When considering a spa for your hotel or club, don't forget about the men!
Colarossi Consulting and Management
Wednesday, 19th January 2005
It wasn't long ago, when we were designing new health clubs that we had to make sure that they did not appear intimidating to women. We went through great lengths to make sure that their experience was a pleasurable one.

Now, with the burgeoning spa market, it's just the opposite. You have to make sure that you do not alienate the male clientele. One estimate from ISPA (the International Spa Association) put the male clientele at a third of all spa users.

It was not to long ago that men were put into the same robes as the women, and were seated in a relaxation lounge to drink herbal tea and then have lotions that smelled like their Grandmother put all over them, while listening to whale sounds. I can still remember being provided with a robe that made me look like "Lurch" from the Adams Family, and my friend, who enjoys beer, could not close his robe.

That is all changing. Now, the trend is focusing on the male clientele. In the relaxation lounge you now have plasma TV's showing their favorite sporting event, with peanuts and all. I was in one lounge the other day that even had "Starbucks" coffee (right next to the herbal tea), are beer and single malt scotch in the near future? Extra large robes, slippers that fit, pre and post shaving products, face and body products specifically designed for men's skin, are all the rage now. Today you are now seeing spas that are for men only, such as Nickel in NY and Paris, as well as, specialty retailers such as "the art of shaving" popping up all over.

That is just part of the equation in making spas more comfortable and attractive for men. Other items you may want to consider are the menu. You need to make it short and concise. We don't want to look over 50 different massages and facials and try to pick one out (remember the wine list effect from my last column).

Make the list small, with one to three treatments, with explanation, in each category. They also need to be named appropriately, something manly (not "girlyman"). The words that are used to describe the treatment need to be in "men speak" as well. As for music, in the more luxurious spas you have a selection of music to choose from while your having your treatment. That preference will be noted in the CRM software program, for your next visit. When attempting to sell retail products to men, they all have to be very simple to use. We don't want a product that has "5 easy steps". We want to put it on and forget about it.

One other aspect of the spa design that I have been spending a lot of attention on lately is the couple room. We want to make them fun and interactive. One room I recently put into a spa, had a small rasul room (warm tiled room) where a couple would lie on a warm/heated tile bench, with a slight steam coming in and candles strategically placed, and apply/rub "mud" on each other. Once the mud took its course they would rinse each other off with a hand shower, and cross over into the next area which is a double (made for two) swiss shower. Then proceed to the two massage tables in the room for their treatment.

Marketing to couples is a great idea. They use it as a way to reconnect, or on a very unique date. It shows they care and can enjoy it at the same time. Ladies, how could your man be mad at you if you booked a treatment like this?

Colarossi Consulting and Management offers complete development, design, management and investment consulting services that bridge the gap between the fitness & spa industry and various others – from hospitality, corporate, commercial and residential. Our travels throughout the U.S. and the world have given us invaluable broad market knowledge which we use to design, equip, staff, and manage successful health clubs and spas.

Because time, energy, and personal attention are integral to a program's success, Glen Colarossi, the company's principal, limits the number of new clients to two or three per year, so you are assured quality services, focus and results.
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