Luxury hotel spas feel recession's pinch

Luxury spa participants in the Spa STAR performance report continued to show declining performance metrics through the third quarter of 2009, according to data released by STR.

Through September year-to-date, the Average Treatment Rate (ATR) for the participating spas was US$146, a decline of 10 percent from the first nine months of 2008. For the same time frame the Average Daily Rate (ADR) for luxury hotels tracked by STR decreased 17 percent to US$240.

"As spa and hotel operators in the upper end of the market are looking for the next winning formula and are trying to attract a more value conscious market it should come as no surprise that ADR and ATR are falling in lock step," said Jan Freitag, VP at STR. "Unfortunately, the utilization rates of treatment room hours and guest rooms were also falling."

Through September, treatment room utilization fell 3.7 percent to 29.8 percent. STR reported that luxury hotel occupancies for the first three quarters were 61.9 percent—12 percent below last year's figure.

"The rate of decline in the treatment room utilization is so much less than in the guestroom occupancy, which could be an indicator of a better capture rate of hotel guests or more promotions to attract a local audience," Freitag said.

Data from the Salon portion of the luxury spa report matches the declining trend in Treatment room performance. Through September, the Average Salon Rate (ASR) declined 3.1 percent to about US$62. For the same period, the average salon station utilization declined 12.5 percent to 20 percent.

"The more moderate ASR decline is a good sign," Freitag said. "It will make rate increases easier once the demand numbers improve."

About Spa STAR

Spa STAR is a monthly report for hotel spas and day spas showing major performance metrics in the area of treatments, salon and retail. Spa STAR is supported by ISPA and ISPA members receive a discount on the first year subscription fee. Spa STAR is also supported by the Global Spa Summit and its Board. Spa STAR is produced by STR.

About STR

STR provides clients—including hotel operators, developers, financiers, analysts and suppliers to the hotel industry—access to hotel research with regular and custom reports covering North America, Mexico and Caribbean. STR provides a single source of global hotel data covering daily and monthly performance data, forecasts, annual profitability, pipeline and census information. STR founded the STR family of companies and is proudly associated with STR Global, RRC and For more information, please visit



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