It all begins with a thought and then turns into a dream that stirs feelings of excitement and anxiety. Designing your dream Spa is the most fun and creative part of the process however before decide on your dream layout, consider the financial costs and maintenance you will require on the space you are creating
There are two key elements to Spa design: 1) designing for space allocation and flow and the nicest part 2) designing to a theme, color scheme and finishes. Both are equally as important and it is crucial that you ensure to give the correct amount of emphasis to each of the above elements.
Stay close to the reason why clients visit a Spa, this being the need for relaxation, stress relief and to correct certain skin concerns. Certain design elements will play a large part in achieving this however they will not ensure client retention or a profitable business.
The idea is to balance the two elements and to provide the most comfortable and functional environment for both your clients and staff members. Whatever design you choose make sure you are able to:
- MOVE CLIENTS AROUND SMOOTHLY AND EFFICIENTLY
- SELL MORE RETAIL
- ALLOW FOR LARGER VOLUME OF CLIENTS
- KEEP STAFF HAPPY IN THEIR OWN SPACE
- GROW YOUR BUSINESS
This is the clients first visual impression of your business and should be given careful and due consideration. It is essential to have a reception desk, how big it will be depends on the number of clients it needs to service on the busiest day. It also depends on whether this desk will be used for check-in and check-out and reservations. The dream Spa reception area would include a check-in desk, a check-out desk and a separate reservations department which would be kept in a back office free from the busy front desk activities and noise. The retail space needs to be as big as possible with fantastic lighting and carefully planned and thought about display areas. Ensure to have a lot of stock, well merchandised and of course priced and keep the retail/shopping area close to reception area. Avoid creating a separate shopping area.
The entrance should allow clients to sit and see the retail offering while they are waiting they should ideally not be moved immediately from the reception area to a separate waiting area where there is no possibility to book more treatments, ask about certain services or even make a purchase while waiting for their therapist.
Take the guess work out of the Spa journey you offer your clients. They should be able to see the reception area as soon as they arrive and thereafter the journey to the change rooms should be as quick and effortless as possible. Once the client has changed into your Spa outfit make sure the treatment room can be found easily and access to all the facilities is not too far away. Please, please, please try to make sure that no public places have to be passed between the change rooms and the treatment rooms. I understand that sometimes the shape of your space is not that easy to work so unless you are trying to accommodate wheelchairs try avoid having reception or public areas exposed to guests in their spa attire.
Ensure to design wider passages to allow clients to pass each other comfortably. Also open and wide passages make the spa feel more spacious
Don’t forget to create good flow for support functions in the spa such as allowing technicians to get to equipment to service it, moving dirty linen to the laundry room, getting stock to treatment rooms and receiving orders from suppliers. Try to plan this as carefully as you can. I always try to walk the path of all people involved in the Spa. For example, if I am a client I walk from the time I arrive to the change rooms to the treatment area, to the rest area, to the facilities area and to check out. Or if I am a service technician having been called in to repair a machine urgently, how will I access the machine, who will I disturb and how it will affect the business.
PRODUCTIVE AND PROFITABLE! Designing treatment rooms that allow the room to be used for facials, waxing, massage and body treatments is way to increase your productivity in the business and in turn make more money. These rooms need additional storage space to hide equipment not being used for a particular treatment. The trick in designing the perfect multifunctional room is to ensure that IT DOES NOT LOOK like a multifunctional room. The client must walk in and think the room is specific to their treatment.
Multifunctional rooms also allow groups to book in together for treatments.
Ensure to make an informed decision about the equipment you purchase for your spa. Always try to find something different, something new and innovative and something that clients will re-book for. Make sure the equipment can fit into the treatment rooms you have allocated before you purchase them and also ensure that if the equipment needs to be serviced or repaired there is easy access to the room. The equipment you choose could be the most important decision you make for your business. Don’t go for price always look for quality and comfort. There are some new beds now that have built in heating which eliminates the need for an electric blanket and also have gorgeous thick mattresses which are very luxurious and comfortable.
Call a professional Spa Consultant who has access to different styles and type of equipment and use their experience and expertise in this field to assist your decision making process.
STEAM, SAUNA, RASUL, HAMMAM?????
Yes these facilities and offerings are almost a given must in a Spa however be very careful when considering these. Always make your decision based on what percentage of the total floor space have you allocated to non-income generating space. I try to use the 30/70 principle allocating only 30 percent of the space to non-income but essential space and the 70 percent to income generating space for stand alone spas and salons or when part of a shopping complex where rentals are very high. When it comes to hotel or destination spa you will most definitely require more non-income facilities type of space even as much as 50% of which this space is generally shared by hotel and spa thereby splitting the costs for maintenance.
ALLOW FOR EXPANSION
At the time of building or planning your spa you always think that you have the biggest or latest and all the facilities and plenty of treatment rooms however I can assure you that in 5 years’ time your space may need changing
Please ensure you have space to grow be it upwards or outwards but make sure you allow for this. In your design also try your best to think about when you will expand one day how will it affect the current structure? Will you be able to continue running your business whilst expansion building takes place or will you have to close doors for a period of time? I know many of you think that you will deal with this when you get to that point but I can assure you that giving it a bit of thought and planning at inception can save you a lot of money later on.
ALLOCATE SPACE FOR YOUR STAFF
By this I don’t mean one small little room or an outside courtyard. Your staff is the most important part of your business in fact they ARE your business. So if I were building or planning my spa I would ensure to allocate a spacious area for my staff where they can sit and eat, have a meeting, store away their belongings and re-energize! Be sure to use clever colors, finishes and scents in this area as you can either exhaust your staff more or give them a major boost of energy every time they enter this space.
In conclusion I would like to wish you a truly unforgettable and exciting journey when planning and designing your spa business and remember two things: every square meter of space must be profitably designed and if you are not sure, call in an expert Spa consultant.
You are welcome to email me on Marisa@thespaconsultants.co.za with any comments, feedback and queries.