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The Spa Experience

Apr 15, 2013  By 

 Over the past decade the spa industry has been booming all over the world. Many spa associations, spa certifications, spa academies, and spa awards have flourished. The goal is to guarantee the best spa experience to customers and to deliver the best service based on strong policies and procedures. A story about my most recent Spa Experience

 Last week, it was time to spa. I decided to book a spa treatment in the most beautiful spa on the Red Sea, one of the ‘leading spas in the world’.

 Here I will detail a total of seven distinct factors that turned what I expected to be a very pleasant experience, to one that was unpleasant. And all of these factors could have been easily avoided.

Over the phone, the reservation agent was nice, polite and accommodated my booking according to my needs.

 A friend of mine recommended an Indian spa therapist. Unfortunately, she was not available, she had just gone back to India. The receptionist assured me that the new therapist was also very good and skilled in Ayurvedic treatment.

 I arrived at the spa and entered through a large lobby that was full of marble and a little icy! I found that the spa staff recruitment correlated to the decoration of the lobby, it was icy too. I was instructed to pay up front and that I would receive my change and invoice later as the receptionist had to go to the hotel reception. I took my locker key no. 43 and headed to the changing room. But unfortunately, I couldn’t find locker 43, the number on the door was missing!

 I had time to relax around the pool before my treatment and I decided to have a snack for lunch. After one hour’s relaxation, I was still waiting for the bartender to come with the menu. He was just behind his bar nearly asleep! Finally, I went to see him to place my order.

 I was ready for my massage and arrived in the lounge area five minutes before the scheduled time. Ten minutes later, I was still there alone in the empty marble lobby! Finally the icy receptionist passed by with a customer. I asked her where the therapist was, so she went into a panic trying to find her. Finally the Indian therapist arrived and ran up to me saying “I’m coming in two minutes”.

 Next, I entered in the massage room and discovered a fantastic brand new sound system…next to the sink sat a mobile phone, so that’s where the Indian music was coming from! Unfortunately the massage was a disappointment too! I knew it the second she started applying oil over my back with very rough hands. During the massage, I felt her sweat dripping on my arm and her hair dropping on my face when she put on my eye pillow. After one hour, the mobile phone was running out of battery and the music stopped. It was time for the head massage but I couldn’t stand it. I thought my head would blow up because of all the stress! Finally, I asked her to finish the massage prematurely.

 This spa experience was as awful as the label ‘Leading Spa of World’ was appealing!

 To summarise, the seven negative parts of this spa visit were:

  1. 1-The cold receptionist to match the cold decor
  2. 2-Being unable to find my locker
  3. 3-The unresponsive bartender
  4. 4-Waiting for my massage
  5. 5-The panic of disorganisation
  6. 6-Music played through a mobile phone
  7. 7-The poor quality of the massage

  8. Running a spa is not as simple as we imagine. It’s not a matter of spending many millions to build the most beautiful spa. It’s not about being affiliated to the most impressive label or using the most prestigious cosmetic brand. It’s a matter of people! We are touching people’s emotions. The True Spa Experience is a matter of feeling – it’s how we interact each other and how we make this intimate moment unique. It’s a philosophy of life to inculcate in spa therapists that any hotelier should be aware of.

About Aurelie Denoueis

Aurelie Denoueis

Aurelie Denoueis is care of The Hotel Solutions Partnership Ltd

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