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Spas a Big Part of Marketing and Differentiating
Kempinski Hotels in Turkey and Spain

By Barry Napier

March 2008 -  The oldest luxury hotel group in Europe, Kempinski, has a portfolio including many historical landmarks, not just in Europe, but also in the Middle East, Africa, Asia and South America. Each Kempinski Hotel blends its own professional outlook with local customs and traditions. 

One of the newest hotels in the group is a brand new build just outside Umag, in north-west Istria, Croatia, to be opened very shortly, with a collection of modern new builds, consisting of an hotel, villas and leisure facilities with golf course. One of its most unusual features is a church offering marriage ceremonies as well as normal services.

Now, Kempinski have launched a brand new facility, at its Kempinski Hotel Barbaros Bay Bodrum on the southern Turkey coast. The Hotel’s award-winning Six Senses Spa is now offering a brand new, innovative detox program, just for busy corporate executives.

Kempinski Hotel Barbaros Bay Bodrum
Kizilagac Koyu
Gerenkuyu Mevkii Yaliciftlik
48400 Bodrum TURKEY
The Hotel is built on a beautiful part of Turkey, with magnificent views and historical tourist sites nearby. Heavily-scented woods cover the coastline, and hills behind the woods lead on to more remote countryside. Maybe not of much interest to executives with expenses, but this part of Turkey has top-quality restaurants for very low prices, plus water sports!

The Spa, wishing to add to this already idyllic setting, says the detox program is unique, and is aimed at executives who attend conferences at the center. The detox claims to ‘purify and rest their minds and bodies’ to heighten their sensory and analytical abilities during corporate meetings. So long as they do not mix it excessively with cocktails, they should be okay!

The regime includes gentle exercise, meditation, nutritional therapy and a specially designed ‘brain food’ menu.  Six Senses Spa say all this boosts brainpower in intensive business discussions. Maybe they can export it in a plain brown paper bag to those of us who can’t get there?

Small groups of 10 – 15 people are invited to attend sessions before going to what can be intensive meetings, but in a tranquil environment. On the morning of meetings, executives take part in yoga to encourage a calm disposition. During meetings therapists can give mini-head and shoulder massages, to “enhance energy flow” and remove stiffness and tension.

Also during the meeting, each person will have a “full-body detox massage and one Thai head, shoulder and acupressure massage”.  When the meeting ends, attendees are offered a meditation exercise to unwind. I am not quite sure how much meeting actually takes place with all this therapy (?) but you can’t beat relaxation during vital talks.

Food served during the day is designed with slow-energy release benefits to keep maximum concentration levels. Participants may also consult a nutritionist for future choice of foods. Sounds better than the usual snatched chocolate bar and coffee.

I am told this is the first Kempinski hotel to offer the corporate detox facility, and if found to be successful, Six Senses will offer it at all Kempinski hotels. Of course, they will be copied, so any expansion should really be undertaken fast, as soon as the first bookings prove successful.

Another Kempinski hotel has reopened after extensive modernisation and $11 million refurbishment: the Kempinski Hotel Bahia Estepona, on the sun-soaked coast of the Costa del Sol, Spain. It has magnificent gardens and sea views, and the design is Moorish/Andalusian.

The unique facility at this Spa centers on its Éminence Organic Skin Care facility, under the eye of a Spa manager/owner who is a qualified homeopathic doctor. This new luxury organic Med-Spa is the first of its kind in Spain. The Spa name is catchy enough to be used for future franchise spin-offs.

The products are used by celebrities such as Penelope Cruz and Winona Ryder, and Kempinski hopes their preference will draw similar celebrities to Spain. The Spa includes an incredible 18 treatment rooms, sauna, indoor swimming pool and fitness centre, plus lifestyle counselling and full health assessments. And that is just the Spa! 

It is interesting to see how innovative hotel chains can be when it comes to distinguishing their services and the services of other hotels. The Bodrum idea, if it catches on, should prove to be a winner. Other hotels offer beauty treatments, but the Estepona has both top-rated exclusive products plus a resident doctor just for the Spa. These are good marketing tools and money-spinners. The problem arises when marketing degenerates to low-level services that could best be left at the ideas stage! So far, Kempinski seems to use excellent marketing professionals, so it should not have much of a problem maintaining top quality, and coming up with further interesting value-added services.


Barry Napier


Also See: Hilton Hotels Corporation and Hotel Owners Investing Up to $200 million to Develop 70 New Spas; New Guerlain and Acqua di Parma Spas to Be Featured at The Waldorf=Astoria Collection, Conrad Hotels & Resorts, and Selected Hilton Hotels / June 2007
Spas - How to Stay On-trend and Make Money / Judith L. Singer and Patricia A. Monteson / February 2007


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