Spas as Entertainment


It’s kinda funny how data points have a way of coming together. And by data points I’m not talking about anything techie. I mean you hear something over here, you read about something else over there and then way off in the distance you see another thing and then all of a sudden… BOOM! It all comes together. These points of data are all related, or could be, to the same general concept.  And so it was with the idea of Spas as Entertainment.

I recently spoke at the Spa China Summit in Chengdu. My presentation was – Will the Hotel Spa Survive? I’ll share that presentation later. But for now I want to tell you about another speaker, Dr. Leon Alexander. I consider myself a ‘hotel guy’, by trade. That’s where I started my career and I think to this day it defines how I work and how I think. By that measure, Leon would probably define himself as a ‘salon guy’. But like me, Leon has been drawn by other industries and concepts, not strictly related to the salon business, but nonetheless very relevant to it.

Leon’s presentation was all about the consumer of the future and what they want from us. One of my key takeaways from his presentation was the idea that consumers are looking to be educated and entertained. Entertained! Now this is where I started drawing lines of comparison. If you’ve been following my stuff at all you’d have noticed that I’m a big believer that spas need to find a more compelling offering as we move forward. We need to give our guests – or consumers as Leon likes to call them (more on that a bit later!) –  real reasons to come and spend their time and their money with us. Entertainment would do that!

Here Comes Another Dot…

And then, sitting in the Oman Air lounge at Muscat Airport a few days later, I pick up a copy of Asia Spa magazine and see a story on the Ritz Carlton Singapore’s Cello Concerto. This is a special treatment where you have a cellist play for you whilst your having your massage. To some, it may seem like a ridiculously indulgent thing that only the mega rich would ever even consider. To me… That’s Entertainment!

I mean think about it. It’s turning a spa treatment into a performance. Personally, I’m a fan of head down and head up for a massage. So for me, I’d only here the music. But for those who like to turn the head to the left or right, they’d get to enjoy the visual performance as well. Anyone who’s ever watched a live classical music performance knows that simply watching the musician play is, in and of itself, enthralling, entertaining and relaxing.

First dot.. hotel spas need to offer something more.

Second dot… consumers want to be entertained, not just sold to.

Third dot… Ritz Carlton’s Cello Concerto Treatment.

Hello! Hello! Earth calling Spa! Hello!

Connecting the dots is really not that complicated. It’s like my Mum always used to say. You have two ears, two eyes and only one mouth. That’s not an accident. Use them in proportion. Watch and Listen first. Speak later.

Does anyone else have any examples of entertaining / interactive spa concepts?