The Spa at Four Seasons Bahrain Bay: Where Luxury and Innovation Meet
In the Kingdom of Bahrain’s capital city of Manama, The Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay is a soaring architectural statement on its own exclusive man-made island. As the second largest Four Seasons spa with 17 treatment rooms and five swimming experiences, The Spa at Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain combines the same beauty and innovation as the building it is housed in. Director of Spa Chandarella Luzon gives insight on what it’s like to run a spa in such an inspiring, yet challenging environment.
Using Technology to Enhance Guest Experience
For booking incredible treatments and experiences, The Spa’s guests rely on the Four Seasons Mobile App, a tool Luzon has found useful for promoting The Spa to hotel guests.
“The new app literally puts our legendary customer service in the palm of our guests’ hands,” she says.
“Through many features and functions, guests can easily check-in and check-out, order room service or amenities, or book their preferred spa appointment well ahead of their arrival to Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay.” While many may view this technology as impersonal, Luzon doesn’t see it that way.
“While it’s true that technology lacks the personal interaction, we are glad to live up to our guests’ expectations once they arrive to our spacious spa. Exceeding guests’ expectations is something we are constantly striving for at Four Seasons.”
Meeting the Demands of Spa Guests
The Middle East is the fastest growing area in the world for wellness tourism, therefore it’s important for Luzon to pay attention to guest needs and expectations in order to keep The Spa at Four Seasons top of mind for potential and repeat customers.
“We are glad to see that more and more guests are interested in wellness therapies and Eastern treatments, and they have become more health conscious,” says Luzon. “We use their preferences and constructive feedback to continuously add new offers throughout the year that are in line with their needs.” An interesting way of doing that is revamping hotel and spa food offerings to compliment new treatment options. This allows guests to feel they are getting a more well-rounded experience. Says Luzon, “Our latest addition to the menu of Jasmine Lounge - our café located in the female Spa - is fresh raw vegan dishes along with slow-extracted juices. Our Executive Chef Stefano Andreoli is a great ambassador of health-conscious cuisine and we are very lucky to have him on board with us.”
For Luzon, these spa menu updates are constant throughout the year. “We revisit our competitive analysis of the market on a regular basis to make sure we always create something extraordinary for our guests,” she notes.
Because their menu is constantly being reevaluated, The Spa at Bahrain Bay is dedicated to regular staff training and education. Annually, The Spa brings in product line experts to train the staff on best practices and uses. The Spa also runs in-house trainings bi-monthly during the busy months and monthly during the offseason to ensure the staff is always prepared to give guests the highest level of service. “These trainings guarantee that our staff will be able to provide the utmost in luxury service and expertise to our guests,” adds Luzon. “It’s what sets Four Seasons Bahrain Bay at such a high level in our guests’ minds.”
While it’s true the Middle East is a hotspot for wellness tourism, that only means the market is more competitive for The Spa at Four Seasons Bahrain Bay.
“The Kingdom of Bahrain is a relatively small island in size, yet rich in history and culture,” says Luzon. “Hence the market is very competitive and indeed abundant in stand-alone and hotel spas.” And while it is a beautiful and unique addition to the Manama skyline, The Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay is still fairly new, having opened in March 2015. They still are working to earn the market’s trust.
To do this, The Spa is extremely active on social media, using Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Google+ to reach a range of potential guests.
Luzon also partners with Four Seasons sister properties to capitalize on their particular expertise. “One of our most successful counter promotions is the Thailand Collection, which includes exclusive treatments from Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai,” explains Luzon. “We launched this promotion last September and ran it for two months with the support of two excellent spa therapists from Chiang Mai. The feedback from our customers was so great that we decided to launch it once again in 2017. We offer eight treatments under this initiative and it’s currently available both for males and females.”
These partnerships allow The Spa at Four Seasons Bahrain Bay to expand their expertise and attract a broader range of guests. Plus, Luzon has found that mixing up her spas offerings proves beneficial. It never hurts to keep people on their toes.
Spa Quick Facts
Spa open date: March 1, 2015
Facilities/amenities: 17 treatment rooms, unisex gym, female gym, 5 swimming experiences, salt inhalation room, jacuzzi, cool mist room, prayer room, Antigravity Yoga,
Percentage of guests (male vs. female): 60% males, 40% females
Number of full-time spa staff: 40
Product lines used: ila, Coola
Most used marketing channel: members’ newsletter, website, social media, in-house promotional tools
Phone Number: +973 1.711.5000
Thermes Marins Bali – AYANA Resort and Spa Bali: Prioritizing Staff to Meet the Changing Needs of Bali’s Tourists
Opening a new spa can be an odd combination of stress and excitement. Stress because everything is new and you must implement and create everything from scratch. Excitement because it is a fresh start and, like Ocean Edge Resort, you know adding a spa will be an incredible asset in the long run. Project Director Suzanne Corcoran and Consulting Spa Director Joanna Roche share the struggles and success of opening The Beach House Spa at Ocean Edge in picturesque Brewster, Massachusetts.
Amid opening the brand-new Beach House Spa at Ocean Edge, Corcoran and Roche have been met with many challenges, but splitting the load between the two of them has proved extremely beneficial.
“Both of us dig in where our specialties lie,” says Roche. “There are two of us so we are able to divide and conquer.” Corcoran agrees by saying, “Joanna has an extensive background in operations and management and I have been in the marketing and real estate development business, so I am responsible for branding and marketing.”
Technology and Staffing
When opening a new spa, you tend to focus on the fun stuff: aesthetics and products. But while implementing operational systems isn’t glamorous, it is a necessity with a new business.
The good news is, starting from scratch means The Beach House Spa is able to start out with the latest in spa technology. They don’t have to worry about the pitfalls of outdated systems. “The challenge of course is using and training ourselves and our staff on new, very sophisticated technology,” says Roche. “But, because we are new, we will have several opportunities to train our staff as a group instead of wasting time and money training staff members individually.”
Before opening, Roche is making a point to fill as many positions as possible and undergo as much staff training as she can fit in. This way, upon opening day, her team is more than prepared. All staff will be CPR certified, trained in booking software, and will undergo product training before opening day. Roche has also made it a priority to train her staff in self-care practices. “We want to make sure their role as healers is supported by us and their work experience at The Beach House is positive and strong from the start.”
Branding, Marketing and Attracting Spa Guests
Because The Beach Club Spa is housed in a resort club community, Corcoran has an opportunity to target an initial customer base by offering Ocean Edge Club Members a 15 percent discount on all retail and services. “We’re hoping this discount will keep our regular bread and butter base happy while attracting more people to become Ocean Edge members.”
In addition to a base of Ocean Edge members, Corcoran is implementing unique program offerings and a neutral, nautical theme to attract a wide range of additional spa guests. “We wanted the design of The Beach House Spa to be gender neutral,” notes Corcoran. “It’s a casually elegant place with a comfortable beachy vibe. We determined from the start that we were interested in attracting new populations to the spa: millennials, men, and people who do not consider themselves regular spa goers. We wanted anyone to feel comfortable walking through our front door.”
To attract these populations, Corcoran is designing programming that includes a beginner’s meditation class, a “broga” class for newbies, a local craft beer tasting, and a drumming class. She continues, “Our goal is to attract new clientele and have them feel so comfortable in our space that they will be inspired to return for a service, tell a friend about their experience at the spa, or pick up a gift card for someone else.”
Also, Cape Cod is the second most popular wedding destination in the country. At Ocean Edge Resort, there can be anywhere from two to four weddings each weekend from May through October. Corcoran and Roche noticed there was nowhere on the resort that was designated for brides and their maids to prepare for the big day. To meet this direct need, the pair created The Side Porch. This beautiful sun filled porch offers a private living room with comfortable seating area, private restroom (so not to disturb spa guests in the locker area), a large dressing room, and four hair and makeup stations. The Side Porch has the ability for guests to play their own music, and food and beverage service is provided by the hotel.
This space alone will attract a huge number of existing Resort guests to the spa and Corcoran and Roche expect it will be booked every weekend during the busy season.
To build this audience and get the word out about their unique offerings, Corcoran is relying heavily on social media and email marketing. “We feel strongly that if you are building an audience that you want to trust you, you should have something valuable to say. We use beautiful high quality images and post frequently, with news or a sense of humor, but not frivolously. No preaching! All posts reinforce the brand we are trying to build.”
Spa Quick Facts
Spa projected open date: May 15, 2017
Facilities/amenities: 5 treatment rooms, facials, massage, nails, waxing, a multi-purpose and self-contained Side Porch for parties and group activities.
Number of spa staff: 25 full and part-time
Product lines used: HydraFacial, Beach House Blends (in-house product line)
Most used marketing channel: Instagram, eblasts, Facebook
Phone number: 774.323.6230