Hotel Online  Special Report

Hotel Spa Survey Indicates 1 in 3 Guests Spend
More on Spa Treatments than Hotel Dining 


  • Over 1 in 3 spend more on treatments than food and wine
  • Appearing Naked Ranks Among Top Dislikes
April 2005 - In conjunction with the release of the new Spa Book, Exclusively by Small Luxury Hotels, the global luxury brand surveyed over 1000 frequent travelers and regular spa-goers in 20 countries as to their likes, dislikes and preferences of the spa experience.  Research found that typically these guests book at least one treatment during every weekend break, and three during a week-long stay.  More than a third (36%) say they spend more in hotels on spa therapies than they do on fine dining and wines. 

The goal of ‘stress reduction and relaxation’ is singled out as the main reason for using a spa, but is only marginally ahead of the explanations ‘to look good/appear younger’, and ‘to feel more sexy and attractive’.  The objective of ‘pursuing a spa lifestyle’ is also a frequent comment.

The top 10 most commonly booked spa services are identified (in ranking order) as aromatherapy massages, facials, local ‘signature’ therapies, manicures, pedicures, more ‘creative treatments’, Ayuravedic massages, reflexology, body wraps, and hydrotherapy programs.

Spa regulars also revealed their dislikes:

  • having to appear naked for treatments, or to use a mixed sauna without bathing suits or being bathed by strangers
  • receiving hard-sell tactics to spend more on spa or beauty products
  • treatments derived from chocolate or other dessert ingredients
  • any evidence of lack of cleanliness or poor hygiene
  • being ushered out speedily once their treatment is over
  • pretentious spas which seem to prefer clients with perfect bodies
  • having to make small talk with over-familiar staff
  • on arrival, finding the hotel spa fully booked with locals
Brian Mills, Managing Director of Small Luxury Hotels, comments, “As we can see by the evidence, guests are seeking out more and more spa experiences during the course of travel and they know what they like.  As such, with the release of our Spa Book, it is our goal to help guests decipher the difference between truly exclusive spa experiences that offer therapeutic value as opposed to those that simply offer a range of cosmetic beauty treatments and fitness facilities.”

Small Luxury Hotels, which has been shaping the unique and luxurious experiences of discerning travelers for more than a decade, recognized the growth in consumer demand for luxurious spa experiences and responded with a complete guide to the best spa experiences to be had around the world.  The Spa Book, Exclusively by Small Luxury Hotels of the World highlights 53 full-service spas across the globe, resident within various SLH member hotels and will serve as a complete reference guide for travelers searching for the perfect spa experience. 

The Small Luxury Hotels of the World brand is a collection of over 320 independently owned exclusive hotels in more than 50 countries. 


Lanny Grossman
Director of PR & Marketing, The Americas
Small Luxury Hotels of the World
370 Lexington Avenue, Suite 1506
New York, NY 10017
(212) 953 - 2064 - Tel

Also See: Small Luxury Hotels of the World Launches Spa Book: 'A Trusted Insiders Guide To The Best Full Service Spas Around The World' / March 2005

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