LivNordic Spa in Spa Business

bild-113In Spa Business Magazine, issue 3 2015, you find an interesting piece about the new LivNordic Spa on board Viking Ocean Cruises. Our first LivNordic Spa at sea!

The spa opened in May, earlier this year, on board the brand new Viking Star. The cruise line has a Scandinavian heritage, so it’s a perfect match with Viking Cruises and LivNordic.

The spa on board is based on the principles of Nordic wellbeing and lifestyle. There is a large hydrothermal area, inspired by Nordic bathing traditions, including alternating hot and cold experiences. And the LivNordic Spa offers the first snow grotto at sea!

Enjoy a glimpse from the brand new LivNordic Spa on board Viking Star.


Spa 1

New job opportunity – immediate opening!

Soon to open – A new luxury spa in Cairo, Egypt and we are looking for talented therapists with 5 star international experience.

The Spa is about 2,500 sqm with a separate fitness area. It is located in a high end, exclusive residential area, nearby a golf course overlooking the Pyramids.

We are looking for experienced therapists, male/female, beauticians and an Assistant Spa Manager.

Would you like to know more? Are ready for the next step in your career?

Don’t hesitate to send us your CV as soon as possible:

Picture: Cairo by night. Picture borrowed from Minamar Hotels & Travel

Time in a Sauna is well-spent time…

shutterstock_197243450Most of us feel good after a sauna session and we know it is good for the circulatory system and the detoxification. We know that that time in sauna is well-spent time, when it comes to health benefits.

A new study, published earlier this year proofs this. The study suggests that men who engaged in frequent sauna use had reduced risks of fatal cardiovascular events and all-cause mortality, according to an article published online by JAMA Internal Medicine. Dr. Jari Laukkanen M.D., Ph.D., of the University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio and his colleagues investigated the association between sauna bathing and the risk of SCD, fatal coronary heart disease (CHD), fatal CVD and all-cause mortality in a group of 2,315 middle-aged men (42 to 60 years old) from Finland.

The team found that men who engaged in 2-3 sauna bathing sessions each week were 22% less likely to experience sudden cardiac death, 23% less likely to experience fatal CHD and were at 27% lower risk of CVD death and 24% lower risk of all-cause mortality, compared with men who used a sauna once a week.

Men who had 4-7 sauna sessions benefited even more; they were at 63% lower risk of sudden cardiac death, 48% lower risk of CHD death, 50% lower risk of CVD death and were 40% less likely to die from all causes, compared with those who had one sauna session a week.

In addition, the researchers found that the duration of sauna sessions appeared to influence results. They found that, compared with men who spent less than 11 minutes in a sauna, those who spent more than 19 minutes in a sauna were at 52% lower risk.

For us in Scandinavia quality time in a sauna, followed by a cold dip in a lake one way to achieve high levels of health. Why not join us and enjoy the Nordic lifestyle and wellbeing in LivNordic Spa’s bathing experiences, where the sauna and cold experiences are the basis for inducing deep relaxation and wellbeing…


The Art of Spa Menus

Which tool is one of the most important sales tool in a spa? The spa menu! Why? Because it can increase sales tremendously in a spa. Spa menus can be amazingly inspirational and they can also be totally boring. If a spa menu is structured and written in a good way it can really boost the bookings and capture ratio, so let’s look at some basic rules on how to structure your menu.


Do you know your target group and spa guests? First of all, look at your treatment statistics and analyze your guests. Who is coming to your spa and what do they want? This information is extremely important in order to know how to structure the spa menu and what offerings you should include.

It should be easy to find treatments. This may sound very basic, but do some research and look at your competitor’s spa menus. You might be surprised how difficult it can be to find the treatments you are looking for and the price for them.

Ensure your spa menu is written in an easy way. Ask a friend (who is not working in the spa business) to read and give feedback. Ensure that the treatment description includes the benefits of the treatment and the results. The guest wants to understand; what’s in it for me? Research has shown that guests want to understand what the treatment is and the benefit. If you can describe this in an easy, understandable way – you will sell better.

Less is more, especially when it comes to spa menus. Minimize the menu! Any treatment that sells less than 1-2% of total treatments should be taken off the menu. Too many treatments will just be confusing and make it difficult for the guest.

Double check that your printed spa menu and the online spa menu includes;

  • Practical information (regarding the visit)
  • Opening Hours
  • Cancellation policies
  • Other amenities that the guest can enjoy in the spa
  • Contact details

So once the spa menu is “top-notch”, ensure it is displayed and easily available. It might not be in the reception area where the guest has time to actually read the spa menu and be inspired… So don’t forget to display the spa menu in the locker rooms, spa café or the waiting room and relaxation room. If your spa is located in a hotel, ensure the spa menu is also displayed in each hotel room, as well as at the concierge and reception areas.

Spa Menus can be found in all shapes, forms, colors and sizes. Look at your spa menu and ask yourself; What is this spa menu telling my guests about my spa? Is it inspiring, does it reflect our style and philosophy?

It is so important that the spa menu is, not only inspiring, but also reflects what you stand for. As for most guests, the spa menu is the first impression of the spa, and you know what they say…first impressions last…


Time for a green detox smoothie


A fantastic green smoothie from our favorite Raw food chef Sophie.


2 stalks of celery

2-3 big leafs of kale

2 cups of water

1 cm turmeric root

2 cm ginger root

1 handful of pea sprouts

1 handful of mint leaves

1 scoop of Clear Response

1/2 avocado

Put the ingredients in a high-speed blender and mix into a smooth drink. The smoothie contains Clear Response from Innate Response. Innate Response is a the top leader in whole food and raw food supplements. If you do not have Clear Response, you can add for example mango, apple, pineapple, banana or stevia in your smoothie. Garnish the smoothie with blueberries, pomegranate, figs and physalis.


Recipe and photo by: Sophie’s RAW

Time to upgrade your Spa Retail Area

Although not all spas have a dedicated spa shop, most spas have retail space, most often in the reception area. There is a lot you can do to enhance this area and by that almost automatically increase your retail sales.

How to do this?

First of all; Step out of your “own box”. Enter your spa and look at it critically, from a guest point of view. What do you see? Do you get curious when you see the retail section? Does it look attractive and inspiring?

When it comes to selection of retail items I always try to look at it as a palette of eye- shadows. Many years ago, working for L’oréal, we talked about how to create interest for the makeup tester stands. What elements were actually eye-catching? Even though the eye shadows with the more earthy, natural colors were the bestsellers, we still always included strong, somewhat more crazy colors, such as blue, green, even red or yellow. This was to create interest, and make the earthy colors look even more interesting. If we excluded the bright colors, the palette would look boring and less inspiring, meaning less interest and less sales… So I would say; Look at your spa retail selection just as a palette of eye shadows; Do you have some eye-catching products that create interest, that stands out and makes the whole shop more interesting? Maybe these items won’t be the bestsellers, but consider them as the once that attract interest, and inspires your guest.

Except for exciting retail items you have to consider the exposure, as it really affects profitability. Products given more space and clear exposure will sell more. You control which articles should be highlighted and which should only be available when customers ask for them. The products should be exposed in terms of their roles, meaning the products that you want to sell most of should have prominent positions; eye level is best for exposure!

Remember to always keep shelves fully stocked. Customers tend to not pick products from half empty shelves as they give the impression that these products are old and have been left over.

Another thought to consider when it comes to exposure is that most people are right handed. Therefore it is easier to pick and feel products that stand to the right. Therefore signs should be placed to the left and products placed to the right.

When you evaluate your retail space, ask yourself the following question or invite someone or several to answer these:

  • What is the first impression?
  • Can you see an “inspiration table” and a “volume table”? Are they inspiring? (A volume table means where you have promotions or display a specific product in larger quantities).
  • Are there prices on all products?
  • Do you have an exciting retail selection? Do you have spa and wellness releated products that are not just skin care products?
  • Do you have a tester stand? Can people try and feel the products? Are guests invited to test skin care products? Are the testers clean and fresh? Make it easy and clearly mark the bottles and tubes that are testers.

Retail is an absolutely vital part of a successful spa operation. In many cases it can be the difference between generating a profit or sustaining a loss. So it is essential that we constantly work with retail spaces to enhance and improve the areas. Today, spa retail revenue on average generates 5-25% of total spa revenue but represents 20-25% of total profit. Therefore, it is clear that by increasing retail revenue there can be a huge effect on overall spa profitability!

What is your best advice to boost retail sales when it comes to exposure and retail arrangements? Feel free to share your ideas!


Beautiful retail design at Cowshed. Picture borrowed from

Happy Vacation!

Finally summer has reached us in the north as well. We would like to take the opportunity to wish all our readers and followers a happy summer and vacation time!

It’s time for most of us to recharge. Hopefully you will all have many moments of bliss, contemplation and just “beingness” during the coming summer months.

Many of us in the RDE team do like most Scandinavians; We escape to the archipelago and enjoy sauna, cold dips and just beingness on the jetty…

Keep on checking into our blog as we will keep it active although it’s vacation time!

Happy Summer,

//Raison d’Etre & LivNordic



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What’s currently going on in the skin care industry?

Ok, we admit, we love skin care. We love skin care products, ingredients, new innovations, new technologies, but most of all we love skin care that is giving results, but in a sustainable way. Skin care that is not harming you or the environment, skin care that is organic and so pure that you could nearly eat it. In fact, that is what happens when you apply skin care… the ingredients do penetrate your skin and eventually enters your body, so you better be sure that what goes in there is pure and gentle for you.


Organic skin care

The trend with organic skin care is still increasing which makes our hearts sing. It’s not a sacrifice anymore; it has become a lifestyle for many.

Last year the brand Urtekram did a market research together with Yougov, which revealed that in Sweden every third person had bought organic skin care and hair care during the last 6 months. It also showed that 3 out of 4 were concerned about the possible negative health effects with ordinary skin care and hair care products More about the research:,c9566770 (in Swedish)

Increasing customization

We also see, both in skin care product development and spa treatments an increasing demand for customization. Not only do the spa customer want tailor made treatments, also the skin care programmes and even products should be completely customized to your needs. The products also become more niche, rather than mainstream. Small, niche product areas and specialized treatments are growing. One area that is still growing among most product brands are face oils. In line with the need for customized treatments, we see that the way of diagnosing the skin is becoming more advanced. It ranges from everything from DNA testing, to picture analysis, to diagnostic apps.

According to (top four trends in skincare in 2015) the rise of devices in skin care, from cleansing to anti-ageing and electronic face masks is increasing. Beauty companies have been introducing cleansers and lotions that work with the devices and can further enhance their efficacy. These devices has quickly becoming a must-have for many. For example Foreo is a device that has become popular in Sweden, as well as globally.

Quick-fixes vs slow-beauty

We also notice a strong trend of quick fixes, but we still want to highlight that the therapist is, for us, always the key to successful treatments. The therapist is the one to be in the centre. Even though we have efficient techniques and products that can deliver amazing results, we still think; to have a complete treatment there needs to be a dedicated and knowledgeable person creating the treatments and the actual results.

We also have to consider the trend with “quick fixes”. What will it do for our skin in the long run? No one really knows what will happen with our skin in 10 years time with all the new quick fix technologies. We need to step back and look at how ageing occurs in the skin. It does not happen over night, so how could we then remove the signs of ageing in just a few minutes.

Our approach

Natural beauty comes from within”. It might sound like a cliché, but we believe this to be true. A healthy attitude to yourself and your lifestyle will always out-win any amount of product you apply to your body and skin. Just as you would not deliberately eat chemicals, we don’t believe you should nourish your skin with them either. Natural Beauty starts by seeing the beauty that is already present and then supporting it to shine by using products that understand and enhance the body’s natural healing and regeneration abilities.

A natural beauty regime shows that you understand what is good for you and your skin and that you accept and care for your self and your body as it is, rather then trying to turn it into something it is not.


The picture is borrowed from The Organic Pharmacy, a brand with a philosophy that goes very much hand in hand with ours, a brand that we use in many of ours spas.

We say yes to wellness

Raison d’Etre supports the Global Wellness day.

With the slogan “One day can change your whole life,” Global Wellness Day is celebrated on the second Saturday of June every year as an international day dedicated to living welI and in order to make Wellness a lifestyle.

Global Wellness Day aims to adopt the following seven simple steps.

  • Walk an hour
  • Drink more water
  • Do not use plastic bottles
  • Eat Organic foods
  • Do a good deed
  • Have a family dinner
  • Sleep at 10 pm

We say yes to these seven steps. Do you?

LivNordic Inspiration

LivNordic, a spa and wellness brand that brings together the best of Nordic lifestyle and wellbeing, created by Raison d’Etre. For more LivNordic inspiration, follow us through Instagram.


Education is the most important part of success in Spa and Beauty Therapy!

Anna-Cari%20GundOur MD Anna-Cari shares her view on the importance of education:

“Don´t underestimate the need for Continuous Professional Development. In my view, everyone needs it and it is only in recent years the term CPD has been around. Although it is not mandatory it is considered important for everyone to develop and increase their skills on a regular basis.

These days most therapists have excellent basic qualifications but many things need to be learnt through experience and years in practice. So why is lifelong learning important to Therapists?

This is especially true in Spa and Beauty therapy, where new techniques, products and equipment mean constant updating is essential for consistent and improving standards. The industry is rapidly changing and therapists must invest in themselves in order to keep up to date with the latest techniques and to continue the process of lifelong learning.

The idea is that this type of study can be done over a few days, a weekend, within the salon etc. without the need to take extended time off from work. The courses are short and targeted and are designed for existing specialists; not trainees. Many areas can be upgraded through online courses. Check out our unique and personalised Spa Management Course which will give you an amazing upgrade.

I just got back from the CIDESCO Congress in Johannesburg where I saw the quote below and it made me realise that I would never be where I am today without the experience that continuous education has given me”:

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world” Nelson Mandela

LivNordic Employment Opportunity

Liv Nordic job

LivNordic Spa & Wellness by Raison d’Etre is operating spas at luxurious cruise ships. Do you want to travel around the world meet new cultures and peoples? Then this job is for you.

We are looking for passionate and professional therapists who are open minded, willing to grow, enjoy a high and fast paced working environment, are dedicated to caring for colleagues and guests and are interested in embracing the LivNordic concept. We are creating a small and effective team where everybody will be responsible for all aspects of the spa, guest services and the team. As we will be working and living in close proximity, mutual support of each other, regardless of our individual skills or education, will allow us to perform at our best at all times. You will have the opportunity to see the world while working in an amazing and diverse environment that brings together different nationalities and cultures. At the same time you will gain a once in a lifetime experience and become a fantastically skilled SPA-professional.

We are looking for

Massage therapists
Beauty therapists
Nail technicians

Multi-skilled therapists are preferable.

Required skills
Genuine, friendly, service oriented attitude.
Strong desire to always have the guest’s best interests at heart.
Team player.
High level of both written and spoken English.
Ability to work to a high standard at a fast pace while.
Offering exceptional quality.

Required commitments
Willing to take instructions from the manager and assistant manager or their appointed representatives.
Willing to embrace the LivNordic concept and to become LivNordic spokesman/women.
Willing to sign up for at least two 6 – 8 month contracts with a one-month break in-between.

Additional Experience preferred

Ship experience

Professional qualifications required:
NVQ, ITEC, CIDESCO or equivalent.

Working hours
Weekdays/weekends, both mornings and evenings.

If interested, please submit a cover letter explaining why you would be the best person for the job and your CV, including references.

Only application via e-mail:

Will this be the summer when you take the next step in your career?

bild-4The spa manger is the captain of the ship. His or her way of leading the business will make or break the spa. It is not sufficient to have knowledge about treatments and being “good with people” although without just that, you cannot be a good spa manager. A spa manager needs to know about spa specific finance, relevant KPIs, marketing and PR, HR and leadership, operations fundamentals, customer service as well as knowing which the relevant reports and SOPs are.

At Raison d’Etre we have often been involved in the recruitment of spa managers for our clients around the world and worked closely with many, many spa managers. Are you curious to learn more about what we see as keys to successful spa leadership? And at the same time, once and for all, get clarity and knowledge about budgets, KPIs, PR strategies and HR matters…Our Spa Management Program might be just what you are looking for then. You will achieve the best tools, ideas and strategies for your business and your own leadership development.

NEWS – A possibility to study during the summer

Our Summer course is just about to start and the Teacher Team of Raison d’Etre is excitingly waiting to get the course going with many new students from all around the world. Why not allocate part of the summer to develop yourself? The in-depth Spa Management Program is an online course, which is completely flexible. Study wherever you are and whenever you can, in whatever pace that suits your schedule. Perfect for the summer time!

The course starts 22nd of June and is the last course before the price increase. For more information, contact our Course Manager Josefin:

“I found the online training very useful and it is very informative. It was easy to understand, both the written material and the lectures. It was also great that I could watch the videos and lectures again and again. The Teacher Team is very supportive and I could ask many questions throughout the course. I recommend the program to anyone who wants to become a great leader and a great spa manager. It is definitely worth it!” Candra, Spa Manager Six Senses Spa Zighy Bay


Spa Management – Studying online

Mathilde 1Curious about how it works – from a student’s perspective?

Mathilde is a 25-year-old French girl, who is currently participating in our Spa Management Program. I have asked her share her thoughts on our Online Spa Management Program.

“I was ‘surfing’ on Spa when I read about the distance learning program offered by Raison d’Etre Spas. It immediately appealed to me; Learning at the same time as working!

I really love travelling. Due to this it is hard for me to stay in the same country for a long time, and then of course difficult to attend a course that requires me to be in the same location every day.

Becoming a spa/beauty salon manager has been my goal for the past couple of years. I love being a therapist, but I enjoy even more, the managerial side of it. My dream is to open my own spa, and eventually have a spas in different capitals around the world.

The course is divided in different modules, each one being on a very specific subject such as Marketing, Finance, Leadership etc.Basically all you need to think of before opening your own spa or improving one you already run. The final result of this online course is a complete business plan for your spa.

The course material consists of videos (lectures) that you can watch, written material to study, as well as templates that you can use to do your assignments. After completing an assignment or module, you send it to the teachers and they’ll give you feedback on what can be improved.

I usually study when I’m at home, after work, or when I have some free time during the day. I try to spend an hour or two reading the course material or watching the videos, and adding some ideas to my business plan.

My favourite module is the Marketing and PR as I’m very interested in these two fields. I enjoy trying to understand customer behaviours and their needs, in order to improve a spa’s revenue and reputation.

As it is distance learning it has been very convenient for me. I can continue to travel and be in different countries, but still continue to study on my own and at my own pace. To me it is perfect! But it requires discipline.

I definitely recommend the course, it’s very helpful and insightful regarding how to manage a spa/beauty salon and improve your business to make it successful. What I’m most happy about regarding the course is the possibility to learn specific details about how to manage a spa and how to be a good leader.” / Mathilde

Next Spa Management Program starts 22nd of June. For more information

Our favourite books

The team at Raison d’Etre read a lot of books and we have a particular interest for books about leadership and personal development. We would like to share a few of our favourite books. We recommend them because they have an important message, they have touched us and made a long-lasting impact! Enjoy the new inspiration, ideas and thoughts from our top list;

Ian Bell

It’s Up to You, The Practice of Self-Reflection on the Buddhist Path, by Dzigar Kongtrül.

”This book was a wake up slap in the face when it came to recognising my own sense of self-importance. But it also gently led to a deeper level of acceptance of who I am, which can only really happen after I saw who I really was”.

Anna Bjurstam

Being mortal by Atul Gawande

Bold, by Steven Kotler and Peter H. Diamandis(I am reading this book right now)

The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor

“All three truly inspirational books”! (Picture is borrowed from


Anna Cari Gund

The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff

The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari by Robin Sharma


Annika Jackson

The Extraordinary Coach: How the Best Leaders Help Others Grow

By John Zenger & Kathleen Stignett

”Great follow up book to their previous (The Extraordinary Leader). I like the way it is written, an easy going style, while offering very clear distinctions in the matter of leadership and this “new era” of coaching as a leader, rather than being a “manager that leads”. It both reinforced my own style and beliefs and gave a lot of new things to think about and try”.