I first became involved in the spa concepts at Mount Juliet in Ireland and followed through to my own spa at Inchydoney Island in Ireland where we created the first Thalasso (fresh seawater) spa in the UK and Ireland. In those days spas were created as a health option and could be quite Spartan. Today the spa culture has re-invented itself as a tranquil place to unwind and escape the stresses of the modern world.
The interesting part is where do spas go in the future? What will be the next requirement? There are many treatment options these days be it Thalasso, Asian influenced residential havens like Norton Park or even high street shops fitted out for day treatments.
What is becoming clear is that the spa industry is one that, in these hard economic times, finds a ready selection of clients who will find the funds to be pampered and cared for. The unique aspect that makes and challenges the industry is the absolute requirement for a team in a spa to be able to capably and genuinely care for our guests in a manner that creates that calm. Thus the service care that the Asian spas brought to the western spa industry needs to be translated into the care in the west. These are the challenges and making sure that our future therapists are fully aware of the skills and guest care requirements. My current concern is that the training systems are at times very weak and guest care also takes a secondary place. Further, individual therapist beliefs still invade a company or spa culture as a result of poor training in their past.
The key to a very good spa must therefore be an excellent spa manager who has a very focused and disciplined approach to guest care and a strong people approach to the team to define what they must or must not do. The challenge is training and discipline – two key aspects to the spa and, in fact, the hospitality industry.
We will be delighted to see you at our brand new Spa at Norton Park – pop in and experience the tranquil haven we have created.