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Deliberating Disconnection

September 7, 2023

The spa is an oasis of serenity where guests should enjoy a tranquil escape: one designed to free them from stresses and encourage them to focus on wellness. While many spa professionals and their customers might agree with that sentiment, the specifics of the experience they envision are far from unanimous.

A common culprit in the debate over an ideal spa environment is personal technology devices. Does an incoming text message or email alert diminish and detract from spa’s promise of a temporary escape? Or does scrolling social media or multi-tasking increase and intensify the benefits of an hour- or day-long getaway?

From spas advertising a strict “digital detox” to facilities offering high-speed wi-fi as a market differentiator, perspectives abound on appropriate electronic device policies. Hear from four ISPA members as they discuss their spas’ “digital disconnection” strategies and share insights about guests’ preferences.

Delivering a WOW Experience

December 14, 2016

Delivering a Wow Experience – How to Create Exceptional Service Habits 

By Dr. Bryan Williams


It all begins with a thought. Thoughts turn into words, words turn into behaviors, and behaviors turn into habits. In fact, anything we consistently do will become a habit. Napoleon Hill wrote: “Thoughts are things, and powerful things at that.” It generally takes anywhere between three to four weeks of daily repetition to form a habit, but once it’s formed, it is very difficult to not do it. The mind doesn’t know if it’s a good or bad habit. Your mind just accepts whatever you feed it, and the habits ensue. To deliver a consistently exceptional service experience, there must be habits that are hardwired throughout your entire team.

Evolve or Become Irrelevant

September 5, 2023

How do you make sure your spa stays relevant with the changes we’ve experienced in the past several years?

Embrace technology

Touchless therapies have become popular—especially during and since the Covid pandemic. While acknowledging that “it can be scary to embrace technology,” Emyln Brown offered hope that “it can also lead to change,” and the panel shared ways new technology can be a positive change for spas.

Amanda Al-Masri finds “more people are interested in wellness, but we have less people to work” and advises spa leaders to “embrace touchless therapies, as it’s a great way to add revenue. Hands-on therapies are still very important and should not be replaced, but the touchless helps amplify results.”

“Touchless is complementary to human interaction,” agrees Simon Marxer. “Being able to offer a broad menu is sound business.”

Exceptional Experiences: Providing Excellent Customer Service

September 5, 2023

In many industries, companies follow one of two “go to market” strategies: focus on providing extraordinary customer service, or emphasize low prices. While most bus[1]nesses make efforts to cater to both goals, every company leader has one or the other priority in mind when making day-to-day decisions. For spas, the default is nearly always to promote great experiences.

The challenge of creating a customer-centric environment is not new. But many spa leaders say staffing turnover during and since the pandemic has exacerbated an existing issue. In an era of decreasing service mentality, how can spa leaders train and promote exceptional customer service? Conversely, do spas face a decreasing return on investment when trying to win the approval of every client?

Forbes Five Star Q&A

September 5, 2023

The Forbes Five-Star criteria for spas has undergone major changes recently. Michael Conte, Forbes Travel Guide’s senior executive trainer, recently joined an ISPA Town Hall to discuss what those changes are, and to offer advice on how to ensure our spas provide extraordinary and extremely personalized services to obtain or keep those Five-Star ratings. ISPA Chair Patrick Huey moderated the event.

Getting Organized and Quickly Improving Productivity at Work

March 7, 2024

Pulse: As a Knowledge Builder presenter at the 2024 ISPA Conference, you will address the ISPA membership about organizing our professional lives. Share a little about what that means.

Andrew Mellen: Calling BS on “busy”—sharing strategies and best practices to maximize efficiency and productivity without becoming a robot or soulless automaton. We’ll dive deep into time management and the “8 Deadly Time Thieves”—interruptions, overcommitting, poor planning, multitasking, email, meetings, social media and procrastination.


Global Best Practices to Jumpstart Success

December 15, 2016

Global Best Practices to Jumpstart Success – How to Elevate Your Spa’s Wellness Programs

By Jean-Guy De Gabriac

There’s a reason why sharing best practices is important in our industry. Doing so ensures that we are able to identify the proven-and-tested solutions and ideas that can help us elevate our practice to a higher level and create the best possible standards for the spa industry. Sharing best practices, especially on how we plan, develop and deliver spa wellness programs and activities, will help us build tools, strategies and resources that can jumpstart success for our spa or business.

Handling ‘Colorful’ Conversations with Guests

June 12, 2017

Have you ever made a mistake with a customer? Of course you have!

Harmony in Heritage: From Rebuild to Renewal

April 11, 2024

The Mokara Salon and Spa underwent more than just a renovation in 2022. The facility at Omni’s flagship property, the Omni Tucson National Resort, received a down-to-the-studs rebuild.

At one point, they considered moving the spa to a different area of the property. The rebuild was part of a multi-million-dollar reimagination of the resort. Everything from guestrooms to the haciendas to the casino to the lobby to the fitness center was given a new look.

And while Michael Maruca, general manager for the hotel, stresses the spa is a resort spa and not a healing one, Mokara has become a “respite for renewal.”

Harmony In Heritage: One renovation lays the groundwork for the next at Chateau Elan

April 11, 2024

Renovations are technically never finished at the Spa at the Chateau Elan. While the resort itself completed a $25 million renovation in 2020 and a major renovation of the spa followed a few years later, Director of Wellness Terra Orndorff said those renovations merely lay the groundwork for everything the spa is becoming and for continual changes and upgrades.

The recent major renovation eliminated Vichy showers and added more massage treatment rooms. They now have 26 treatment rooms, of which four are for couples. They also have 14 spa suites that are overnight guestrooms. They refreshed all their public spaces, upgrading them with natural wood, linen upholstery, tailored furniture and mod[1]ern lighting so they could achieve a look both classic and contemporary that matched the renovations of the resort.

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