Spa Managers – time to slow down?

We live in a world that never stops talking, with information that never stops flowing and new projects for future development and improvements that never seem to end. We usually find new challenges at the floor as well as at our desk every morning; not to mention in our inbox – it is easy to get stuck. Are you having a hard time to be one step ahead, proactively plan for your operations to move smoothly as well as for your people to develop? What about living your values and inspiring other with your passion?

We often already know what we want or need to do as managers, but we seem to never have enough time to act before we really have to, which often is too late and we have already doubled our workload. Like the Pareto principle say, 80% of your outcome come from 20% of your input which means that there are certain activities you do (your 20%) that account for the majority (your 80%) of your happiness and success. Remember, you are accountable for the success (within your business) but also for your happiness (your own health and balance.) If you not find time for what really will make a difference, you will not succeed.

You are not alone. But we are glad to tell you that there is also a solution or actually there are several. You can go from over-time to time over and be successful at the same time. You can slow down, and instead make a difference. It is called Strategy. Self- and Energy Management. Strategic Planning. Conscious Leadership. Balance. Sustainable Lifestyle. Vision.

With our Spa Management Online Program we would like to help you and all spa industry professionals the best we can to put the right priorities in place and strategically plan the next coming 12 months together. If you let us, we will lift you up to the next level through the online studies; flexible enough to fit an already busy schedule.

You have your chance to start June 2nd and October 6th this year and you will reach us directly at:

Warmly Welcome!
And have a peek:

smc 1



The Power of Three

The formula for creating inspiring mission statementsP1000280 - Version 2

We can’t deny that religious and spiritual beliefs are the foundation of, if not all then most cultures on this planet. There is something about religion or spirituality that resonates with us at a level that goes beyond concept, to how we experience this world – consciously or unconsciously.

Why do they have such a hold over us? In times of stress or danger we are inadvertently drawn to seek some higher power to help us out – be it God or Mummy. And when we do feel those moments of spontaneous gratitude, we still need something to focus it on.

Next time you are at a friend’s home, take a look around to see if you can’t find something that smacks of an altar – even if they don’t think it is. A photo frame positioned in a place of honour, a small group of items, lovingly placed in a special space, a funky pink plastic Buddha statue sitting on a window still.

So, what is the one thing that all religions, spiritual and philosophical, even some psychological, theories and beliefs have in common?

All are founded on a trinity. Buddha, Dharma & Sangha; God, Son and Holy Spirit; Mind, Body, Spirit; Osiris, Isis, Horus; Light, Truth, Path…… in fact we would probably find that most things that have some kind of power over us, or the power to influence us, will at their heart, be based on a trinity. Because all true trinities express the formula of creation. Being the created and part of creation, it is this formula that is at the centre of who we are. And this formula, when perceived consciously or unconsciously, has the power to touch us deeply, no matter which culture, religious background or belief system we subscribe to. And no matter whether it is presented to us in the context or religion or spirituality or from a cultural or even materialistic point of view. We are creators in our own right and we know it deep down. We are happiest when we are creative. And I’m not only talking about music, painting, arts, but everything that allows us to express ourselves. Think too, that all true creativity is of benefit to others in some way. We can be creative listeners, creative when creating spread-sheets, in the kitchen, the garden …. Everything.

Buddhists believe that all phenomena are an assembly of three dimensions. The outer, the inner and the hidden. Part of the hidden dimension of humankind is the ability to create. And the formula of creation is simple: You have a source (represented by God, Buddha, Spirit, Soul, Light), you have a dynamic (Truth, Holy Spirit, Mind, Dharma) and you have the manifestation (Christ, Body, Sangha, the Path).  Source, Dynamic, Manifestation. Mind, Body, Spirit should really by Spirit, Mind, Body by the way. But then, ego will always put itself first when it can.

So, now we come to mission statements. Aren’t we in effect creating a belief system when we create a mission statement for a spa or a business? We move into the hidden dimension and with that the source of everything that is created or made manifest after. Amanresorts, whom so many have tried to copy, have at its heart a very powerful mission statement based on three simple values. Unfortunately it’s a secret, which makes it all the more powerful. But it works. However, most people attempt to copy the manifestation, rather then understand the source and so any attempt to copy becomes just that, a copy.

But when you truly understand the hidden aspect of a thing, the essence, the source, in that moment you make it your own. And in that moment it becomes unique.

I was recently working on a spa, which had as its root the value: ‘to nourish’. It works on so many different levels. The design should nourish the guest through the spa journey. We will nourish our staff, to ensure they can preform to the best of their abilities. The spa structure should nourish its environment, rather than being in resistance to it. Add the other two values – ‘to sustain’ and ‘to connect’ and you have a beautiful trinity. One that everybody was able to understand and able to connect to. Whether it was the architects or designers, management, staff, shareholders everybody was able to understand – or was guided to understand – what their role was in the fulfilment of this mission statement for this particular spa.

To nourish, to sustain and to connect become the spa’s mantra, it’s unique aspect as each part of the puzzle fell into place around it. It become a guide and if up-held, will give a simple elegance to the spa as a whole. Everything on some level will be an expression of this trinity and so, everything not only has a place, but harmonizes with everything else, complements it, supports it.

To create a truly an exceptional mission statement is to quite simply find the essence of what is being created. And once you have that, miracles will happen. When you find the essence, you find the flow. The deeper you move into it, the more powerful it becomes. It will influence the kind of people you hire to take care of the spa. It will help you to decide which products to use, which colours to choose, where to place something in the room. And once it is done, people will walk through the spa, feeling that you have created something truly miraculous. Even it if is just a hut on a beach.

Lastly, how do we find our essence, our trinity? It’s actually quite simple. We naturally tend to express it – usually unconsciously. We might pick an image, a logo, to represent the spa, which when contemplated reveals the trinity to us. We might, when reading everything we have written about the spa, keep seeing certain values popping up again and again. Or the name that was chosen, might actually represent the hidden aspect of what we are trying to create. Often it is the most obvious, which suddenly becomes the deepest.

And if it is not obvious because you have been looking at it for too long, then ask. Throw the question out into the universe, sit back, allow yourself to become still and receptive, add a little patience, and I promise you – the answer will come. It always does.

Happy creating!


How do we choose the right Spa Software? Part 3

As confirmed before, it is not easy to make the pick. If you have not read Part 1 and 2, I recommend you to search for them and read them first.

How can we compare the different spa software vendors to each other? In the segments below we compare small vendors to mid-size and big, to show what you can expect from each type of company.


22233I hope these three posts have helped you to understand the spa software market a bit more, and remember that it is always important to look upon what you really need for your own facility.









Spa Management Online Course started today!

Today is the start date for our Spa Management Online Course and we are as always very excited to start and learn more about our participants and what we can do to make them even more successful within Spa Management than they are today.

After the introduction and trends section they begin with the first part of the course which is Marketing & PR lead by course leader Maria Nystedt. She will lead our participants into a strategic way of working with sales, marketing and PR and share the most important things when it comes to marketing specifically for the spa and wellness industry. After video lectures and manuals read, she will guide them through creating their own Spa Marketing Plan.

Marketing Maria

Spa SelctionGood luck to all new participants!

Ps. There is still a chance to join in last minute.


Some great spa escapes in Southern Europe

This week started with a lovely trip to Monaco, we had the opportunity to look closer at the spa market in this special environment. There are 4 major spas in Monaco; Willow Stream at Fairmont, ESPA at Hotel Metropole, Therme Marine, which is the largest Thalassotherapy center in Monaco, and finally the Cinq Monde Spa at the Monte Carlo Bay. In addition to these 4 spas, there are of course many smaller institutes and beauty centres. I experienced a very good Kerstin Florian 90 minute Ultimate Facial in the Willow stream spa at the Fairmont, and the results were immediate. Why? The therapist was excellent, the treatment had a really good flow, and some luxurious caviar products made the whole difference. Add some sunshine and some interesting work to this and the days in Monaco were a success…

On my way back I bought the latest issue of Tatler (UK edition) at the airport and the November edition contained a special spa issue; The Tatler´s spa guide for 2013 (a very nice and inspiring appendix I must say).

They had listed and categorized the best spas according to them, and I found at least 3 spas in their listings, in which Raison d’Etre have been involved in the conceptual work. Below you see some of the spas;

Borgo Egnazia in Puglia, Italy

Verdura Golf & Spa resort, Sicily, Italy


What is S.O.S?

We have witnessed over many years and have heard from so many hotel managers and owners asking us:

  • Why is our spa not performing?
  • Why is our spa not making any money?
  • Is our spa meeting the needs of our guests and the market?
  • Why is our spa getting so many complaints?
  • Why does our spa sell so few retail products?
  • Where can I find a competent spa manager?

Raison d’Etre has addressed this with the implementation of Spa Operational Support (S.O.S.), where various types of operational support will be offered, including recruitment, audits, trouble shooting, revenue & profit maximisation, product consultation and training.  You could also translate the S.O.S to ‘SAVE OUR SPA’ !!

Spa Management Recruitment

Raison d’Etre has been involved in spa management recruitment for many of its clients.  When you have over 12 years of spa management and operational experience this translates into being able to achieve extraordinary recruitment results for our clients.

We provide tailor made recruitment solutions for any spa’s specific needs.  Every spa is different, the size, country, culture, business environment and each requires a very specific skill set from the spa management.  We recognize this and we tailor each spa management position specifically for the needs of the particular spa and the owners/hotel management.

We offer permanent spa management placements as well as offering short term solutions for spas. The short term solution will be handy when the spa is in urgent need of a replacement for a shorter period of time, due to maternity leave or any other reason, and we can then help to fill that gap, ensuring a continuous smooth operation of the spa.

We know just how critical good spa management is to the ongoing success of a spa. We operate, own, consult and recruit to spa businesses and this makes us very qualified to successfully recruit any future spa manager.

Spa Troubleshooting & Enhancement

Over the past 12 years we have developed an amazing, proven trouble shooting package which has positively turned around a number of spas, thus quickly recovering the cost of the package. Our proven Spa Audits assess all aspects of the spa operation including guest experience, quality, facilities, management, KPI’s and finance resulting in a detailed report and recommendations. These recommendations are then translated into actions and our experienced staff come on site and implement these actions.

So often we have seen or heard of a spa in trouble and needs a total overhaul or just some minor, yet important improvements, our proven systems and standards ensure success. In every case we have achieved increased revenue of between 30 % and 125 %.

Spa Audits

We firmly believe that an independent mystery spa audit can be extremely helpful in not only revealing shortcomings and missed opportunities in a spa, but to also acknowledge what is working successfully.

Our spa audit is the most comprehensive spa specific auditing system in the world.  This proven system allows us to assess every aspect of the spas operation from which we compile a detailed Audit Report, compete with a detailed action plan for improvements.

We analyse the market regularly, and are sensitive to guests’ needs as they change and develop.  Spa guests are becoming more and more discerning. Our market knowledge, skill and experience enable us to anticipate trends.  In exceeding expectations, we create more reasons for guests to return and recommend the spa to others.

At the completion of the spa audit visit we will present a detailed Spa Audit Report, complete with detailed feedback on results and findings, analysis of KPI’s, detailed Action Plan and our recommendations. Many hotels utilise independent operators to compile mystery shoppers, but none offer the spa specific detail which we do and certainly none offer an action plan!

For more information about S.O.S and our services:


Postcard from Verbier

We had a few sunny days in Verbier last week, unfortunately we did not have enough time for skiing, but we still had some time to enjoy the ambiance in this alp village.

We were in Verbier for project meetings as we are working on the Away spa for the W hotel, which will open December 2013. It will be the new hot spot in Verbier and the location for the hotel is perfect, just by the main ski lift, right in the center. I won’t reveal any details about the spa or the concept, except that it will be unique and different!

The hotel will feature a 122-room five-star hotel managed by the Starwood group, as well as apartments and lodges. The “W Verbier” will be W Hotels’s first ski retreat. W Hotels is an innovative luxury lifestyle brand and a hotel group with properties in the most vibrant destinations around the world.

The Away spa will certainly change the spa and wellness market in Verbier. As it is today, there are no larger spas with wet areas, treatments, fitness etc. Most of the “spas” are small and more like beauty salons. In Verbier you can also find a great number of freelance therapists who will offer treatments in the privacy of your chalet or hotel room. There are also a few very luxurious private chalets in Verbier with their own private spas (pool, treatment room, saunas and private therapist), but to access these spas, you obviously will need to rent the whole chalet…

So, we are convinced that the Away spa will fill the gap on the spa market in Verbier and be a true alpine escape!

Wish that I could spend the coming Easter holiday in Verbier, but I will he heading up north instead, to Finland…see you again next week


For more information about the project:


Each spa must shine with its own special inspiration.Temperature, touch, texture, sound, light, scent, space and atmosphere all help create the perfect environment for treatment. We monitor the design of every spa to ensure it meets operational needs and to help establish flow and harmony.

Our experience promotes not only the creation of the most beautiful and best organised spaces, but speed, efficiency and economy in the delivery of the spa. We know where compromise is acceptable and where it is not.


Must do a market analysis

The best spas in the world do not come about by miracle. Nor is it by chance that not one of our spas is an imitation of another.

Our market analysis helps us to assess very precisely the right size and style of spa for a hotel, but that is only the foundation for the creative process. We never work to a formula. We begin with a clean sheet of paper and no preconceptions. Every spa is born out of its context. It must be right for that place, that hotel, that client.

We are expert at working with design teams and, once the concept is established, engage closely with the client’s chosen architects, steering the development of an architectural brief towards its realisation.