Spa Business online spabusiness.com / digital
Spa products
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EXERCISE EQUIPMENT
Tel: +44 (0)1543 46650
www.premiersoftware.co.uk
Premier Spa+ is the internationally renowned
scheduling and management software system for
destination, resort and hotel spas and is the chosen
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News report
UIFªOJTIJOHUPVDI
Te study showed a diference in attitudes
toward eco-friendliness among genera-
tions in Asia, suggesting some groups
may be better eco-targets than others.
Babyboomers (aged 44-59) the ‘True
Greens’ were the most receptive. Tey
had the most concern about the environ-
ment, participated in more green habits
and bought more eco-friendly products.
Generation X (aged 28-43) the
‘PragmatiX’ were ambivalent. While 60
per cent were very concerned about the
environment, eco-friendliness was the
least infuential factor when purchasing
products. Price was their top concern.
Generation Y (aged 13-27) the ‘Tween
Greens’ showed the most potential.
While they claimed to be less concerned
about the environment and green habits,
they consistently ranked eco-friendli-
ness higher when buying products and
would pay a higher premium for them.
DIFFERENT STROKES FOR DIFFERENT FOLKS
D
oes it pay to have a business
that is eco-friendly in Asia?
Possibly not, according to a recent
convenience sample survey released by Hong
Kong-based consultancy CatchOn & Co.
Called Does Green Sell in Asia?, the
free report explored consumers’ concerns
for the environment, their commitment to
eco-friendly habits, their propensity to opt
for eco-friendly products, their purchase
decision criteria and the premium they
were willing to pay for eco-friendly goods.
Data was gathered – via online surveys
and one-to-one interviews – from 248
Hong Kong, Chinese, Singaporian, Tai,
Malaysian and Filipino consumers. Results
from convenience sample surveys do need
to be treated with caution, however, as they
do not represent the entire population.
Te survey showed that there was a
source of green sentiment in Asia: 58 per
cent of respondents were “very concerned”
about the environment and 97 per cent
were willing to pay a premium for eco-
friendly goods and services. Yet when it
came to purchasing decisions, eco-friendli-
ness consistently ranked low as a factor.
Tis was echoed in the choice of spas,
with only 16 per cent of subjects saying they
would be most likely to choose an eco-
friendly spa. Te most important factors
for choosing a spa were price, brand/qual-
ity and health concerns, although attitudes
difered across generations (see below).
SPA-GOING SYNERGIES
A special spa section of the report sought
to verify the belief that active spa-goers are
more likely to demonstrate LOHAS (Life-
styles of Health and Sustainability) traits
than non spa-goers (see SB08/3 p62).
Te sample base was split into active spa-
goers (who had visited a spa at least twice
in the last 12 months), who made up 58 per
cent of the subjects, and non spa-goers.
Te result showed that active spa-goers
are not more inclined toward green
practices and consumption. While active
spa-goers professed to be more concerned
about the environment, they were actually
less likely to participate in eco-friendly
practices – such as recycling, reducing
waste and using energy ef cient electrical
appliances – than non spa-goers.
When it came to the likelihood of
buying green products, such as electrical
appliances, personal care products, house-
hold products and food, there was no
signifcant diference between active and
non-active spa-goers. Te only exception
here was that active spa-goers were much
more likely to buy an eco-friendly spa
service than non spa-goers.
Words and deeds also parted ways
when purchasing decisions were made.
Although they claimed they were more
likely to purchase eco-friendly products/
services, active spa-goers did not rate eco-
friendliness as a more important driver
across any of the categories, compared to
non spa-goers. What’s more, non spa-goers
were actually consistently more generous
and willing to pay a higher premium for
green products than active spa-goers,
except when it came to spa visits/services.
Cathy Feliciano-Chon, MD and
founder of CatchOn & Company con-
cludes: “Our study suggests that simply
being green isn’t enough to sway Asian
consumers unless green practices are
communicated in terms of cost savings
and health benefts. Spas should, however,
still consider greening up their act be-
cause it makes economic sense.” ●
For a free copy of Does Green Sell in
Asia, email rina@catchonco.com
GREEN TALK
A new consumer survey
looks at the green movement
in Asia, with a special
focus on spa and non spa-
goers. We fnd out more
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KATIE BARNES » MANAGING EDITOR » SPA BUSINESS
www.oakworks.com • 800.916.4613
© OAKWORKS, Inc. 2009
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No part of this publication may be reproduced. James Oschman has had 30 research papers published on complementary medicine. Portmill House. He has also written two books on energy medicine and is the founder of Nature’s Own Research. USA/Canada £28. Advertising production Ed Gallagher +44 (0)1905 20198 JONATHAN WHITTLE Jonathan Whittle has worked in the magazine industry for more than 20 years with IPC. resorts. she specialises in writing about the Asia Pacific leisure sector. EMAP and Nexus. Currently living in Melbourne.net/product search engine Sarah Todd +44 (0)1462 471927 spabusiness. specialising in market and commercial assessments and financial planning in the hospitality and spa sectors. His career as a publisher has embraced consumer and business-to-business titles such as Travel Trade Gazette and The World Travel Guide. UK. travel and leisure as a freelance journalist. Portmill Lane.com Michael Paramore +44 (0)1462 471926 Dean Fox +44 (0)1462 471900 THE LEISURE MEDIA COMPANY PUBLISHES spa business SPORTS MANAGEMENT CITY OF WINE CRYSTAL PALACE England Athletics looks towards 2012 and beyond Attractions management GIANT REENS SC CCPR’S TIM LAMB DESIGN Andy Bundy +44 (0)1462 471924 FINANCE Sue Davis +44 (0)1395 519398 Denise Gildea +44 (0)1462 471930 CREDIT CONTROL Rebekah Scott +44 (0)1462 733477 ACTIVE PEOPLE uniting the world of spas The views expressed in individual articles are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the publisher. Registered at Stationers’ Hall 30851. She was previously with Deloitte Consulting and Deloitte Corporate Finance. She writes for a variety of international consumer and business-to-business titles. an association which explores modalities of natural medicine. Europe £38. stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means. cruise ships and tourist organisations and as a professional journalist. Cybertrek Ltd. WEB TEAM spa-kit. working with hotels. Hitchin SG5 1DJ. US. from the Leisure Media Company Ltd. fitness. ADVERTISING TEAM Publisher/advertising sales Nuzhat Hayat +44 (0)121 7421370 Advertising sales Tessa Alexander +44 (0)1462 471903 John Challinor +44 (0)1582 607970 Jan Williams +44 (0)1462 471909 JENNIFER TODD Jennifer Todd has been a regular contributor to Spa Business magazine for the last six years and has established herself as a leading commentator in the industry. © Cybertrek 2009 ISSN 1479-912X. mechanical.com / digital SPA BUSINESS 3 2009 © cybertrek 2009 . Digital edition at www. recording or otherwise. Printed by Mansons.spabusiness. © Cybertrek Ltd 2009. Editor Liz Terry +44 (0)1462 431385 Managing editor Katie Barnes +44 (0)1462 471925 Newsdesk Sarah Todd +44 (0)1462 471927 Tom Walker +44 (0)1462 471934 Peter Hayman +44 (0)1462 471938 Caroline Wilkinson +44 (0)1462 471911 JAMES OSCHMAN A biophysicist and biologist from the University of Pittsburg. without prior permission of the copyright holder. The Leisure Media Company Ltd. All rights reserved. electronic.Meet the team contributors READER SERVICES RHIANON HOWELLS Rhianon Howells was launch editor of Spa Business and established it as a journal of note. rest of world £38. allowing him to develop valuable insight into the global travel market. As consulting editor she is closely involved with its continuing development. Subscriptions Julie Albone +44 (0)1462 471915 Circulation Michael Emmerson +44 (0)1462 471932 EDITORIAL TEAM CHRIS MCBEATH Chris McBeath has more than 20 years’ experience in the tourism industry. Spa Business ISSN 1479-912X is available on annual subscription for UK £28. photocopying.com/digital 4 Read Spa Business online spabusiness. North America editor Peter Sargent +1 239 948 5811 LEONOR STANTON Leonor Stanton is the founder of LLS Consulting. while also writing widely on health.

com spa business Spa Business is written for investors and developers. PDF and digital editions. so until consumers feel more confident. We’ve seen casualties. We’ve been told by some that spa membership is an old fashioned and outmoded idea which has no place in the modern spa industry. Florida 34134. With spa operators of the experience and calibre of Red Door and Mandarin Oriental extolling the virtues of memberships. To advertise for staff. we look at the concept of spa memberships and suggest that this may be one of the solutions which could be adopted by the industry. There seems to be great enthusiasm for this idea among consumers and Mandarin Oriental found 70 per cent of a strong consumer sample taken over two years would be interested in signing up. what next? There’s no doubt the ‘pay and play’ business model adopted by most spas has left them highly vulnerable to recession and in this issue. things are unlikely to change. a spirit of austerity rules and they’re more likely to bank it than spend it. email sales@spaopportunities. our starting point for analysing the concept of spa membership has been to talk to key health and fitness contacts who’ve launched spas. Hitchin. We’re also finding that in this recession. Most operators report that the period leading up to the downturn was the most buoyant they’d traded through. a daily website and print. has six other publications – among them. our health and fitness readers are faring better than our spa readers.com FIND GREAT STAFF FOR YOUR SPA spa opportunities Spa Opportunities.com. Liz Terry editor lizterry@spabusiness. greater perception of value and predictable income streams are among the benefits associated with this model. SG5 1DJ. but also a stabilising of business as costs are cut and plans put on hold to bring the operation in-line with the new reality. The Leisure Media Company. meaning the industry was at full tilt when the recession hit.com / digital 5 . The speed of onset and extent of the fall-off in business caught most by surprise and plans have been hurriedly changed – often with serious consequences for the businesses involved. Other operators report that they can start the month with over half their financial target achieved through membership payments – a very exciting prospect in today’s market. operators and buyers. Readers work in all areas of the spa market worldwide. It has a daily website and weekly ezine. but we would urge operators to revisit the idea and to examine ways in which it can be applied successfully. Many operators are licking their wounds and the question now is. we’re aware of the power of memberships to create stable and profitable businesses.spabusiness.com digital edition: www. We would argue that spa operators needs to adopt new business models such as those based on membership.com web: www. careers and news and is published every two weeks. focuses on recruitment. Although this is effectively the first recession for spas. Bonita Springs. This behaviour is driven by fear. Research indicates that even though people still have cash in their pockets. the Spa at Shangri-La THE LEISURE MEDIA COMPANY Head Office/Europe Office Portmill House.a new model M any operators have been knocked sideways by the recession as customers have stopped turning up. email: feedback@spabusiness. the sister publication of Spa Business. Hertfordshire. USA Tel: +1 239 948 5811 Fax: +1 239 948 4930 The Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group researched the market for spa memberships and found 70 per cent of consumers who responded would be interested in signing up Spa Business’s publisher. we think it may be just what the industry needs right now. As a result. leaving staff standing and bills mounting. UK Tel: +44 (0)1462 431385 Fax: +44 (0)1462 433909 US Office 3446 Wildwood Lake Circle.com/digital SPA BUSINESS 3 2009 © cybertrek 2009 Read Spa Business online spabusiness.spabusiness.spaopportunities. to find out how memberships work for them (page 20). designers and suppliers. a magazine called Health Club Management. it’s the third for health and fitness and from our work in this sector. Portmill Lane. Spa Business has a weekly ezine. to survive and thrive: increased customer loyalty. ON THE COVER: CHI. web: www.

Thalgo Group (UK) Elgin House 51 Millharbour Docklands London E14 9TD .

Terraké creates a unique experience for the Spa connoisseur. including a dedicated men’s range. from the initiatory Micro-Climate Cocoon to the exquisite massage tools. www.terrake. Bluestone Wales and Armathwaite Hall in the UK. Exes Spa in Japan. as well as Pennyhill Park.com . Divani Apollon in Athens. Terraké can be found in the most prestigious locations around the world such as the Four Seasons in Provence. Terraké takes you on a sensorial voyage to our origins through four unique universes: Terra Magica Primordial Waters of Air and Light Luxuriant Plant Life With a full range of treatments and homecare products. the Hilton Mauritius.Designed FOR THE MOST luxurious SPAS IN THE World Based on the concept of the birth of the earth. special lighting. Château du Lac in Belgium. Cliveden. luxurious textures and aromas. relaxing music and spa tea.

. and Starwood’s W brand makes its first appearance in the Middle East EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT SPA MEMBERSHIPS Could membership-based business models work in the spa industry? Rhianon Howells investigates 8 INTERVIEW ANDREW LANE & FRANCES HAYTER Spa and Salon International is aiming for 100 Dove Spa and Pond’s Institute sites by 2013..ISTOCK. ust a a p36 10 14 LETTERS Spas are ideal environments for treating anxiety disorders.COM/WOLFGANG AMRI esea c : g oba spa co su e s p3 The efficacy of energy medicine p42 PHOTOS ©PETER GLENANE/MAJOR PROJECTS VICTORIA 2008 Spa spy: Dove Spa. their efficacy and how they can be incorporated into spa offerings SPA BUSINESS 3 2009 © 20 42 Read Spa Business online spabusiness. mineral bathhouse in Australia.com / digital cybertrek 2009 . Canada p30 epbu Sp gs. OAKVILLE. Rhianon Howells talks to the man and woman at the helm of the businesses SPA SPY DOVE SPA. ONTARIO Caroline Wilkinson pays a visit to the first Dove Spa in Canada RESEARCH INSIDE INFORMATION Leonor Stanton reviews ISPA’s latest research on global spa-goers and gets feedback on the findings from the industry 36 41 LEASE OF LIFE Hepburn Springs. Jennifer Todd pays a visit 30 32 THE WAY I SEE IT ALAIN MASSAZA The French thalassotherapy specialist and the man behind Accor’s LeSpa brand on the importance of creativity and freedom TRENDS FEEL THE FORCE Biophysicist James Oschman looks at the different approaches of energy medicine.COM/NEUSTOCKIMAGES spa business uniting the world of spas PHOTO: ISTOCKPHOTO. a €25m spa specialising in thalassotherapy launches in Croatia.Contents » issue 3 2009 in this issue. has been transformed into a world-class spa facility. a historic. PHOTO: WWW. say Emma Fletcher and Martha Langley 24 NEWS New architects appointed for the landmark Hermitage Towers project in France.

Indian operator Ayurcare is staying true to authentic ayurveda practices.COM/PANORIOS S u ated a t tude t a g p66 Profi le: Paul Lehr p50 oes G ee Se s a? p7 46 THE REAL THING As it expands globally.com / digital . greener. Turkey p62 PHOTO: ISTOCKPHOTO. Chris McBeath reports WORLD OF WELLNESS Ayurveda and golf give Turkey’s LykiaWorld Antalya resort a competitive edge. a survey shows www.LykiaWorld Antalya.uk/green 9 SPA BUSINESS 3 2009 cybertrek 2009 Read Spa Business online spabusiness.co.leisureopportunities. paper-free. Caroline Wilkinson finds out more FITNESS EXERCISE HIGH Kate Cracknell uncovers the benefits of simulated altitude technology and looks at what it might add to spa facilities 62 PROFILE PAUL LEHR The president of Florida’s Pritikin Longevity Center reveals his plans to target a new audience at home and abroad 50 66 I’M A BELIEVER Jonathan Whittle tells us about what the Pritikin programme did for him 54 58 TALES OF THE ORIENT We take a closer look at Mandarin Oriental’s new treatment concept © 70 74 PRODUCTS Product and equipment launches Did you know that you can now receive a FREE subscription to Spa Business in its new. digital format? Change the way you read Spa Business magazine SIGN UP ONLINE: FINISHING TOUCH GREEN TALK Asian consumers are only paying lip service to the green movement.

Letters KATIE BARNES » MANAGING EDITOR » SPA BUSINESS write to reply Do you have a strong opinion. especially in the context of wellbeing. dizziness. The old. that staff will meet clients with anxiety who are hoping to benefit from the therapies on PHOTO: ISTOCKPHOTO. It is quite likely. Almost 40 years on Bhuthan is still following this unique GNH development model: taking into account ecological and wellbeing metrics such as pollution and controlled incoming tourism. a person with claustrophobia may ask to have the treatment room door left ajar. or someone with a social phobia may wish to avoid the waiting room. is being seriously challenged. where doing nothing. Advice on exercise. Canada I 10 n 1972 the King of Bhutan first expressed the term Gross National Happiness (GNH).com / digital cybertrek 2009 . Another possibility for spas is ecophyschology – therapy through nature and our surrounding architecture. thoughts and suggestions to theteam@spabusiness. For instance. This is beginning to form a basis for conventional Western development which integrates non-material elements such as cultural. mainstream model for Western development. or they could encourage guests to ‘discover the art of doing nothing’. wellbeing and nature-based values. therefore. SPA BUSINESS 3 2009 © Read Spa Business online spabusiness. phobias (like agoraphobia). raised heart rate. wellness centres and even hospitals where personal and planetary wellness is the next big thing. While the alternative is far from clear the GNH way is one way forward. the king felt responsible for defining its development in terms of the happiness of the people. inner happiness is the purpose of life and since Bhutan is a Buddhist country. Spa Business would love to hear from you. is already practised in UK and US spas. founder.com A call for spas to treat anxiety Emma Fletcher and Martha Langley. Clearly the spa environment is ideal for promoting and supporting these goals. Most of us will feel anxious at times. spas could offer programmes specifically tailored to anxiety. For those with mild to moderate anxiety. There are many aspects of behaviour and thought processes that need to be examined. Free Yourself From Anxiety A nxiety disorders are one of the most common mental health illnesses. Email your letters. but if this becomes permanent and focused on a phobia or obsession. over material consumption. these disorders seem likely to increase. but among the most important are regular relaxation. for instance. The simplest advice is to accept the client’s requests without judging them. self-help is a viable option. Operators could introduce programmes to increase inner and outer happiness – laughter yoga. rather than traditional economic measurements such as GDP. OmWard Bound. then an anxiety disorder has developed. Fletcher and Langley wrote the self-help book Free Yourself from Anxiety What can spas bring to the Gross National Happiness Index? Motti Essakow. it should be possible to meet their needs and requests. needing to go to the toilet and feeling faint. As long as there are no health and safety issues. In the current economic climate. In Buddhism. Such disorders include panic attacks. aerobic exercise and calm steady breathing. relaxation and breathing could be combined with sessions with a trained counsellor. is doing something. This fits in well with spas. But the biggest challenge is in implementing local ‘happiness’ initiatives for individuals and communities. Most sufferers also experience deeply uncomfortable physical symptoms. co-authors. Taking it further. social. Yet this would need to be individually tailored as there is no one-size-fits-all approach for anxiety. or disagree with somebody else’s point of view on topics related to the spa industry? If so.COM/AMANDA ROHDE Regular relaxation and calm steady breathing can help to alleviate anxiety offer. such as shakiness. obsessive compulsive disorder and generalised anxiety disorder and sufferers often become housebound and isolated.

performed less well than tangible product brands such as Kelloggs. packaging etc). expressing rational benefits in an emotionally engaging way is crucial – a good example of this is Dove and its Campaign for Real Beauty (see p24). 11 cybertrek 2009 Read Spa Business online spabusiness. Or it may be down to the fact that they simply don’t deliver service levels of a high enough standard. if we design out all sensory cues in an environment we are essentially left blind. Yet in this age of oversupply. a popular contemporary design theme is minimalism. which PHOTO: ISTOCKPHOTO. Brandhouse motion. but it’s amazing how many brands and companies don’t do this. but I feel the spa journey often ends with feelings of incomplete sensory satisfaction. We found that the stronger the emotional anticipation of a brand. engaging the sense of sight. which performed very well in our survey. As a spa management student. for example. well-liked brand. but cognition is not required to benefit from the experiences. Secondly. Another tip is for spas to define their brand story – this could be highlighting the training staff undertake or relating to the inspiration of the founder. product parity and commoditisation. little consideration appears to be taken to strategically engage all of the senses through design. Companies may also want to take the lead from Kellogg’s. After all. It could also be due to design trends: in the West. managing director. those brands that deliver lots of incremental innovations rather than a couple of big ones will be successful. for example. The key here for spa operators is to develop strong emotional connections with customers. University of Buxton.COM/INGVALD KALDHUSSÆTER It’s suggested that while visually stunning. The most important seven letters in business. it’s locked away while rationality reigns supreme. minimalist designs can feel clinical can feel clinical and consequently have minimal affect on the sensory experience. We believe that particularly in times of recession. we set out to measure the ‘emotional competitive advantage’ of 100 leading brands in the UK. this led to my study investigating whether designers and developers consider the sensory impact of spa architecture. In order to enhance the experience for the spa user and for a true sense of wellbeing (emotional. however. Also key is deeply understanding your consumer base. service brands. It’s important they deliver ‘meaningful’ customer care – by this I mean a truly personalised and individual approach where service shines through over a ‘cookie-cutter’. which always delivers what it promises (as evidenced by a strong score against the emotional territory of contentment). This could be because a consumer’s expectations might be higher when it comes SPA BUSINESS 3 2009 © E to the service category. The brand story will underpin the emotional competitive advantage. Spas are typically visually stunning. BSc (Hons) International Spa Management. It’s suggested that this may be due to many factors such as design training. how it travels between spaces or how it interacts with the other senses? The way that sound is used could add to the ambience and atmosphere of a spa. sight bias as well as project budgets. My study revealed that. UK I appreciate visual elements of the spa environment. Rarely discussed. making it harder for brands to achieve a better score. In our 2009 study. sensual and intellectual) I propose that all of our five senses should be stimulated. graduate. and this is something we’re seeing across a number of brands. Kellogg’s consistently delivers incremental innovations (in flavours. It is fair to say not all spa users will be aware or even appreciate the effort made to improve their surroundings through sensory application. This may sound obvious. In a very crowded marketplace full of claims from the straightforward to the bizarre. businesses are forced to forge deeper emotional connections with their consumers.com / digital . in principle. such as hotels and resorts including Center Parcs and Four Seasons. The Brandhouse Emotion 100™. Tapping into emotions is key to spa operations and product success Crispin Reed. formulaic one. The brand story is also relevant to spa product houses. this is an everyday. trusted. the bigger its competitive advantage.Why doesn’t spa design stimulate all of the senses? Sonia Alexis. thus affecting mood and ultimately the quality of the spa experience. Interestingly. Firstly. is given to acoustics – the qualities of sound and how sound reverberates within a space. But business doesn’t like talking about emotion. In practice. but what of the other senses? What thought. deaf and numb. there is an awareness of the influence of the environment on the senses. for example.

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It is hoped that the brand can eventually be extended to the US and UK. which will promote self-shading and vents which can be opened to draw fresh air inside. t ey w tu outwa ds. The spa at The Serai will boast four treatment tents and will be set apart from the main camp. Opening later this year. as well as a panoramic spa. Raison d’Etre to create tent experience Spa development and management consultancy Raison d’Etre is to work in partnership with Sujan Luxury Hotels to create a tented spa for The Serai camp in Jaisalmer. divided into three categories. The franchise package includes a range of options. The Serai will feature 21 canvas tents for accommodation. There will be 538 apartments. As the towe s rise. In addition. with a new architectural practice driving the scheme forward in the future. a hotel and offices. they will turn outwards to offer residents sweeping views across the city from large feature windows. o e g pa o a c v ews ac oss t e c ty s t e towers se.News update SARAH TODD » NEWS EDITOR » SPA BUSINESS news update NorgeSpa set to open second site in Norway Norwegian spa manufacturing group Olavesen has launched a new spa franchise concept called NorgeSpa. SPA BUSINESS 3 2009 © Locally-sourced ca vas w be used for t e te ts oca y sou ced canvas will o the tents 14 Read Spa Business online spabusiness. BISA Japan will be committed to promoting Japan as a spa destination around the world. with a second preparing to open in late 2009 at Magnor. A range of spa products have also been created exclusively for The Serai. Design features will include glazed façade panels with different points catching the light throughout the day as the sun moves. Matsumoto has established the goals of this chapter of the organisation. It also offers franchisees a revenue share on all products and treatment equipment. Each treatment tent will be split into three parts: a welcome area where guests will receive a welcome drink and meet their therapists. As the towers rise. and a large treatment space. First foreign chapter of BISA is founded The first international chapter of the British International Spa Association (BISA) has been founded in Japan. which strongly focus on setting standards for Japan’s spa industry and emphasise the need for spa manager and therapist education. Locally-sourced stone and canvas are being used throughout the spa. which Olavesen manufactures. Rajasthan. offering panoramic views across the city Parisien spa tower project gets new look A development for the La Défense business district in Paris has been revised. on the border of Sweden and Norway. such as spa design and management. These include angled façade panels. while all tents will be air-conditioned in the summer and heated in the winter. the first tower will have 91 floors and the second will have 92. a swimming pool and a lounge. herbs and spices from the surrounding Rajasthani area.com / digital cybertrek 2009 . Norway.000sq m). BISA Japan launched at the British Embassy in Tokyo by the chair of the new chapter: Masatsuyo Matsumoto. The first NorgeSpa opened in December 2008 in Fenstad. Work is scheduled to begin in 2010 and be completed by the end of 2014.458sq ft (15. including one tent with a private spa area. Covering a total site area of 161. a changing area. they will turn outwards. using plants. The building will be braced by a diagrid structure and incorporates a number of sustainable features. the twin tower buildings will take the form of interlocking triangles which face one another and enclose a large public piazza. Called Hermitage Plaza and designed by Foster + Partners.

The resort will have two championship golf courses. 11 treatment rooms and a swimming pool. June debut for Rocco Forte Verdura in Sicily The 124m (US$174. the concept of the spa focuses on traditional Oriental philosophies combined with a more traditionally Western. TheraVine was developed in the wine region of Stellenbosch and especially uses the pinotage grape in its treatments.556sq ft) spa complex with four thalassotherapy pools. Vinotherapy spa opens in Madeira A vinotherapy-based spa has just opened in The Vine Hotel on the Portuguese island of Madeira. Designed to resemble a floating library.83m) spa and wellness concept has opened at the Novi Spa Hotels & Resort property in Novi Vinodolski. Located above the cobbled old quarter of the city of Funchal. £873. Additional wellness facilities include a panoramic rooftop swimming pool and a large whirlpool. The spa features a 5. Designed by the architect Ante Niksa Bilic from Studio Ante Murales in Zagreb.Cliff Lodge spa opens at Ulusaba Reserve A new Cliff Lodge. the property is the first resort in The Rocco Forte Collection.2m. an oversized chandelier and waterborne sofas and chairs. There is also a whirlpool with heated seawater and indoor and outdoor thalasso swimming pools featuring waterfalls and a counter-current system.000sq ft (2. There will also be a 60m outdoor pool. three steambaths. £108. £21. The Hotel Vine has 57 hotel bedrooms as well as the large spa. located by the beach on the southern coast of Sicily.000sq ft (465sq m) Water Lounge boasting views over Biscayne Bay. SPA BUSINESS 3 2009 © Starck spa launches at Viceroy Miami Viceroy Resorts & Residences has opened its flagship spa in Miami within the Icon Brickell Tower in Florida. Other facilities include 10 treatment rooms.000sq m (430. Charme de O’rient and a Novi Spabranded cosmetic line.com / digital 15 . Originating in South Africa. Facilities include a total of 14 saunas including an outdoor Finnish sauna.41m. Sir Richard Branson’s privately-owned collection of luxury retreats. The Spa at Viceroy Miami was styled by French designer Philippe Starck and covers 28.601sq m). The spa has wall-to-ceiling windows throughout. a salt peeling bath and a Kneipp area. is on schedule to open in June 2009. the lounge has bookcases. Product houses used include Germaine de Capuccini. Designed by the Italian architect Flavio Albanese. has been added to the Ulusaba Private Game Reserve in South Africa. Guests w e joy g ape e t act t eat e ts will enjoy grape extract treatments cybertrek 2009 Read Spa Business online spabusiness. Croatia.62m. which will be accessed via a wooden walkway. a large swimming pool and a small spa. an openair amphitheatre and a private beach. The 1m (US$1. as well as a 4. Therapies will use Swiss brand Valmont and the US-based lines Arcona and Ola Organics. offering views over the Adriatic Sea to the Island of Krk and includes 22 treatment rooms and six spa suites. Treatments include a range of signature massages as well as thalassotherapy and hydrotherapy rituals.000) spa features a TheraVine-branded range of vinotherapy treatments and products. Croatia. The lodge comprises two suites. South African-based brand Africology spa treatments will be offered. The bu d g is s tuated next to t e Adriatic Sea a d o e s many t a assot e apy t eat e ts building s situated e t the d at c and offers a y thalassotherapy treatments 25m Novi Spa centre opens in Croatia A new 25m (US$35. The reserve is part of Virgin Limited Edition. a laconium. which currently has 12 hotels.27m) five-star Rocco Forte Verdura Golf and Spa Resort. US. holistic approach.

The property features 292 guest rooms. treatments use Thalgo.950. the lodge is set on 50 acres (20 hectares) of land and is around an hour’s drive from Brisbane and the Gold Coast airports. complete with lounge pools. Middle Eastern entry for W brand Starwood Hotels & Resorts has extended its W Doha Hotel & Residences to Doha. the luxury Salamander resort and spa will be located in the village of Middleburg. manicure and pedicure areas and a large relaxation room. Starwood ultimately plans to launch 27 W hotels by 2011.com / digital SPA BUSINESS 3 2009 © cybertrek 2009 .982sq ft (370sq m) day spa is intended to focus on the lodge’s surrounding Mount Tamborine environment and complement the existing 10-bedroom boutique accommodation. overlooking a stream. is halfway to being completed. Aromatherapy Associates and Jessica nail products. we introduced the ISPA Code of Conduct. Other facilities include a six-person capacity steamroom. which also created Australia’s Golden Door Health Retreat in the Hunter Valley. Starwood expects to open a further 11 W Hotels around the world in 2009. W Doha launched in early March this year and is located in the West Bay of Doha on the Qatar peninsula. Signature treatments include the Organic Honey and Cocoa Body Wrap. The heat experience area was designed by Schletterer Wellness & Spa Design and consists of two feature showers. £321. a herbal bath.” Starwood plans 27 W Hotels by 2011 including W Barcelona – a 473-bedroom waterfront hotel and spa. Called The Grange Spa. e odge s s tuated o a 50 ac e s te o a dge at W ow Va e Facility launches at Australian retreat A AUS$650. The 3.100. There is also a 1. Matrix and Keiser. Project architects are the US-based WATG group. There was also input from consultants Kirrien Withers. It will also feature two outdoor ‘treehouse’ treatment rooms on the edge of the woods.000 (US$518. an infra-red sauna. Lincolnshire.136sq m) and offer 14 treatment rooms. The document is intended to act as a checklist and was created by a taskforce of spa industry professionals to aid their peers in creating the best spa experience possible for their clientele. Read Spa Business online spabusiness. 367. Located on a ridge at Willow Vale.076sq ft (100sq m) fitness suite which has been equipped by three suppliers: Escape Fitness. marking its entry into the Middle Eastern market. a poolside outdoor shisha lounge. The Grange Spa opens in Lincolnshire A luxury new 8. Sydney-based architectural firm Allen Jack+Cottier. It also features laconiums and men’s and women’s water lounges.News update Marketing Salamander resort and spa on schedule Work on a signature new resort and spa from the Salamander Hospitality group in Virginia.000sq ft (2. ISPA president Lynne Walker McNees said: “Two years ago. The spa has nine treatment suites – with one VIP suite – a nail lounge with ‘movie-while-you-mani’ stations and a retail boutique. US.150) spa has opened at the Gold Coast Ruffles Lodge in Australia. steamrooms and saunas. restaurants. many with private outdoor terraces. which helped to develop a Global Best Practices guide. W Barcelona will follow the W Istanbul as the brand’s second hotel in Europe and its first in Spain. an ice fountain and a gemstone steambath. The spa will cover a total of 23.395sq ft (780sq m) spa with six treatment rooms has opened in Pointon. Therapies use the botanical-based WaterLily range. Launching in early 2010. We are ensuring that our members have the tools they need to stay relevant in meeting consumer needs and expectations. The spa is finished in materials such as New Guinea rosewood and granite and features three treatment rooms. Qatar. relaxation space. UK. was responsible for the spa design. a champagne bar and a Bliss Spa. 16 ISPA releases Global Best Practices guide The International Spa Association (ISPA) has released a list of Global Best Practices to ensure that all spas provide quality service to guests. an aroma bath.

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naturaltherapyexpo. is set to open in late 2009. hair and nails and cosmetics. while the scent of lavender will be used in the reception area. Other facilities include aromatherapy and Swiss showers.News update DIARY DATES 19-21 July 2009 Cosmoprof North America Now in its seventh year. featuring a 16. SPA BUSINESS 3 2009 © 13-15 September 2009 European Spa Exhibition 2009 An exhibition for European spa industry professionals in Porte de Versailles. this South American show and conference is for owners and operators of spas.500sq m) medical spa. the reflexology paths are intended to aid guests’ relaxation. More than 730 companies took part in 2008.146sq ft (1. T: +5411 4758 4340 www. Morocco.500sq ft spa will complement the luxury resort’s existing facilities Luxury spa unveiled at Emerald Bay A 16.cosmoprofnorthamerica.vitaspaweb. including a couple’s massage room. The therapies on offer will be tailored to suit each spa guest – the philosophy is that individuals are the result of a balance between genetic history and the impact of the everyday environment. Paris. a luxury resort situated on the outskirts of Marrakech. aims to provide natural health solutions for professionals in the natural health industry. two swimming pools and gardens designed by landscape architect Christophe Girot and Moroccan architect Ahmed Bentaher.beyondbeautyparis. US. will be located in the Porte de Versailles.au The 16. Held at the Sydney Convention & Exhibition Centre.com 18 Read Spa Business online spabusiness. Paris. and citrus to help refresh both the wet areas and the fitness centre.com.com 13-14 September 2009 European Spa Summit 2009 This conference. will include pavilions for spa. while therapies will use Natura Bissé products. which runs alongside the European Spa Summit (above). Hamptons International is behind the 37-acre (15-hectare) development.500sq ft (1.com 8-9 August 2009 Sydney International Spa & Beauty Expo One of Australia’s largest spa and beauty trade events with the latest products. It is hailed as a must-attend event for all those who are looking to develop or invest in successful new spa projects. Mexico.com. chromotherapy (or colour therapy) will enable users to enhance their spa experience. France.500sq spa. including a chromotherapy room. T: +33 1 44 69 95 61 www.internationalbeautyexpo. The development also includes 10 luxury villas. which has been designed by Moroccan architect Karim El Achak in partnership with interior designer Miguel Cancio Martins. Australia. T: +61 2 9660 2113 www.com / digital cybertrek 2009 .532sq m) free-standing spa has opened at the Pueblo Bonito Emerald Bay resort in Mazatlan. France. T: +1 916 774 8682 www. The Emerald Bay Spa has a wide range of signature features. targeting European spa industry professionals.com e cou tya d a ea o t e . 2-4 September 2009 Natural Therapies & Natural Health Expo This expo in Sydney. des g ed by a c ak Late 2009 opening for Izuran in Morocco Izuran. a cold plunge pool and a relaxation area with two flatscreen televisions showing peaceful videos. Provided in the men’s and women’s steamrooms. this expo in Las Vegas. The site is one of seven in the group’s portfolio. It is claimed that the spa will be run by renowned medical professionals. Elsewhere. treatments and equipment. medi-spas and aesthetic clinics. and therefore have specific individual needs. T: +33 1 44 69 95 69 www.spasummit.au 4-6 September 2009 Vita Spa 2009 Staged at the Sheraton Libertador Hotel in Argentina. T: +61 2 9422 2535 www. reflexology paths and aromatherapy areas. There are also 11 treatment rooms.

We Invest In Research So You Don’t Have To. It’s all there – consumer trends.ISPA (4772) .com | 1.888. executive insight and more.200 members in 83 countries already know when you join the world’s premier spa association.651.experienceispa. Discover what more than 3. Only ISPA members have free access to the industry’s most comprehensive library of in-depth market research and valuable studies. www. industry statistics.

With spa increasingly being seen as a lifestyle choice rather than an occasional treat. An increasing number of spa operators are looking at introducing membership schemes aimed at stimulating usage and boosting revenue. while also being of maximum benefit to your business bottom line. whose members signed a contract which commits them to paying a monthly fee – usually by direct debit – for the right to use the facilities at any time. until now. especially those that see a surge of business during particular times of the week or year when the needs of the two groups could clash.com / digital cybertrek 2009 . for example. Spa operators.Everyone’s talking about. consumers may not be willing to make the kind of financial or psychological commitment needed to make a spa membership pricing structure work. So could membership-based models work in the spa industry? We ask four industry experts for their views. not every market is ready for this kind of business model – in emerging markets. an growing number of operators are starting to explore the option of offering memberships to guests who are willing to make a serious commitment to their health and/or beauty regimes. So why doesn’t every spa introduce a membership scheme? According to some experts. SPA BUSINESS 3 2009 © 20 Read Spa Business online spabusiness.. Once you’ve decided to go ahead and launch a membership scheme. This could be a particular issue for spas within hotels. Another issue is balancing the commitment to regular members with the needs of other ad hoc spa bookers. it’s an industry norm. We investigate The advantages of a membershipbased versus a pay-and-play business model are clear: it delivers a predictable revenue stream. on the other hand. spa memberships Zensation spas in Spain and Portugal offer a monthly membership for €50 RHIANON HOWELLS » CONSULTING EDITOR » SPA BUSINESS T he fitness industry boom brought a revolutionary new business model to the fore: the private health club. have remained largely reliant on ad hoc business from the local market and/or host hotel – that is. you’ll need to decide how much to charge and what benefits to include in order to ensure the membership offers sufficient added value to members. encourages usage (and therefore secondary spend). and makes it much easier to track customers’ needs and preferences and to deliver value. More than three decades since this model was introduced. used by fitness centre chains and independent operators across the globe..

So applying this model to the exception our flagship site in Cascais. but Our most successful spas are those that we later moved to a direct-debit model. we’ve conducted a ANDREW GIBSON survey of spa cusGroup director of spa. ‘the local authority facility provides everything I need. this would be complex to deliver. It could simply be that the market wasn’t ready before – and public perception will still be a barrier in some markets. Before (Spain and Portugal) that. with passion for spas. As a result of this. why would I join a private club?’ Today. get one free) or a set cent. in some Mandarin Oriental spas. Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group operates 17 spas within its hotels across the globe (see p58 also). so staff have to achieve a set percentage of their sales targets through memberships in order to start earning: if you make something as fundamental as this optional. you’re able to rooms and spa pools was an increasingly estimate much more accurately how much important reason for choosing a spa. steamterms of yield management. Thermal facilities were include. and dividing revenues would be challenging. a newsletter and special events. The financial benefits are clear: you get a guarSignificantly. £34. They’d say. quality of faciliAs to what benefits a membership might ties and ambience. Why? Because our three sessions a week and we debit them SPA BUSINESS 3 2009 © revenue targets are €15.es 21 cybertrek 2009 Read Spa Business online spabusiness.000 (US$55. A lot of people will ask if they really can’t live without their club. added value.750. bership?’ Around 70 per cent said ‘yes’. fourth business you’re going to get in the future. However. as selling doesn’t come naturally to them and a direct-debit contract is harder to sell than a one-off service. where available. I’m not sure why spas are only just starting to look at memberships. than someone from the spa industry who needs to be taught about sales. swimming to implement a spa membership scheme pool and thermal suite. which is an area we’re very enables us to apply CRM principles and strong in. we had spas in our health clubs. only to quality of services. them to come to the spa regularly. 39. It was challenging at first. with a 20-25 per cent margin – depending on the size of the spa and time of year – and spas that do well at driving direct debit start the month with over 50 per cent of these targets already achieved.pt and www. We’d as Mother’s Day. PT in packages of 10 or 20 sessions. ‘would you be interested in signing up for a spa memdiscount across all treatments. four and five treatment rooms. tomers across the globe. the spa business seemed a real opportunity. near CEO. and in survey was that access to saunas. Motivating therapists to sell memberships can be challenging. signature treatments and facials. they get a 15 per cent discount on treatments. and gives therapists and managers the opporIn looking for ways to improve the tunity to cross-sell and up-sell products model.3 per cent. but now 80-95 per cent of all PT we sell is clubs in Spain and Portugal. A strategy is only as good as the people executing it. been over-optimistic about the margins we Spa membership works not only could achieve with spas. and for €50 (US$70. £44) a month. We’d originally started selling market specifically to them.” berships.spa memberships F or the last five years. especially as Spain because the revenue builds predictability and Portugal’s stringent employment laws and forecasting into the business. they use them three times a week. value-for-money block of treatis significantly above the norm of 3 per ments (such as buy 10. in 2006. The fitness industry is a wonderful example for us because it’s already gone through the process [of promoting memberships] and has developed a very efficient business model.holmesplace. which pre-sold. Details: www. My number one recommendation is to integrate membership sales into your commission structure. but the management was outsourced. because management companies work with multiple owners. it was a challenge for private health club operators to persuade people to sign up for memberships. With by direct debit.000 (US$20. all our spas have between both club members and non-members. One question asked was. Holmes Place Iberia Lisbon. Holmes Place launched in Iberia in 1997. another finding from our anteed amount of revenue up-front. We realised early on that commitment from the guest: it stimulates the business was quite unforgiving.com / digital . might seem logical. people not only join them. are most effective at building their directwhereby clients commit to one.950) a month. a membership might include priority bookings.holmesplace. Details: www. In the 1980s.mandarinoriental. with a response rate of 5. you’re not going to get anywhere. and I’d rather take on a manager with a sales background.700 people were contacted. two or debit membership. In addition. we decided to leverage some of and services. that will vary from operator to also the most preferred ‘treatment’ after operator. It also lets us track their the know-how from our personal training behaviour and spending patterns. but there has to be some kind of massages. which (PT) business. so members of one spa can use others in the chain. In Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group 2008.100) to €40. It now has 30 sites in Spain and Portugal. Treatment benefits might be a For hotel chains introducing spa mem- “The fitness industry is a wonderful example for us because it’s already gone through the process of promoting memberships and has developed a very efficient business model.com W e launched our first spa in NICK COUTTS Cascais. and priority booking. It wasn’t until a year after launching Zensations that we decided to introduce a direct additional offers on special occasions such debit membership scheme for the spas. creating a global network. we’re considering how as well as access to the gym. and we’ll have three more by the end of this year. which offers seven treatment rooms and a Our Zen spa membership is open to relaxation area.900. We now have 17 Zensations spas in our once a month. but also make it very expensive to replace underbecause it gets psychological and financial performing staff. £13.

Our goal is Members pay a monthly fee of US$59 1.one-spa. are better than any marketing campaign.com SPA BUSINESS 3 2009 © cybertrek 2009 . spa pools. we’re finding that our commitment to training and development. we’d have to rely on day spa business during the week. we replaced that hydropool and thermal suite. The main challenge of offering memberships while also catering for hotel and day guests is getting the balance right. when we’re busier with hotel guests. after using the complibusiness during the week. this discourages members from coming at the weekend. would require us to charge higher prices £18) joining fee. At One members who pay £100 (US$160. One Spa is housed in a standalone building next to the Sheraton Grand. day General manager. and we anticipate (€42. In terms of treatments. About half of our revenue comes from memberships and about half from our treatment business. The Sheraton guests and members. However. Also. Since the opening we’ve seen a very slight increase in the of the spa in 2001. both here and at the previous spa I worked at – posover a quarter are fitness members. €90) a month to use plimentary vouchers that entitled them to a discount off treatments. 50-minute facial or massage and a 15 per cent discount on retail. roof-top low. £50) – but our belief is they’ll 22 Read Spa Business online spabusiness. this tends to be controlled by the number of rooms and therapists available.. Offering facials. so that helps. this is harder to control. ne Spa was designed to cater for MARK PERKINS hotel guests. Originally the Sheraton in Edinburgh Interestingly. Those location. we’re finding that word-of-mouth and referrals from existing members are the primary source of new guests. The primary benefit use their complimentary service during a of membership is affordable treatments given month. Details: www. swimming pool and thermal area.com / digital staff. and now about 8 per cent of our treatment business comes from members – it doesn’t sound much. who are used to earning commissions on much higher-priced services. it has attracted more number of Aqua memberships we’re sellweekend visitors. was a business hotel. If guests don’t treatments a day. but it’s considerably higher than it was before we introduced the card. to roll out a membership-based spa model. This has proved much more popular. Details: www. and raise our profile in the commuAlso included in all our membership nity – word-of-mouth recommendations packages is an incentive to book treatments. delivered by highly trained professionals in Each Simply Face & Body site offers a safe. is enabling us to attract higher-calibre staff. and the benefits and mobility offered across the Red Door network. US Simply Face & Body. £37).400 members. which gives them a 20 per cent discount across the board from Monday to Friday. called CEO. swimming pool and spa pools. a regular stream of income during quieter times. Edinburgh. which is waived for those for our core services.net O “Without offering membership. Edinburgh (see SB08/1 p94). in the last few months. and universal praise from beauty editors and bloggers has affirmed our belief in the concept. You can’t claim to be offering a hugely exclusive experience to members if you’ve also got the potential for lots of hotel guests to come in. UK it’s a sound business model.and 12-month memberships. who sibly because they’ve paid a monthly fee. The first Simply Face & Body opened in New Jersey. €115) to use all the facilities. to the gym. but from Monday to ing versus fitness memberships.. With regards usage of the gym. All services thereA typical site will have 12 treatment after are charged at US$49 (€35. we gave members comwho pay £79 (US$126. wellness to segments of the population If guests choose not to become members. In this challenging economic environment. that they’ll become members. they add to the cost of doing business and signing for three months pay a US$29 (€21. Red Door Spa Holdings. To begin with. waxing and massage. We’re also Friday the spa’s capture rate of guests finding that many of those who sign up for from the hotel is low. Without offering the fitness membership upgrade to the At memberships. it rolls to the next month. we offer them an introductory service at The biggest challenge with a value-driven US$49 (€35. we find members tend to self-manage and stay away at weekends of their own volition. and because the discount card only works from Monday to Friday. £31). Memberships give us join to try out our thermal suite. US. €78) a month for access psychologically they don’t want to pay more. previously blocked by price barriers.000 members per site. Our goal is to bring committing to a 12-month membership.” R ed Door Spa Holdings has created a TODD WALTER new division. and Grand Hotel. and half are spa memberships with a card. Encouraging secondary spend from memWe currently have 1. Red Door Spa Holdings operates 23 standalone Red Door Day Spas and eight Red Door Spas in a resort environment. One Spa. Just bers is difficult in my experience. We rooms. we’d have to rely on day spa One membership. the value proposition of first-rate services at rock-bottom prices in exchange for a reasonable monthly membership fee is proving to be very compelling for consumers. While thermal facilities are nice. use of the gym by guests staying at the hotel over the weekend is low anyway. so pay £68 (US$109. So far. but take-up was the swimming pool. as they’re usually there to relax. and we’ll be aiming to deliver 60 make no profit on services. Membership gives us a regular stream of income during quieter times.reddoorspas. This includes a complimentary that each member will average one-and-ahalf to two services a month. By and large. £31) and subsequent services at concept is finding and retaining qualified US$79 (€57.Everyone’s talking about. just under a quarter are Aqua members. which would be mentary voucher we give them when they a lost opportunity. About two years ago. and you need to consider this when you’re developing your business plan. in January (see SB09/2 p24). clean environment and convenient three. the operation is aimed at a broader demofind the first service to be such good value graphic than the Red Door Spa division.

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” he concedes. but because the processes we’ve put in place are enabling us to swim against the tide – although it is frustrating that the tide is holding us back from making even more progress. Softly spoken yet direct. “In the UK. is surprisingly upbeat.com / digital cybertrek 2009 . we’re influenced by consumer spending. and is aiming for over 100 by 2013. the company has 48 sites. Andrew Lane. Unilever Spain had launched a beauty centre in Madrid to support its Pond’s retail skincare business – a leading brand in Spain. director of Spa and Salon International.Interview Andrew Lane & Frances Hayter Spa and Salon International – owner of the Dove Spa and Pond’s Institute brands – operates 48 sites across four countries. So how do you take not one but two retail brands and turn them into successful day spa chains across four countries and two continents in just a few years? And what is it about the business model that is enabling the company to swim against the tide where more experienced operators are struggling to stay afloat? Building an idea The driving force behind Spa and Salon – and the rollout of both Pond’s Institute and Dove Spa – is company director Andrew Lane. and plans to have over 100 in the next three to four years. two institutional investors and the founders and former chair of the Serve business also hold significant shares. Lane was one of two Unilever employees who helped set up Unilever Ventures in 2002 with a view to helping the company leverage its existing core strengths to develop new business models. Building on an existing marketing concept that cited an abstract ‘Pond’s Institute’ as an authority on the brand. Unilever Ventures holds a 48 per cent stake in Spa and Salon. “But we’re actually feeling quite pleased.” Spa and Salon International was formed in 2007 as a merger of two beauty chains: Pond’s Institute in Spain. and the woman he’s charged with overseeing Dove Spa’s global growth RHIANON HOWELLS » CONSULTING EDITOR » SPA BUSINESS onsidering he’s working to grow a multinational business in the midst of a global recession. an existing salon operator (see SB06/2 p34). and that’s not because there’s anything unique about our piece of the market. Today. was a significant shareholder in both businesses. We talk to the man shaping the company’s strategy. the fourth quarter was actually our strongest last year. and Dove Spa. and Unilever Ventures. so it’s not the easiest environment. Spanish marketing director Miguel Angel Rivera pushed through the idea for SPA BUSINESS 3 2009 © Unilever Ventures aims to have Dove Spa and Pond’s Institute franchisees in place by 2010 24 Read Spa Business online spabusiness. because the changes we’ve made to our business over the past year have made us much more robust and better able to contend with it. Two years earlier. C Andrew Lane Frances Hayter launched in 2000 by Unilever Spain. “Like any business. Unilever’s private equity arm. Following the merger. launched in the UK in 2006 through Serve Health & Beauty. The common link was that both companies licensed their brand names (Dove and Pond’s respectively) from the global conglomerate Unilever.

“However. brand standards and protocols. of course it’s going to get people flooding in’. myself. who put Miguel and I in touch and worked on the initial concept for Dove Spa. whose role it was to secure the financing. find a company to invest in to carry out a pilot. and a strong marketing message. “It would be easy to be arrogant and say. we found Fran [Hayter. Real beauty With over 30 years’ experience in the beauty industry. of which 24 are Dove Spas). and also put in our own products. as Unilever Ventures was based in London. Richard Lagnado. Hayter went with the company as international brand development director for Dove Spa. who saw the idea’s potential and was willing to license the brand to a company Unilever did not control. The company plans to Richard Lagnado – looking for ways to retail its professional build the company’s personal care brands spa product lines through new channels – who put Rivera in to expose more touch with Lane. Read Spa Business online spabusiness. when Spa and Salon International was formed a year after the UK launch.” Thus. systems and marketing. with some businesses built from scratch but more converted from existing operations (the company now owns 29 sites in the UK. since starting out as a therapist in the 1970s. Lane found a UK company he thought SPA BUSINESS 3 2009 © would fit the bill as a partner: Serve Health & Beauty. Hayter was well placed to help create a concept for Dove Spa. It was another Unilever employee.” The decision to trial Dove Spa in the UK was partly strategic. and partly practical. who graduated from Cambridge University with a degree in biochemistry before joining Unilever as a marketing trainee in 1985. when what actually brings people in is how the brand is expressed through the service. as the Dove brand had a strong presence there. which was growing quickly through acquisition.” He knew the Dove brand alone – although clearly a significant advantage – would not achieve this. now vice-president for Unilever in Europe. the operator of a chain of 25 salons called re-aqua. then operations director]. who.com / digital cybertrek 2009 25 .” says Lane. and pull together a brand licence agreement.” he says. we would get growth. in an organisation like Unilever there are normally several people involved in building an idea. the then global brand manager for Dove. treatments. and I knew we had a powerful brand in Dove. That was a big step. as Dove is one of Unilever’s most valuable brands. In 2004. “What was obvious was that this was very much a service business.2bn.3bn] brand. and Silvia Lagnado. and in particular. ‘Dove’s a £2bn [US$3.a bricks-and-mortar centre by the same name. Surrey. €2. and we needed people who understood it. in turn. As an investor. saw enough consumers to the potential to invest in a rollout. We found that in re-aqua. who showed how a day spa business could benefit and add back to a retail brand. The first Dove Spa – a conversion – launched in Reigate. brand. “I could see 25 per cent of turnover the Pond’s Institute business was working in Spain. Direct spa and It was the success of Pond’s Institute that online sales are already sowed the seed for Dove Spa. in 2006. and a rollout followed. Fran for us was one of the major reasons to get involved with the company. “In the case of Dove Spa there are four parents: Miguel Angel Rivera. which included developing a whole new range of premium skincare products as well as a design template for the sites. what Lane was looking for was “the evidence that if we changed the brand.

“We’re proud of our heritage and the great things Dove brings to what we’re doing. we’re telling our guests that we’re exactly that place. who was director of beauty for Regis Salons before joining Serve in 2000. AL – Bill Gates: he knew when to step down from Microsoft and then helped treat diseases of the world’s poor What do you worry about? FH – The future for my daughters. the emphasis. Last year.” points out Lane.” she says. in association with the Dove Self-Esteem Fund in the UK. AL – A facial What do you do for fun? FH – I have a girly evening with my friends. “We’re positioning ourselves as real skincare experts. “For me. while the sites – each with between four and 12 treatment rooms plus a large retail and reception area – aim for “contemporary minimalism coupled with warm comfort”.39bn. £869m]. specially selected therapists are trained to hold BodyTalk workshops in nearby secondary schools. a strategic decision was made early on to eschew citycentre sites in favour of suburban areas and small towns where significant numbers of women actually live.200] – that’s a two-and-a-half fold increase in just over two years.” Dove’s iconic global marketing campaign uses ‘real women’ of all shapes. In line with the philosophy of catering for real women. “Unilever has a face-care business worth nearly €1bn [US$1. colours and ages to promote an attainable idea of beauty in contrast with the media ideal of size-zero. have been designed in close consultation with the company’s therapists – with a view both to accessing their frontline knowledge and giving them ownership of the end result – and formulated by Unilever’s research and development team. which are aimed at helping young girls explore their feelings about physical appearance. says Hayter. is on delivering real. UV damage and elasticity. “I don’t actually care what our business is called. As with the Dove brand. the Serve/Unilever teams drew on the strengths of the parent brand: its reputation for honesty in the claims it makes for its products and the success of the Campaign for Real Beauty: Dove’s iconic global marketing campaign. meanwhile. Straight-talking Hayter has no patience with such purists. on the basis that the sites don’t offer pools or wet facilities or even relaxation areas. “We’ve had spectacular growth. and that perception is that a spa is a place you can go to be cared for and pampered. airbrushed models. AL – Listen to people It didn’t take long for the model to prove itself.850.000 [US$191. colours and ages to promote an attainable idea of beauty in contrast with the media ideal of size-zero. all marketing material features and targets real women.” she says. AL – Hike in the local countryside. The products and treatments. AL – The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K Le Guin What’s your favourite spa treatment? FH – A full-body massage. AL – Letting people down What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? FH – Always have a sense of humour and laugh at yourself a lot. Meanwhile. which used ‘real women’ of all sizes.Interview In shaping Dove Spa.” says Lane.” PERSONAL FILES FRANCES HAYTER AND ANDREW LANE What’s your favourite book? FH – Anything by Philippa Gregory. go to the cinema or play strategy games Who do you most admire? FH – Nelson Mandela: after 27 years in jail he still came out fighting. mostly laughing. with some leading players questioning the company’s right to use the word ‘spa’ at all. By adding the word ‘spa’ to our name. €345. In terms of services. I’m afraid saying that you can’t be a spa unless you have water just doesn’t work any more. which uses a specially commissioned machine to measure hydration and oil levels. airbrushed models . “so we have access to a lot of experience and technology. A particular USP is the free skin diagnostics consultation offered to every client. it’s about the perception our guests have of what a spa delivers. rather than models. Dove Spa has not been universally welcomed by the spa industry in the UK. “When we acquired our first site it was achieving sales of £120. €138. with visuals reinforcing the key brand messages.050]. sizes. it achieved sales of just under £300. honest results.” Despite this.900.000 [US$479.” says Hayter.

this is actually in line with the company’s philosophy of locating its sites near where its target market lives. featuring models rather than ordinary women in its marketing campaigns. even the UK. “The term day spa originated in the US and Canada. so in Spain. which made it easier to transfer the training and marketing materials. “Dove is stronger in Canada than anywhere else in the world.” says Lane. so our Spanish customers typically live within walking distance of the beauty centre. we have a fairly clear idea of what that means. says Lane.” Also in contrast with Dove Spa.” SPA BUSINESS 3 2009 © According to Lane.com / digital cybertrek 2009 27 . and because it’s Spanish-speaking.” The first step towards achieving this was the opening of two Pond’s Institutes in Mexico City in November 2007. Canada was chosen as the second testing ground for Dove Spa for similar reasons. The general managers for the two countries – Sue Shepherd in the UK and Javier Valiente in Spain – “really respect each other and are continually comparing notes. “So if you consider that our ambition is to grow globally. “In Spain. one in Valencia and one in Seville. the two businesses are delivering similar business “pretty much the same message and servmodels in terms ices but with a different tone of voice. all 17 Pond’s Institutes in Spain – all of which are greenfield sites – are located in cities: 13 in Madrid.” says Lane.” of facilities and In real terms. we are actually in a very good position with those two brands. so they’re more alike today than they were two years ago”. and a second opened in a downtown location in April. and also for our Spanish team to provide support. Pond’s Institute has drawn on Dove Spa’s experience to introduce massage and IPL (intense pulsed light) technology to its offer. while Pond’s is very strong in Spain. Global growth Another motivation for merging the two businesses. admits Lane. with the first site launched in the suburbs of Toronto last October (see p30). the emphasis on technology and the very different focus on results-based treatments are very similar – the products are manufactured by the same R&D team although they do have completely different formulations – the Pond’s Institute brand image is more traditional beauty than ‘real beauty’. the mix of facilibrand image of each is ties.” The decision to call Pond’s Institutes beauty centres rather than spas is also culturally motivated. the merger of Pond’s Institute and Dove Spa under the umbrella of Spa and Salon International has resulted in synergies that “enable the two businesses to nurture each other. what this means is that treatments. but the while the size of the sites. in much denser housing than in the UK. “The Dove brand is very strong in Europe and North America. it’s an iconic brand there. while Dove Spa has emulated Pond’s Institute’s results-focused treatment programmes. a spa has to have water. the term beauty centre best describes what we do. Asia and some Latin American countries. while a salon implies hair. two in Zaragoza. and because the UK is closer to those markets than the rest of Europe. Pond’s Institute? According Dove Spa share to Lane.Creating synergies So how does Dove Spa compare to its Pond’s Institute and older sibling. “We chose Mexico because the brand is very strong there.” adds Lane. However. “People in Spain live much more in the city centres than in the suburbs.” explains Lane.” says Lane. was to create a strong platform for worldwide expansion. “Added to which it’s Read Spa Business online spabusiness. As Lane puts it: “The positioning of Pond’s Institute is more around transformation. For example.

Interview an English-speaking country. The company overall is not yet profitable. “We need to make sure our systems and processes are properly 28 Read Spa Business online spabusiness.” says Lane. the operation will enable the company to test the model in Germany.” he says. he demonstrates a genuine passion for the business. I’d be disappointed if we didn’t have franchisees in place by 2010. yet retail still accounts for 25 per cent of the company’s overall sales. is a great place to start. but as part of the strategy for future expansion. but supported and closely monitored by Spa and Salon. At the moment. but the unit model looks good. He’s confident that once the company has consolidated its foothold in Canada and Mexico. Profitable business Lane acknowledges that his joint position as director of Spa and Salon and director of Unilever Ventures gives him a unique advantage when it comes to growing a business: “I’m in a lovely position of being an entrepreneur with a hell of a lot of backing and support behind me. Dove Spa offers a “Greater Toronto has a population of range of treatments nearly six million.com / digital set up to support franchised as well as managed spas. “Retail is a good way to get in front of consumers and it all helps to build scale.” ● SPA BUSINESS 3 2009 © cybertrek 2009 .” he says. which is a collaborated with much easier business to run. which is giving us a successful unit model. dedicated professional skincare line and has That creates a cluster model. Lane and his team are actively looking for franchise partners. there’s no reason it shouldn’t work in almost any other country. “If it works in those four countries. if the pilots prove successful. For now. It’s an absolutely engaging business. Hayter accepts that finding quality staff will become more challenging. Of course.” says Lane. “We’d want any retail environment to be true to our brand. which will cater for both employees and the general public. and outside its four key markets.” he says. “It’s the largest of the investments I’m responsible for within Unilever Ventures. recognised by both Lane and Hayter. and I could easily spend all my time on it! “What’s got me so excited is the combination of brand. she says Dove Spa has a relatively low churn rate compared to other operators. and it’s the one I’m most passionate about. “Our ideal franchisee would be an independent spa or salon operator who’s already doing a good job.” And although he has just seven years’ experience in the industry. However. and we’re confident that by expanding it we’re going to move the business into profit very soon. because you can move staff between sites and it’s also Pond’s on the transfer easier to manage the training. is the potential to take Dove Spa products into retail – the homecare items are currently only for sale via the website or in Dove Spas. it will be in a strong position to expand further.” As the company grows.” of skills and concepts Lane anticipates opening 20-30 sites in Canada and sees the potential for the same number in Mexico over the next three to four years. Operated by Unilever. but who we can help to develop their business to make it more profitable. and Toronto. as well as marketing and PR support. which gives us the using its own capability to open at least 20 sites there. while far from complacent. making “training and retention absolutely key”. as the opportunities for development and promotion make working for a group more attractive than working for an independent operator. having a parent such as Unilever is bound to help any young spa company taking its first steps into foreign lands: “It provides us with contacts within the country. people. but once we’ve got that got sorted out. “I spend about 50 per cent of my time working on Spa and Salon. systems and marketing. product. all Dove Spas and Pond’s Institutes are owned and operated by Spa and Salon. in particular. Spa and Salon is in the process of opening just one other site: a Dove Spa located within Unilever Germany’s corporate offices in Hamburg. but we don’t want to be exclusive.” Another growth opportunity. which makes it easier for us to expand the business. the focus is on consolidation. however.

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My spacious treatment room was simply decorated. which comprised fullbody scrub. so clients feel they are well informed about their treatments. Communication was comprehensive. what to do and where to go. which was a shame. Treatment rooms are simply decorated. the business. The 3. purify and detox. For the most part I was well directed: told how to lie. I couldn’t alter the scolding temperature and had to resort to moves best reserved for a Hokey Cokey to get clean.com / digital The rest of the spa was calming. The experience has been designed around making women feel beautiful every day by inspiring them to take care of themselves and to appreciate their natural beauty. There are now 24 in the UK. which licenses the Dove name from Unilever. even before I was greeted by the receptionist’s ear-to-ear smile. Unfortunately. and a balance of small talk and treatment knowledge put me at ease. Operating the digital steam-shower.Spa spy Dove Spa. Dove prides itself on providing a professional and accessible environment based on honesty and clarity. Ontario Our spa spy is delighted by the welcoming environment at Dove Spa and pleased by the experience and service – despite the odd frustration CAROLINE WILKINSON » JOURNALIST » SPA BUSINESS Dove Spa made its Canadian debut in the affluent Toronto suburb of Oakville. as the lounge is on the main thoroughfare. More could have been done to sell the products and although I purposely showed interest. Post-treatment I was led to the lounge and offered green tea – a perfect finishing touch. On a winter’s evening in –20˚C weather. The treatment. little was done to link the treatment with the retail items. mud wrap and full-body massage was delivered with care and technical competence. However. designed by the Khachi Design Group. This was less overt advertising than in the relaxation room. BACKGROUND BRIEFING THE EXPERIENCE Located barely a minute off the congested Queen Elizabeth Way – one of the provinces busiest highways – Dove Spa in Oakville has evidently been positioned with accessibility rather than the aesthetics of the surroundings in mind. the white glow from inside gave a welcoming first impression. Dove Spa was launched in the UK in 2006 and is owned by Spa and Salon International (SSI) (see p24). Following booking advice from a very cheery woman. as the well-presented baskets and display of Dove Spa professional skincare products kept me occupied. Although my therapist advised that I sit in the steam to loosen the mud. has been followed by a flagship in downtown Toronto and is the first of up to 50 sites planned for North America. SPA BUSINESS 3 2009 © cybertrek 2009 . Nevertheless. with its iconic dove-shaped sign. situated next to a children’s Little Gym. however. where I felt bombarded by looped silent videos about Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty. which was covered with mud. white walls and minimalist décor and I was impressed when entering to be asked to select a music style to accompany my treatment. I was seated in the salon to wait for my treatment – an effective marketing ploy. however. It arrived in a glass cup with a handtied bundle of fragrant jasmine. by the fact that holistic therapies are only available on Wednesdays and Saturdays and massages with a registered therapist on Fridays and Saturdays. over-indulgent frills – left me feeling pampered and refreshed while the reasonable prices and efficient service made me want to book another appointment. I was given the choice of two massage scents. was a challenge. Ontario in October 2008.000sq ft (279sq m) spa. SSI chose to launch in Canada due to strong levels of brand recognition. I’d opted for the 60-minute ayurvedic-inspired BHAM treatment: designed to cleanse. with a warm and relaxing ambience 30 Read Spa Business online spabusiness. beckons passing customers – especially mums with an hour to spare. but no further product information was volunteered. comfortable and simple. with soft lighting. I felt on view and found myself rushing my post-treatment drink. Subtle touches of luxury – a welcome change from intimidating. I was frustrated. My 90-minute experience was effortless. The spa’s road-front position – part of a commercial plaza – didn’t seem at first glance to be the ideal environment to satisfy a craving for peace and relaxation. following the mid-treatment shower I had to put the disposable underwear back on.

.... was given a robe and slippers and introduced to the Dove toiletries that also awaited me post-treatment........ equipped with a chromatherapy steam-shower and keypad lockers........ each treatment lasting approximately 60 minutes............. 7 / 10 Value for Money ....................... which I expect could also get congested.......................... most clients dress in their treatments room..ca Dove’s customised facials are at the heart of its menu..... The facials range from single-session signature treatments such as the 60-minute Hydro Cleanse and Microdermabrasion facials which cost CA$135 (US$121... managing director. The only other steam-shower is attached to a treatment room devoted to colonics and mud therapies so. Ontario........... €409-708.... On arrival I was escorted to a single dressing room.... Other facilities include a two-person pedicure bench and a manicure bar............ £62)....” VITAL STATISTICS Dove Spa 355 Iroquois Shore Road...... Dove Spa Canada “The first few months of operation involved assessing the treatment mix most requested by our guests in order to ensure we offer exactly what they’re looking for...... most customers go without. 9am-6pm on Saturday and 11am-5pm on Sunday................... As of February 2009..... the manicure bar (right)......... SPA BUSINESS 3 2009 © cybertrek 2009 Read Spa Business online spabusiness... £76)........................................... POPULAR TREATMENTS THE SCORE Booking ........ As it’s the only changing room available....... Contact: +1 905 339 0772 Opening hours: 9am-10pm Monday to Friday....... all of which are equipped with wardrobes... Oakville... 8 / 10 Aftercare........100 (US$569-985...... Each starts with a free skin diagnosis to determine a client’s skin condition and to ensure the right treatment is administered... Dove Spa’s product line (below) FACILITIES Set on one level.................... £358-620). hopi ear candling and hot stone massage – and a selection of mud wraps and ayurvedic treatments............ Canada........... Details: www...dovespa. 9 / 10 Treatment .. Dove also offers a selection of skincare programmes lasting four to eight weeks ranging from CA$635-1.... 8 / 10 RIGHT OF REPLY Fay Chapple..... 8 / 10 Overall ....... The treatment menu is also extended to body beauty treatments and massages........... an IPL laser room (for skin rejuvenation and hair removal) and St Tropez spray-tanning booth...... the seven treatment rooms are accessible from one corridor which is wide enough for a wheelchair but which would be hard to navigate on a busy day. 7 / 10 Service ..... Before and after my treatment I was directed to the four-seat relaxation lounge........................... The same mix of services is now available at our brand new spa in Toronto that opened to fantastic reviews on 28 April 2009.Dove’s Real Beauty campaign encourages natural beauty (above)...... holistic therapies – such as reiki........com / digital 31 .............. €87.. Dove Spa in Oakville was able to offer holistic treatments seven days a week as well as registered massage therapist services by choice of female or male therapist....................... €71...... according to my therapist......... featuring BHAM which cost CA$110 (US$98..................

we’ve known stress was the number one reason people went to spas in the US and that massage was the most popular treatment. now we know this is the case worldwide”. information D PHOTO: WWW. A facility was classed as a spa when it offered “at least two of the following: a massage (eg full body). Canada. Research International found that day spas were the most popular type of spa in every country except Austria and France. the online-based research study. Surprisingly. but not in the last 12 months. Conducted during September and October 2008. Six countries had 20 per cent or more respondents stating they were inactive spa-goers – in other words. which surveyed 1. and accordingly the highest proportion of non-spa goers (see Graph 1). This part of the study concluded that globally. Germany. they had attended a spa previously. it was day spas which were PHOTO: WWW. Similarly.com / digital Active Spa-Goers Inactive Spa-Goers Non Spa-Goers © SPA BUSINESS 3 2009 Au US str ali a Ja pa n Fr an ce cybertrek 2009 . We review the findings and reveal the industry’s response The results from this convenience sample need to be treated with caution because “it does not represent the entire population so it is considered biased”. Germany.Research LEONOR STANTON » CONTRIBUTING EDITOR » SPA BUSINESS INSIDE escribed as “an insight into the universal spa-goer” by Lynne Walker McNees. followed by Singapore.COM/FELINDA The 2008 Global Consumer Study revealed by ISPA delves into the minds of spa-goers worldwide. Japan and Singapore. Japan and France had the lowest number of spa incidences. At the head of these was Russia with 26 per cent inactive spa-goers. and two in the Americas – Canada and the US. Russia and Thailand to six in Singapore and two in France.COM/HYWIT DIMYADI graph 1 — Spa Incidences Per Country 100% 80% 60% 40% 20% 0% *Th ai Si land ng ap or e *I nd i *C a hi n Au a str ia Ita ly Sp ai *R n u G ssia er m an y U Ca K na da *Convenience sample countries About 30 per cent of spa-goers say they’d be most likely to try reflexology in the future 32 Read Spa Business online spabusiness. the 2008 ISPA Global Consumer Study analyses the spa-going habits of consumers from 15 different countries. this varies from eight in China. active spa-goers average four visits per annum. “more likely to be employed and are more likely to be in a high income or social class”. but these are referred to as a ‘convenience sample’ because of the countries’ low internet penetration levels. results from China. The samples from these countries are generally younger than the population as a whole. Walker McNees says: “For the last decade. France. the president of the International Spa Association (ISPA).ISTOCK. Thailand and Russia were provided. Five other countries with a relatively high proportion of inactive spa-goers included Austria. the US and Australia. was undertaken by global market research agency Research International on behalf of ISPA. In addition. However. Spain and the UK.ISTOCK. Treatments and costs In keeping with other industry studies.000 respondents per country. The countries covered include six in Europe – Austria. Italy. India. body treatments (eg facials) or skincare treatments (eg hydrotherapy)”. The study found that Thailand. had the highest level of active spa-goers – defined as people who had visited a spa in the previous 12 months. three in Australasia – Australia.

£588) in Singapore. However. responses relating to body scrub or wrap and aromatherapy suggest that more people now buy these treatments than intend to in the future. except in Austria and France where resort/hotels spas were more popular and visited most frequently. Nevertheless. whereas respondents in Germany did not rate a gift certificate as being a major motivator. According to the survey. Categories where there was a noticeable discrepancy between existing popularity and likely future popularity include movement/fitness classes. Massage was by far the most popular treatment globally (see Graph 2). Italy and the US spend the most on treatments and overall. £138) in India to US$937 (€676. The other half graph 2 — Top Five Treatments versus Those Most Likely To Try 100% 80% 60% 40% 20% 0% M as sa ge dy Fa sc cia ru l M b or an icu wr ap re /p ed ic Ar om ure at he ra H py yd ro th er W ap at y er th er ap Re y fle M xo ov lo em gy en t/ fit Ba ne ss ln eo th er ap y Ay ur ve di c Top five treatments SPA BUSINESS 3 2009 © Most likely to try of treatments were offered as a gift or were given on a complimentary basis. Germany had the highest proportion of treatments which were bought as a gift at 48 per cent and Singapore had the lowest.Germany had the highest proportion of treatments which were bought as a gift certificate at 48 per cent and Singapore had the lowest PHOTO: WWW. the findings show that spagoers in Singapore. Not surprisingly. Also interesting was an analysis of the proportion spent on treatments versus retail. The survey did not distinguish between expenditure at different types of spas or different quality levels. including retail spend (see Graph 4). comparisons among and between countries is difficult. it also generally came top in terms of “most likely to try”.COM/NEUSTOCKIMAGES visited most often. The survey reports a significant range in average expenditures on spa treatments – from US$220 (€159.ISTOCK. only three countries had a lower proportion of purchased treatments than those that had been given as a gift or were complimentary: Germany with 43 per cent treatments purchased. On the other hand. France and Austria each with 49 per cent (see Graph 3). cited as the top treatment by the majority of survey respondents.com / digital . respondents from Singapore stated that one of their main motivators for visiting a spa was a gift certificate. showing that retail accounted for 10 to 29 per cent of total expenditure in the vast majority of countries surveyed. there was a strong correlation between the top five treatments and the most recent treatments experienced. where a significantly higher proportion of respondents intended to try the activity than practised at present. Thus. Canada had the lowest level of complimentary treatments at 3 per cent while Japan had the highest at a surprising 31 per cent. This proportion rose to unbelievable levels in the countries which made up the conven33 Bo cybertrek 2009 Read Spa Business online spabusiness. Interestingly.

These included: “I don’t know what services spas offer”. the ISPA 2008 Global Spa Consumer Study has its limitations.COM/JACOB WACKERHAUSEN ience sample – the highest being in Russia. The ‘uncertainty’ reasons also appeared in the inactive spa-goer and non spa-goers responses. This may be because many spas are offering 30-minute treatments. it’s interesting to evaluate how useful they are to operators and industry professionals. as reasons for not visiting. the fact that it tops the list isn’t alarming.” The second most important reason for not visiting spas for active spa-goers and non spa-goers was “I don’t have enough time to go to a spa”. where the proportion of retail spend was 71 per cent of total expenditure! Why visit a spa? Friends’ and relatives’ recommendations were found by the researchers to be the key motivational reason for visiting spas. by all groups – active. I do.” This is also recognised by Serena Spa’s managing director. Jesper Hougaard: “Like any statistical data. The key reason cited for not visiting spas was that they are “very expensive”. However. Although spa visits are up. Gift or Complimentary Treatment 80% 60% 40% 20% 0% er m an Ca y na Au da str ali a U K U Au S str i Fr a an ce Sp ain Ita *R ly us si *C a hi na *I nd ia Ja *Th pan ai Si land ng ap or e G *Convenience sample countries The majority of people visit spas to relax 34 Read Spa Business online spabusiness. CEO of Leading Spas of Canada: “In reviewing research findings. than those who actively do so at present It is clear a global survey is a major challenge from a methodological and evaluation perspective. ISPA president. PHOTO: SHANGRI-LA graph 3 — Purchase.com / digital Purchase Gift Complimentary SPA BUSINESS 3 2009 © cybertrek 2009 . find the ISPA research data to be helpful overall in providing an excellent snapshot of where the industry is at and by interpreting the Industry response With a number of surveys on the spa industry being launched annually. while recognising it may lack detail on specifics. a stress-free environment was the key element leading to the enjoyment of the experience. Ian Brewis. “The study is a broad overview of the global spa business. “embarrassed others may see me without clothing”. surveying consumers using all types of spa. it’s always prudent to view the data as providing a guideline and basic benchmarks. simply because more detail requires more data and as a consequence. but then the question of where to begin and where to end comes into the picture.” This view is mirrored by Wanda Love. given the current economic climate. the primary reason for visiting was found to be to “relax and relieve/ reduce stress”. It would of course be interesting with greater segmentation.ISTOCK. A significantly higher proportion of respondents said they were most likely to try a movement/fitness class. instead of the typical 60. Lynne Walker McNees says: “We know people are still going to spas. from owner-operator day spas to large five-star destination spas. inactive and non spagoers. Accordingly. more resources and more time. however. says: “To get complete accuracy in a study like this is a monumental task.Research PHOTO: WWW. I feel this is a very valuable study and the first credible attempt to include and compare the spa industry in different countries.or 90-minute – allowing people to de-stress and nurture themselves while still watching their budgets. the amount people are spending is down. and “I don’t know what to expect in a spa”. but booking fewer and shorter treatments. senior director of spas and health clubs at Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts. Although this was often a reason cited for not buying.

He says: “How they have defined a ‘spa’ on the report (see p32) does not apply worldwide. Shangri-La’s Brewis wonders whether the findings have been affected by the terminology. Sheila McCann feel they cannot use the study for benchmarking purposes. all industry insiders agree that this study is a brave and credible attempt to analyse the global spa market but should be used as a reference with caution.” Despite the study’s use as a broad overview. the report found that a “membership option that offers better pricing or additional benefits” attracted 40 per cent of respondents to spas in Singapore.com / digital .experienceispa. In particular. Spa consultant and educator in Taiwan. visit www. McCann’s experience in Singapore again supports this finding. this was the graph 4 — Average Spent (US$) 1. I would have expected it to be higher.” Given this.” In particular. both were shocked with the statistic that 78 per cent of French and 67 per cent of Japanese respondents are non spa-goers. 35 cybertrek 2009 Read Spa Business online spabusiness. however I’m surprised that the numbers in Europe are not higher. operators still found some statistics matched their own operations. Victoria Liu. Canada shows as three. also queries spend: “I don’t see the China data is correct for that [spend] information. etc: I can’t immediately explain why the average US spend is that much higher.com. which would seem a reasonably accurate average from feedback of spa operators. Overall. Overall day spas are the most popular type of spas and massage is by far the most popular treatment globally PHOTO: WWW.” Likewise. ● To buy the 2008 ISPA Global Consumer Study for US$800. both Brewis and Shangri-La’s corporate director of brand quality. McCann says: “The report compilation [terminology and methodology] might explain questions about the data. £224) in Canada compared with US$537 (€388.” McCann’s past experience as spa director for Spa Botanica in Singapore also leads her to question the respondents’ stated expenditure (by active spa-goers in the previous 12 months) in this country – at US$937 (€676. Despite these quandaries. £337) in the US]”. growth. Singapore is enlarged too. The Europeans have historically adopted spa as much more of a lifestyle than North Americans. or call +1 888 651 4772.000 800 600 400 200 0 Si ng ap or e Ita ly U *R S us sia Ja p G an er m an Au y str ia U K Fr an c *C e hi n Ca a na da Sp Au ain str *Th alia ail an d *I nd ia Treatments (US$) SPA BUSINESS 3 2009 © Retail (US$) *Convenience sample countries highest of all countries.Active-spa goers average four visits a year. McCann says her experience in Canada at the start of her career supports the findings that a very high proportion of gift certificates (61 per cent) motivates customers to visit in that country.COM/NEUSTOCKIMAGES data.” Love from Canada adds: “Typically the Canadian industry is closer to the US in terms of development.ISTOCK. Love agrees: “Savvy spa operators [in Canada] recognise the need to focus marketing efforts on driving gift card sales to increase traffic. some operators query the accuracy of some of the data. £588). just not that much [US$357 (€258. This view is echoed by Wanda Love: “I’m surprised by the average number of spa-goer visits per 12 months. it can greatly assist in providing some directional guideposts.

as well the surrounding parkland and a number of other facilities including nature walks. 1980s and 1990s. which was then passed to a ‘project control group’. sports stadiums. It has undergone several renovations since – in the 1920s. All spa services will be managed by Belgravia. It was decided that the north wing. hospitality venues. it is currently in discussions with three landlords about introducing spas into its existing leisure facilities and hopes to launch its first day spa this year. Read Spa Business online spabusiness. INVESTMENT NEED Located 110km from Melbourne. extension or refurbishment of major leisure facilities. the area was booming with tourists taking the waters. with a vibrant spa tourism industry built around them. In the 21st century. BBQ areas. health clubs. As land managers. which is finally putting Hepburn Springs on the international map. the practice that had been charged with redesigning the facility.com / digital cybertrek 2009 . Hepburn Shire Council. However. where the pools were housed. Australia. However.Mineral spa lease of life A SIGNIFICANT INVESTMENT OF GOVERNMENT MONEY HAS SEEN A HISTORIC BATHHOUSE IN HEPBURN SPRINGS. It specialises in partnering in the capital development. and maintained on its behalf by Hepburn Shire Council. it is the most recent redevelopment and extension of the bathhouse complex. The existing settlers established a reserve to protect the springs from the ravages of mining and. including osteoporosis. rheumatism and psoriasis. 36 The Hepburn Bathhouse is the first spa for the group. a children’s playground and a café. reputed to treat a wide range of illnesses. made up of the Victorian Mineral Water Committee. the area is marketed as ‘the heart of spa country’ by Hepburn Shire Council. in 2008. with a particular focus on aquatic centres. TRANSFORMED INTO A WORLD-CLASS SPA FACILITY Cox Architects’ design allows natural light to flood the new spa buildings (below) JENNIFER TODD » JOURNALIST » SPA BUSINESS H epburn Springs in Victoria. Captain John Hepburn discovered the mineral springs in 1836 and. when gold was found there in the 1850s. the springs have remained central to the local community. the state government’s Department of Infrastructure and Environment (DOI&E) and Cox Architects. plus. they came up with a design brief. At the time. the council is responsible for the entire mineral springs reserve. Hepburn Bathhouse and Spa is built on crown land owned by the government of Victoria. including the bathhouse and spa buildings. when a new bathhouse was built and the original building was extended and turned into a spa. Hepburn Bathhouse was built on the reserve and became a gathering place for local residents. golf courses and tennis centres. In 2002. has been known for its healing waters since Europeans first settled in the area in the 19th century. The buildings were suffering from structural defects caused by corrosion from the mineral water. it prompted a massive influx of miners from around the world. it was decided that the facility needed greater capacity and a solution to the circulation crossover created when people moved between the dry and wet areas in the spa wing. the state government and the council recognised the need to invest in the complex to capitalise on the tourism opportunities presented by the rise of the spa industry. AUSTRALIA. Assisted by an independent feasibility study. with at least two others opening in the early part of 2010. would be demolished and a new bathhouse SPA BUSINESS 3 2009 © Belgravia Leisure background briefing Belgravia Leisure is a management group that operates 50 leisure facilities throughout Australia. by the turn of the century. the bathhouse was being run by a private operator. In 1894.

ALL PHOTOS ©PETER GLENANE/MAJOR PROJECTS VICTORIA 2008

built. The south wing housing the spa, incorporating the original heritage building and a 1980s extension, would be refurbished. Major Projects Victoria (MPV) would oversee the redevelopment on behalf of the state government. Creating the new facility, which was 1,243sq m (13,379sq ft) and is now 1,750sq m (18,8360sq ft), cost AU$10.6m (US$8.44m, €6m, £5.24m), of which AU$8m (US$6.38m, €4.53m, £3.95m) came from the Victorian government’s Regional Infrastructure Development Fund. Hepburn Shire Council contributed AU$1.2m (US$956,300, €679,100, £593,000), which it forecasts will be paid back in 15 years, while the remainder came from the DOI&E, the Victorian Mineral Water Committee, the Sustainable Energy Authority of Victoria and the federal government. Before the construction began, the existing operator’s lease came up for renewal, and the DOI&E ran a public tender process to find a new management company. Appointed in March 2008, the successful candidate – the Belgravia Leisure group (see box opposite) – was given a completion date of September 2008, when the bathhouse and spa would reopen for business.

NORTH AND SOUTH
The first thing Cox Architects did was to test the design brief – and according to project associate Marc Raszewski, it was immediately obvious the budget was going to be a problem. “The aspirations of the client, and ourselves, for what the building deserved to be, given its location and history, meant we had to work really hard to get the outcome we did on such a tight budget,” he says. The new bathhouse now contains one large pool, with room for 75 people, a spa pool and unisex changing rooms with 80 lockers and seven private cubicles. There’s also a
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relaxation deck and an area called the Sanctuary, which houses another pool featuring Raw concrete and ‘spa couches’ with massage jets, a salt-water wood are used float pool, an aroma steamroom and monthroughout to give soon showers. Entry is via an upper-level bathers the impression mezzanine with a bridge from the car park that they’re bathing in to the reception. A glass walkway links the a natural environment new building to the southern wing. ‘carved from rock’. To stay within budget, the architects had to be clever. Rather than overlay walls and ceilings with expensive finishes, they chose earthy materials to blend with the fabric of the building, such as steel, recycled ironbark and cast aluminium bronze elements. To keep costs down, the walls and ceilings are made from raw concrete, which became the defining material for the building. “A very strong design intent from the beginning was this idea that the bathhouse would be carved from rock,” says Raszewski. “In an ideal world, guests would be enjoying bathing in the mineral waters in the natural environment, surrounded by rocks, so we tried to recreate that sensation with the use of concrete.” Light also plays an important part in the design. The building has floor-to-ceiling windows offering views of the adjacent creek, while skylights in the roof let in more light. The huge skylight above the salt-water pool, says Raszewski, was inspired by a painting they found of a woman lying in a cave bathed in sunlight. The design was also influenced by traditional Japanese bathhouses, as well as architect Peter Zumthor’s Therme Vals in Switzerland. One challenge was the location. Construction was delayed because the foundations and pipework for the town’s drainage and sewer works lay adjacent to the building. These had to be relocated, causing a time delay.
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Mineral spa

OLD AND NEW
Refurbishing the southern wing of the complex, housing the spa, was challenging for different reasons. The treatment rooms were basic, requiring them to be stripped out. The floor was removed and sections of the wall replaced within the existing, non-heritage part of the structure. “The amount of work we had to do to bring the southern wing to a reasonable level was incredible,” says Raszewski. The redesign increased the number of treatment rooms from 15 to 19, while the number of private baths was reduced slightly, from 14 to 12. Raszewski admits the simple interior – a cream and white palette with just a few tiles on the wall in each room to add interest – was a response to the budget as well as a way of creating calm. As in the bathhouse, light is central to the design. Each treatment room has a large window overlooking the creek, which Raszewski says fitted their vision to “create a spa where you didn’t need to turn lights on when you walked in to the room if you didn’t want to”. As well as renovating the treatment area, Raszewski and his team were also faced with converting the room housing the original waiting room, from a reception with a mezzanine office to a relaxation area. The office was stripped out to re-establish the sense of space and Raszewski says this was one of the most satisfying parts of the project, as it gave them plenty of scope to showcase the original architecture, mixing materials such as stainless steel with the original timber and brickwork to underline

the sense of history. “We kept the room faithful to how it would have looked in The design for Edwardian times,” he says, “[while makHepburn Springs was ing] the modern design elements clearly influenced by the discernable in order to accentuate the work of architect Peter difference between the old and the new.” Zumthor who created Also in the south wing, the architects the Therme Vals spa built 12 private mineral bathrooms, each in Switzerland with its own concrete bath; whereas the pools in the bathhouse are 50 per cent mineral water, 50 per cent potable water, the private mineral baths use 100 per cent pure mineral spring water. Just two months of opening, the concrete has stained. However, this is no surprise to Raszewski, who says that they filled a replica bath with mineral water for six months before confirming their choice, and were happy with the way it built up a patina over time. “A pristine white porcelain bath would quickly have looked dirty and tarnished, he says. “We love the fact the concrete baths will develop their own character over time, reflecting the changing conditions of the natural landscape.”

WATER AND ENERGY
Alongside preserving the building’s historical features, creating a sustainable building was high on the agenda for the project control group. The objectives were to make the water and energy consumption more efficient, protect the natural springs and ensure the building’s longevity.

The aim was to create a spa where “you didn’t need to turn lights on when you walked into the room, if you didn’t want to”.
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Hepburn combines traditional spa bathing with a five-star spa experience. The changing rooms (above) and the relaxation area (right)

One of the greatest obstacles, says Raszewski, was juggling the demands of a community gripped by water restrictions with a business that uses water as its saleable item and wanted to double its capacity. Nevertheless, they managed to maintain the amount of water used by switching filtration systems from a sand filter to an ultra-fine alternative, which reduces water waste by 10 per cent. They also created a system whereby water coming out of the aquifer can be collected at quieter times and stored until peak times – mainly weekends. Finally, no-flush urinals were installed and rainwater used for all other toilets. New boilers helped increase energy efficiency, as did double glazing and the use of recycled ironbark timber (which has low thermal conductivity). Meanwhile a plan to include an outdoor element in the bathhouse design was shelved, on the grounds that it would have been too energy-intensive to keep the pool water warm. When it came to extending the life of the building, protecting it from corrosion was key. The ironbark timber was used as a thermal break throughout the project to stop the cold creating condensation, as it has low thermal conductivity. Sourced from an old pier in Sydney, it is proven to be able to withstand the rigours of salt water.

Hepburn Springs by numbers
Massages account for 70 per cent of the spa’s turnover Nearly 60 per cent of all spagoers upgrade their booking to include a private mineral bath Use of the mineral relaxation pool and spa pool for two hours costs AU$15 (US$12, 8, £7), from Monday to Thursday and AU$30 (US$24, 17, £15) from Friday to Sunday. Local residents are charged AU$10 (US$8, 6, £5). Use of the Sanctuary area costs an additional AU$35 (US$28, 20, £17) from Monday to Thursday, and AU$55 (US$44, 31, £27) from Friday to Sunday. Towel hire is AU$3 (US$2, 2, £1). Private mineral baths cost AU$65 (US$52, 37, £32) and treatments range from AU$95 (US$76, 54, £47) for a 45-minute body polish to AU$480 (US$382, 272, £237) for a four-hour spa ritual.

WORLD-CLASS FACILITY
With just six months to get the facility up and running, Belgravia Leisure used technical staff and managers from its existing aquatic centres to set up operations. However, having never run a spa before, the group appointed an experienced manager to run this side of the business. Kim Whitehouse, who previously managed multiplesite spa operations for Voyages Hotels and Resorts (formerly P&O Resorts) and Mandara Spa, came on board in July 2008. Although she admits that it would have been better if she’d had longer to bed in, she says it was surprisingly easy to recruit for the spa. “Because Hepburn Springs is an alternative lifestyle area, the talent pool was very experienced. That, and the fact the community took ownership of the baths, meant there were lots of applicants.” The result is a mature team of male and female therapists with an average age of 32.
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Overall, Whitehouse is happy with how the design works in practice, although she admits to facing a few difficulties. “At peak times, the reception area can get so busy that noise levels can compromise the spa experience,” she says. “A separate entrance for spa goers and those using the baths would have been preferable.” She also believes the unisex changing rooms are an issue for some guests and that the couples’ treatment rooms are too small. So far, business at both the bathhouse and spa – which uses Thalgo, LaGaia and Sodashi products – has been good. “It is an interesting facility to manage,” Whitehouse says, “because it combines traditional leisure baths aimed at the masses with a five-star spa experience.” Competition is fierce in the heart of spa country, so marketing for the new Hepburn Bathhouse and Spa focuses on the heritage of the bathhouse as well as the healing properties of its natural mineral springs. Belgravia is also working with Hepburn Shire Council to develop the parkland around the bathhouse, in the hope that guests will come for the day and extend their stay. Whitehouse, however, is already confident of success: “This is a historic facility with a bathing tradition that can’t be replicated elsewhere, so we’re enjoying the opportunity to be custodians of a world-class facility that sits very differently to anything else in Australia.” ●
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playing a role in their health as well as how they look. For me. human resources. Although I’m now settled in Paris – that’s where Accor and Imagine International are based – I travel as much as possible with my family in my free time. basic massage. but I’m more concerned about 2010: if the worldwide economy doesn’t improve then I think many projects will be put on hold. As a new company the global financial crisis has not hit us yet. then as chef de village [resort general manager] in Mexico. and having the freedom to be creative. That’s why I set up Imagine International: to offer all this expertise in one place. Guests want more results from their spa experience. The LeSpa concept was simple: it was the perfect blend of French beauty. renowned in hairdressing and skincare.146sq ft). Although working with Accor was great. that’s why medical spas will be one of the biggest trends in the future. with sea water relaxation and exercise pools and thalassotherapy wellbeing packages with a high-end design and service. well-known for its skincare (especially suncare) lines. design. The overall aim was to make guests’ skin as healthy as possible and to instil a blissful sense of wellbeing within the body. Esthederm. architecture. We have enough projects for this year. which was bought by Accor when he joined as director of marketing. We’ve noticed that big hotel companies have reduced their investments. mixed with the very best from each site locally – be it architecture or indigenous plants – to add a unique touch. 24-treatment-room spa is the first to mix the best of thalassotherapy. I admire Gilbert Trigano [the co-founder of Club Med]: Club Med came just after the World War II and he had a vision of making a business out of making people happy. We have 15 staff and our headquarters are in Paris. In 1998 he founded a hotel management firm and created the Village Ocea holiday hotel concept. make it happen (or build it) and then move onto something else. My long-term ambition is to become the world’s best company in developing and managing thalassotherapy centres and spas. he reached his goal. Everybody wants to be Lawrence of Arabia: I read that after the film the character never really left O’Toole. LeSpa.500sq m (16. but we’re working on about 15 projects worldwide. Peter O’Toole is one of the best actors and his character [the lead role of T E Lawrence] is very inspirational – Lawrence has an ambition in life and despite being used and manipulated by the political and military forces of World War I. but as Sofitel was an upscale brand introducing a spa was an obvious thing to do. One of the most innovative developments is in Pléneuf Val-André [a resort in north-west France] which will open in June 2010. a consultancy which specialises in thalassotherapy. will launch its spa by May 2010. In a great spa. Investment is still happening in some countries such as Morocco. a good spa is one where the guests are satisfied and the owner makes money. Dessanage. Imagine International. is very important to me: it’s what drives me. Spas need to develop more professionals in different fields to cope with this demand: they’re certainly not ready yet. or are postponing projects until 2010 or 2011. He taught me about what is important in life. however. While at Accor I set up thalassotherapy centres under its Accor Thalassa division and realised there was no one company that provided advice on concepts. Turkey and the Bahamas. finance. SPA BUSINESS 3 2009 © cybertrek 2009 Read Spa Business online spabusiness.com / digital 41 . from the Caribbean and Canada to Morocco. which helped me when I went on to develop spas. ABOUT ALAIN MASSAZA Massaza began his career at Club Med in 1977 and eventually became the group’s director of operations worldwide.People KATIE BARNES » MANAGING EDITOR » SPA BUSINESS Alain Massaza. will open its first spa in the next 12 months. We’re also developing spa concepts for two major French cosmetic companies. I really wanted my own company. I also think spas will become totally integrated into the life of consumers. founder. The 1. I don’t like to manage. but the Middle East has been hit particularly hard – we have no work there at the moment. firstly as a professional pianist. My favourite film is Lawrence of Arabia: I’ve watched it about 30 times. Last October he left Accor to set up Imagine International. then lived in France until I was 18. The fact that I was from nowhere in particular and ready to go everywhere has shaped my life. I’ve lived in many countries and freedom is very important to me. When I first joined Accor I developed leisure concepts for its Novotel and Mercure brands. I was born in Africa in 1950 and stayed there until I was 12. Our plan to weather these hard times is to be more careful when spending and to be more aggressive when it comes to selling and marketing. guests are very satisfied and the owner makes a lot of money. Massaza developed Accor’s first spa brand. This quickly taught me how to really understand guests’ needs and attitudes on vacation. expertise and service standards delivered by the best in the industry. Morocco. for its Sofitel hotel chain which he rolled out in over 30 sites globally. Being creative. feasibility. tourism and leisure products in 2000. operations and marketing for thalassotherapy centres. My favourite spa treatment is a simple. 59. I prefer to create something. France I worked for Club Med for 20 years.

pressure. as I am engaged in research on the benefits of connecting ourselves to the earth. I thought the organisers had made an error. I am exploring what happens when barefoot contact with the earth is combined with other energetic approaches. This is. In collaboration with several scientists. Or barefoot pads could be added to relaxation couches and treatment tables. it is just that for a variety of reasons we have been taught to keep our eyes closed to energetics. sound. Unknown to most in biomedicine. A grassy walkway between a pool or sauna and a treatment facility can provide a few minutes walking barefoot in conductive contact with the earth. Adding an earth connection at various locations in a spa would not be difficult and would have a variety of beneficial effects. We explore the different approaches and why operators should open their eyes to this emerging field W hen I received the invitation to present at the 2008 Monaco Spa Event. However.Trends Force JAMES OSCHMAN » FOUNDER » NATURE’S OWN RESEARCH feel the Modern research is backing up the efficacy of energy medicine. both the Hartmann Net and the Curry Grid map reveal geomagnetic disturbances over the world and many health problems have been consistently observed over the centuries when dwellings have been constructed on such sites. The effects are so beneficial that it will not be long before every bed in a spa/hotel will have a barefoot system. and the crucial understanding that there are ideal locations for healing. This was a delightful surprise. informed me that my two books on energy medicine – Energy Medicine: The Scientific Basis and Energy Medicine in Therapeutics and Human Performance – had become standard references for spa design in Europe. as happens when we take our shoes and socks off and walk barefoot in the grass. and enhance the benefits of a wellness spa. A leading spa architect and one of the event organisers. such as better sleep and the rapid reduction of aches and pains. modern research on energy medicine has enabled energetic therapies to acquire the respect. cortisol. Our relationship with the earth has become one of my favourite subjects. Dagmar Rizzato. electric. one of the most exciting developments in the field of energy medicine. These would deliver the same benefits as walking barefoot around a spa. and has enormous implications for the spa world. chemical or electromagnetic – whether produced or detected by a medical device or by the human body. helping to reduce inflammation throughout the body. Why would leaders in the spa industry be interested in hearing from a biophysicist specialising in energy medicine? I found out the answer soon after arriving. validation and interest SPA BUSINESS 3 2009 © cybertrek 2009 . as well as places to avoid because of certain emanations from the earth. in fact. gravity. An earth connection delivers electrons and subtle rhythms to the body. It was not long before Rizzato and I were discussing the ancient arts and sciences of placement. I have reported the physiological and health benefits of connecting to the earth. which can help to 42 Read Spa Business online spabusiness. magnetic. SEEING WITH NEW EYES Energy medicine can be defined as the diagnostic or therapeutic use of energy – heat. The pads contain conductive silver fibres that connect to a wire leading to a stainless steel rod inserted into the earth. It is not really a new subject. light. vibration.com / digital normalise the daily rhythm of the stress hormone.

smell and taste was the theme for the Monaco Spa Event I spoke at. but instead makes us feel Read Spa Business online spabusiness. Energy medicine A barefoot earth connection is emerging as a breakthrough (above) has been said to paradigm for healthcare worldhelp normalise the wide. In the development of the soft tissue manipulation technique Rolfing®. Energy medicine research teaches us is that there is more to massage than meets the eye. As one example. And each sensation introduces a set of energetic therapies that are destined to become a part of the spa of the future. something that was unheard of a decade ago. Less appreciated is the ability of touch therapies to relax muscles and reorganise soft tissues so movements become smoother and more efficient. non-invasive and that have few if any side effects. ceases to pull us down. It’s long been established that massage can stimulate the circulation of blood and lymphatic fluids and thereby enhance the operation of the body’s immune and detoxification systems. and more physicians are learning energy medicine techniques.COM/WOLFGANG AMRI IT MAKES SENSE Touch. and therefore more flexible and energetically efficient. Touch therapies such as massage and bodywork are well accepted components of the spa. caused by excess free radicals. look.they deserve. as more patients are asking their physicians about energy medicine. When we become balanced around a vertical line. Many medical issues make more sense to the patient when the energetic aspects have been explained. Hence energy medicine provides many opportunities and challenges for the spa industry.com / digital cybertrek 2009 43 . The reason is that patients production of hormones and healthcare systems are and reduce inflammation recognising the value of preventive measures that are cost-effective. Touch is a good place to start our exploration of energy medicine. hear. since each sensation is a window into part of the energetic landscape surrounding us and that enables us to function and enjoy our environment. The same five senses provide a perfect theme SPA BUSINESS 3 2009 © to introduce you to energy medicine. A growing number of patients are enjoying working with practitioners of energy therapies. This shift in interest has influenced the medical community. over 1. Energy medicine techniques can be used to quickly neutralise free radicals to treat existing chronic pains or to treat them in the early stages before they become serious. and this greatly facilitates the healing process. The focus was on delivering these sensory worlds to guests.800 medical doctors in the US have become acupuncturists. Ida P Rolf documented the malleability or plasticity of the body: the connective tissues can be re-shaped to make one’s entire physical structure more balanced in the gravitational field. Biomedical research worldwide shows that virtually all diseases are related to chronic inflammation. PHOTO: ISTOCKPHOTO. gravity ceases to be ‘the enemy’.

and decisions are made about where to go and what to do. play a musical instrument. spa is the ideal place for this Touch and pressure cause the tissues to social. is a vast energetic network – the brain. What is it about music that which has the capability of recognising. Light therapy or host of other health-related activities. To health (see SB08/1 p86). build selfthat are communicated to our muscles enable us to move. cate verbally. Again. For example.COM/FALLENANGEL Eyes connect to the brain: a vast energetic network (top left).COM/ANIRAV Energy medicine teaches us that sound is one communication supported. such as movement and gravity. even lighter. Since channels for information flow that have been blocked due to gravity is a form of energy. For example. and spiritual – to generate electrical fields that influence help people improve or maintain their physiological regulatory processes. its facets – physical. and that certain sounds can open up is indicative of less stress on the musculoskeletal system. Connected to our Hear refers to the vibratory sense that enables us to communieyes (our visual receptors). but media within the body. about how this can be used in spas). but there is much more. aesthetic. and so on. decisions ageing. sensory impairments.com / digital SPA BUSINESS 3 2009 © cybertrek 2009 . a form of energy medicine. This sensation not only feels good. Tense muscles relax when provided with able. bodywork therapies that appreciate the injury or illness. esteem. muscles produce sounds when they role of gravity in health and disease have become extremely valuare functioning properly. re-shaping connective tissues makes us more energetically efficient (this picture and left) PHOTO: DREAMSTIME. to daylight or to specific wavelengths of light using various light 44 Read Spa Business online spabusiness. Sounds can also be used to improve learning. reduce stress. mental. there’s more to the phototherapy. substance abuse. touch is a form of energy that can affect the ways the Look refers to another key vibratory or frequency sense that body utilises other forms of energy. Once we interpret what’s going on around us. unlimited. support physical exercise. makes us feel good or even upset? Music therapy has the constant stream of visual pictures that are a major part of our long been used to help with medical and psychiatric disorders. summarise. enables us to see the colourful world around us. grasp. storing. experience of life. The potential benefits of misuse of the body and poor body or resonance. and is part of the energy energy medicine – hands on mechanics such as improper lifting of medicine field known as vibrational heavy objects or sitting for long perimedicine (see SB06/4 p88 for more or technological – are virtually ods with poor posture.Trends PHOTO: DREAMSTIME. emotional. and interpreting relaxes us. This visiting a physician is the prolonged is an example of rhythmic entrainment. everyone can have One way touch therapies have deep Music therapy is an interpersonal proceffects on the body is by the piezoess in which a therapist uses music and their diverse needs met and the electric or pressure electricity effect. gravity is one of the leading causes of physical debilitation in the ageing population. consists of exposure story than relaxation. physical handicaps. and facilitate a type. a tone at the natural frequency they A frequent but less obvious reason for have when functioning normally.

Light has proven effective in treating a variety of medical conditions including skin conditions. A BENEFIT TO ALL By this time.I. which records signals emitted by diseased tissues and then feeds them back into the body to treat bacterial and viral infections as well as oncological diseases. for a conditions including skin prescribed amount of time and. in complaints. fluorescent lamps. but the spa is an ideal place to offer them. Temporary stimulation by these frequencies. at a specific time of seasonal affective disorder day. ONDAMED® is a battery-powered biofeedback device that can be used to determine which frequencies of sound. cause a response in a patient’s autonomic nervous system. including the various physician specialists and in association with hospitals and clinics.E system. Yet there’s also room for machine-based energy medicine in spas. depression and some cases. stress relief linked with reduction of inflammation and improvement of the immune system. which can perform thousands of medical tests in a few minutes by using electromagnetic fields to quickly locate and correct energy blocks and imbalances. Smell and taste are key senses related to our enjoyment of life. muscle re-education and other prescription uses such as pain relief. However. but you get the picture: such modalities can be used to bring everyone up to the optimum health that can be achieved for them and provide the best of prevention and treatment if illness or injury arise.sources such as lasers. depression and seasonal affective disorder. as well as those who visit the spa. The homework from this article is to pay attention to the various forms of energy you experience everyday and note how they contribute to the quality of your life and to the wellness of those around you. promotes relaxation. By ‘all concerned’ I refer to the whole community: the owners. Obviously such a project should be done in collaboration with a wide variety of healthcare professionals. the investors and the staff. SPA BUSINESS 3 2009 © Other possible technologies include: the L. or can help with a variety of bright full-spectrum light.F. light emitLight therapy (above) ting diodes. The challenge is to think holistically about how all these approaches – hands on and technological – and the energetic environment can benefit all concerned. While there’s debate about the precise mechanisms by which these senses operate. ● Read Spa Business online spabusiness. you may be realising that all the sensory/energetic modalities have corresponding therapeutic approaches.com / digital cybertrek 2009 45 . Through such observations you can become your own expert in energy medicine and better able to evaluate techniques that you might want to implement in your spa. the potential benefits for various members of this ‘family’ are virtually unlimited. Low level laser light therapy. there is no question that a wonderful fragrance or a delicious taste can bring about a delightful change in attitude. There are many other technologies. as well as weak-pulsed electromagnetic fields. combined with the patient’s cognitive and non-cognitive participation. All can have their diverse needs met. and a special opportunity arises for the elite athlete who must maintain optimum physical functioning and rapid recovery from injury should it occur. and CEM-Tech. produced by ‘cold’ lasers (which do not heat tissues) has proven effective for a variety of musculoskeletal conditions and has demonstrated remarkable success in maintaining the strength and enhancing recovery in athletes engaged in competitive events.

ayurveda is a legitimate medical system. In India. Not so today: in 2006. The spa industry has helped to popularise ayurveda. Authenticity is the battle-cry of Ayurcare.Company profile CHRIS MCBEATH » JOURNALIST » SPA BUSINESS The Real Thing Ayurvedic therapies are available across the spa world. This is generally applied after a ‘vasthi’ head massage. Practitioners are Shirodhara helps with insomnia. paralysis. is made to perspire by the application of certain medicinal herbs applied for 45-90 minutes a day for 14 days. herbs and oils. it has led to the dilution of both the authenticity and effectiveness of many ayurvedic practices. Ayurcare has the largest portfolio of ayurvedic centres in India. the World Health Organization said that ayurveda had become the most popular alternative health practice in the world. used by 70 per cent of the country’s population. and many have a on-site pharmacy. this ancient approach to wellness was comparatively unknown outside India. UDVARTHANAM: a powder massage effective for obesity. such as yoga – to international markets. headaches. herbal medicine and rejuvenation and purification therapies to exercise practices. or a specific part. certain types of skin diseases. Australia and Europe. hemiplegia and paralysis-agitans. paralysis. and impaired circulation. Tamilnadu and Kerala. emaciation of limbs. ABHYANGAM: an oil massage given for 45 minutes a day for 14 days. skin diseases. cholesterol and certain skin diseases. paralysis. Canada. SNEHAPANAM: the oral intake of medicated oils for body purification. Setting a benchmark Established in 2002. A yurveda may be thousands of years old. However.800sq ft (139167sq m). mental disorders. loss of skin lustre.500-1. hemiplegia.com / digital cybertrek 2009 . some franchises) operating in the southern states of Andhra Pradesh. wooden dhroni massage table. the operator of ayurvedic wellness centres in southern India. Depending on location. purists say that although this trend has raised the profile of the discipline. The treatment is said to be highly effective in combating obesity. loss of memory. and a consulting room. The company is taking its one-stop-shop concept – which offers a full range of ayurvedic services. another with a traditional. All centres have an on-site doctor trained in both ayurvedic and allopathic medicine. This treatment is given for rheumatism. mental tension and certain skin diseases. from nutritional guidance. and is now putting in place the infrastructure to build a global network. NASYAM: involves the application of juices and medicated oils for seven to 14 days to cure headaches. This treatment is most effective in rheumatic diseases such as arthritis. spas were among the first non-Indian facilities to adopt its unique therapies. graduate-level medical training. Already a major player in India. sleeplessness and fatigue. with 32 locations (some owned. loss of memory and mental tension licensed by the state following thorough. with three treatments rooms: one containing a swedana casket (steambath). a typical Ayurcare centre covers 1. the company has recently established franchise partnerships in South Africa. high blood-pressure. SPA BUSINESS 3 2009 © 46 Read Spa Business online spabusiness. but how many do justice to the ancient Indian wellness system? Indian company Ayurcare is facing up to the pretenders by taking its ayurvedic concept to the world AYURCARE TREATMENTS Ayurcare offers both ayurveda-influenced spa treatments and panchakarma: medicinal ayurvedic therapies for chronic ailments which include: PIZHICHIL: luke-warm herbal oils are poured all over the body continuously for about 45-90 minutes a day for seven to 21 days. SHIRODHARA: a warm oil is poured onto the forehead for 40 minutes a day for seven to 21 days to treat insomnia. but until recently. NJAVARAKIZHI: the whole body.

26m) – calculated on revenues. Ayurcare’s directors are so confident in their model that SPA BUSINESS 3 2009 © they expect to buck the depressed economy to sustain this strong growth. it involves completely different approaches from one end to the other: in the south. traditions also vary widely from region to region. is now working with private companies such as Ayurcare to standardise ayurveda’s protocols. at least in part. Consequently. came on board in 2008 as an investor. The primary partners in Holistic Healthcare Pvt Ltd. £3. British Columbia.900) for a 20 per cent holding and the right to franchise the brand internationally. Its mandate. they saw an opportunity to bring the practice back to its roots and contribute positively to community health. £562. India’s largest media company.com / digital . zinc. to its collaborative approach. Also backing Ayurcare is the Indian government. whereas in the north.400.150. Concerned by how ayurveda was being interpreted by non-specialist operators. €161. Currently valued in excess of US$5.000 (US$224. Ayurcare’s executive director. Although ayurveda is integral to life throughout India.750. while also establishing an authentic ayurvedic brand overseas. vasthi uses a dough bowl filled with warm oils to relieve localised pain (right) The secret of Ayurcare’s success must be attributed.73m. over the next five years. €643. Ayurcare opened a prototype facility last year in Tofino. Ayush. heated herbal liquids are poured over the body in the dhara therapy (top right). a more purist system uses medicinal tree and herb extracts. Coleman & Company. while Canadian Tumuluri Hospitality invested CA$1m (US$898. Expansion plans include opening sites within all Accor hotels in India. “All international franchised operations are valued at approximately CA$250. with a view to floating the company on the Indian stock exchange in 2011. is to create an international brand standard for the system by which all others can be judged Global growth To serve as a showcase to potential franchisees overseas.700) for an estimated ROI 47 cybertrek 2009 Read Spa Business online spabusiness.The bolus treatment uses warmed ingredients wrapped in a tight ball (top left). “We want to set the benchmark for ayurvedic wellness.” says Ranveer Puri. £140. Bennett. nickel and copper. which has identified ayurveda as one of the country’s fastest growing industries.2m (€3. Ayurcare’s privately held parent company. exploring merchandising opportunities and rolling out overseas. assets and franchise agreements – the company has grown at a rate of 30 per cent a year since its inception. as familial practices pass from one generation to the next. the system uses metals such as chromium. are seasoned in ayurvedic doctrines as well as international marketing and business practises. the government department responsible for regulating alternative practices in India.000.

000 acres of organically grown herbs for its beauty product line – Ajara Skin Care by Ayurcare – as well as a signature brand of medicinal products.650). Ajara is a sanskrit word which means ageless. based on 10-12 treatments per day. £2. diabetes. India. as well as the US (Washington State and California). at the outset. franchisee agreements are in the works for the UK (London and Manchester). but with accommodation and resort amenities on hand. closer to home. meanwhile. a move that advances the concept of the hospital spa nomic climate has slowed ambitious plans for Europe are still underway. however. will be priced competitively to build brand awareness and loyalty. With appropriate licensing now in place. ayurvedic resources and expertise can be exported to any franchise location where local supply falls short. £337. Australia (Sydney and Perth). €106. masks. a 1. back in Canada. The Ajara Skin Care products have been formulated to suit the different ‘doshas’ (mind-body types) found in ayurveda – vata. complete with spa centre. €386. £93. but also advances the emerging trend of hospital spas. Together. Its flagship Ashram Spa opens this year on Kerala’s beachfront. Meanwhile. as well as for manufacturing and distributing in excess of 350 herbal medicines.38m. Ayurcare will meet up to 50 per cent of a centre’s staffing needs with graduates of its training institute in order to ensure standards and cultural understanding (on both sides) are more easily integrated. will comprise half-adozen patented natural products to address cholesterol. Ashram Spas will offer residential programmes of three to 21 days. in January 2009. Ayurcare is developing its own brand of destination resort. obesity. there’s a firm belief at Ayurcare that its brand of authentic ayurveda will ride the tide. Because future spas will be situated in resort or hotel premises – either as a joint venture or franchise agreement – the size of facilities will vary. Ayurcare opened a 25-bed ayurvedic hospital. Malaysia and Singapore. and the collection includes essential oils. bath salts. since many involve two therapists and use oils which are customblended to suit a person’s body type. and their various combinations. €2. with the Dhanwantari Vaidyasala Ayurvedic Institute. Read Spa Business online spabusiness. shampoos. Elsewhere.800.600sq ft (149sq m). a popular health and spa destination for international visitors.600. three-room centre opened on Illovo Sandton in Johannesburg – Africa’s ‘embassy row’. they will share the same blueprint as the standalone wellness centres. Initial investment was ZAR1. the company has a key alliance. Accordingly. Also in partnership with the institute. weight loss. which means they’re not subject to pharmaceutical regulations. conditioners. in January 2009 – a move that not only underscores the health focus of Ayurcare. In December 2008. and although the eco48 Ayurcare opened a 25-bed ayurvedic hospital. Ayurcare maintains its own training institute in Hyderabad.32m. and pain management. Plans are underway to open more centres in Durban and Cape Town later this year with a projected half-a-dozen operations in South Africa by the end of 2010. Ayurcare Medical. “The majority of revenues will be derived from treatments which. the Netherlands and Germany.000 (US$538. skin cleansers.08m) within two years – largely because European and North American markets still consider ayurvedic medicines to be natural food supplements. shower gels.500.600). “This ensures quality and consistency of delivery in centres around the world. more value-orientated than regular massages. which.” says Ram Tumuluri of Tumuluri Hospitality. arthritis. as the international Ayurcare model finds its footing beyond Tofino.” says Tumuluri. While the next few of years will see many businesses facing tough times. Over 70 years old. complete with spa centre.com / digital cybertrek 2009 .2m (US$148. both lines are launching this year via e-commerce and retail in Ayurcare’s spa centres and selected distribution outlets. The partnership gives Ayurcare access to the institute’s 2. ● SPA BUSINESS 3 2009 © Firm belief In addition to its tie-up with Tumuluri Hospitality. revenues are estimated to reach CA$3. and for men. As a minimum. and eye creams.” Unlike other ayurvedic operators outside India. pitta and kapha.300. a location is set to open in Whistler for Canada’s 2010 Winter Olympics. Ayurcare Medical.7m (US$3.Company profile Ayurcare offers a full range of ayurvedic services including herbal medicine (above right) and yoga (above left) of CA$600. Ayurvedic massages are. a shaving cream and a hair gel. the institute is highly regarded in India for its training courses and panchakarma programmes. is expected to turn a profit within two years.

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the standard advice given to heart disease patients was not to over-exert themselves. and Lehr is now looking for a bigger site in the Miami area to meet demand. Ask anyone stateside. Lehr and Pritikin opened The Pritikin website gives programme guests access to information and support once they’ve completed their visit the Pritikin Longevity Center in Miami. and in 1978. The publicity gave the programme the credibility it needed. his son Paul. lean animal protein and whole grains – these are the bedrock of the Pritikin approach to wellness and health 50 Read Spa Business online spabusiness. But as well as continuing to develop the mother ship.COM/JEFFREY SMITH Exercise. and went on to live for another 28 years (eventually dying from unrelated causes connected to leukaemia). So it’s surprising to learn that. who all saw huge improvements in their health by following Pritikin’s diet and lifestyle recommendations. where patients could get started on the regime under medical supervision. Over 30 years later. The programme was originally developed by Nathan Pritikin. Pritikin set up a centre at his home in Santa Barbara. both at home and abroad RHIANON HOWELLS » CONSULTING EDITOR » SPA BUSINESS hink of an iconic American brand – Coca Cola. a renowned cardiologist. an engineer who became interested in nutrition after being diagnosed with advanced coronary heart disease at 41. Lehr contacted the producers of the US current affairs TV show 60 Minutes and persuaded them to investigate. vegetables. while it’s less well known globally. the business – now The Pritikin Organization. Convinced Pritikin had caught on to something big. Lehr is working to take the programme to a new audience through a raft of initiatives and deals. to share his findings with others. that anyone took him seriously. California. When David Lehr died in 1996. and they’ll probably be able to tell you something about the diet-and-exercise programme that claims to be able to prevent and reverse some of Western society’s most pervasive health problems. McDonalds. At that time. the company has been co-owned by the Lehr family and a silent investor. including obesity. Pritikin took it upon T himself to study world cultures which had a low incidence of heart disease.Profile Paul Lehr The Pritikin Longevity Center in Florida has achieved commercial success and scientific repute in its three-decade lifespan. took over the stewardship of the company. Now the son of its co-founder and president Paul Lehr is taking the brand to a new audience. But it wasn’t until he met Dr David Lehr.com / digital SPA BUSINESS 3 2009 © cybertrek 2009 . Marlboro – and the chances are it won’t be associated with health. Florida. Pritikin and Lehr appeared on the show twice – in 1977 and 1978 – alongside three men with advanced heart disease. PHOTO: ISTOCKPHOTO. the centre moved from its original home to its current 78-room site in the City of Aventura. In 1975. in 1956. fresh fruit. heart disease and diabetes. LLC – is still going strong. to carry on as normal and wait to die. Since the Pritikin family sold its stake following Nathan’s death. He used what he discovered to develop a special diet. Pritikin is a household name in the US. a lawyer. In 1999. Unwilling to accept there was nothing more to be done.

We believe that if you lead a healthy lifestyle you can either avoid or reverse the diseases that kill most people in the world. and a Pritikin packaged-food brand. In one study. a cardiologist and weight consultant – is currently being promoted. Also launched is a web-based scheme – MyPritikin – which enables members worldwide to get daily coaching from the doctors. heart disease and obesity. the US government has passed legislation which. and eventually realised that I needed to take care of it. Speaking to Spa Business. co-authored by Lehr and Dr Robert Vogel. Lehr has confirmed a partnership with real estate developer Boymelgreen to create a 235-unit Pritikin Living project in Houston. But some people wait until they have a health issue before they come to us – they want to reverse the problem or avoid surgery. Further deals with operators in the SPA BUSINESS 3 2009 © UAE and Singapore are under discussion. 80 per cent of people who came after being told they needed heart bypass surgery didn’t need it after five years of follow-up.Paul Lehr is leading the company into joint ventures and a Medicare tie up “We believe that if you lead a healthier lifestyle you can either avoid or reverse most of the diseases that kill most people in the world. heart disease and obesity. We prefer prevention to reversal: we’ve got a family programme. Meanwhile. and its latest book – The Pritikin Edge: 10 Essential Ingredients for a Long and Delicious Life. States I went to school to become a lawyer. so our goal is to give to people the tools they need to change the way they live” A significant source of revenue for Pritikin is its publishing arm. Because my father was the owner. 51 When and why did you join the family business? Growing up. the Pritikin Center was right across the water from my house. living in Paris. Our goal is to give to people the tools they need to change the way they live. such as diabetes. such as diabetes. I got to meet all these movie stars and I just thought it was normal! When I was older. I was a musician for a while.com / digital . Texas. I never really had any intention of following in my father’s footsteps. I used to go there all the time. and when I came back to the cybertrek 2009 Read Spa Business online spabusiness. Elsewhere. will allow participation in the Pritikin Program for heart-disease patients to be covered by Medicare – its public health insurance scheme – thereby greatly increasing the potential for a domestic rollout. Lehr explains what makes the Pritikin approach unique and shares his vision for the brand in the 21st century. How would you sum up the Pritikin philosophy? It’s essentially one of prevention and reversal. nutritionists and other experts at the Florida centre. from 2010. and run around and wait for him to finish work. But when my father passed away. where people can bring their kids from the age of seven. and we’re successful there too. before being sold to another company and recently bought back by Pritikin. which was bought by Quaker Oats in the 1980s. I started looking after the business. The company also has a supplements line. and a licensing deal with Indian health and beauty operator VLCC to roll out 12-15 Pritikin day centres in India within three years.

because we’re trying to change the way America and the world looks at nutrition and exercise – so they become the first line of defence in healthcare rather than drugs and surgery. Pritikin has sold more than 10 million books. If you look in any of the magazines where you see spas advertising. we compete with the facilities that offer those. some at Washington University in St Louis and some are going to be done here at the University of Miami. you won’t see us. I don’t really think there’s another facility that competes with us directly because our programme is more medical and results-oriented. how it works? It’s not only in some cases. the rest of it is in the processed food they’re eating. So while we have a great spa as part of our program at Pritikin. They’re funded by outside resources or our non-profit Pritikin Research Foundation. with occupancy at close to 100 per cent 62 per cent of visitors are repeat visitors. What happens is this. These are medications that doctors have told people they’re going to be on for the rest of their lives. Sixty days later. The doctor tells you to cut salt out of your diet and come back in 60 days. in the most recent study.com / digital . and we also show them how to avoid it in everyday life. So what’s the magic pill we offer at Pritikin that allows these people to get off their medication? Well. when they come to us. We have our daily cooking school for those who like to cook. 74 per cent of diabetics. they’ll only be cutting 11 per cent of the sodium out of their diet. Can you explain. coming from the UK. telling you you’ll be on it for the rest of your life. around 80 per cent of guests return to Pritikin at least once Average length of stay is two weeks Around 20 per cent of guests come from outside the US. People don’t realise there’s more sodium in cornflakes and bread than there is in potato chips and pretzels. I don’t believe any of the top spas who people compare us to have published scientific studies showing their health and weight loss results. so they don’t know to tell people that if they stop using salt-shakers. so in a sense we compete with popular diet and lifestyle books. in lay terms. You go to the doctor and get diagnosed with high blood pressure.Profile Who do you compete with? That’s hard to answer because Pritikin does so many different things. but rather have been published in more than 110 studies in the top peer reviewed scientific journals like New England Journal of Medicine and Archives of Internal Medicine. LLC. It’s that important. has published 10 million books 52 Read Spa Business online spabusiness. Greece and the Middle East Pritikin Enterprises. we take people to the supermarket and teach them to read labels. Doctors don’t learn about nutrition in medical school. 83 per cent of people on hypertension medication came off it. Spain. and the education to sustain it. It’s the results achieved at Pritikin that set us apart from others and they’re one of the reasons we have such devotion from our guests. How important is the scientific research to Pritikin’s credibility? Incredibly important. and 44 per cent on insulin. we show The Pritikin Longevity Center employs close to 200 staff Maximum capacity is 100 guests at any one time. The difference. In terms of our one and two week residential lifestyle change programme. but if that ever doesn’t have enough money then the company will sub it out of ongoing expenses. Most of the studies are done at UCLA. All our money goes into science. with the biggest contingent. In another study. Our money doesn’t go into marketing. worked out as a yearly average. you go back and you’re still hypertensive. came off and stayed off their medications. after Canada. In terms of our one or two day executive physicals programme. other guests come from France. Italy. The Pritikin Centre also offers wellness programmes for children and families Pritikin has dramatic results. is that they really are getting less sodium in their diet. it’s not magic: it’s a healthy diet and lifestyle. so the doctor says ‘salt clearly isn’t the problem’ and prescribes medication instead. The dramatic health improvements and weight loss results achieved by our guests are not marketing claims.

and when you eat a better diet.Pritikin is reformulating its food lines and plans to expand by setting up a licensing deal with a food company that has a national network Guests are advised to opt for fresh rather than packaged foods to keep sodium intake down and avoid high blood pressure How’s the deal in India progressing? We’ve granted VLCC a master licence. It was originally called Pritikin Lite. because people are focusing on health and longevity. with the kids. and want to expand. and allows us to cast the net wider for a younger. we take them to the food court at the shopping mall. programme and recipes. as it’s an cybertrek 2009 Read Spa Business online spabusiness. You bought back the Pritikin food lines. private insurance companies follow. you can control diabetes and heart disease. we’re providing the know-how. where people sign up for a 12. We’re doing field research to see what’ll work in India in terms of schedules. but we’ve changed the name to Pritikin First Step. We’re particular about who we do business with to ensure our programme is adhered to so guests get consistent results. It’s got slightly looser guidelines for sodium and animal protein. We’ll only look at forming partnerships in countries where there are significant cultural differences from the US. and we’re helping with hiring. Houston continued to do well for longer. What’s the thinking behind it? The new programme has been in development and beta testing for a couple of years. but they’re not confirmed. This may make it easier for some to follow. We’ll be setting up non-residential centres in local communities offering 12. It’s suitable for those in reasonable health who want to stay that way. if it means they can avoid surgery or get off their medication. It’s that simple. They approached us before the real estate market dropped and while every place else was suffering. This will be non-residential business. called the PM Program.or 16-week programmes. a lecture and a meal. I don’t expect there’ll be many opportunities [for Living projects] now. for example. The centres are going to offer non-residential programmes similar to something we offer here.or 16-week course and come in two or three times a week for an exercise session. and Medicare will pay for doctors. But if you come to us with severe diabetes or a heart disease. SPA BUSINESS 3 2009 © What’s next on the agenda? Will you expand in any other countries? We’re speaking with potential partners in Singapore and the UAE. Medicare will be authorised to cover certain people to undergo the programme in 72 one-hour sessions. we’d operate that ourselves. are not bad in limited quantities. while not perfect. and includes more foods that. You’ve launched a less rigid version of Pritikin. you can lower your blood pressure. them how to read menus at their favourite restaurant. healthier clientele. If an opportunity presented itself in England. Our relocation in Florida to accommodate expansion and the Medicare rollout: as from January 2010. but there will be in the future. which gives a clearer indication of what we’re aiming to accomplish. but we’ve never had an official programme for it before. What are your plans for it? Plans include reformulating and we’re in discussions with larger food companies about licensing. Medicare realises it’s worth investing a few thousand dollars for someone to go through our programme. This will enable us to expand across the US and where Medicare goes. we’ll still strongly recommend the traditional Pritikin programme. 53 Is the Pritikin Living on track? This project’s a partnership – Boymelgreen will develop and we’ll provide the Pritikin services. but they’ll be running the centres. It’s similar to what we do with the kids. ● See p54 to read our writer’s verdict of his stay at the Pritikin Longevity Center. We’re in 20 per cent of the US. exercise classes and nutrition lectures. They’re sending key people to us for training. oil economy. We’re hopeful the developer will complete without significant delays.com / digital . We teach them to make better choices – and the fact is that when you cut out salt.

All because. Florida (right) 54 Read Spa Business online spabusiness. To the uninitiated. Its claims that it could deal with the dread diseases of the modern Western world – hypertension. rather than international. was ‘on message’ and continuously reinforced. while more doctor’s visits to see how I was progressing only served to increase the strength of the medication. I also suspected that Pritikin had the potential to be life-changing. the man turned his attention to the elephant in the room: me. I still wasn’t willing to lose weight or change my lifestyle. nor the staff at the hypertension clinic. a 30-minute drive from Miami Airport. However. The exchange that followed was depressing. he could die. but it doesn’t appear to register on the collective consciousness of the medical fraternity in the UK. diabetes. dairy. Not if I’m honest Did I eat well? No. I asked my doctor whether he recommended the Pritikin approach. Florida. the complex itself is unostentatious. Not if I’m honest What did I eat? Lots of meat. My initial dealings with Pritikin. which would redress all those years of over-indulgence. possibly even an approach to life. obesity – led me to hope it would give me a set of tools.First person JONATHAN WHITTLE » JOURNALIST » SPA BUSINESS I’m a believer Jonathan Whittle signed up for a programme at the Pritikin Longevity Center and Spa after doctors told him that. measured me and took a lot of blood pressure readings. if he didn’t change his lifestyle. marketing collateral. let alone that of the public. He explains what the experience did for him A 46-year-old man. Another preconception was that the operation was rather evangelical. and in the interaction between staff and prospective guests. But once through the sliding doors and into the The Pritikin Center is located on a marina in the City of Aventura. Pritikin feels American. microwave meals and take-aways Then he weighed me. despite the appalling impact my size was clearly having on my health. But the trigger to making a trip to the Pritikin Longevity Center and Spa (see p50) and actually doing something about my health was a visit to a new doctor about a nonweight-related problem. this had the faintest hint of cultism about it. thanks to years of food-fuelled self-abuse. or add new pills to deal with new problems. But could it really be that good? NEW BEGINNINGS The Pritikin Longevity Center and Spa is located in the City of Aventura. Over the next few weeks. I’ve long been in possession of too much weight. because they’ve been constructed on the assumption that all its guests have US addresses. Hidden among high-rise condos and clustered around a marina for mega-yachts. Pritikin may be well known and well regarded in the US. further reinforced the view that this was primarily an American operation. If one doesn’t live in the US. The Pritikin Center’s website seemed to suggest it could cure all my ills: the facility appeared to have been created to deal with people like me. Having dealt with my minor complaint. one can’t use Pritikin’s online questionnaires and forms. prior to my trip. Pills were prescribed to deal with my high blood pressure and cholesterol level.com / digital SPA BUSINESS 3 2009 © cybertrek 2009 . further tests revealed the extent of the dreadful condition I was in. Did I smoke? Yes How many a day? Too many Did I drink? Yes How much? Too much Did I exercise? Yes How much? Not much. nor had the diabetic nurse. He’d never heard of it. Everything on its website. US telephone and mobile (cell) The centre is near a number of golf courses and nature walks which guests can use numbers and are users of US healthcare and health insurance systems.

the true purpose of Pritikin starts to show itself. consultations with doctors and physical assessments. the rooms are immaculately clean and fully accessorised. Past the pool. they’re polite but detached. a clinicallooking medical centre. filled with marble. are universally lovely. dining and public areas for residents. to an unreconstructed palate such as mine. doing what he’s told but not really knowing where to go next and rather worried about getting something wrong. The staples of the 55 cybertrek 2009 Read Spa Business online spabusiness. the diet is a huge challenge. or fat and very little animal protein. the food is very good – we’re just not used to good food. along with more health-testing facilities. What this does. In contrast. awful. and some of the facilities. Many of the staff are paramedics. weighed and measured.Guests are assessed by trained professionals. Most of the facility is housed in a building that used to be part of a yacht club. however. In these early days – before I fully adjust to the idea that this is a medical centre rather than a five-star resort – it’s easy to pick holes in Pritikin. but the food isn’t bad.or two-week cycle. As a result. To begin with. a bit of a throwback. GETTING STARTED Pritkin operates on a one. even a touch brusque. The rooms are immense. which means rounds of blood tests. poked. Mine has a gargantuan bathroom containing a whirlpool bath large enough to keep a medium-sized SPA BUSINESS 3 2009 © “We all hate the food. The site is shared with boat owners. as the approach is uncompromising: no caffeine. The rest of the centre has been built alongside the marina. a three-storey building houses an extensive gym and spa complex. We all hate the food. while a short walk along the dock leads to another accommodation block. Although the décor is old enough to almost be retro-chic and. This means that. Whether comparing notes on the headaches we’re getting from caffeine withdrawal (caffeine tablets are provided to those in serious trouble) or moaning about the lack of salt. where my room is located. is help to create a bond between guests. water features and attentive staff. salt. refined sugar. are shared with non-residents. I spend most of my first couple of days at the centre being prodded. and some guest bedrooms. Saturday and Sunday are registration days for new arrivals. doctors and other healthcare professionals with a tendency to treat guests like patients. The staff and repeat guests reassure us that the first few days are the worst and it will get better. the hotel employees. On the plus side. But the food isn’t bad. the food is. alcohol. all everybody talks about is the food. the food is very good – we’re just not used to good food. stylistically. brass fittings and huge models of old boats attest to its previous life. a lecture theatre. though many guests book in for much longer. I can’t help feeling like a child on my first day at school. frankly. it is. The staff and repeat guests reassure us that the first days are the worst and it will get better” porpoise. while everything is in perfect working order and beautifully maintained. This part of the centre contains the reception and administrative offices. I certainly don’t feel as though I’m on vacation. it’s obvious this is a place that’s taking itself seriously.com / digital . During the welcome tour. such as the open-air swimming pool. including an alcohol. from the maids to the waiting staff. we can graze as much as we like on fresh fruit and there’s plenty of choice during meals. in places. a bit tatty. and. The wood panelling. including doctors and dieticians glacial lobby. among the more unusual in-room amenities are vials for collecting urine.and caffeine-free bar. medical questionnaires.

C After a couple of days. I also start to see the impact of the diet on my health. What you do outside is of little consequence.First person diet are fruit. Many people. a globe-trotting lawyer. vegetables. It makes sense. yet so powerful! Your son spoke the truth – “you can check out any time you want. The degree of your adherence fluctuates based on these factors. my taste buds adjust and the old hands are right – I start to appreciate the food for what it is. while attempts to make healthy ingredients mimic full-fat. lean animal protein. It’s a revelation. guests are expected to engage The spa at Pritikin was designed by the same company that worked on Canyon Ranch 56 Read Spa Business online spabusiness. One of the great strengths of Pritikin is that it brings people together with a common purpose. But within these boundaries. the conversation revolves around how you’re doing here. commended Pritikin’s nutritional benefits and wrote “computer analysis of Pritikin’s menus shows it’s nutritionally adequate and the inclusion of animal protein sources eliminate the need Most of my fellow guests are American. which makes for a very supportive atmosphere. It can even reverse conditions that you had thought were chronic and intractable. Indeed. though a few come from Canada. unrefined grains and the occasional bit of tofu or fish. those of us with high-blood pressure start to see our levels returning to normal. Pritikin petitioned the dietary committee that made this claim to review the evidence and this statement was retracted. SUPPORTIVE ATMOSPHERE RIGHT OF REPLY PAUL LEHR » PRESIDENT » THE PRITIKIN ORGANIZATION for supplements. so inexpensive. Pritikin is not a family-centred resort. whole grains. Fresh fruit. on your Pritikin-inspired successes: weight loss. Suddenly the relationship between what we eat and our health seems undeniable. Eating the right things in combination with exercise can arrest debilitating conditions. Tailormade to each guest. bad-for-you foods are much less successful. this is a place to come and get well. but you can never leave”. After just 24 hours without salt in our diet. though not all. chair of the American Dietary Guidelines Committee. You may even want to come back for a check-up and re-education. rather than for what it isn’t. ongratulations Jon. and exercise – so simple. Your article said “some claim Pritikin may be nutritionally lacking”. Although everything is voluntary. the food tastes better when prepared and served simply. Prevention is the future of healthcare. The Pritikin version of cheesecake or chocolate mousse actually leave me wishing for a nice tasty apple. that during my stay the majority of guests are over 45. In my opinion. the centre seems to attract all sorts – my peers include the CEO of one of the world’s largest companies.com / digital SPA BUSINESS 3 2009 © cybertrek 2009 . then. Dr Janet King. it’s precisely what the Western world’s population – growing more diseased with diabetes and plaqueridden arteries – desperately needs. this covers three key areas – medical consultation. vegetables. and one or two from Europe and elsewhere. and you change your lifestyle as much as you desire (or your health status requires). away from the distractions of the real world. major reductions in blood-pressure medication. come to Pritikin with a serious health problem – usually linked to diet – with which they need help. and newly normal blood-sugar levels. You’re a great success story and we applaud you. As Pritikin is not cheap. an alligator farmer and a housewife. exercise and education – and fills almost every hour of the day. We teach the best choices. Although it welcomes children. an oil magnate.” Not only is the program nutritionally adequate. most are wealthy. This claim was made by those who inaccurately grouped Pritikin with vegetarian dietary programmes. GET WITH THE PROGRAMME The driving force of everything at the centre is the Pritikin Program.

FOUR MONTHS LATER. what’s going on in our food. coupled with the exercise I now do regularly. From Monday to Friday. from the song by The Eagles: “You can check out any time you like. in headline terms. I encountered him at dinner. My own little miracle was that I was able to stop taking my blood-pressure medication less than a day after I arrived. we would revert to our bad habits and have to come back to start again? But while some people inevitably relapse. For those who believe in and follow its teachings. it’s all good! ● 57 cybertrek 2009 Read Spa Business online spabusiness. JONATHAN WHITTLE SAYS: I’m still a work in progress but. During my stay. mostly doctors. the rewards will be better health and a longer life. physically and emotionally. and feeling the tangible benefits of the programme. Walking with the aid of sticks. post-Pritikin.com / digital . supported by the most up-to-date research into the impact of diet on health. he’s right. tucking into a salad. it’s a life-affirming place So did it work for me? In the short term. is having a continued and positive impact on my energy levels. The longer term. I’m inclined to believe that return guests are as likely to be looking for re-affirmation as re-education. with much reduced medication. sometimes. what’s going on in society – and what’s going on when we put too much of the wrong stuff into our bodies and don’t exercise enough. There are those who say that the strictures of the diet are untenable in the real world. I’m no longer in the Florida sunshine thinking only about that day’s programme. Pritikin makes you feel good. I was talking to my young son about my time at Pritikin. I lost nine pounds. The education programme is a real point of difference at Pritikin. health and lifestyle. laughing and entertaining his table with jokes and tricks – unshackled from the misery his lifestyle had wrought. he told me Pritikin was his last resort. however. The programme advocates exercise and fresh air. But I learned things I won’t forget for a long time. in the morning and afternoon. but you can never leave!” In a sense. A week later. An even bigger miracle was visited on a fellow guest who arrived the same day. bowed down by excess weight and assailed by illness. Pritikin can offer SPA BUSINESS 3 2009 © ‘miracles’ to help the faithful to believe. While the benefits are self-evident.fully with the programme. reducing my risk of developing diabetes. Pritikin has its critics. to 110:80. Once in the Pritikin bubble. the classes are interactive and authoritative. such criticism seems irrelevant. It feels trustworthy and important. (The fish was put back!) ings back to normal and took myself out of the at-risk bracket for type 2 diabetes. This is supplemented. which. like all good religions. my blood-sugar and insulin levels are now within normal ranges. He said it sounded like the Hotel California. The science is compelling. is a different story. The real test is how far I can remain true to the Pritikin lifestyle in the real world. of course. Did this mean that. while others claim that the very low fat levels impair one’s ability to absorb essential vitamins. there’s no denying it. So. with optional classes such as yoga or aqua-aerobics. Back home. Pritkin offers an experience that is almost religious. Quiet and patently unhappy. My blood-pressure readings have gone from 150:110. I can’t help wondering if the centre could lighten up a little without losing its sense of purpose. A LITTLE MIRACLE For those guests who come to be converted. In addition. the first part of the morning is given over to exercise: a personalised programme of cardiovascular and resistance training alternated with core stretching. Taught by highly qualified professionals. broadly speaking. got my blood-pressure read- Whittle big game fishing off Florida during his visit. The rest of the day is given over to classes on nutrition. I sleep two hours a night longer than I used to. which means that. he was a big man. exercise. life at Pritikin can seem a little puritanical. his walking sticks forgotten. with lots of medication. It’s an opportunity to learn exactly what’s going on in our bodies. my weight has gone from around 18 stone when I went to Florida to around 16 stone today (after a very substantial ‘break’ for Christmas!). And. During my stay. I was concerned that half the guests I met were repeat visitors.

58 Read Spa Business online spabusiness. ORIENTAL HERITAGE While it’s good practice to keep treatment offerings fresh and interesting. the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group (MOHG) will roll out its own-branded treatments and products worldwide. WE FIND OUT MORE T his month.Treatments KATIE BARNES » MANAGING EDITOR » SPA BUSINESS Tales of the Orient THE MANDARIN ORIENTAL HOTEL GROUP HAS LAUNCHED A TREATMENT AND PRODUCT CONCEPT ACROSS THE GLOBE. This is serious business. they need a common binder and that’s what this is. an investment of this amount is not something any company makes lightly. MOHG’s group director of spa. We also wanted our products to be natural. “We’re a rapidly expanding global chain that needs a core. although we don’t want to label ourselves as this. While each spa has a degree of individuality. such as local treatments. This isn’t just another private-label launch however. Neither is this something introduced on a whim to win over customers in the credit crunch: it’s something the group has been working on for more than four years and has invested hundreds of thousands pounds in. like many of our competitors: the brand is Mandarin Oriental. “We have a strong Oriental heritage. The seven other spas in the portfolio will follow suit once licensing approval is granted.” says Andrew Gibson.com / digital SPA BUSINESS 3 2009 © cybertrek 2009 .” Gibson says. 11 MOHG spas – stretching from Tokyo to London and Miami – will be ready to win over guests in these times of economic gloom with a series of innovative new offerings. “Mandarin Oriental Spas are not sub-branded. so the treatments had to have this base. It’s a tangible expression of the Mandarin Oriental philosophy. From 1 June. this is a new spa therapy concept: a hybrid of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and aromatherapy.” The idea to develop an own-branded product and treatment line was something that had been on the cards for around two years before Gibson joined MOHG in early 2007. There are strong elements of TCM in what we’re doing. “The process began with me trying to crystallise the Mandarin Oriental philosophy.

The 90-minute massage that follows focuses on certain merid“Everybody knows the efficacy of aromatherapy and meridian ian points over the body. We also massage with essential oils.com / digital 59 . Geraldine Howard. Andrea Lomas. but trying to get them questionnaire. And although determine whether we were able to distribute the many people think aromatherapy is just Swedish products to all the countries [that MOHG is based in]. From MOHG ment – reflecting yin and yang. when key figures from the two companies the guest two oils to smell and choose between for their treatgot together for a five-day brainstorming session. Aromatherapy massage (based on the Marguerite Maury technique) is based on Eastern techneeded to be sure we could meet the criteria to get the products niques and meridian massage. From Arooils. the been devised as tailorfrom each other.” says Gibson. two of the company’s senior on the digestive system. it’s not. says: “People think it’s easy to put a product their personal.” Mandarin Oriental one table things seemed to slot into place. which lasts that people just aren’t aware of. based on difficult to get them working effectively in TCM. holistic medical doctor. the therapist gives the concept occurred.” he adds. earth.to work together is very complicated. cost-effectiveness. The experience. lemongrass.” registered. fire. each was Gibson. Claire Beardson. which is a real Chinese massage. There are five oils altogether. and Howard’s business partner Sue Beechey – the first people who are linked to the earth element. “There are probably about 10 different massage styles. Essential oils are complex subdecision was made to go with Aromatherapy made treatments for stances. metal and water. Then it’s about production. for gional trainers from the Americas and Asia.” for two hours. so unless you really understand them. each guest. current line together. begins with a questionnaire and a physical analysis It wasn’t until January 2008. comprises lemon. The earth oil. We did a lot of research into numbers and it’s a massive process to work out how many products are going to be The Mandarin Oriental Spa Therapies have been devised as a used in all of these spas around the world and this is something tailor-made treatment for each guest. “It was a phenomenal team. but it isn’t. Howard Then came choosing a company to make the Spa Therapies have says: “We all worked well together and learned products and here. that the real shaping of of the spine’s pressure points to determine the individual’s personal and current state of wellbeing. the head of group spa operations who of which have been custom-blended by Aromatherapy Associates has been a major driving force for the concept since its inception to support the problems associated with each of the five Chinese and has had an integral role in its development. SPA BUSINESS 3 2009 © cybertrek 2009 Read Spa Business online spabusiness. and an independent example. however. time in 15 years that Beechey and Howard have collaborated on a new line of oils for spas. Yet [Aromatherapy] oils and scrubs are the easiest with this experienced team collaborating around way to do this and keep authenticity. Based on this. Both of these are troublesome areas for trainers. after a tendering process. MOHG’s reelements: wood. depending on the answers given in the massage. There’s a massive busistate of wellbeing All of the essential oil blends we’ve developed link ness consideration. coriander and cardamon Chinese. accepted and legal in all of these countries. Logistically we needed to to one of the five Chinese elements. it’s Associates. as these help to energise people and work particularly well matherapy Associates was Howard. minimum order quantities WHEEL OF WELLNESS and stockholding. co-founder.

based on an adapted version of the menu engineering process from Cornell’s Restaurant Administration Simulation Exercise (CRASE). bespoke nutritional and exercise guidance is offered to guests according to their original consultation – this has been developed in conjunction with Hong Kong-based lifestyle coach Ross Eathorne.com / digital than worth it though because this is giving us a foundation to really take the [Mandarin Oriental Spa] philosophy and expand it. As well as a signature retail line.” Gibson agrees: “I think that would be the reward for all of those involved: to get all the guest feedback forms saying that this is something they really enjoyed. If you are a person that understands spa treatments. in addition. low sales). “The therapist may start on one side of the body. as a therapist. bespoke nutritional and exercise guidance is offered to guests according to their original consultation – this has been developed in conjunction with Hong Kong-based Ross Eathorne which are based around the meridians. The prices start at £10 (US$16. “It’s been tested with our staff and management for the best part of a year. we’ve tested it on consumers in Hong Kong and Chinese doctors have checked it for authenticity to ensure we’re hitting the right meridian points. Plow Horses (high cost.” says Aromatherapy Associates’ Geraldine Howard. the group will also extend this line of thinking to teas and music for customers. It’s more 60 Read Spa Business online spabusiness.” But the concept doesn’t stop at the massage. Our aim was to maximise Stars and Plow Horses.” says Sonee Singh.Treatments As well as a signature retail line. then you’ll recognise the complexity of what we’ve done.” Gibson says. high sales). If you don’t. but I also think that if you’re a public business today and you’re not taking care of that. MOHG’s regional director of spa – the Americas. body wash and body lotion and a range of candles and travel-sized products. each treatment manager from 12 spas underwent two weeks of training – headed up by Aromatherapy Associates representatives.” BRAND VALUES In parallel to treatment and product development. you’re losing an advantage. Mandarin Oriental’s Andrew Gibson adds: “The challenge is to deliver on luxury. That’s something personal to me. 35) for a pack of five body oils. incorporates body and bath oils matched to each of the five elements. “We call this our wheel of wellness: we’ve looked at the different components of wellness and we’re building that into our concept. We’ve now got a tangible core to our wellness philosophy and you can’t place a value on that. who headed up the exercise.” ● SPA BUSINESS 3 2009 © cybertrek 2009 . All the packaging is eco-friendly. “We took every single treatment from our spas worldwide and analysed them on cost versus sales. MOHG has cut its spa menus down to 25 treatments. but maintain a well-balanced menu. high sales). leaving enough room for the new signature therapies to make their mark. To further prepare for the rollout.” Although Gibson admits that the timing of the launch at the height of a global recession is far from ideal. what is MOHG hoping to achieve? “The investment has been very high end. or work up or down. I think it will actually motivate a lot of people and give them a reason to come and see us.” says Gibson. developed in conjunction with Aromatherapy Associates.” As such. he’s remaining positive. “But the real upside is the brand value. “This is something both of us feel strongly about. low sales) and Puzzles (low cost. what really makes me tick is knowing how these fantastic treatments and products are going to help people. as well as a generic body scrub. “The result was a grid of Stars (low cost. something positive. but to also have respect for the environment. Dogs (high cost. It’s very complex. Lomas and MOHG’s regional trainers – five months before launching. with everything in place.” Howard says: “For me. So. In the future. 11) for the travel body wash and go up to £31 (US$49.” says Gibson.” HOME IMPROVEMENT The Mandarin Oriental signature product line. MOHG has been putting its spas through a ‘treatment menu engineering exercise’. All the products use natural ingredients and are devoid of chemicals such as SLES and parabens (see SB06/1 p22 for more details about the use of chemical ingredients in skincare). “It’s this thought process that makes us unique. it doesn’t really matter: all you’ll need to know is that you’re going to get a fantastic massage. “If we get that back within three years that would be very good. He concludes: “I think it will offer some glimmer of hope to people. and minimise Dogs and Puzzles.

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. with every hole facing the sea. the wellness centre is one of just a handful of facilities.com / digital SPA BUSINESS 3 2009 © cybertrek 2009 . Costing €6m (US$8. £5. Turkey where helping guests to regain a personal sense of perspective is high on the agenda. 62 Read Spa Business online spabusiness. aimed at distinct Yoga in the Zen garden: the resort sits on 2. and plans to launch a full programme – supervised by a qualified ayurvedic doctor and incorporating a significant dietary component. Alongside a whole gamut of other spa services.5km of secluded Mediterranean coastline. narrow.. For golfers. Side and Manavgat – has two clearly defined USPs. or SSC (see p65).53m. plus a training academy and 16 golf villas.15m). humbling Taurus mountains provides a fitting backdrop to the Sanitas Spa & Wellness centre in Antalya. specialising in the Indian discipline of ayurveda. including ayurvedic cooking classes – by 2010. the facility offers numerous ayurvedic therapies. but only a handful specialise in ayurveda. for those seeking rejuvenation.5km of secluded Mediterranean coastline The LykiaWorld Antalya resort is combining links golf with the Indian discipline of ayurveda to give itself a competitive edge in Turkey’s top tourism region markets. Meanwhile. The 449-room resort.Resort spa CAROLINE WILKINSON » JOURNALIST » SPA BUSINESS world of wellness T he beautiful. in collaboration with the LykiaGroup and architects Artspa. the centre is a central element of the five-star LykiaWorld & LinksGolf (LWLG) Antalya resort. The resort is part of the LykiaGroup portfolio and is owned by Turkish company Silkar Holding (see p64). the 4. in a region with over 70 hotel spas.000sq ft (372sq m) wellness centre was developed by ayurveda specialists Sebose Spa Consulting. There are plans to launch a full programme for this discipline – supervised by a qualified ayurvedic doctor and including ayurvedic cooking classes – by 2010. which can only be reached via a long. Sitting on 2. dirt track snaking between pomegranate crops and shanty towns. The region has over 70 hotel spas. located over 30km from the nearest tourist hub and the ancient towns of Belek. there’s an 18-hole links golf course (the country’s first).

such as yoga. In addition. But now every hotel with more than 30 rooms has a spa. which have increased by 10. This has had a significant impact on the Turkish spa industry. take place in a. so have experienced ayurvedic treatments. says Ingrid SeligaBostanci. and according to Seliga-Bostanci: “[Ayurveda] is nothing new to this clientele. Finnish and Russian saunas and steamrooms and an indoor. while the rest are Turkish. the centre also maintains its Turkish roots. around 70 per cent regularly travel to India. Almost 80 per cent of LWLG guests are Russian. founder of SSC and manager of the LykiaWorld wellness centre. while the resort itself features duplex ‘hammam residence suites’ with private Turkish baths. This duality is consciously evoked in 63 cybertrek 2009 Read Spa Business online spabusiness. shore front Zen garden.” To give the LykiaWorld facility a competitive edge in the region. DUAL CONCEPT Turkey sits between two continents – Asia and Europe – and this is reflected in its culture. no hotel had a spa.” To add authenticity to its offering. the facility’s 24 treatment rooms include two massage suites with ‘dronis’ – surprisingly comfortable. tennis and water sports – complement the wellness experience. They had just a small corner for massages. the facility has a group hammam and two private ones. British or German nationals. a room for Thai massage and shiatsu. particularly in the province of Antalya – often referred to as the country’s capital of tourism. traditional wooden beds that absorb the warm sesame seed oil used generously during ayurvedic treatments. wooden treatment beds or ‘dronis’ absorb the sesame oil used during treatments (left). Activities on offer at the resort – from belly-dancing and Turkish cooking classes to swimming.” says SeligaBostanci. two couples’ suites with private whirlpools and two beauty treatment rooms. Rebalancing classes. SSC decided to avoid the term ‘spa’ and the water-based treatments associated with it. a balneo room with a Vichy shower. including a thermal area with bio. t’ai chi and meditation. “A Turkish spa can not be without Turkish baths.” Attila Silahtaroglu. adds: “A good spa is one of the most important investments to differentiate a holiday product from its competition. focusing inSPA BUSINESS 3 2009 © The resort at night (top).5 million since 2004 to 23.com / digital . However. who has 27 years’ experience in the sector: “In the early 1990s.8 million in 2007. a post on a beach or a facial cabin. other parts of Asia or America. a LykiaGroup board member. Japanese pool lined with cedar-wood and an extensive relaxation area.COMPETITIVE EDGE Spas are becoming an essential ingredient in Turkey’s new hotels and resorts. There’s also a room for kalari massages – ayurvedic massages performed with the feet and hands. including one for couples. Antalya welcomes almost 30 per cent of Turkey’s tourists. In line with this. the centre has a range of other facilities. the women’s changing rooms (right) stead on ayurveda and ‘wellness’.

com / digital cybertrek 2009 . including a massage for mum. if a person is vata. as often. their imbalance is likely to be related to muscles. massages from other cultures – including Swedish massage and Hawaiian lomi lomi – and beauty treatments. To tap into the golf market. or ‘third eye’) and Tibetan singing bowls therapy. seaweed-based products. According to Seliga-Bostanci. The LykiaGroup portfolio comprises LykiaWorld Ölüdeniz. while to cater for families. Another subsidiary of Silkar Holding is Silkar Mining Joint-stock. Details: lykiagroup. and Thailand-based Panpuri. which specialises in marble and natural stone production and supplies the floorto-ceiling marble that can be seen throughout LykiaWorld & LinksGolf Antalya. fruits. shirodhara (the pouring of warm oil onto the forehead.com Goddess of Beauty programme. there are three multi-day programmes. as needs change from day to day. a tightening cure for the body which is ideal for new mothers and the five-day Maharadsha Kings Cure. which combines a wide range of ayurvedic therapies. the immune system is likely to be the source SPA BUSINESS 3 2009 © Read Spa Business online spabusiness. guests are encouraged to take up the offer of an ayurvedic analysis prior to their treatment. or psychophysical type. Swiss brand Mavala. It took Seliga-Bostanci four months to create the treatment menu. This can be predominately ‘vata’. sleep disorders and headaches through a combination of marma abhyanga (stimulating ayurvedic massage). Eastern herbs. dad and baby and a seminar on baby massage. “the treatment a guest wants isn’t the most suitable for them. LykiaLodge Kapadokya. treatments include those incorporating Japanese singing bowl (below left) ABOUT THE LYKIA GROUP The resort is part of the LykiaGroup portfolio. green tea or coffee. which entered the tourism sector in the 1980s and has become a pioneer in recreation tourism. In contrast with common practice in resorts with spas. Ayurveda focuses on rebalancing a person’s ‘dosha’. which is designed to relieve chronic exhaustion. treatment menus are not placed in guest rooms or on the website. For guests staying at least a week. yogurt. which includes the thalasso-focused Manolya Spa (also launched by Sebose Spa 64 Consulting). spirit or organs. ‘pitta’ or ‘kapha’ or a combination of these.Resort spa the wellness centre. which offers treatments from both Eastern and Western traditions. Skincare products are supplied by French company Algotherm. owned by Turkish company Silkar Holding. there’s the Ayurveda Happy Family bundle. These include the five-day Ayurvedic Laksmi. nerves. which offers parabenand phenoxyethanol-free.” says Seliga-Bostanci. Pitta is linked with digestion and metabolism and for a kapha person. The resort (above) has 449 rooms and about 20 per cent of guests use the spa. and LykiaConference Turkey. Instead. For some ayurvedic body treatments the products are made fresh on-site using organic. the centre offers golf-specific treatment packages.

Once the dosha has been established. Turkey’s first thalasso spa. So far. At the LykiaWorld wellness centre. GROWTH POTENTIAL Seliga-Bostanci recruits most therapists fresh from college with a basic qualification in massage or beauty. During my visit. Other projects the firm has consulted on include a thalassotherapy facility within the five-star Kempinski Hotel of any problem. the language barrier is an issue. moving to Turkey from Germany in the early 1990s. LykiaGroup’s Silahtaroglu says they expect a return on investment in eight years. The centre employs seven Turkish staff. adding that she would like to employ three Balinese therapists for the summer season. walk and behave. However. an employer must have 10 Turkish nationals to every foreigner. The Sanitas Spa & Wellness centre is SSC’s fourth resort spa project in Turkey. in the first year of opening. Seliga-Bostanci hopes to increase staff to 30. her Turkish husband Yücel Bostanci and her sister Susanne Seliga (both massage therapists). when she and the other foreign staff had left. this SPA BUSINESS 3 2009 © isn’t an issue for SSC. Crucially. Her first project with LykiaWorld was the Manolya Spa. before going on to manage numerous other spas. conversation outside these boundaries is limited to hand signals and gestures. at LykiaWorld Ölüdeniz. considering the small size of the Turkish spa market. the Czech receptionist. India. ● 65 cybertrek 2009 Read Spa Business online spabusiness. arguing that good value for money in Turkish hotels will lead to an increase in the number of visitors coming to the country in search of spa and wellness experiences. a treatment can be prescribed to bring the body into balance. I couldn’t help but wonder how they would manage during the winter months (November to February).to eight-week courses at the College of Ayurveda and Panchakarma in Kerala. Ingrid Seliga-Bostanci has been a qualified beauty therapist since 1982. although Seliga-Bostanci says she can get a good indication of someone’s aliments by looking at skin texture and build.com / digital . owned by German-born Ingrid SeligaBostanci. and trains them in ayurvedic therapies herself. she and Yücel Bostanci. her husband and business partner. a lymphatic massage qualification that can only be obtained in Germany. employing foreigners was challenging. and took on an additional three foreign workers during the busy summer season (March to September).The cedar-lined Japanese pool (above) is an unusual addition to the experience on offer at the Sanitas Spa & Wellness centre ABOUT SEBOSE SPA CONSULTING SSC is a family-run firm specialising in thalasso. as well as the way they talk. who spoke five languages. As business grows. answered on the day of treatment. wellness and ayurveda. while recruiting local staff was relatively easy. where she worked as both a consultant and a therapist. Although therapists are provided with a basic list of instructions and questions in English. completed two six. the state qualification needed to conduct in-house training in Turkey. as the wellness centre’s numbers are balanced out by the Turkish staff count within the resort overall. 20 per cent of the resort’s guests have used the centre. Between 2006 and 2008. Although under Turkish law. says Seliga-Bostanci. as non-Turks must demonstrate a rare specialism in order to get a work permit – for instance. she also holds an Ustalik Diplomasi. While Seliga-Bostanci insists communication inside the treatment room is crucial. as she believes they’re particularly skilled in massage. Meanwhile. was called on to conduct consultations and translate queries from guests. and Seliga-Bostanci is confident this will improve next year. this analysis takes the form of a 30-minute questionnaire.

which help it mend. you don’t dehydrate as you do at real altitude. Thanks to simulated altitude heart rate technology. 4. However. But what did that bilitation. as it changes I’d come to The Altitude Centre. if you do hypoxic training. In order to appreci“In addition. Costs: £3. there’s recovery.500 (US$5. fatty deposits. “That metabolising oxygen and glucose. it helps to understand the couraging the body to produce more regenerative human science – and. Training: No formal qualifications are available at the moment. we’re making one of the reasons hypoxic training can be used for rehayour heart beat faster. encouraging less wear and tear.” less and ‘oxic’ is oxygen – ‘less oxygen’. But that’s what industry. your body’s you the stress of reduced oxygen. director of The Altitude Centre. er. “Also. the oxygen supply is STRESS LEVELS cut off. Risks: “You should check fitness levels. allowing users to breathe hypoxic air when training on any piece of equipment on the gym floor. so there’s no increased risk of thrombosis.” says Pullan.900. you stress your body. I was assured.com / digital . as it changes lipid levels. air – and can help improve hormone levels responsible for have more energy. The equipment works by reducing 66 the oxygen in the air to reflect the number of oxygen molecules in the thinner air at the heights being simulated (around 2.” says Pullan. it helps you look and feel younger by enate its applications. for example. blood pressure and so on. which they aim to offer through a UK university. mean physiologically? What were the fitness benefits of “Human growth hormone is responsible for producing reducing the oxygen supply to my body? new cells – it stimulates the body to recover.” Pullan explains. It can even help bring down blood ercise bike in the centre’s hypoxic chamber.” says Pullan.” the body to mend quicker by making everything work S SETTING UP A HYPOXIC OFFERING Options: There are two ways of providing hypoxic training – through a mask. The UK is its biggest market.250) for a hypoxic room. It can speed up metabolism levels.” he continued. you can run faster and further. Your body protects itself – it can’t go to the same maximum heart rate as at sea level. from £15. 17. UK. Every chemical reaction in hypoxic training can help. into fitness centres and possibly spas. You feel better. Increased production of human growth hormone is also “By changing the air you’re breathing.” Read Spa Business online spabusiness. to cellulite by speeding up lymphatic drainage and boosting find out how simulated altitude (or hypoxic) training can collagen production: poor drainage and weak collagen be used for rehabilitation and how it can be incorporated production is the cause of these uneven. but there are no reported cases of negative effects of working at simulated altitude. Thailand and Australia. however. We find out about its benefits happens when the oxygen and whether spas could offer it too levels in the air surrounding you are reduced to Pullan thinks some of the benefits would be of interest simulate high altitude environments. more red “If you train at the gym. “If they can’t weight-bear.” explained Richard Pullan. The Altitude Centre and ATS are developing a training programme catering for all levels from personal trainers to a masters degree.Fitness KATE CRACKNELL » JOURNALIST » SPA BUSINESS EXERCISE HIGH hort of breath.500– 3.050) for the mask set-up. to experience it for yourself.600. more capillaries to help the body repair itself. If I give In the same way. Hardware: Equipment is made by Hypoxico and is distributed in the UK by The Altitude Company. growth hormone – something it naturally does less as you And so it was that I found myself climbing onto an exget older or heavier. it helps asthma. “It’s the same with breathing. Distance learning will be an option. just as you would in any normal health club. Training at requires no exercise at all – simply breathing hypoxic altitude is like giving your body a tune-up. the on-screen number indicating my body’s current oxygen levels began to drop. if you break or tear something. a service which spas can and do offer.000 (US$23.000m for a first session). there are various ways “This has many benefits. “Indeed. It’s that hypoxia that stimulates the osteoblasts in the cell to produce more collagen type 1 and 2.” become more efficient with the oxygen it breathes. although it has partners across the world including China. medical history. or building a small hypoxic room in which you then place standard fitness kit. It adapts to that stress and gets used to it – that’s how you get strongblood cells. Right on cue. You’re more efficient generally. altitude training is starting rising – and yet I was to gain a foothold in the fitness standing totally still. When someone is injured. they your body requires oxygen – the body produces energy by can do intermittent hypoxic training. your body will adapt and more likely to produce these things. as I started to HYPOXIC REHAB pedal. “‘Hypo’ means pressure and cholesterol levels. to spa-goers: “It can help with weight loss. in the Metis Physithe way your body metabolises food and can help treat otherapy and Rehabilitation Centre in London.

UK.com / digital 67 .The City Point Club in London. has Hypoxico equipment supplied by The Altitude Company and has opted to install the mask system which allow users to breathe hypoxic air while training on any standard item of fitness equipment in the gym SPA BUSINESS 3 2009 © cybertrek 2009 Read Spa Business online spabusiness.

giving those classes a cardio training element.COM/MEDICAL faster. institutes of sport and professional sport clubs. for example – when someone is injured for more than three weeks. The triathlete who was selected for the OlAltitude Centre’s kit at ympics.” says Pullan. club in London. It helps them stay fit. “We can convert hotel bedrooms so people can get a 24-hour treatment in their sleep. and they’ve been able to get players back into the system quicker. putting less load on your injury.com / digital cybertrek 2009 . Meanwhile. use the room for yoga or pilates too.CHAMPNEYS. athletes can train their bodies and maintain some level of fitness. Pullan’s partner company ATS (Altitude Technology Systems) has set up the world’s first hypoxic group cycling studio. he got the silver medal at the Junior World Championships. And. did intermittent hypoxic training and then. Fives.” he says. hypoxic air could then be pumped into this when the client is lying face down. of course. “In the professional football clubs in the UK where we’ve built hypoxic rooms – Liverpool and Tottenham. a high-end club in London has a hypoxic room. hypoxic training means you can have a quicker workout. participants switch but still get the same CV workout. We did the full package with him: he slept in a hypoxic tent. is installing hypoxic chambers in fitness suites to aid general fitness. trained in hypoxic conditions. You could. This is something that health clubs operators are already doing. in Australia.” ● SPA BUSINESS 3 2009 © HYPOXIC WELLNESS But is there a market for hypoxic training in spas? “Definitely. “The best benefits of hypoxic training come from a course.Fitness PHOTO: WWW. CV stress is higher in a hypoxic circuit classes in its hypoxic room. After just five weeks of proper training. “Hypoxic training has particularly taken off in New Zealand and Australia. the [UK] junior workout (top right). UK. got a stress fracture in 2007 and Champneys Tring (top left) was on crutches. and the day spa at City Point Club in London. You can’t discount the psychological benefit in that. the more intense the workout the better – and you get a higher intensity workout at altitude. so they can go straight back into full training as soon as the injury’s repaired. “More gyms are becoming wellness orientated too.” says Pullan. Just by breathing in the air. “I have some Danish people coming over who want to build a hypoxic spinning studio – spinning is massive in Scandinavia. With a hypoxic massage muscles will be more relaxed and your capillaries will dilate to increase blood flow. to lose weight or to train to climb a mountain or some other physical challenge. “At the moment. “If you’re looking for calorie burn. usually lasting about two weeks. the physio hands them over for hypoxic training. of course. it’s about getting maximum returns. His company has already installed an altitude centre in two UK venues: Champneys Tring. ATS has built hypoxic rooms in four health clubs and is talking to a large chain about launching in their sites. Pullan says “you will feel calm and relaxed due to a rise in serotonin and dopamine. we’ve built one at the Stephen Price gym in Chelsea. Called Hypoxic intensity. the public tend to come to me with a goal in mind – for example. Obviously they can’t train at the same intensity as when they’re fit so The Third Space health they’re not getting the same CV challenge. For members who are short of time.” 68 Read Spa Business online spabusiness.” Pullan feels that hypoxic systems could be used to create a mountain chillout room. “We already supply Olympic athletes so they get the benefits of altitude training in their sleep. However. while New Zealand has a population of 5 million people and about seven of these centres.” Another suggestion is to use hypoxic systems to add another dimension to sleep health. however. FIT FOR GYMS The area where Pullan sees the most crossover in spas. as well as the installation at The Third Space. but short-term exposure can have benefits. “Most of the facilities we’ve built in the UK are in universities.” One such short-term exposure could include devising a bowl to fit onto headrests on treatment tables. in which circuit classes are held – known as Hypoxic Fives – where participants switch between five pieces of CV kit. Just by breathing less oxygen. when he could weight-bear. between five pieces of CV kit to get a high intensity “Alistair Brownley. it’s mostly elite athletes who use hypoxic training for rehabilitation. offers However.” says Pullan. He’s also installed a hypoxic room at an anti-ageing clinic in Barcelona. so you can exercise at a much lower chamber. Members can use the room at any time as part of their membership. The Third Space. so I can see it taking off there. imitating an offering which is usually restricted to spas in high altitude climates.” This could provide a unique selling point to the growing number of hotels and resorts which are launching spa bedrooms. “In Australia. “Then. when they’re able to weightbear they can start to train in a hypoxic environment. “At the European Football Championships the Belgium team had massages while breathing in hypoxia.

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contain ingredients that are 80 per cent natural in origin and are being marketed as a ‘personal trainer for the skin’. A scrolling interior light display can be used.net KEYWORD : I-SOPOD Ecocert-certified hair range launched by La Biosthetique A haircare range. Named after the region in Portugal in which it’s made.5˚C. it’s claimed to be both thick and comfortable under a client’s feet when they step out of the shower. The luxury line contains products from almost 100 per cent natural sources. or silence. Containing 1.net KEYWORD : BALINEUM spa-kit.net KEYWORD : YON-KA The i-sopod relaxation device is unveiled Floatation centre The Floatworks has revealed the i-sopod. while the Advanced Optimiser Creme contains white lupin. its luxury weight is intended to make sure the edges won’t curl once it’s been washed. is free from silicones. The products are intended to stimulate cellular activity of the epidermis and dermis. The range has been intensively research by La Biosthetique scientists. Made from 100 per cent soft cotton with a heavy weave. 35. which has been certified ‘eco-friendly’ by the French organisation Ecocert. Both products have undergone rigorous clinical tests.Spa products Spa Products Balineum debuts Braga bath mat / SARAH TODD » PRODUCTS EDITOR » SPA BUSINESS Balineum has unveiled its latest addition – the Braga bath mat.000 litres of water and 500kg of Epsom salts. Other ingredients include marine collagen.net KEYWORDS : LA 70 BIOSTHETIQUE Read Spa Business online spabusiness. parabens and paraffin oils and is made without synthetic colourings or fragrances. vitamin C and silicon-rich horsetail extract. the i-sopod can be produced in a range of colours. The Advanced Optimiser Serum is rapidly absorbed and has hibiscus as a key ingredient. the water and air inside are heated to skin temperature. so users can’t work out when their body is in contact with the water. spa-kit. spa-kit. as well as repairing and protecting the face. for people who are 35-years-old and above. Based on three years of research and development. accompanied by soft music. spa-kit. a new sensory relaxation device designed for commercial use. Braga features a woven floralgeometric pattern inspired by traditional Portuguese textile designs. has been launched by the La Biosthetique brand under its Natural Cosmetic range. A new lift ing and firming facial treatment has also been launched to further support both products. Yon-Ka’s new anti-ageing range launches Two new products have been introduced under the Yon-Ka brand. Furthermore. Available in two colours – clay and white – the bath mat is also machine washable.com / digital SPA BUSINESS 3 2009 © cybertrek 2009 .

net KEYWORDS : SYSTEMS AROMATHERAPY ASSOCIATES A versatile. the mask. log onto: spa-kit. Easily absorbed. incorporating the new range. while the Super Power EZ Lift has a battery-assisted ‘lift and lower’ function. spa-kit. spa-kit. is the latest addition to Elemis’ Tri-Enzyme Programme. and have a lift ing capacity of 28. A patented self-heating solution called LavaGel that contains natural minerals. The ingredients from the teas can be incorporated into bathing rituals. An Age Repair Facial.com / digital 71 . Containing pure plant extracts and essential oils.net KEYWORDS : SUNTRAP Innovative massage tool is launched spa-kit. A selection from the company’s range will soon appear at the spa in Blythswood Square hotel in Glasgow. which is scented with fresh jasmine flowers. swimming pools and hot tubs have been unveiled by aquatic lift developer Aqua Creek Products. The manual Super EZ Lift is operated by a hydraulic ram. Currently popular types include the Jasmine Silver Tip Tea. algae and sea kelp is placed within the shells. it contains an anti-ageing peptide.net Two products added the Elemis portfolio Elemis has developed the Pro-Collagen Body Serum and the Tri-Enzyme Resurfacing Gel Mask. comprising six new retail products and an introductory set. All are intended to slow the ageing process and leave skin plumper and more supple. the range includes a Fine Line Facial Oil and a Rich Repair Eye Cream.net KEYWORDS : LAVA SPA BUSINESS 3 2009 © SHELLS cybertrek 2009 Read Spa Business online spabusiness. décolleté. the anti-ageing tetra peptide and the patented Tri-Enzyme Technology. allowing a smooth transition into and out of the water. including the backs of hands.net KEYWORDS : RARE TEA Anti-age skincare collection by Aromatherapy Associates Aromatherapy Associates has enhanced its portfolio of products with an anti-age skincare range. the arms and abdomen. paracress (a South American herb) and padina pavonica (a brown alga from the Mediterranean).net KEYWORD : ELEMIS Disability lifts for spa pools and hot tubs Two disability lifts specifically designed to be used in spas. or to contact any of these companies. as well as being used in refreshments. the mask is formulated to remove dead skin cells and accelerate cell-renewal to leave skin appearing smoother and more radiant. Containing amino acids. eco-friendly massage product called Lava Shells has debuted in the UK and Europe. combined with acacia. Scotland. and the Flowering Silver Tip Tea (above). spa-kit. spa-kit. Sourced from the Philippines. the gel generates heat for up to an hour-long massage. Rare Tea Company extends mountain tea range into spas The Rare Tea Company is further expanding into the international market with a number of new launches into spas. The other new product. The body serum aims to restore firmness in specific areas of the body. acerola cherry. Therapists then use one or two shells to deliver continuous heat during the treatment. Both lifts are made of epoxy powder-coated stainless steel.5 stones. When combined with salt water. the shells were previously regarded as a waste product of an everyday Filipino seafood diet.For more information. has also launched.

Facial Massage Oil and Moisturising Lotion. each of which are hand-crafted from either copper or brass. spa-kit. Deep Cleansing Facial Melt.net KEYWORD : GHD Certified organic facial products for Pinks The Pinks Boutique Organic Facial range has launched.Spa products Parmar & Parmar’s bespoke furniture The UK-based furniture company Parmar & Parmar is setting its sights on the international spa industry.net KEYWORDS : PARMAR AND PARMAR New web bookings software introduced by Gumnut Gumnut Systems has unveiled its new Real Time Web Bookings Interface. providing furniture and adornments as well as architectural. a heat-resistant leopard print styler pouch and a black case. Surprisingly light. The company is working on a number of spa projects. as well as Organic Eye Make-up Remover. Night Balm.com / digital BOUTIQUE SPA BUSINESS 3 2009 © cybertrek 2009 . packages and classes but also purchase gift vouchers and products online. The intelligent interface gives spa clients real-time website booking access directly into Gumnut Systems. radiant skin. The RARE hair straightener set has just been released by ghd. spheres and intricately carved wall panels. spa-kit. resulting in a unique and matchless piece. In addition. Designed to help restore the skin’s natural balance. Managers and owners have total control over what services and packages are available on any particular day or specific times of day. 2009 also marks the third year that ghd has been voted as one of the coolest brands in the UK via the annual CoolBrands® survey initiative. Organic Ocha Cleanser. It offers exclusively designed pieces such as inlaid glass tables (pictured) and hand-painted silk pictures. the products are packaged using recyclable glass and minimal plastic and card. An added benefit of the range is that copper and brass warms up instantly. Toner and Facial Massage Oil. the baths weigh from 45-80kg and are said to be a great addition to any spa suite or hotel room. it stocks an array of reclaimed Indian furniture and artefacts. Each individually handmade bath takes skilled craftsmen 120 hours to create. and Anti-Age Serum. to prevent excessive waste. while a durable coating allows the baths to withstand high volume usage. interior and landscape design services. alongside exterior pieces such as planters.net KEYWORDS : GUMNUT SYSTEMS spa-kit. hydrated. spa-kit. essential oils. Clients can use the website to not only book appointments. The range conforms to European safety standards and contains organic ingredients from sustainable sources that are certified by the UK’s Soil Association. Handcrafted baths from Spa Vision Spa Vision has introduced a collection of luxurious traditional baths. Suitable for vegetarians. There are a wide range of options for finishes to suit both contemporary and traditional projects. The full Pinks Boutique range includes: Organic Lemongrass and Mandarin Cleanser.net KEYWORDS : SPA Ghd IV styler in limited edition tribal style VISION spa-kit. Available at all approved ghd spas and salons.net KEYWORDS : PINKS 72 Read Spa Business online spabusiness. the products contain herbs. the limited edition set contains a black ghd IV styler with golden plates. Toner. retaining the temperature of the water. natural antioxidants and plant extracts to promote clear.

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” ● For a free copy of Does Green Sell in Asia. except when it came to spa visits/services. MD and founder of CatchOn & Company concludes: “Our study suggests that simply being green isn’t enough to sway Asian consumers unless green practices are communicated in terms of cost savings and health benefits. brand/quality and health concerns. however. compared to non spa-goers. Generation X (aged 28-43) the ‘PragmatiX’ were ambivalent. Babyboomers (aged 44-59) the ‘True Greens’ were the most receptive. Words and deeds also parted ways when purchasing decisions were made. Cathy Feliciano-Chon. they were actually less likely to participate in eco-friendly practices – such as recycling. who made up 58 per cent of the subjects. email rina@catchonco. Singaporian. A new consumer survey looks at the green movement in Asia.News report KATIE BARNES » MANAGING EDITOR » SPA BUSINESS PHOTO: ISTOCKPHOTO. While active spa-goers professed to be more concerned about the environment. D Called Does Green Sell in Asia?. their purchase decision criteria and the premium they were willing to pay for eco-friendly goods. active spa-goers did not rate ecofriendliness as a more important driver across any of the categories. While they claimed to be less concerned about the environment and green habits. such as electrical appliances. eco-friendliness was the least influential factor when purchasing products. Spas should. Results from convenience sample surveys do need to be treated with caution. with a special focus on spa and non spagoers. still consider greening up their act because it makes economic sense. SPA-GOING SYNERGIES A special spa section of the report sought to verify the belief that active spa-goers are more likely to demonstrate LOHAS (Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability) traits than non spa-goers (see SB08/3 p62). and non spa-goers. Yet when it came to purchasing decisions. eco-friendliness consistently ranked low as a factor. although attitudes differed across generations (see below). Chinese. Generation Y (aged 13-27) the ‘Tween Greens’ showed the most potential. non spa-goers were actually consistently more generous and willing to pay a higher premium for green products than active spa-goers. The only exception here was that active spa-goers were much more likely to buy an eco-friendly spa service than non spa-goers. While 60 per cent were very concerned about the environment. The result showed that active spa-goers are not more inclined toward green practices and consumption. household products and food. Although they claimed they were more likely to purchase eco-friendly products/ services. Malaysian and Filipino consumers.COM/PANORIOS GREEN TALK oes it pay to have a business that is eco-friendly in Asia? Possibly not.com SPA BUSINESS 2 2009 © 74 Read Spa Business online spabusiness. The sample base was split into active spagoers (who had visited a spa at least twice DIFFERENT STROKES FOR DIFFERENT FOLKS The study showed a difference in attitudes toward eco-friendliness among generations in Asia. the free report explored consumers’ concerns for the environment. according to a recent convenience sample survey released by Hong Kong-based consultancy CatchOn & Co. in the last 12 months). there was no significant difference between active and non-active spa-goers.com / digital cybertrek 2009 . Thai. We find out more This was echoed in the choice of spas. with only 16 per cent of subjects saying they would be most likely to choose an ecofriendly spa. their propensity to opt for eco-friendly products. What’s more. their commitment to eco-friendly habits. reducing waste and using energy efficient electrical appliances – than non spa-goers. The survey showed that there was a source of green sentiment in Asia: 58 per cent of respondents were “very concerned” about the environment and 97 per cent were willing to pay a premium for ecofriendly goods and services. personal care products. They had the most concern about the environment. When it came to the likelihood of buying green products. The most important factors for choosing a spa were price. however. they consistently ranked eco-friendliness higher when buying products and would pay a higher premium for them. Price was their top concern. suggesting some groups may be better eco-targets than others. Data was gathered – via online surveys and one-to-one interviews – from 248 Hong Kong. as they do not represent the entire population. participated in more green habits and bought more eco-friendly products.

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