Opened in 1965, The Spa at La Costa at Omni La Costa Resort & Spa (Carlsbad, CA) is considered one of the first resort spas in the U.S. Costing approximately $3 million, it featured an impressive list of amenities, including swimming pools, gyms, saunas, and mineral pools. It was also the first spa to receive an endorsement from the American Medical Association. A hotspot for the Hollywood elite, the property continues to entice wellness-seekers with its luxury accommodations; two championship golf courses; eight swimming pools; 17 tennis courts; 42-treatment room spa; and The Chopra Center. According to spa director Leslie Johnson, who joined the team this past spring, the spa experiences an uptick in gross revenue year after year. This can be attributed to the fact that it is constantly changing with the times. Recently, it revamped its menu and debuted some natural and regionally inspired treatments, such as the Floral Essence ($165, 50 minutes), an aromatherapy massage; the Spa Sommelier Wrap ($235, 80 minutes), a crushed-grape body polish, massage, and energy-point facial massage; and the Citrus & Kale ($165, 50 minutes), a superfoods facial. Here, Johnson shares how the spa’s commitment to wellness keeps it thriving.
How has The Spa at La Costa continued to succeed over the years?
A. Thinking outside the box, we always have a new treatment or news to talk about that keeps us relevant with local visitors and transient guests. We stay current with innovative techniques and incorporate age-old treatment traditions and utilize products that enhance health and wellbeing. Long-term skillful team members are passionate about serving our guests and providing that “wow-fully” memorable experience. Consistency of performance allows our members and local and hotel guests to have confidence that their expectations for relaxation and treatment goals will be exceeded. We also provide a luxurious spa experience, which people have come to expect and love at La Costa.
Why do you think the business has been able to succeed where others have failed?
A. We have the allure of being one of the top spas in the country along with having a famed celebrity clientele. That, paired with our creative programming, keeps us top of mind and successful.
How do you attract new and repeat clients and encourage them to visit?
A. Partnering with extraordinary people and companies, such as Nick James of Body Bliss, provides our guests with regionally inspired ingredients and treatments. Our Floral Essence massage is a reflection of the famous Carlsbad Flower Fields, while the nutritious Citrus and Kale skincare treatment embraces regional superfoods for the skin. We also collaborate with the renowned Chopra Center, attracting new and return guests from around the globe.
How do you use digital marketing and social media to boost business?
A. We’ve found social media to be a great tool for last-minute need periods and for extended promotions. For example, we launched a Leap Year Promotion, which encouraged guests to book any full-priced spa treatment and add on one additional 50-minute treatment for only $99. This resulted in 28 extra appointments. We also did a Throwback Thursday (#TBT) offer last year in honor of our 50th anniversary. We offered $50 off any 50-minute treatment that day and booked an additional 45 appointments. We also have an ongoing ad on Facebook to promote our birthday offer, which is $35 off any weekday service in a guest’s birthday month. In the months that we promoted it on social media, we saw an incremental $68,000 in revenue.
How do you keep the menu fresh and enticing? Can you elaborate on what prompted the recent menu update?
A. Our team consistently keeps up to date on industry trends to come up with the hottest new treatments guests want. We haven’t had a complete new treatment menu in four years, so 2016 was the perfect time to make the unveiling.
To what do you attribute the spa’s success?
A. Our outstanding team and reputation with guests and celebrities.