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A Time to Renew

By: Mary Bemis
Posted: June 6, 2008, from the January 2007 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

How are you helping your spa clients to recharge and commit to a better lifestyle in the new year? Here’s a glimpse into some of the more innovative programs offered at a variety of hotel, resort and destination spas. This is the time of year when guests are eager and more open about learning how to live a healthier life—be that through diet, exercise or mind-body lessons. Owners who realize this and know that it is a spa’s responsibility to provide such offerings will succeed in the coming year and beyond.

Creative classes

At the Ojai Valley Inn & Spa in Ojai, California, guests can choose from an array of what the facility has deemed Short Courses in Living Better. Among the new offerings: The Artist’s Path, created to help guests discover and develop their inner artist and “ignite the fires within.” The property invites local guest artists to guide spa-goers on their creative quests. There’s also a class called Aromatherapy: Essential Oils from A to Z. Guests who opt for this will learn how the art of aromatherapy has been practiced by numerous cultures, as well as how the essential oils of plants can be used to promote the healing of the mind, body and spirit.

Winning at weight loss

When it comes to staying fit and losing weight, The Allegria Spa at Park Hyatt Beaver Creek in Beaver Creek, Colorado, has not only its members’ well-being in mind, but its team members’ well-being, too. Beginning in January and running through March, The Club at Allegria Spa is hosting and participating in a nationwide challenge that is sponsored, in part, by the International Health and Racquet Sports Association (IHRSA), PayDay Pro and Life Fitness. In addition to the benefit of a healthier community, explains Katie Coakley, a media spokesperson for the property, The Club at Allegria Spa is donating the corresponding dollar amount for the total number of pounds lost during the eight weeks to the Vail Valley Charitable Fund. The Club also invites other community businesses to sponsor the program for their teams, and any business that chooses to participate can benefit from support that Allegria Spa offers, including complimentary weekly seminars, motivational e-mails, resting metabolic rate testing and anaerobic threshold testing.

Lauren Brand, athletic director at Allegria Spa, believes that if you discover a form of exercise that is enjoyable, you’ll make it a part of your life. Spa guests can be as involved to whatever degree they would like, and they also can sign up to participate remotely via e-mail and telephone once they return home. “Spas are a great jumping point for people who want to change their health,” says Coakley. “Our follow-up phone calls and e-mails help spa visitors to incorporate what they have learned with their faster-paced real lives.”

Just how did this unique program originate? A few years ago, the IHRSA asked the spa to participate in a nationwide weight-loss challenge, with the enticement being that the club that lost the most weight would win a Life Fitness Elliptical workout machine. Brand, however, did not find that incentive to be particularly motivating. She believed that if the community were to become involved, the facility would garner more interest and determination, and people would be more likely to lose weight—especially if the participants raised pledges. Once participants realized that losing a pound could earn anywhere from $1–100, “Lose Weight for Charity” was born. It ties together the different facets of the property—spa, club and membership—and unites the community.