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a typical spa

It is designed to give you a better understanding of the tasks that lie ahead and to act as a manual or check list to ensure that, as you progress, you don’t overlook the key issues involved, regardless of what stage of development your spa is at. This extended section can be used on its own, as it provides numerous


apply and we address them here. There are a few things that are so important, they should be remembered


at all times during the development of your spa. If they are overlooked now, you may not have an opportunity to put them right at a later stage. So remember: Staff Your most important asset. Look after your staff and provide them with a decent working environment. Journey Consider the spa journey for all your guests, from arrival to departure, so that they enjoy an easy, uncomplicated and pleasurable experience. Signage So regularly overlooked. Good, clear and attractive signage throughout your spa will assist in the journey flow and help with visitors’ safety and security. Give thought to style and positioning of all signage, it should harmonise with your design. Operational As far as possible, make sure that your back of house operation doesn’t interfere with front of house. Think about deliveries, laundry, cleaning and maintenance. How much of this can be carried out without being seen by your guests?

tips and hints about the major areas and components of a spa, but it will be far more useful if used in conjunction with the previous three volumes of Spa Source where more detailed information relating to each area can be found. You will find references to previous editions and to the relevant chapters that can assist you. It was important to collate information provided from experts working at

different stages of spa development, including concept and set up, design and ongoing management, to ensure that none of the key factors were overlooked. To this end we are indebted to consultant, Lisa Knowles, spa designer, Ian Sherman and owner/operator, Cathy Ball.

he plan opposite reflects a large hotel spa and is for illustrative purposes only. All spa projects differ in available floor area, layout, concept, style and budget. However there are many constants that

Employment Contracts section one

A typical Spa

Storage You should plan for your spa to grow. As it does you will need more space for storage. Most spas under-provide for storage - don’t be one of them! Costs Expect the unexpected and provide for it in your budget. Any number of things can go wrong during the development of your spa or in the early stages of operation and these will inevitably cost money to put right. These extras will need funding so provide for them in your business plan. WOW Factor What will people remember about your spa? Whatever it is, rest assured, they will tell others. Will they remember your friendly staff or an exceptional treatment? Will it be the stunning design or the attention to detail? Let your guests become your most effective advertising. Provide them with a special and unique experience. Your long-term success will depend on this so make sure that you have a number of memorable elements throughout your spa.

The following twenty pages are organised as double-page spreads, each covering the main areas of a typical spa and colour-coded as illustrated below, and shown in the Key...

etting up and running a successful spa can be a hugely demanding business. There are bound to be times when you need expert advice and support from consultants, architects, accountants, solicitors, financiers, thermal spa specialists, spa designers, Product House suppliers, recruiters and trainers, marketing and branding companies or researchers.

Spa Source is not intended to replace any of the above service providers.






12 14 16 18


OUTDOOR AREAS spasource 7

22 24 26


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section one

Treatment Area & Deep Relaxation W

henever possible, treatment rooms should be kept together within a self contained treatment area that can be closed off – this will allow for cleaning whilst other parts of the spa are still open. If space is available the treatment area should incorporate a waiting space and a Deep Relaxation room...

6 spasource

Location It is important that treatment rooms are not disturbed by outside noise, so they shouldn’t back onto gyms, noisy swimming pools or plant rooms. Lighting In the treatment rooms lighting levels should have at least three settings. Try to avoid ceiling spotlights, especially if they are directly above a guest’s head, although diffused ceiling lights are acceptable. Wall lights, up-lights and down-lights are better for creating moods and atmosphere. A light source by the therapist’s work surface is required. If you wish to have candles within the


26/07/2010 12:43:18

a typical spa

treatment rooms they must be in candle- holders and you should get approval from your local authority beforehand. Controllable lighting is also needed for the Deep Relaxation room. This room would traditionally be fairly dark and cosy so small reading lamps are advisable for guests. In the waiting area and corridors

more dramatic light effects can provide interest, enhance special wall finishes and highlight artworks and features. Treatment Room Design Single treatment rooms should be a minimum size of 3m x 4m. All treatment rooms will need a basin, some workspace, storage, wall and floor plug sockets and air-conditioning. Some wall mounted air-conditioning units can now be ‘disguised’ with attractive ‘art covers’ to fit into the colour scheme or general design, so they needn’t be ugly appendages. A discreet alarm button should be available

for therapists to use in the (unlikely) event of unwanted attention from guests. Make sure that at least some of your treatment

rooms have integral showers. Doors should not slam so fit silent returns. Create space under work surfaces to keep

trolleys when not in use. Keep equipment in cupboards when not in use: guests should enter

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an inviting, clutter-free environment. Ceilings should be clean or provide an attractive

design feature, like a recessed area with hidden light sources. Mirrors are preferred by many clients to check

themselves before they leave the room. Further information on treatment room design is available in Spa Source Volume I, Chapter 6 Floors Corridors outside the treatment rooms should be either carpeted or laid with a soft, sound absorbing material. Floors inside treatment rooms can be of any material suitable to the design although they should not be noisy or squeaky. Couch Your selection should be based on functionality. Couches should be adjustable for therapist and client comfort throughout the treatment. See Spa Source Volume II, Chapter 1 Music A choice of music should be available with the

option of silence. Couples Rooms These rooms have grown in popularity although when not in use they can seem like wasted space. Some spas have created single rooms with soundproofed sliding, hideaway walls that can be pulled open to create double rooms. Couples rooms tend to be more popular in hotel spas that cater for weddings (for mums and daughters) and in hotels that offer romantic breaks. Deep Relaxation Room Not all spas will have the space for this area although for guests to get the most benefit from a treatment it is highly recommended that they rest completely afterwards. Many will have the overwhelming desire to sleep and this should be encouraged. Deep relaxation is a sensory experience that should make guests feel warm and cosy, comfortable and secure. This room could provide a selection of seating styles including adjustable recliners, deep sofas and large,

comfortable chairs. Music may be provided with headphones and those wishing to read should have individual reading lights as, generally, this room should be kept fairly dark. Refreshments should be available. Corridors & waiting space Corridors deserve designers’ attention and they should never be boring. They form a part of the spa ‘journey’ and as such should stimulate the senses. Arched walkways, recesses for statues or flower arrangements, glazed walls with exterior views, dramatic lighting, artwork, inset lighting in floors and stairwells, water features in breakout area, antique or contemporary furniture, tactile wall surfaces: the design of corridors and waiting spaces should only be limited by the designer’s imagination. The corridors also link the various components

of the spa so a subtle repetition of the design and colour scheme should help to thread the overall design concept together (see page 42).

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section two

planning the spa

Research, Market Analysis & Feasibility


n formulating your vision, you will have to undertake extensive tailored and general research into your target market and fully understand the competition. Every potential spa site is unique in terms of competition

and local characteristics. You will need to research these factors thoroughly and consider them as a whole. Together they will provide a unique formula for your business. At this stage you also need to conduct a SWOT analysis (Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities and Threats). This process should uncover all of the restraints and opportunities to help you clarify any further gaps in the market. A SWOT analysis should be periodically carried as your business grows. Again, bear in mind that building a business plan is a fluid process: new research can reshape the original vision, and you may have to revisit your first mission statement and revise it a this stage, particularly once the financial implications are known.

as much statistical data and industry expertise, pertaining to the growth in the spa sector in your country, and of course the specific nature of the local market surrounding your intended location.

32 spasource MASTER EDITORIAL PAGES JULY 26TH 2010.indd 32

You will need to build an extremely detailed picture of your potential customers in order to understand their lifestyle choices and spa preferences. Although spas can offer something for everyone, the reality is that your target audience is certainly not going to be an undefined “everyone”. Your spa’s concept, philosophy, brand identity, treatment offering and therapeutic expertise should be as unique as the specific market segments you wish to attract.

section two Concept, Design & Construction

Intrinsically, spas have a complex set of operational requirements – quite unlike any other business. Added to this, every individual facility has its own unique target market and offering. Therefore, every new spa project should employ a comprehensive strategy for research and concept development, as all of these parameters will need to be thoroughly understood and sympathetically reflected in the finished design. From the earliest stage, it is essential to spend time and seek appropriate


consultation to ensure that your new spa will work at every level, as the generation of an appropriate design concept is absolutely essential. Setting off in the right strategic direction rarely happens by inspiration alone, and is usually the result of thorough consideration of a wide range of possibilities. Vigorous debate at planning stage will pay dividends in the future, by

setting the right direction for the development and building the right team to undertake the work.

ehind every successful spa development is a sound concept, coupled with a design process that has embraced the intricate essentials of operations, regulations and available materials.

The Development Team Assembling a well-balanced design team is an essential prerequisite. A judgement needs to be made at an early stage on the nature of the project and the skills required to realise it. To take examples at two extremes: the refurbishment of an existing basement hotel spa would call for a small team, perhaps consisting only of a spa consultant, an architect/spa designer, a project manager, a cost consultant and a specialist contractor and in some cases these roles may be doubled up and undertaken by one individual. A new-build project however, set in the grounds of a listed country house hotel for example, would require a much larger team bringing together the expertise of a number of specialist including: a project manager, architect, spa designer, spa consultant, cost consultant, mechanical and electrical engineer, structural engineer, quantity surveyor, interior designer, pool consultant, planning supervisor and, depending on the location, landscape architect. The spa consultant Appoint an experienced spa consultant at the earliest opportunity to work

section two

General Research Annual surveys and commissioned reports conducted by spa bodies or relevant associations will provide “big picture” information on industry growth, standards, as well as providing a useful barometer for consumer take up of spa services and treatment trends. This is a good place to start.

Tailored Research At the earliest stage, a spa consultant should be commissioned to:

 Listen to and assess your objectives  Advise you on your options  Assess the potential of the chosen location  Assess the competition and define the spa-specific marketplace continued >

spasource 31 02/08/2010 15:39:02

Further tailored research to define catchment and socio-demographics can be assessed by specialist companies commissioned to report on the specific local market. The ultimate success of a spa will depend on the care and interpretation

given to its research and feasibility at grass roots level. Looking at demographic profiles is just scratching the surface when it comes to researching your customer. You will need to ascertain specific details influenced by your location, such as the quantity and types of market segments you can target, as well as how far these different customers are prepared to travel for spa treatments. These influencing factors are particularly important if your spa is to be based in a more remote spot, as opposed to a city centre with the luxury As well as clearly defining the style of spa you are planning to offer gather

of plenty of passing trade. Your financial status, location, competition and customer profile will all have a bearing on your concept development. New day spa operations, or salons looking to upgrade to day spa status,

will also need to readdress their facilities and structure their prices carefully to cater for their given audience. Typically, investment into spa development is substantial, therefore

it must enhance any existing business or create a viable new one. Your offering must have a point of difference in order to maximise the potential of generating new revenue in what has become an increasingly competitive marketplace. Researching, understanding, responding and pre-empting your target market’s expectations are vital.


planning the spa


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planning the spa

directory* 38 spasource MASTER EDITORIAL PAGES JULY 26TH 2010.indd 38 26/07/2010 15:34:27

THALGO Elgin House, 51 Millbarhour, Docklands, London E14 9TD Tel: +44 (0)20 7512 0872 Fax: + 44 (0) 20 7512 0871

Did you know the human body has a natural affinity with the sea? The healing properties of seaweed and seawater are well documented and have been used for thousands of years to treat a variety of concerns and ailments. Thalgo created the original marine body wrap back in 1964 and has continued to be the forerunner in marine research, harnessing the extraordinary potential of marine ingredients to develop high-performance beauty treatments and products that are now well known for their exceptional results. Thalgo’s comprehensive face


OUTER EDEN 13 Church Street, Market Harborough, Leicestershire LE16 7AA Tel: +44 (0)1858 410 920

Outer Eden trading brings fun and functional design to the UK market. The Company have created an enjoyable expressive collection with an emphasis on build quality and style.

Outer Eden has produced a

balanced collection of outdoor/ weather proof furniture using a variety of materials including various types of wood, aluminium and synthetic fibre. Much thought has been given to form and comfort, as well as design.

Their products are equally at

home in an indoor/spa environment as all materials are designed to live outdoors all year. From inception some 5 years ago Outer Eden has built up an enviable client base in the commercial market supplying some of the premier brands in the hospitality industry. Apart from their standard range

they have the ability to design and produce individual pieces of

furniture from a clients brief and are fully involved from design to production. They have sensible lead times and have no minimum orders. Outer Eden are equally happy to deal with small intimate projects as well as the larger chains and pride themselves on customer service and attention to detail. Their furniture is certainly

unique in its design and whilst providing comfort and practicality they also like it to be fun and innovative.

Outer Eden introduce new designs throughout the year to keep the collection fresh and to ensure that they are meeting client’s needs and expectations. Clients Include  Ragdale Hall Rushton Hall Harbour Club Milano Barnsley House Yoo Royal Yacht Club Jersey The Scarlet Hotel The Grove

spasource 123 spasource 140 140 spasource directory*

and body range is continually expanding, ensuring the brand remains at the forefront of innovation and allows its spas and salons to capitalise on key trends.


alongside your architect, spa designer and project manager to ensure that the initial mission statement, the vision and the concept are respected throughout the design and construction process. Crucially this role will help to bring design flair and the right ambience to

the project, as well as ensuring continuity from concept to operations. As well as commissioning the right expertise, the concept will also need

to be developed by a team that work well together. While one member may generate the initial idea, it has to be understood, agreed and developed by the whole team. Effective teamwork will produce a direction which none of the individual

members may have envisaged, but which has the potential to satisfy your aspirations and produce a successful project. The Architect Any project that requires any form of building will require an architect to:

 Generate the base drawings for the project  Arrange for a site investigation  Negotiate with the planning authority and make the planning applications

As well as comprehensive face and body ranges, Thalgo’s offering also includes Thalasso-Nutrition®; nutritional supplements for beauty and well-being based on highly effective marine ingredients. Thalasso-Nutrition® is the ideal complement to spa therapies as it acts from within to boost treatment

 Coordinate the discharge of planning conditions  Negotiate with the local authority and make the building regulations application

 Secure building regulations approval  Prepare the base tender information; drawings and architectural specification

 Prepare construction information  Monitor the works on site for execution in accordance with the contract  Advise the client of progress on site  Administer the process of making good any defects


and product results. It also represents an additional revenue stream for spas. Thalgo’s certified organic diffusion line, Terre & Mer by THALGO, was developed to meet the growing demand for organic skincare, combining organic products with eco-friendly packaging and beauty results. The range features customisable skincare and has been very well received by consumers looking for an organic range that delivers results. ThalgoMen, our dedicated

men’s range, caters for the ever expanding men’s skincare market, while our marine suncare range features active ingredients from the skincare ranges. Thalgo has also entered the medi-spa market with the THALGOSKIN EXPERT micro-

The project manager Your Project Manager is an essential component of your team. He/she will manage the progress of the project as a whole to ensure that timings and cost control are constantly monitored and kept on track. Project managers come from varying backgrounds, however those with a quantity surveying/ cost consultancy background are ideally placed to advise you on the development process. To monitor ongoing progress your appointed Project Manager should

develop a Project Execution Plan. This is a strategic management tool that defines the project criteria in terms of concept, design brief, project programme, communications strategy, budget, methods for controlling change and the roles, hierarchy and responsibilities of the team. The Plan should be continuously updated as the project develops. Its purpose is to keep the team focused on the objectives and ensure that they are fully aware of their roles, responsibilities and communication channels.

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