With the ever-increasing demands of modern holidaymakers, typical self-catering resorts are constantly challenged to find ways to make their resort more attractive to the market.
Travellers have changed their holiday behaviour - opting for shorter periods while many prefer to travel closer to home. Long-haul destinations have to work harder than ever to convince tourists that they offer value for money.
So how do resorts, hotels and timeshare properties set themselves apart from other establishments that offer accommodation?
Offering a new dimension in guest experiences
A fail-safe way to create superior guest experiences is the introduction of a new dimension in guest treatment intended specifically to indulge all the senses of guests visiting any resort.
These experiences should be based upon creating and retaining great memories and experiences by engaging the various senses, including touchable finishes, therapeutic aromas, scintillating tastes, and soothing sounds, among many others.
With this in mind, South African Club Leisure Group (CLG), which recently acquired Brockwood Hall, a luxury resort in the U.K. Lake District and recent winner of TATOC accreditation, put engaging the senses to the test.
Having commissioned spa partner, La Vita Spas, to open its first U.K. facility at Brockwood Hall, CLG chairman Stuart Lamont explained:
"Although the spa site is temporary and smaller than the ultimate facility due for construction in early 2016, we have been overwhelmed at the resounding success achieved since the opening of the spa.
“In South Africa, most of our 60 properties boast great spas which stimulate demand and also provide great package opportunities where we combine wellness with accommodation, which increases loyalty to particular properties.
“We are committed to developing further resorts in Europe and believe that spas will form an integral part of the unique experience.”
Rioma Cominelli, owner of the La Vita and Cellu-Beauty Spa brands added:
"We had no idea how responsive the U.K. market would be to our model and the results have been astounding. Guests love the extended hours, wide range of treatments and the shared time with family. U.K. usage appears to exceed the South African figure of 2.5 average treatments per guest, per week.
“Our model is based on customer centricity focused on enhancing how guests feel, from check in to check out. Trained spa staff are committed to engaging the senses and encouraging couples, mums and daughters, fathers and sons to spa together – which we have learned enhances family ties.”
Rioma went on to say: “Our formula is inclusive of free, comprehensive assessments of hotel and resort properties – delivering input on design aesthetic and infrastructure capabilities. From express spas to luxury day systems, to staffing, training and the overall management of the spa - we provide the full service.”
A wide spectrum of ‘wellness’ is encouraged, including Nordic walking, land and aqua aerobics, swimming and even wellness education.
Rioma and her executive team are excited about wellness opportunities in the U.K. and Europe and are finalising either turnkey spa facilities or joint venture spa arrangements with a number of resorts.
The first test case has revealed that Europeans and the British are well informed and becoming increasingly passionate about health and wellness.
They are including such elements into their breaks – and more than ready to opt for properties offering the healthy, ‘feel good’ experiences that comprehensive spas can offer - whether for a weekend or a fortnight break.