It is the first day of October and I finally felt the first chill of fall in the air. The leaves are still green and there are more warm days to come, but it's already time to start thinking about holiday promotions. Here's how a few spa directors prepare for the holiday season and what promotions have been the most successful with their guests.
- “Because the holiday season is so commercialized, at Rancho La Puerta, we are as subtle as possible. We know our guests are trying to get away from all the marketing and publicity, so here they truly get the feeling of being away from the rush associated with the holidays. The atmosphere in our spa is always warm and welcoming, so we only add a touch of holiday spirit. Therefore, the spa at the Ranch avoids offering deals associated with the season.”—Tere Ochoa, spa director, Rancho La Puerta (Tecate, Mexico)
- “We start planning for the holiday season in July, which is actually why they say Christmas in July. We reevaluate what packages did well last year and revise them for this season. We talk with our vendors to see what new products and holiday kits are available. We also plan appreciation events for our clients and coordinate charity drives, so beginning on Black Friday weekend, we are ready with the spa beautifully decorated and gift cards prepared. Christmas is a very big season for spa gift certificates. The spa atmosphere is so peaceful and comforting, and is a great gift for anyone. A gift from the spa really makes the recipient feel cared for and appreciated, and allows them to look forward to their day of de-stress and relaxation after the hectic holidays.”—Jane Terry, spa director, SpaBlue at Del Mar (CA)
- “We will be offering a Fireside Massage Ritual this season. Our signature massage will be performed in the guest’s cottage or suite in front of a crackling fire. The therapist will draw a bath for guests to enjoy a relaxing soak after their massage and give them a small gift at the end of the massage”—Tammi Johnson, spa director, The Bridge House Spa (Barnard, VT)
- “The holiday season is one of the busiest times of the year, as many guests want to feel and look their best to their family and friends. While it is also high season for us in the hospitality industry, our planning process for treatments starts in the summer to try and test each treatment. We created two treatments, a Champagne Massage that helps guests relax from the shopping hustle and bustle and a Diamond Facial with Pro Lift to help them look radiant for that special dinner or end-of year corporate event.”—William Arango, spa director, The Ritz-Carlton South Beach Spa (Miami)
- “Thanksgiving will bring a fall spa tea party, offering an array of iced and hot teas, steeped from herbs found in our own garden. This will go wonderfully with traditional Jamaican pastries, such as plantain tarts, coconut drops, and gizzada, along with fresh fruit and special teasers such as reflexology on the spa reflection pool deck. Jamaica’s holiday season is known for sunshine and sorrel, a traditional beverage, drawn and brewed to perfection. Known for our exotic natural ingredients, we will serve sorrel hot and cold in our tea lounge and blended for a seasonal massage oil.”—Tanya Vassell, spa director, Fern Tree Spa at Half Moon, A Rock Resort (Montego Bay, Jamaica)
- “We have launched an online shop and continue to enhance our inventory with signature L’Auberge de Sedona gifts. Robes have always been a big gift item in past years, so we’re planning on those again this year along with our L’Apothecary line. We are adding special items to our online shop, including our meditation package, which includes a set of seven meditation cards with a special L’Apothecary candle. Our seasonal treatment for this winter, Winter Warmer, includes a body scrub and facial with our signature L’Apothecary Clarity Scrub, Wisdom Mist, and Love Oil. Guests will receive a special herbal hot cocoa to enjoy after the treatment.”—Catherine Powers, spa director, Spa at L’Auberge (Sedona, AZ)
- “Holidays represent the opportunity to change our lifestyle, relax, and detoxify. Therefore, we create treatments and fitness classes for each purpose and compliment them with a wide variety of weekly activities that consist on life-changing tips to improve health and good habits. Holidays are also family time, and we are delighted to create Mom and Daughter and Father and Son packages where the little ones can join their parents on spa treatments to relate family time together as a relaxing experience.—Alan Navarrete, spa director, Luna y Mar Spa at The Resort at Pedregal (Cabos San Lucas, Mexico)