The Performance of Hotel Spas

Anna Luebke - Apr 26, 2010
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Many types of spas are being developed in hotels and resorts, from luxurious facilities with extensive public water facilities to creatively-designed treatment rooms and relaxation areas. However are hotels introducing spas as profit centres or are they simply a competitive draw card to increase guest numbers?

Intelligent Spas’ Global Spa Benchmark Program collects a wide range of information about spa facilities which enables detailed examination of the key differentiators between hotel and resort spas versus day spas. Some important research findings on the global spa industry are summarized below:

Spa Design

  • Hotel and resort spas are significantly larger than day spas with the largest hotel spas being developed in the Americas and Middle East/Africa regions.
  • Just under half of the indoor space in hotel spas is allocated to treatment rooms, which is less than day spas. Hotel spas in the Asia Pacific region allow the highest proportion of space for treatment rooms.
  • There are slightly more treatment rooms on average in hotel spas compared to day spas. Hotel spas in the Americas region contain the highest number of treatment rooms.
  • Hotel spas are more likely to offer support facilities such as relaxation areas, change rooms, saunas and steam rooms in comparison to day spas.
  • Day spas are more likely to offer water treatments such as large hydrotherapy baths, private Jacuzzis and Vichy showers.


Hotels Guests Visiting Spas

‘Build it and they will come’ is a dangerous philosophy when it comes to spa developments as a variety of marketing campaigns are necessary to generate visits to the spa and maximise the spa’s revenue potential. It is easy to assume that many hotel guests will notice the spa and book an appointment, however this is often not the case. Many guests need prompting to visit the spa as that spa time competes with many other commitments and activities both business and leisure guests already have, and will, schedule during their stay. Unless the spa is open to hotel guests only, it is quite typical for a reasonable mix of spa visits to be non-hotel guests. Also, hotel guests often visit local day spas or other hotel spas if their hotel spa is not effectively promoted. The latest global research on hotel spa guest mix is presented below:

  • Globally, 64% of hotel spa guests are from people staying in at the accommodation property.
  • Compared to other regions, hotel spas in the Americas region receive the highest proportion of total spa visits from guests staying at the accommodation property, with almost three quarters of spa visits coming people staying at the hotel.
  • Almost half the visits to spas in the Middle East/Africa and Europe regions are from people not staying in the adjoining hotel/resort.

These research findings highlight the importance of spas also catering to their local markets in terms of operational policies and procedures and incorporating local day spas in competitor analysis activities.


Key Performance Benchmarks

  • Day spas receive more visits per year on average compared to hotel spas.
  • Hotel spas receive more annual revenue than day spas.
  • Annual revenue per treatment room is higher in hotel spas.
  • Hotel spas generate more revenue per employee on average compared to day spas.
  • Revenue per visit ratio is higher at hotel spas.

This research clearly identifies there is more potential for hotels to cash in on spa goers. With more thoughtful and targeted marketing to existing hotel guests, as well as local residents, hotel spas may generate more revenue, compete more effectively against local day spas and prove a more viable and profitable department within the hotel.

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