The Northern Light


This weekend the LivNordic team has experienced something spectacular; true Nordic moments that we find hard to be describe in words. While exploring the darkness and light of the Arctic Circle we feel that we once again have rediscovered the Nordic stillness and deep connectivity to nature. Imagine the total quietness of a white forest covered in darkness, just lit up by a fire – in the middle of nowhere. Suddenly, the starry sky opens up and invites us to witness the amazing Aurora Borealis (Northern light.) A moment and memory that will stay with me for the rest of my life.

We were invited to the home of new partners, c/o Gerd, to experience where their story begun and see their creation of organic and Nordic spa and beauty products in the village of Jokkmokk. Their philosophy is to use the best of Nordic flora and fauna, but never without asking nature for permission. Many people we meet during this trip reminds us about just this, the importance to ask nature for permission before lighting a fire, picking berries or chopping down a tree. And being grateful for this afterwards and continue to always be in sync with our natural forces.

We have been spellbound by stories of Sapmi and the Sami people and their connection to nature, native language and beautiful craftsmanship. We have been inspired by a culture where children are taught how to handle the contrast in life by storytelling and being outdoors experiencing the harshness and softness of the landscape.

We have also realized how incredible free you feel while driving snow scooter over snowy open landscapes and how incredibly cold it can get up here, in the very north of Sweden. But the Swedish saying “there are no such things as bad weather, only bad clothes” (which by the way, rhymes in Swedish) is definitely true and there are so much wisdom up here in how to live in tune with the landscape and what other earth brings to us.

I take many things with me home from this trip. The power of nature and how it is a part of the everyday life and the belief in kindness; that we are all born with a warm heart. Last but not least, I will never harvest anything from nature again without asking for permission, and being in agreement with the elements.


/Josefin & Nora

Managing a spa onboard a cruise ship

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to visit the LivNordic spa onboard Viking Star. Michael Simoes is the Spa Director for this beautiful spa and I took a chance to ask him about LivNordic and how it is to work onboard a cruise ship. Is it any different from managing a spa on land?

Maria: What is your background? Have you always worked with spa- and wellness?

Michael: I have a degree in Kinesiology and a Diploma in Massage.  I have been working as a therapist for 16 years, 12 years of it as a rehabilitation/therapeutic/sports therapist.  I have always worked in both rehab clinics and spas throughout my career.

Maria: Why did you choose to start working on board a cruise ship?

Michael: I have wanted to work for Raison and the opportunity presented itself with the opening of the LivNordic brand aboard the Viking Star.  I enjoy that I am in a different city everyday, as I love exploring new cities.  I am a big fan of travelling and being aboard a ship allows me to do that.

Maria: After working 8 months with the brand LivNordic, what do you find unique with the spa and the concept?

Michael: I find the Nordic Bathing concept extremely unique.  This is one thing that I have not experienced in any other spa that I have worked in. I think the contrast bathing is a fantastic idea and very beneficial for the guests who visit.  Incorporating Sauna nights for guests has been a huge success. Guests are able to participate in a true Nordic bathing experience and leave feeling amazing.

Maria: What is the main difference in managing a spa on board a cruise ship compared to managing a spa on land?

Michael: I feel that when managing a spa on board a cruise ship you must be even more organized than on land.  As you are only able to receive products in certain ports you must make sure that ordering is done in a more structured fashion.  If something is forgotten you may not be able to receive it for a while.

The schedule also needs to be organized better to accommodate the guests and their excursions.  At times a majority of the guests are off the ship on tours, therefore it makes sense to limit the amount of therapists during those times.

I say goodbye to the spa team onboard. As I get off the ship in Palma I see her sail away for the next destination; Valencia. Yet another exciting city to explore… and I think what a unique opportunity it must be to work onboard a cruise ship. Waking up in a new city every day…

Michael Simoes and therapist Lovisa Petri



Maria about to board Viking Star in Palma, on a very windy day…

One Week before Soft Opening

We are soon to open the brand new LivNordic Spa in Dubai and the Spa Director  Carolina is sharing some thoughts and experiences from her first opening of a spa.

Carolina has also written another interesting blog post for us. Click here.

image1Greetings from Dubai!

We are about one week from the soft opening of our gorgeous LivNordic Spa & Wellness by Raison d’Etre. We are occupying the 6th floor in the very prestige Cayan Tower, the iconic building facing Dubai Marina waterfront. The tower has been named by “Guinness Book of World Records” to be the tallest twisted tower in the world.

The last 6 months, since I arrived in Dubai, has been very hectic and full of interesting experiences. I have been busy with everything from monitoring the construction of the spa, to deciding on spa treatments and products, finding, hiring and training staff and much, much more. As this is the first time I’m leading a spa opening there has of course been some challenging moments. Now, when we are one week from opening I have spent some good time thinking about what I have learned from this experience. Maybe some of my thoughts and reflections can be helpful for you also?

– “Dance around the challenges”. When challenges come up, dance around them to come up with the right solution. If you can’t flow, you are probably too stressed and that’s not the way of running a business. There is always going to be challenges on the way, so dance with them, rather than fight with them. Do your best to create a structure and plan. It will then be easier to let go and focus on the next mission.

– Surround yourself with positive and passionate people, the “can do” people, who have as much passion for what they do as you have!

– Use positive language; in so many circumstances you “get” what you speak, so be conscious of the words you choose. Positive affirmation helps to raise the spirit.

– Spend time with your team – Everyday spend some good time with your team and get to know them really well.

– The importance of maintaining the commitment to quality – Whether it’s a product, service, training or design always seek opportunities to improve yourself and your industry. Set new standards and raise yourself and your staff.

– Keep a clear vision- when things get tough and fear kicks in, remember to keep a clear vision on the goal and the end product.

– Meditate – Regardless to how busy you are, commit to 15 minutes of meditation every day. This can be done in the early morning, together with the team in a morning meeting or even as a perfect end of a very busy day.

– Have fun and enjoy the ride – we sometimes get so caught up in everything that needs to be done that we are forgetting that we are part of creating something very unique. A brand new spa experience!

/Carolina Moquist

Stay tuned for more information about the flag ship spa of LivNordic – LivNordic Spa and Wellness Cayan Tower, Dubai to be open late January 2016


News about LivNordic Spas

In the latest issue of Professional Spa & Wellness Nora has written a piece about LivNordic Spas. She has talked to Carolina Moquist, Spa Director, who is just about to open the doors for the new LivNordic Spa in Dubai. The spa is located in Cayan Tower. We are all very excited!

LN in Prof Spa and wellness

Viking Star in Palma de Mallorca

bild-136Yesterday this beauty came to my hometown; Palma for the day. On board Viking Star you have the beautiful LivNordic Spa and I was so excited to finally see the spa. Viking Star was christened in May 2015, in Bergen, Norway and is currently sailing in the Mediterranean sea.

My expectations were high as many of my colleagues have been on board before and I have seen so many pictures, but I must admit that it still amazed me. The whole ship is a beauty when it comes to design and ambiance. The Scandinavian touch is everywhere. Walking around the ship you tend to forget that you actually are on board a ship.

The LivNordic Spa is our Nordic spa and wellness concept, and there are many things that make the spa stand out. First of all the wet area; The thermal pool is beautiful, as you can see from the picture below. But what I think will surprise the guests most are the cold experiences.
Scandinavian bathing is about alternating between hot and cold experiences, which truly boost the circulation. In this particular spa you can choose to take a cold dip after the traditional sauna. Or you also have the choice to cool yourself either by standing under the bucket shower or if you dare; step into the snow room! It is actually the first snow room on sea. As you enter the snow room, snowflakes descend slowly from the roof… Tap yourself with some snow, make a snowball and return to the sauna… a true Nordic and chilly, but refreshing experience.

I had the chance to experience some treatments as well. Lovisa, a very talented therapist in the LivNordic Spa Team, did one of the best deep tissue massages that I have had in a long time. My mind was floating away…and my muscles got just what they needed. We continued with a Hydra Facial, a great treatment with immediate, visible results and no turnover time. After nearly an hour of a very comfortable treatment I could see my skin tone was more even and brighter. The multi-step treatment cleanses, evenly exfoliates and removes impurities and dead skin cells while at the same time replenishing vital nutrients including Antioxidants, Peptides and Hyaluronic Acid. The perfect treatment to do as a quick fix, but also regularly for more long-lasting results.

I would have loved to stay longer on board and continue to sail over to Valencia, which was the next destination for the cruise. But that will be another time… just happy that Palma was on the itinerary this time and I had the chance to get a glimpse of the LivNordic Spa! //Maria



New Education opportunities


bild-130The successful Online Spa Management Program, by Raison d’Etre has been running since 2012 and has educated more than 200 students so far. As a respond to market needs and student feedback we launch unique, individual Spa Business Online Courses. A unique chance to study a selected subject, with focus and flexibility, whenever and wherever you wish.


The first individual courses we launch for 2016 are:

  • Spa Finance 1, price 269

Learn all the finance basics for a Spa. How to prepare a budget, a P&L statement, check your spa’s important KPIs, retail and sales, revenue management. You will finish the course with a sound financial management knowledge for spa operations.

  • Marketing, PR & Social Media, price 269

Learn everything there is about spa marketing. Marketing analysis, PR & promotion, social media, retail management and end up with a complete marketing plan.

  • Group Dynamics & Conflict Management, price 129

The 6 stages of a group, the 4 stages of conflicts and how to handle them.

  • Strategic Human Capital Management, price 189

Learn the 8 Critical Success Factors in HCM. Look at Strategic Human Capital Planning, find out about acquiring, developing and retaining talent.

  • Leadership, price €299

Leadership fundamentals, group dynamics and conflict management and strategic human capital management, all included in one course.

The courses consist of filmed lectures where Raison d’Etre’ s high calibre professionals from the spa industry share their knowledge, experience, passion and inspiration for each area. You also receive a compendium with material to study. The course ends with a Quiz to ensure you have acquired all the new knowledge about the subject. The courses are fully flexible and you can study whenever you can and wherever you are.

 Early bird offer For all students who sign up and pay for any of the above courses, before 10th of January 2016, we offer a 15% discount. The courses are available from 20th of January 2016.

 For more information:


Season greetings from Raison d’Etre Education Team

We read somewhere a quote saying, “Christmas isn’t a season, it’s a feeling” and for us it’s very true. It’s the time when we wrap up the year and allow ourselves some time off and reflect on what has been and what is coming. Therefore we would very much like to take the opportunity to share with you some of the coming news about our Spa Business Education,


First of all we would like to announce starting dates for the complete Spa Management Online Program for 2016:

  • February 1st
  • April 4th
  • June 6th
  • September 12th

For all students participating in our program for Q4 2015 and for the first quarter of 2016 we donate €50 euros per student to the Red Cross.


The biggest change for us for the coming year is our growth. Today we offer a Spa Management Program, but from next year, in addition to the complete Spa Management Program we will also offer shorter Spa Business Online Courses. It will be subjects like Budgeting, Marketing, PR & Social Media for Spas, Human Resources Management, Conflict Management, Retail & Sales, Personal Development and much more. The courses consist of filmed lectures where Raison d’Etre’ s high calibre professionals from the spa industry share their knowledge, experience, passion and inspiration for each area. The courses are fully flexible and you can study whenever you can and wherever you are. We will shortly release information regarding the Spa Business Online Courses here in our blog!


We have just created a new Facebook page for our Spa Business Education. If you haven’t yet discovered this community, please join us! In this Facebook page we will share inspiration, ideas, questions and news related to education and career. We invite you to visit and Like this page so you ensure that you are fully updated and inspired in your spa career.

For those who complete our Spa Management Online Program we have also created an exclusive group, Raison d’Etre Spa Business Education on Facebook, to stay in touch, network, exchange ideas and even discuss subjects and challenges. We will also post job opportunities in this group.

Other ways to stay in touch with us is through LinkedIn, Instagram and our blog of course.


And finally, do not miss the chance to win a complete Spa Management Online Program. We are giving away one place on the complete 14 week long program and you could be the lucky winner. Read more about the competition here.

 “The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day” Edith Lovejoy Pierce

With this lovely quote we would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

Warmest regards from the whole team of Raison d’Etre Spa Business Education


Christmas in Stockholm, our beautiful home town. Picture borrowed from

Christmas Competition

You now have a unique chance to win a Spa Management Online Course. To celebrate four successful years providing online education, we would like to offer the possibility for one student to participate in our Spa Management Course for free. Maybe you are the lucky one?

The Spa Management Online Program is an in-depth spa management course that runs for 14 weeks and consists of seven modules, tailor made for the future spa leader. The program aims to help students to achieve the best tools, ideas and strategies for their spa business and their personal leadership development. The program is flexible and as a student you can study wherever you are, whenever you can and in whatever pace that suits your work schedule..

Why not take the chance to grow and develop your leadership during 2016? To participate in The Raison d’Etre Christmas Blog Competition we have a small task for you to complete.


One of our goals and core values is to light lights for others. Share with us how you have lit some lights for someone this year? (maximum 150 words) E-mail to us at (write Christmas as the subject for the email) We will publish the best ones in a blog post in the beginning of the year.

2.Like our new Facebook page for Spa Business Education

Complete both above tasks before 31st of December 2015 and we will announce the winner in the beginning of January 2016. Good luck!

We look forward reading about all the light that is spread around the spa and wellness world!

A gift…lasting for a lifetime

Christmas is getting closer day by day and every year it’s the same, at least for me. In October I declare that this year I will have completed all the Christmas shopping and gift shopping before December starts. Then in November, when I realize that it is not going to happen, I declare that this year I will do all my Christmas shopping online…and then in December when I realize that it might be too late to order online… I go shopping in the stores, just like last year…

All this makes me think about gifts and what we give away to our loved ones and why? It is indeed a wonderful season with a lot of joy, but also frustration, what to give? Wish-lists etc? What about this year, giving someone special, something that actually lasts for a life-time? Something that a person will benefit from for the rest of their life?


PKThis year we have decided to offer the possibility to buy gift certificates for our successful and popular Online Spa Management Course. A truly tailor-made course for the future leader within spa and wellness. For each purchased Spa Management Online course during December and the first quarter of 2016 we also donate 50 euros to the Red Cross.

If you have planned to take the next step in your career during the coming year, maybe put the Online Course on your wish-list to Santa? It’s an in-depth Online Spa Management Program, where you will achieve the best tools, ideas and strategies for your business and your own leadership development. A flexible course, study wherever you are and whenever you can, in whatever pace that suits your schedule. Whether you are brand new to this industry or already working as a Spa Manager and want acquire new skills and advance – this course will definitely benefit you.

The Spa Management Online Course is truly market-oriented and is created by senior industry experts with solid operational experience who really know what this growing industry needs in its future leaders.

The total fee for the Spa Management Online Program is EURO 1490. All videos, materials, assignments and individual coaching from our lecture team are included.   The course program includes 7 modules: Spa Market & Trends, Marketing & PR, Leadership & HCM, Finance, Human Resources, Operational Service Excellence and finally the Business Plan.


How do I purchase a gift certificate?  Gift certificates can be purchased and ordered through Once payment is settled, the gift-certificate will be sent via email.

How long is the gift certificate valid? Expires 1 year from date of purchase. Not redeemable for cash.

Cost? The gift certificate entitles to participate in the Online Spa Management Course, value 1490 euros, where 50 euros of the cost is directly donated to the Red Cross.

How do I sign up for the course once I have received the gift certificate? E-mail us at and we will help you select an ideal course date. Course starting dates for 2016:

  • February 1st
  • April 4th
  • June 6th
  • September 12th


A glimpse of a brand new spa

We are getting closer to opening a brand new LivNordic Spa in Dubai, located in the Cayan Tower. Our Project Manager Ian Bell is on site and has sent us some photos from this exciting project.

“It’s amazing to see the spa taking shape, especially as we come close to opening. New finishing touches emerge or are added on a daily basis and it’s exciting to finally see it all coming together. At the moment they are finishing the gym and yoga room which will be open to residents of the tower from tomorrow onwards. Views onto the skyscrapers of the marina on one side and impressions of a sunlit birch woodland on the other.  A true expression of a Nordic spa in Dubai”.  / Ian






A few words about this year’s Global Wellness Summit in Mexico

GWSIf one had to describe this year’s Global Wellness Summit in one word, it would be “inspirational”, on top of everything else.

All the speakers brought up very interesting discussion points that will definitely impact the future of the Wellness world. Starting from workplace wellness- improvement of working conditions resulting in higher productivity and better quality. Moving on to Holacracy as a way to structure your company, where an employee spends 10% of their time in their primary role and the rest is allocated to multiple business projects (within the company) that the employee is passionate about and works on together with other colleagues. Going to the “uber”-nization of massage world with fresh entrepreneurial thinking of companies like Zeel, where a home massage at a convenient time for you is just a simple click away- again benefiting not only the customer, but allowing a flexible time schedule for the therapist. One leaves the summit thinking about the endless possibilities that are ahead of the wellness world…

It was a pleasure to see that besides all the different opinions and discussion topics, what all the speakers have in common is a higher level of consciousness- a sense of responsibility towards the nature, towards other human beings and very importantly towards ourselves. The speakers outlined the importance of being mindful in everything we do and encouraged different ways of thinking to bring all of us to a better future. A lot of encouragement, a lot of love and a lot of “let’s look for “happy” within, rather than out”.

Mindful + Happy + Scientifically/Technologically Advancing=Limitless Wellness World

//Maria Stanislavova, Project Manager Raison d’Etre

Photo Credit: Global Wellness Summit “Future world leaders talking about searching for happiness within to the world leaders of today”.

Pre-Summit: Raison d’Etre Spa Business Education also hosted a Knowledge Workshop  about how to make training profitable, we will shortly share more about this!

A partnership that makes a spa profitable in the long run

AnnikaHeadShotOct 2014Annika Jackson is the Director of Business development at Raison d’Etre. Annika first joined the company in 2012 as Managing Director and have since this past year shifted her focus on client relations and development only. Prior to moving back to Sweden after 28 years abroad she was most recently the Vice President for Enchantment group and the Managing Director at Enchantment resort and Mii amo Spa, in Arizona based in the US.  In her role at Raison d’Etre she is working closely with new and existing clients and all potential new projects and developments. We caught Annika in between meetings and talked to her about the value for a spa and/or a hotel when partnering with a Spa management company, such as Raison d’Etre.

In reality, what does it mean for a spa to have a Management agreement with Raison d’Etre?

Annika: “Typically a hotel or a developer does not have the level of spa and wellness expertize needed so we bring in this crucial piece that entails spa operations, wellness services, training, nutrition and membership, to ensure that the spa will be profitable in the long run. Most effective is also when we are brought in early, at the planning stage so that we can from both a spa operator’s and consultant’s standpoint guide the architects and interior designers from the start. This avoids costly building mistakes and ensures a more effective operation and therefore profitable spa.”

Who is the typical client for a Management agreement?

Annika: “Most often we are approached by a developer who is embarking on a new hotel-, resort and spa project. Other times it is a freestanding spa and wellness facility, but in most cases connected to real estate component such as a luxury residential community, villas or condominiums in a high-end development. One good example is our (soon to be open) LivNordic Spa, at Cayan Towers in Dubai. The client gets both a spa brand, but also a professional spa operator. From a real estate perspective the spa brand adds value to the whole project and the developer do not have to worry about the spa operations.”

How can a client get the most out of a co-operation with a spa company such as Raison d’Etre?

Annika: – “In ideal cases we, as a spa company, are involved in the project from the start as mentioned above. The most successful projects are the ones were we are involved at the planning stage already. We can then guide the architects and interior designers, from a spa operations perspective, to create an effective spa. A spa which will be financially and environmentally sustainable in the long run. Often however, we are unfortunately asked on board a spa project at a later stage, where the construction already has taken place and it might be too late for major changes. It’s a bit frustrating when you see a lot of space that is wasted on areas that will never generate income or revenue. Normally we can of course still do many changes and improvements, even in later stages, but it will obviously be more complicated and can cost more.”

“I was recently on a vacation in Spain and I stayed in a brand new hotel. As I entered the spa, which was beautiful, I immediately noticed all the mistakes made and would guess that there was no professional spa consultant or operator involved and felt bad honestly for the owner. There were only a few treatment rooms (very few compared to size of hotel and the rest of the spa areas), but enormous wet areas, which will not generate revenue. I know this spa will not be able to succeed financially as it was not constructed in a smart way. I also noticed significant wet area upgrades such as an abundance of experience showers, waterfalls, whirlpools, saltwater pool “walk” of 10 meters which are all a huge investment and costly to run with almost no return. The staff was also not trained at all and guests were not guided thru a spa journey and even very basic things such as checking guests in, preparing them for spa services with robe and locker etc. was missed – the staff had no idea what to do or how to do the most basic things”.

Our job is often to be the “voice of reason” and to find that balance between facilities, the initial investment and we have a very scientific way of calculating guest usage, membership potential revenue and overall spa revenue and from there we go about recommending and creating the space planning and programming. Each spa opportunity is different and so it is extremely important to do the homework prior, planning and creating a concept and design that will ultimately produce the optimum programming and later return for the owners while serving the guests in the best way possible.

 So, what can a spa owner do if the spa is already open, but not working well at all? Can Raison d’Etre still do something?

Annika:  “Absolutely! We have a very successful SOS program (which stands for Spa Operational Support), where we do an in-depth audit and then by training and coaching of the spa manager we ensure quality improvements, and by that increasing the spa’s revenue and profit. Often we can also do quite a bit in reallocating some of the spa space to create a more efficient operation and higher revenues with higher guest satisfaction as well. Retail is also one area that is often missed and here we can always help and also create a whole new and additional profit center.

So in reality, what happens if a spa owner brings Raison d’Etre on board?

Annika:  “We start with assessing the spa and the spa management. If the spa manager continues in her or his role we will educate and coach him or her and thereafter we set up procedures and strategies to optimize the spa operations in every aspect. We recruit, educate and ensure that a spa manager has the necessary knowledge to continue to run the spa together with us. Sometimes we may add or reduce equipment, spa products and or services and programming – it all depends on how to set it all up for success and to create that return for the investors and fantastic experiences for the guests.

We have a structure for this type of work, where our own staff goes on site and educate and do trainings in everything from emotional hospitality to treatments, including massage and to training of reception staff. In our Management agreements we always have weekly meetings with the spa manager. We also set up a quality management system, which includes a certain number for audits and follow up trainings and coaching during a year. We set KPIs that we agree on with spa manger and owners and we are also involved and support the yearly budgeting process. If the spa is within a hotel we also include meetings with the hotel management, internal sales & marketing trainings and systems and anything else that will ensure a seamless operation with the hotel and increased revenues and profits”.

What are the advantages for a spa owner or hotel company to take on board a Spa management company such as Raison d’Etre?

Annika:  “Since the spa and wellness industry is such a specialized industry and field there are not many hotel- or hospitality management companies who have the in depth knowledge needed quite honestly. Spas are unique, compared to hotels, for example in that sense that staff spends so much time “one on one” with guests. Add the fact that it is by nature a very intimate and vulnerable experience also for people one has to truly understand these dynamics. The therapists and spa staff is key to a successful spa operation. You have to understand the importance of supporting the spa staff every day and this includes a very specialized training and leadership

We have that in-depth knowledge, experience and all the skillsets needed. Most often we are approached by developers who want a quality and full service spa in their projects, but don’t want to be responsible for the daily operations, then we are the perfect partner. When we are involved early in the process it is the best way to go about this. As Spa operators we are concerned about saving money for the developer in the construction phase, but also we are very keen on creating efficient spaces and use of the spa areas, to ensure a long-term profit for the spa. Since we also own and operate spa’s ourselves we understand the importance of long-term feasibility and are not just there to create a unique spa facility, we also want to ensure it is a profitable one, for everyone involved”!

For more information, contact Annika Jackson

News from our Spa Business Education

bild-127First of all we would like to welcome all our new Spa Management students, who started the program last week. We are so excited to have you on board and we look forward to be part of your development and learning process. Welcome!

We would also like to share with you, that we have decided to donate €50 to the Red Cross for each student starting our Spa Management Online Course in Q4 2015 and Q1 2016. The first donation has been earmarked for the current refugee crisis.

In the latest our Education and Project manager, Nikos Kouremenos, says:

“The vision of Raison d’Etre is to light lights, which means that we aim for every person we meet to light a light, The mission of Raison d’Etre is to grow people and enhance wellness in a sustainable and profitable framework, through providing accessible online education for talents within the spa and wellness sector.”

Furthermore Nikos tells about some of our exciting development plans for the Spa Business Education 2016. Read more:

We would also like to invite you to join our new Facebook group for the Spa Business Education. For even more inspiration, motivation and latest updates on our courses and programs, join us now!

We will soon share dates for the courses for next year! For all of you working in the spa industry; What kind of courses or education programs do you look for? What do you need and what is important for you? Let us know, we look forward hearing from you!

Thoughts about opening a new spa

We are happy to have Carolina Moquist as our guest blogger this week. Carolina is Senior Manager Spa & Wellness for the coming LivNordic Spa in Dubai. Carolina shares her thoughts about opening a completely new spa.

image1Coming back to Dubai, after being a way for a few years, I’m fascinated about how much it has changed. Since its development, Dubai Marina has always been my favorite part of Dubai. This is where our new LivNordic Spa & Wellness by Raison ‘d Etre will be located.

We will be occupying the 6th floor in the very prestige Cayan Tower, the iconic building facing Dubai Marina water front, and has been named by “Guinness Book of World Records” to be the tallest twisted tower in the world.

I arrived to Dubai 3 months prior to the scheduled opening of the spa, and had the opportunity to see the spa at an early stage of construction. People had told me that I would be getting a very special feeling for projects which I would be a part of from an early stage. Every time I walk in to the site, new things have happened and I strongly feel that special feeling of what they had all stated. The very unique design elements are slowly coming together and I am able to start seeing the end product.

According to a study commissioned by the International Spa Association, the number one reason guests give for visiting a spa is relaxation and stress relief. So it is important to realize that spas are more than good massages, facials and waxing. For some, spas are a kind of modern- day sanctuary and at LivNordic, we really want to create a home away from home feeling for all our guests.

Key thoughts when opening a new spa:

Spa menu and Products -Our Spa menu will be simple and straight forward, offering a variety of massage to relax and detox as well as traditional and advanced beauty treatments. Fitness, yoga and meditation classes as well as suggestions for a full wellness experience are also included. As we will offer membership opportunities to our guests, we have included attractive benefits such as complimentary spa treatments, fitness classes and beverages as well as discounts on spa treatments, retail items and more. We really want to engage our members to spend as much time as possible in our spa.

The products used are a selected range of organic and proven result oriented high-end beauty and lifestyle products for all of our treatments and guest experiences. All products used will also be available in the spa’s retail store for guests to continue their spa experience at home.

We have selected treatments and products based on market trends, and as we are in a residence tower we are aiming to target guest both internal and external.

Recruitment – The team is the soul of the spa! It is essential to find the right team. I love working with a multi-cultural team as it gives all the staff members a great opportunity to learn about different cultures. We have recruited a multi tasked team who are all interested in growing in their profession and with great passion for spa, wellness and guest service.

Training – I believe this is the key to success and unfortunately this is where I believe it goes wrong for many spas. To have a well-planned training scheduled before the opening is extremely essential. As we are an established spa brand, we are blessed with having amazing internal trainers who will spend time with the team. The product houses will also conduct product and treatment trainings, so it’s very important for spa directors to have a clear idea of what trainings the product houses are able to offer before signing an agreement. To ensure the quality of treatments is maintained after the pre-opening training period, we will be having a dedicated spa trainer who will follow up on refresher courses and host performances.

Spa Business Plan including a Sales and marketing plan, Business Objectives and Goals and HCM plan

Leading a spa is as exciting as it is challenging due to the fact that the product we are offering to our guests are simply our hands. The business plan is a great essential tool to use to lead the spa to success and maximize profitability. To have an organized plan and have clear goals on where we are now and where we would like to go and how to get there and then communicate it to the team, I believe is the way to success.

Stay tuned for more information about the flag ship of LivNordic – LivNordic Spa and Wellness Cayan Tower, Dubai to be open late December 2015

/Carolina Moquist