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Short and Sweet

By: Mary Bemis
Posted: June 11, 2008, from the October 2006 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

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The Spa at Stoweflake Mountain Resort & Spa in Stowe, Vt., has offered a variety of express treatments since it opened. Kathy Wheelwright, assistant spa director, says, “I think they are a wonderful addition not only for clients who are strapped for time, but also for those who are unable to afford traditionally priced services. This enables them to still have the spa experience.”

Taking a time-out is hard for a lot of Jim Croghan’s clientele. “Express treatments offer a brief respite from their hurried days,” he says. As the director of spa and recreation at The Spa at The Island Hotel in Newport Beach, Calif., he has noticed that not enough people jump at the opportunity to relax. “Miniservices offer them a chance to reflect,” he adds.

Minitreatments also need to benefit the spa therapist and be profitable assets to a spa’s menu. “For team members, these services give them an opportunity to treat and educate clients who perhaps they otherwise would not meet,” says Debi Harris, regional spa trainer for Mario Tricoci Day Spas, based out of Palatine, Ill. “Our therapists are honest with clients about the realistic results of an express treatment and will recommend the full-service menu item that optimally would treat their concerns,” she explains. These brief appointments also are useful schedule fillers. “An express treatment fits into smaller booking increments that a full-service treatment would not,” adds Close.

Who is booking

The De-Stress Day Package was added to the menu at The Spa at The Island Hotel in February of this year. Croghan notes that tired mothers and overstressed executives often book this package. Harris finds that a wide range of clients schedule express treatments—from the newcomer sampling the menu to the busy professional on a lunch break. Ciuffo finds that spa diva parties for 6–16-year-olds are popular ways to celebrate graduations and birthdays. These events lend themselves to a range of express treatments. “Every year, spa-going becomes more mainstream and accessible,” she notes. “Even men are booking brow-grooming services, manicures and men’s minifacials.”

The cardinal rule

Because these services are so short, team members should emphasize to clients the necessity of being prompt. “Spa-goers should keep in mind that it is important to be punctual when booking an express treatment, even arriving a few minutes beforehand,” notes Harris. In addition, these treatments don’t replace a full service or its benefits. “Clients need to realize that these are miniservices and are in no way a substitute for an actual spa service,” adds Croghan. “They simply help people to get through the week.”