Making Customized Treatments a Customer Service Hallmark

By Karla Hallock Spa Manager, Spa of the Rockies at Glenwood Hot Springs | June 30, 2013

Taking fresh, locally grown ingredients and serving them to customers hungry for authentic, flavorful meals is the basis for the culinary farm-to-table movement, a concept that has been steadily gaining traction. Glenwood Hot Springs' Spa of the Rockies takes this concept in an innovative new direction by offering clients not just variety, but the ability to pick their own ingredients, just as they would if they were shopping at the neighborhood farmers' market. At Spa of the Rockies, the concept is known as farm-to-treatment-table spa services, and, like its food counterpart, it's a notion customers are finding refreshingly appealing.

"In a crowded marketplace where many spas essentially offer the same or very similar services, the importance of developing a distinguished presence can't be overstated," said Jeremy Gilley, Sales and Revenue Manager for Spa of the Rockies and Glenwood Hot Springs in Glenwood Springs, Colorado. "Customers want an experience, one that targets their specific needs and preferences, not just a massage or a manicure."

The experience begins when customers arrive at the castle-like, 125-year-old red sandstone bathhouse building where Spa of the Rockies is located. They are greeted by the sounds of gently cascading water, soft lighting and a serene color scheme of cool blues and warm browns, which combine to create an ambiance that sets the stage for relaxation. Juxtaposed with the historic surroundings, the spa itself is a modern, welcoming environment that tacitly informs guests that, while they may be in an old-world setting, they can expect treatments that are thoroughly up-to-the-minute.

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Glenwood Hot Springs

After being offered a healthy beverage by the spa concierge, Spa of the Rockies guests are invited to peruse the Zents aromatherapy table, where they can sample, mix and pair fragrances, in essence playing with a variety of scents. Vials are labeled, and guests are encouraged to sample as many as they would like and to jot down their preferences. Best of all, the Zents Scent Journey, as it is known, is a complimentary add-on to nearly every Spa of the Rockies treatment. After selection, spa therapists incorporate the guest's aromatherapy choices into the spa treatment.

"Playing with these scents and creating a unique blend that resonates with each individual makes the Spa of the Rockies experience stand out," said Jean Paul Cadavid, the lead concierge at Spa of the Rockies. "Initially, guests are a little shy about experimenting, but then you see the kid in them come out and it becomes a fun and memorable part of their treatment, one they weren't expecting." Some guests, according to Cadavid, worry about making mistakes or creating a foul-smelling concoction. "Fortunately, all of the Zents scents are created to be soothingly mild, not overpowering, and are designed to coordinate beautifully with one another. It's impossible to make a mistake," Cadavid explained.

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Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.