Courtesy of The Raithwaite Estate Spa, N Yorks
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UK Spa Association

News and views from the UK Spa Association

A NEW ICE AGE EMERGES

A NEW ICE AGE EMERGES

 

THE NEWEST TECHNOLOGY TO COME TO SPA IS NOT JUST COOL, IT’S VERY COOL….

 

Jennifer Aniston’s doing it, Roger Federer can’t get enough of it and Ronaldo does it regularly in his own home. What are we talking about? The newest technology to come to spa Cryo Therapy. It’s a term you may have heard of so let’s discuss the what’s why’s & wherefores.

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LOOK BACK INTO OUR DNA TO SHAPE THE FUTURE OF SKINCARE

LOOK BACK INTO OUR DNA TO SHAPE THE FUTURE OF SKINCARE

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THE BUILDING BLOCKS OF LIFE

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DNA Profiling identified I had a missing ‘marker’; CYP1A2 - the one responsible for producing collagen…… argggghh!!

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Spa-tailing – How to Get Confident With Selling from a Therapists Point of View

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In the spa and salon business, retail obviously makes a difference to the bottom line and it can be an easy recurring income revenue. But how do we boost the team members who don’t feel confident in retailing?

Maddie Parks, Beauty Therapist at The Reef, shares her thoughts, “Starting as an apprentice, I wasn’t confident in retail to begin with. I found it can be quite daunting, almost like there’s pressure to sell within the job role, and being new to the industry, I didn’t know where to begin.

“The first thing that helped me, was getting to know the products; trying them out myself and familiarising myself. This way, I felt I could better recommend my clients products that related to their consultation and give them the best results. What also made a huge difference to me, was listening to my client thoroughly in the consultation. This way I could use my knowledge to the best of my ability to benefit my client in salon and at home, with the correct products and homecare.

“After a while, I noticed my clients were really appreciative of the advice I was giving and they started asking more questions. This gave me a massive boost, because I knew I was helping them. My final point to share is that every little bit counts; whether it be a nail polish after a manicure, or luxury skincare product after a facial/body treatment. Each retail item sold made me more confident, and now I find it a much easier, and more natural, process. It’s been great to see the big difference in my KPI figures and commission, and I know I am helping my clients with recommendations, and that feels good.”

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Spa-thers Day

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Treatments for men are being offering more as a feature in spa menu’s and treatment rooms today. Male themed treatments are promoted around Father’s Day, Birthdays and Christmas. 

Men go to a spa, for different reasons than women, and most men don’t feel especially drawn to the idea of ‘pampering’.

Spa treatments for men should be clearly described with details of the treatment which focus on its physical effect and benefits. 

Whilst men appreciate when their skin feels good and their muscles feel relieved of pain they need to know from the start this will be the outcome.

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Keeping Our Industry Spa Therapists Healthy

Practical Solutions for A Brave New World of Working

I have been in the spa industry for over 22 years, and it seems a lifetime ago when I walked through the doors of Plymouth College to train and become a "Beauty Therapist".

Back then you had to do everything that encompasses what a therapist was, and this most definitely meant massage…lots of it!

But back then there wasn't a real understanding of a therapist’s wellbeing, so you can imagine the lack of training to use our forearms etc. to help reduce the pressure on our wrists.

Jump to the 21st century, and now we have specialist courses for massage therapists - no waxing required! A trainee's can even do a course in just 6 weeks.

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Natasha
What a fantastic article, very inspirational and something I will be looking into. Thank you
Thursday, 07 June 2018 12:28
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Spa Staff Engagement starts in the Interview

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I have always believed that the key to engaging your staff and ultimately retaining them begins at the interview.

Whilst every candidate needs to come prepared for the role for which they are being interviewed, so too should the interviewer. Study their CV and be prepared with questions. If you are interviewing for Therapists, you may get your Treatments Manager to conduct the initial interview and trade test. However, it’s essential that you as Spa Manager see them too. Meet every person for every role within your spa. Not only to check they are suitable for the role but to set your expectations of the role and what you will expect from them. This will enable them to make a clear decision on whether this is the job for them and they will have respect for you for taking the time to see them. Allow yourself a valuable 10/15 minutes to meet every potential employee.

When will I hear?

Set yourself a two-week timeframe for recruiting each role. After you have shortlisted your CV’s, choose up to six to interview. At the end of the interview give them an idea of when they will hear back from the company and stick to this. There is nothing worse than waiting to hear back from a company after a job interview. As Spa Manager, personally make the call of the offer to the successful candidate and in addition write to all the unsuccessful candidates in a timely manner.

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Armathwaite Hall Hotel & Spa in Cumbria was the host of the UK Spa Association Spring Networking Event.

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Armathwaite Hall Hotel & Spa in Cumbria was the host of the UK Spa Association Spring Networking Event.

The UK spa industry headed to The Lake District in full force with over 100 of the UK’s top spa professionals, including owners, suppliers and consultants, attending a full day of networking event. As one of the nation’s leading, multi-award winning spas achieving the prestigious ‘5 Bubbles’ in the Good Spa Guide, Armathwaite Hall made the ideal location for hosting such a prestigious event.

Following a welcome talk from Armathwaite Hall’s General Manager Simon Steele, networking amongst spa industry insiders took place alongside two inspiring talks.

This included a discussion on ‘Dementia in Spa’ from Danielle Alen, Spa Director of Lifehouse Spa in Essex, which covered the specific needs of guests with dementia, and ‘The Alternative Kitchen’ from renowned food and beverage consultant Stu Henshall which highlighted the role of plant-based menus and the growing demand for vegetarian and vegan options in hotels and spas. 

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Preparing Your Skin for Summer Time

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Combining Treatments for your clients is a benefit to the spa and also the clients’ relaxation is essential in everyday life whether it is a relaxing 30 minutes with a book or catching time to spend on yourself.

Preparing for spring it’s essential to look at how we can improve the texture of our skin after winter.

Body exfoliation

A scrub or body polish weather it is a salt or a sugar scrub is an exfoliator which leaves the skin feeling fresh, smooth, and after being moisturized feels so nice. As we come out of our winter clothes and expose areas of the body which have been wrapped up to keep warm we need to exfoliate all the dead skin cells away with an abrasive product which is massaged  across and into your skin. When rinsed away reveals a moisturized layer of fresh, clean and smooth skin.

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The rise of the Sophisticated Hen. How to cater for Hen Parties.

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Hen parties visiting spas is nothing new, but in recent years, there’s been a real trend towards the sophisticated hen party - which can translate into huge gains for spa businesses if they cater for these groups accordingly. As an online wedding planning resource for thousands of brides each year, Guides for Brides have a great insight into what brides are looking for in their hen party spa break, and how (and why) spas should be catering to this customer.

In 2017, Blue Chip Holidays polled over 2,065 brides, bridesmaids and anyone attending a hen weekend in the coming year, and asked: “Would you rather go to a classy or tacky hen party?” A huge 85% of respondents said they’d prefer classy. Of that group, 31% percent specifically cited that they wanted to be pampered at a hen.

Our own data supports this - since January, Guides for Brides had over 28,500 page views from brides and bridesmaids on our listed spas, and we expect this number to only increase as hen party planning season gets underway.

Not only is the demand for a sophisticated, pampering hen party there, but so is the capital. According to a survey by Banana Moon, the average hen party spend in 2017 was £507 per person, which reflects the move towards more luxury activities and accommodation. Take into account that the average hen party group is made up of 13 people, and you’re looking at a lucrative demographic.

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Lifehouse Spa & Hotel leads the way with Alzheimer’s Society to deliver 'Dementia Friend' training to entire staff

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Lifehouse Spa & Hotel is proud to announce it has collaborated with the Alzheimer’s Society to offer Dementia Friend Information Sessions to the entire Lifehouse staff so that they are able to provide a high level of service for guests living with dementia.

The Alzheimer’s Society’s ‘Dementia Friends’ is the biggest ever initiative to transform the way the nation thinks, acts and talks about dementia. Becoming a Dementia Friend simply means finding out more about how dementia affects a person – and then, armed with this understanding, doing small everyday things that help.

The initial batch of Information Sessions were delivered to over 50% of the Lifehouse workforce in the last quarter of 2017, with staff from all departments getting involved. The remainder will then be carried out in early 2018 to ensure all members of staff are better equipped to welcome guests with dementia to Lifehouse. This will also allow carers to feel more relaxed, knowing that their loved one is being well looked after during their visit to the hotel & spa.

Once all Lifehouse team members have received the Dementia Friend Information Sessions, the company will then identify actions they can take as, as part of the local Dementia Action Alliance, making simple changes based on what is known to be important to people affected by dementia and will truly change their experience. 

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The future of beauty at Europe’s favorite beauty business event

 

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The Natural Beauty & Spa Show is back with another helping of the best natural and organic beauty innovations the industry has to offer.  Featuring over 250 personal care and cosmetic brands, and a dynamic seminar programme full of beauty pioneers and experts – there’s plenty for retailers and buyers looking to stay ahead of the curve in an ever-evolving market.  

 

Register for your free trade ticket today – quote priority code: NPEB49

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Adding Wellness Items to Your Retail

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The world is getting more and more into wellness, health, and fitness, and the population are starting to realise the huge benefits of looking after your mind, as well as body, can make. Also, with many celebrities seeing the limelight recently, with their struggles mentally, it’s bringing the importance of mental well-being to the forefront.

Meditation is a word that is more accepted, and less ‘kooky’ these days, with many spas and industry professionals offering such a service, as well as similar spiritual and well-being treatments.

So, how can we maximise our wellness offering for our client’s needs and wants?

If your spa or salon has the feel of wellness about it, popular with massages for example, then wellness retail items could be a fantastic edition to your offering. What are we talking about? Think soothing candles, incense sticks, wellness ‘self-help’ style books, mindfulness colouring books, affirmation and angel cards, worry dolls, white sage, crystals, bracelets, meditation beads, dreamcatchers, plus Himalayan rock salt lamps and gratitude journals (both of which are currently getting lots of press coverage).

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8 Steps to Effective Management

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Keeping valued team members must be a top priority for any spa business planning to succeed over the long term. The fifth most important factor for why employees stay with an organization is money, so how do we keep our team motivated and enjoying their jobs.

Recognition is free, give it out when appropriate as it can raise the bar with your team. Another level of recognition is getting your company's Executive Team involved. Recognition coming from the 'Executive' level has a very positive impact on your employees as it lets them know that they are being watched and attention is being given.

This kind of recognition makes us all stand a bit taller. Memos and voicemails coming from the 'Executive' level stand out. This also allows you as the manger to ensure that upper management is kept abreast of the achievements your team are making for the overall success of the business... To add yet another level of stimulation, have an executive either personally call to congratulate someone (or a group) or even show up in person to shake hands and express his or her appreciation. 

On-the-Spot Praise. This too is associated with recognition but the key here is timing. When there is a reason for praising someone don't put it off for any reason! Promptness equals effectiveness. Praise people when the achievement is fresh on everyone's mind. What is effective is for us to pay attention, watch for accomplishments and go out and tell whoever it is what a great service they gave or applaud them for going above and beyond to serve the guest...praise them promptly for what they accomplished or achieved! Don't allow time to creep in and snatch away any ounce of the positive impact that praise can have when it is delivered promptly. 

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The Retail Experience

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Our Spa Guests want to shop, what they don’t want is to be sold to. Here are some tips on effective retailing from my own experience working in Spas.

Selling shouldn’t be a chore, it shouldn’t feel uncomfortable and it shouldn’t be forced. The Therapists with the highest sales in my experience are those that simply express passion for the products demonstrating a genuine belief in the benefit to the customer. The products will sell themselves if combined with a wonderful treatment and to emphasize this the Therapist has the opportunity to select the most appropriate products for that client’s skin type and requirements. The key is to then gently advise on why they have selected the products that they have chosen, discuss the client’s current beauty regime, identify any specific needs and concerns and simply make recommendations.

The Therapist should have had thorough training in the product brand that they are using and it’s vital they have been able to experience the products themselves. The most genuine and effective sales come from Therapists who can vouch for the product they are recommending.

Let the client finish their treatment in a wonderfully relaxing way by offering them a drink and then ideally taking them to a relaxation space where they may continue to rest. The worst end to a treatment is to have a sale pushed on you. 

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Why Be A Member of the UK Spa Association?

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You are a spa manager.

You juggle the daily responsibilites of managing a booking system, therapist rotas, spa set up, financial reporting and administration, marketing and sales strategies, training and recruitment, memberships, developing new treatments... all the while trying to deliver the ideal guest experience AND grow your business, and yet nobody actually knows what you do!

Sound familiar?

Our spa operator members tell us it’s because of these very challenges that they join the UK Spa Association (UKSA).

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Events

Armathwaite Hall Hotel & Spa - Tuesday 24th April 11am to 3pm

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Join us at the magnificent Armathwaite Hall Hotel and Spa in Cumbria for the UK Spa Associations Spring Networking event. Set in the secluded splendour of 400 acres of deer park & woodland, bordered by the beauty of Bassenthwaite Lake and framed by the dramatic Skiddaw Mountain and Lake District fells. Armathwaite Hall, a former stately home is delighted to host this prestigious event.

Bringing you two informative and thought-provoking speakers. This time around our session speakers will be Danielle Alen, Director of Spa & Hotel at Lifehouse Spa and Hotel and Stu Henshall owner of The Alternative Kitchen.

Lifehouse is a Spa that has always strived to be at the forefront of the industry by exploring new ways to maximise their facilities and services. This year they will become the first spa in the UK to be ‘Dementia Friendly’. With dementia now the lead cause of death in England and Wales, it is something that will sadly affect many of us. As a designated place to go for relaxation and recuperation, a spa should be able to welcome those living with dementia, as they would those going through cancer. This is something very close to their hearts and they are passionate about equipping their staff with the tools to be able to fulfil their guests’ needs at every level. The response to their training so far has been fantastic and they are very excited to be working towards their dementia friendly status this year. Danielle will explain why they chose to launch something so different, what the impact has been like from the industry, press and consumer, how she makes sure that her spa leads the way in new initiatives and why it’s so important for Spa Operators to look for USP's in this competitive market.

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Mother's Day

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March brings Mother’s Day and with it, the perfect opportunity to boost sales with the promotion of gift vouchers and spa visits.

Mother and Daughter spa days are a great treat to enjoy together. So, set packages for two with selected treatments are worth promoting.

You could always create limited edition treatments that are not available any other time of the year, to boost interest and demand for the treatment. Perhaps a specific ritual treatment, different to your standard treatments that combines a facial with a back massage, foot scrub and foot massage?

What else can you offer with your spa visits to make them extra special for Mum - A box of chocolates, a glass of prosecco?

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What do Learners really think about working in our industry?

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For a number of years, I have been a business volunteer for Working Knowledge employer engagement specialist, who work with students in colleges while across many subject areas to bridge the gap between education and the workplace.

In my time of volunteering for our industry with Beauty and Spa learners studying, the thing that really struck me is how little they seem to understand the many pathways that are available to them, I am not saying this is at every centre that offer's training, however, I seem overall to receive the same kind of questions and feedback.

When discussed with groups about the many prestigious spas and salons they could apply for work, the response back is “OH we could never go there, that is for the high-end therapist, and lots of rich people, they would never employ me". It came across in my opinion that they appear to have a narrow view of some areas of employment in our industry and some of the best, lack courage to really go for that career building Job because they feel it is beyond them.

Dylan McTaggart Vice-Principal (www.workingknowledge.org.uk)

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Agency Therapists

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Over the years it has proved harder and harder to recruit for Spas in certain areas, Therapists and Managers in particular. I have never had trouble when recruiting for Fitness staff and Spa Front Office, they would send CVs to me in abundance. However, certainly for Therapists it’s a very different ball game.

When I started out Managing Spas, Therapist CVs would land on my desk daily. I had my pick of the bunch and this meant that I could rely wholly on employing my own staff directly, be it part time, full time or sometimes on zero hours contracts.

I started to see a change in employment patterns in about 2010. The market was changing, agencies had been set up to offer Spas the opportunity to take on a Therapist for short periods, generally a minimum of 4 hours a day and you would cancel them if they were no longer required by giving notice. This became a positive solution to manage last minute sickness, holiday cover and to fill the weekend demand.

Whilst you need your core staff to manage the seven-day spectrum, it was becoming more prevalent to keep their numbers to a minimum, a skeleton staff if you like. A Spa would then build around this in response to demand by incorporating agency staff as required. The Spa market subsequent to the 2008/9 recession was becoming more challenging to predict and therefore for many Spa Operators this flexible employment regime became a solution to managing yield. As a result of this shift in the industry, Therapists started signing up to the agencies in droves, mainly to take advantage of this kind of ‘pick and choose’ work.

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WSW Convention speaker in the spotlight: Jessica Shea

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The World Spa & Wellness Convention coming to ExCeL London on February 25th - 26th will feature topical industry issues and high-profile names from around the world.

Jessica Shea, director, global brand spa at Hilton Hotels & Resorts tells about what she will be covering, and why industry events matter.

What would you like delegates to take away from your presentation?

I think it’s important for the industry to share universal challenges and hear potential solutions. We’re all facing a staffing crisis and can benefit from different organisations’ perspectives on what to do about it. I would like to share some of the tactics we’re implementing at Hilton to remain a top employer of spa and fitness professionals.

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