*Corporate – February 12, 2013
The Personal Touch: New Task Force Leader Shares Plans for the Future of Spa at
Four Seasons. Simon Casson talks trends and innovation, plus details of a new global spa promotion.
In response to the numerous industry and
traveller accolades the brand and its spas continue to accumulate – including SpaFinder’s
Best Spa Brand for several years running, and recently, The SPA Traveller’s
Most Popular Hotel, Resort and Spa Group - he notes that each
As the world’s largest spa operator, one
thing remains consistent throughout: “The one constant at a
Trending: Let’s Spa Together
“One thing we’re seeing now is that people like to spa together. Solo experiences are still the norm, but increasingly our guests are booking double suites for side by side treatments, and we’re getting more requests from groups or a few friends who want to do something together,” says Casson.
The Future of Spa at
Where will the company’s spa leaders, under
the guidance of the Global Task Force, take
Products and treatments: A recent example of
partnering with the best spa brands includes the development of the Tropical
Magnolia treatments and products with Sodashi, featuring the world’s most
expensive essential oil and now offered exclusively at a half dozen
Along with offering many innovative
non-invasive, results-driven therapies,
Customization: “Increasingly, guests are invited to book a timeframe rather than a specific treatment, and then discuss their personal needs and wishes upon arrival so the therapist can make recommendations tailored just for that guest,” says Casson.
Facilities: Inspiration is often found in history, such as the Spa in Paris that is decorated as a boudoir where Marie Antoinette would feel at home; the sumptuous Spa in Hangzhou on the shores of West Lake, for centuries a favourite playground of the emperors; or the colonial era in Nevis in the West Indies. In Santa Barbara, the Spa is designed in the California Mission style, while in a remote elephant camp in northern Thailand, rustic open air treatment pavilions were placed in the middle of the jungle.
Within each Spa, the offerings go well beyond serene treatment rooms and the more recent phenomenon of luxe VIP suites for two. In Doha, a colour therapy room, hydrotherapy pool, ice room and laconium bed complement the traditional offerings of saunas, steam rooms and swiss showers to create the most comprehensive Spa in the Middle East. In Istanbul and Baku, facilities include hammams for traditional bathing rituals, and in Beverly Hills, a dedicated nail salon ensures guests are red carpet ready.
Beyond the walls: For many people, spa is no longer an occasional indulgence, but part of a total wellness approach. “We’re extending the spa experience into many other areas of our hotels, and our guests’ lives. For example, at our Spa and Ayurvedic Retreat in the Maldives, the program includes special menus in the Resort’s restaurants, and in Westlake Village in California, we offer a regular schedule of classes in the Hotel’s Wellness Kitchen. In Maui, an ongoing series brings in experts in sport, fitness, wellness and spa for multi-day immersions that have proven to be very popular.”
But that’s not to say truly indulgent experiences aren’t also available: while many spas offer treatments in poolside cabanas, in Koh Samui a private beach can be booked by a single guest at a time for open air treatments. In the Maldives, the Island Spa – reached by a local dhoni boat – can be booked out at night for a magical experience under the stars. In Chicago, couples can request the indoor pool to themselves for a private after hours dip.
A History of Service
Casson has assumed the Global Spa Task Force
Christopher Norton, who founded the initiative
ten years ago. Recently promoted to
President Hotel Operations, Europe/Middle East/ Africa, Norton recalls the
catalyst that really pushed spa to the fore at
Today, the Global Spa Task Force works across all divisions, from design and construction to procurement, operations and revenue management, and the results are impressive: The Spa at the newly opened flagship in Toronto is the company’s largest to date, occupying a floor and half of the building. “And in London, where we recently rebuilt our oldest address, we turned things completely upside down, crowning the hotel with a Spa on the penthouse floor, with panoramic views of the city.”
Norton concludes: “The Golden Rule – which
has always been our guiding philosophy at
1165 Leslie Street
Toronto, ON M3C 2K8
Email Rozvita Gabric
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