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Adding On to the Bottom Line

By: Cathy Christensen
Posted: March 30, 2010, from the April 2010 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.
Ruby Room Guest Room

The guest rooms at Ruby Room supply a comfortable place of respite for Chicago visitors who are seeking a less structured, more free-form environment with spa services available.

The brave entrepreneurs who embark on the obstacle-filled and often thankless journey of small business ownership do so because they have dreams of meeting the needs of clients better than anyone else can. For many spa owners, touching the lives of their clients and adding to their overall well-being are usually the driving forces behind opening a spa, and these goals are often met through incredible treatments and one-on-one customer service.

Sadly, however, in economic climates such as these, this may not be enough to keep your spa above water. Opening an additional revenue stream by literally adding on to your spa can help alleviate the profit expectation from your services and retail, and can set you apart from the competition, with each piece of the business working in tandem to bring recognition from clients from multiple walks of life. Guest rooms, salt caves and tea rooms are examples of add-ons that may be a perfect fit for your spa—and your pocketbook.

Guest rooms

Somewhere between large destination spas and hotel spas, a segment of spas exists that supplies several guest rooms as well as services. Rooms can either be added as an extension of an existing spa, as was the case with Ruby Room in Chicago, or they can be part of the plan all along, such as those offered at Reverie Spa Retreat in LaPorte, Indiana. Either way, they can open up your spa to not only a new revenue stream, but also to the ability to turn your current spa experience into a more well-rounded one.

Reverie Spa Retreat, LaPorte, Indiana. “Offering guest rooms was part of my original thinking,” says Beth Warren, owner of Reverie Spa Retreat. “I wanted a retreat, and part of that is eating well and sleeping well, and it all ties in to wellness. The rooms added to the overall ambiance and wellness focus of what we planned.” Reverie offers four guest rooms in the refurbished farmhouse that is home to the spa. The rooms offer a peaceful ambiance without the distractions of telephones or televisions, and most feature balconies looking out onto the pastoral landscape of the property.

Guests are welcome to stay at Reverie without participating in its spa services, but the rooms provide a bonus to spa visitors who seek a more well-rounded option. “People who are interested in retreating love to have a beautiful room to go to and relax in, and read and sleep. We like to entice people to take two days for themselves to retreat and get out of some of their daily habits. Two days gets them off to a decent start,” says Warren, who does see additional revenue from the rooms that are priced at approximately $200 a night.