Spa: A Comprehensive Introduction
Philosophy of Spa
Philosophy is often considered a foundation upon which people build their knowledge and belief structures. The Greek word for philosophy translates to “love of wisdom.” It is appropriate then, that this text begins its exploration of spa by delving beyond the business models and types of treatments to take a close look at the wisdom and “why” of spa philosophy encompasses the deeper meaning and sacred significance of spa.
Most of the world begins its definition of spa with water. Without water, most say, there is no spa. The original spas—mineral springs and hot springs—have been a part of relaxation and healing in many cultures for millennia. Towns with hot springs grew into popular destinations for holiday retreats.
Variations of Spa
There are many approaches to spa throughout the world and each spa provides services according to its own unique vision and mission. As the number of spa locations increased dramatically during the 1990s and into this century, classifications became necessary to categorize the array of spa experiences being offered in the market.
When spa-goers talk about spa, the language they use includes such words as:
These images and associations create exceedingly high expectations among guests for their visits to spas. They expect from spas deep gratification, or something close to it. Their high expectations derive, in part, from the way the word “spa” stands in their minds as a symbolic promise of unusually meaningful and pleasurable life experiences.
Retail Management for Spas
During the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries numerous European spas ﬂourished and were supported with full medical staffs and professional personnel. Typically spa visitors were sent to a resort spa by their home doctors in order to “take the waters” and “make a cure.”
Spas have long centered around responding to the needs of people to ﬁnd relief from stress, improve their health, and enhance their overall wellness. Spas design their treatment menus around meeting these guest needs. The retail environment of a spa is a part of that entire package, one that complements and supports the spa’s philosophy.
Bob Hope was known to mention the beneﬁts of his daily massage for feeling so well in his later life. Unfortunately, it is the rareﬁed few who will enjoy the beneﬁts of a daily treatment. This is one of the reasons that retail ﬁts in with the overall purpose of spa.
The word “retail” covers a broad expanse of businesses. It can cover anyone who sells anything in small quantities to the person who will consume those items. Retail stores take on a lot of different appearances. They can be huge department stores, small souvenir shops, arts and craft booths, or gift shops.
Even in the spa environment there is no single picture that illustrates retail. Rather there is a collage of portraits ranging from shelves in a hallway to large boutiques to cozy lounges to shiny displays.
When it comes to retail, there are a lot of players who contribute to making it a success. There are partners, such as the media, ﬁnancial institutions, local businesses, and charitable organizations, all of which can also help a spa business grow and succeed.
Uniform System of Financial Reporting for Spas
A uniform system of financial reporting establishes standardized formats and account classifications to guide individuals in the preparation and presentation of financial statements. The recommendations set forth in this uniform system are based on a consensus of spa industry financial executives, public accounting authorities, consulting specialists, and a leading academy expert, and are consistent with generally accepted accounting principles.
Financial Management for Spas
This text is intended to provide spa beginners and veterans alike with a better understanding of financial management. Our hope is that you will learn to embrace the accounting process and to understand that, while accounting is in many ways a science, there is also an art to financial management. In the end, you will be able to appreciate the beauty in numbers.
Spa Operations Manual
The customizable manual includes comprehensive materials for spa job descriptions, new hire checklists, standard departmental information, specific departmental procedures, staff training, common spa treatments, reference guide templates and more.