Archive for Tag: boutique spa management company
Happy Thanksgiving from ISM Spa Management

November 16, 2019 | no comments | ISM News | by: James McCauley

Happy Thanksgiving from ISM Spa Management

At ISM Spa Management, we are grateful for each and every one of our wonderful clients. This year, our team of talented spa consultants has helped clients from the Graton Hotel & Casino in Rohnert Park, California on the west coast to Casa Monica Resort & Spa in historic St. Augustine, Florida on the east coast. 

We have also brought our unique approach to programming to spas beyond the country’s borders, including properties in Mexico and the Caribbean. At the international properties that are sharing our innovative hotel spa management philosophy with their guests, not everyone will be celebrating Thanksgiving, but that doesn’t mean they can’t partake in the benefits of gratitude.  

Giving Thanks

As a boutique spa management company known for designing innovative wellness experiences that are redefining the spa industry, our approach to programming expands upon the traditional definition of spa. Our talented spa design consultants and experienced spa architects are able to design a holistic spa environment that enhances the wellness experience, often times in ways that are not obvious to the naked eye.  

In our quest to develop dynamic programming that will distinguish the properties under the care of our spa management company and will provide meaningful experiences to their guests, we have developed an expertise in many aspects of human behavior and social science that go beyond what most would expect to find in spa consultants. 

In addition to developing a thorough understanding of the effect that colors, lighting, sounds and scents may have on spa guests, we have learned about the many facets of wellness and personal wellbeing. 

As a result of our efforts to provide unparalleled hotel spa management and day spa management services, we have become aware of the profound benefits associated with gratitude. Research has shown that a simple gratitude practice, as reported on the science-based positive psychology platform PositivePsychology.com, can, among many other things: 

  • Make us happier
  • Increase psychological well-being
  • Enhance our positive emotions
  • Increase our self-esteem

And so, as everyone at our boutique spa management company prepares to celebrate Thanksgiving, we would like to thank all of our clients for their business and for the opportunity they provide us throughout the year to experience the benefits of gratitude.

Featured Property: Ama Spa

October 9, 2019 | no comments | ISM News | by: James McCauley

boutique spa management company - Featured Property: Ama Spa

The Ama Spa at The Edwin Hotel in Chattanooga, TN is one of the newer properties entrusted to the care and expertise of the spa consultants at ISM Spa, a boutique spa management company based in Asheville, North Carolina, that has earned a reputation for innovation and efficiency in the field of hotel spa management.  

The Edwin Hotel, with its 90 rooms, was a highly anticipated addition to Chattanooga’s vibrant downtown landscape. The Edwin has earned wide acclaim for its service and its ability to connect the area’s tradition of Southern hospitality with modern-day trends and exceptional cuisine.

Ama Spa had to meet the same high standards. Ama, the Cherokee word for water, is a sacred element, intricately flowing in and out of the Appalachian way of life. The Cherokee Indians revere water for its strength, vitality and wisdom. In return, it provides hydration, food, navigation and holistic healing.

A menu of spa therapies at Ama Spa was developed that would embrace water as a source of life to preserve the mind, body and spirit for whole well-being.

Project Parameters 

Long before the doors of this wellness spa opened to welcome guests, the spa architect and spa design management team from ISM Spa went to work. The spa industry continues to grow at unprecedented levels, but success of an individual property still relies on developing an understanding of the unique marketplace in which that spa will operate. 

The spa consultants at ISM Spa have the expertise needed to produce a comprehensive feasibility study, which included:

  • A compilation of relevant industry data
  • An analysis of market trends
  • Current and future competitive comparisons
  • An assessment of the viability and financial performance potential of the spa

In addition to the feasibility study, our spa design management team contributed a number of vital components to the project, including: 

  • Brand Concept
  • Design Development
  • Spa and Hotel Integration Training and IT
  • Pre-Opening Operations
  • On-Going Management

ISM Spa consultants also conducted market research related to:

  • Ama Spa’s Target Market
  • Relevant Industry Trends
  • Existing Competition Analysis

The experienced industry professionals at our spa management company also produced a series of financial reports, including: 

  • Comprehensive Profit and Loss Statement — Revenue Assumptions, Cost of Sales, Capture Rate, Rev PATT, Proforma
  • Capital Expenditure List
  • Labor Assumptions
  • Compensation Packages

In the case of Ama Spa in Chattanooga, the analysis provided by ISM Spa Management consultants provided the client with the guidance needed to make informed decisions as the scope of the project took shape. Today, Ama Spa is not only an asset to the award-winning Edwin Hotel, it is a distinctive wellness destination in its own right.

ISM CEO and Spa Management Consultant Earns Award

September 6, 2019 | no comments | ISM News | by: James McCauley

ISM CEO and Spa Management Consultant Earns Award

There’s something about Founding Partner and Chief Executive Officer of ISM SPA, wellness design management, Ilana Craig Alberico, that you should know. She wants all of us to be the happiest, healthiest versions of ourselves that we can possibly be. Seriously. Fortunately for all of us, she brought that philosophy with her when she and Christina Stratton started this boutique spa management company

“Serving people is at the heart of what we do,” Ilana has said on more than occasion. And she means it. 

We think her authentic desire to inspire and facilitate wellness combined with her tireless commitment to excellence had a lot to do with her being selected for the Women Entrepreneurs Best in Business Award sponsored by Webb Investment Services. 

Charles Thompson, director of rooms at the Inn on Biltmore Estate, was among the many who were happy but not surprised to learn that Ilana had been chosen as the recipient of the award, which recognizes a woman who demonstrates the transformation of her dream into reality and who exhibits the traits of an entrepreneur such as: willingness to take risk, personal drive, focus, innovation and business acumen.

“[Ilana] is an outstanding individual,” he said. “She is a motivated individual who is driven to truly excel in her industry and she is an excellent candidate and very well-deserving recipient of this award.” 

As Mr. Thompson noted, “Biltmore and ISM have been a partner for several years now and I’ve watched ISM continue to grow. Ilana is constantly on the cutting edge of understanding what the new trends are in the industry.” 

ISM Spa Management Company has provided a number of services for The Spa Biltmore, including  design, concept and consulting, training and education, pre-opening, daily operations management. 

“Innovative Spa Management provides a very consistent service for our guests,” Mr. Thompson said. “[Ilana] is always trying to be one step ahead in providing what guests are looking for when they go to a spa, what they’re hoping to experience. 

“Ilana and her creative team come together, and they understand Biltmore,” he continued. “They understand what we’re about and who we are. They take and pull inspiration from the Estate and the gardens and they meticulously pull together and create spa packages and spa treatments to provide to our guests which really which really resonates with who we are with our authenticity of being on the Estate.”

If you are interested in the award-winning services provided by ISM, which offers both day spa management services as well as hotel spa management, please contact us.

What do spa consultants do on their day off?

August 22, 2019 | no comments | ISM News | by: Christina Stratton

What do spa consultants do on their day off?

As much as the spa consultants at ISM Spa management company like escaping the summer heat and relaxing with a good movie, we are dedicated first and foremost to developing branded spas that offer unsurpassed service, impressive results, attention to detail, and commitment to continuous improvement. 

Of course, Hollywood has produced any number of movies over the years that have been filmed, at least in part, in a spa setting.  One could say that, if you’re in the business of spa management, watching a movie that features a scene-stealing spa could be considered research. Very entertaining research, to be sure, but research, nonetheless. 

Spas on the Silver Screen 

You may be surprised at how many times movie cameras and crews have captured the beauty and amenities of international hotel and resort spas on film for all of us to enjoy – from Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman to Liam Neeson in Unknown. Here are a few of our favorites:

Some Like it Hot 

Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon starred in this classic comedy from 1959. Curtis and Lemmon play two Chicago musicians, who had the misfortune to witness a mob massacre. In an attempt to escape from the bad guys, they join an all-girl band heading to Florida. Although San Diego isn’t exactly on the way from Chicago to Florida, the Spa at The Del in the Hotel del Coronado appears in the film. 

The Way We Were 

With stars like Barbara Streisand and Robert Redford, perhaps it’s only fitting that the spa scenes in this 1973 romance were filmed at The Plaza Hotel in New York. Spa scenes from several other movies – including Funny Girl, which also starred Streisand – were also filmed at The Plaza.

Never Say Never Again

It’s not surprising that James Bond, as played by the always debonair Sean Connery, might find himself in the vicinity of a spa. And it’s not surprising that, when he does in this 1983 movie, the spa happens to be in Monte Carlo’s Hôtel de Paris.

At ISM Spa, a boutique spa management company based in Asheville, our innovative approach to spa programming finds its inspiration, not on the silver screen, but in the indigenous characteristics surrounding each individual property’s location.  For more information, please contact us. One of our hotel spa management experts would be happy to speak with you.

Spa Consultants know a thing or two about stress

July 20, 2019 | no comments | ISM News | by: Christina Stratton

Spa Consultants know a thing or two about stress

When most people talk about how stressed out everyone is, it’s usually seen as something negative. In the world of spa management, however, the ever-increasing levels of stress in our world could be seen as promising. 

The hectic pace of today’s world is undoubtedly one of the many factors driving growth in the international spa industry. And according to recent research, it doesn’t look like that trend is going to change any time soon.  

At ISM Spa Management Company, we don’t take pleasure in the stress of others. In fact, we go out of our way to alleviate stress and promote wellness in any number of innovative ways. 

Are we really more stressed than previous generations?

Yes, we are. And Gen Z – those who are currently in the 15 to 21 year age range – is perhaps the most stressed of all. 

Every year, the American Psychological Association commissions a nationwide survey as part of its Mind/Body Health campaign to examine the state of stress across the country and understand its impact. The most recent survey revealed that more than nine in 10 Gen Z adults (91 percent) said they have experienced at least one physical or emotional symptom because of stress, such as feeling depressed or sad (58 percent) or lacking interest, motivation or energy (55 percent). 

According to the APA, the survey also shows that, “Only half of all Gen Zs feel like they do enough to manage their stress.”

“Current events are clearly stressful for everyone in the country, but young people are really feeling the impact of issues in the news, particularly those issues that may feel beyond their control,” Arthur C. Evans Jr., PhD, APA’s chief executive officer, commented when the findings were released. 

Is it just us?

The short answer is NO! Live Science recently ran a story titled, “People Across the Globe Feeling More Sad, Stressed and in Pain Than Ever.”

“A new survey of people’s daily emotions found that, worldwide, reports of negative emotions — including sadness, worry and stress — have increased over the last decade,” they report.

To understand what global and domestic trends like this could mean for the growth of the spa industry, you can rely on the expertise of the spa consultants at ISM SPA, a boutique spa management company based in Asheville, North Carolina.

Featured Hotel Spa Management Projects

July 8, 2019 | no comments | ISM News | by: Christina Stratton

Featured Hotel Spa Management Projects

As one of the leading spa management companies on the international scene, ISM SPA management company offers sophisticated spa consulting, spa design management and spa management services specifically geared toward the unique needs of hotel spa management. 

ISM SPA consultants understand that successful hotel spa management goes above and beyond the requirements of day spa management. It is essential not only to operate a spa that maximizes revenues and profits but one that also: 

  • Adds to the value of its client hotel or resort property 
  • Helps to establish the property as a service-centered destination 
  • Inspires repeat visits
  • Contributes to increased occupancy 
  • Enhances the overall brand image

 

Featured Hotel Spa Management Projects

At ISM SPA, a boutique spa management company based in Asheville, NC, our mission is to provide operational excellence and optimal experiences, promoted by our commitment to curated connections, guest gratification and employee engagement. 

Our featured hotel spa management projects will give you an idea of how we pursue that mission:

  • Privai Wellness + Spa

We would like to wish the Privai Wellness + Spa Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld, Orlando, Fl, one of our featured properties, a very happy anniversary! It was approximately one year ago that this amazing property first opened its doors. ISM Spa design consultants were intimately involved in the development of this engaging concept and are proud to provide ongoing hotel spa management services. 

ISM Spa consulting and management services provided for the Privai Wellness + Spa at the Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld include: 

  • Feasibility
  • Brand Concept
  • Renovation Design
  • Spa and Hotel Integration training and IT
  • Pre-Opening Operations
  • Ongoing Management

 

  • The Ama Spa

Before long another of our featured properties will also be celebrating its first anniversary. The concept for The Ama Spa at The Edwin Hotel, in Chattanooga, TN was developed around the Cherokee word for water – Ama – which is a sacred element, intricately flowing in and out of the Appalachian way of life. The Cherokee Indians have a daily ritual called “going to water,” submerging themselves in the river to wash away physical and spiritual ailments. Our spa consultants created a unique concept that incorporates the healing power of water in a philosophy of wellness that is rooted in the local environment and culture. 

ISM Spa consulting and management services provided for the Ama Spa at The Edwin Hotel include: 

  • Feasibility
  • Brand Concept
  • Design Development
  • Spa and Hotel Integration training and IT
  • Pre-Opening Operations
  • Ongoing Management

 

For more information on hotel spa management services from ISM SPA management firm, please contact us.

Branding is essential in modern spa management

May 28, 2019 | no comments | ISM News | by: Christina Stratton

Branding is essential in modern spa management

Branding can be an incredibly powerful tool – when done right. 

At ISM Spa, a boutique spa management company based in Asheville, TN, we understand that effective branding can provide a competitive edge. Our expertise in both brand promotion and brand development has enabled our clients to enjoy that edge. 

History of Branding 

The background information available on the development branding reveals interesting aspects of successful branding.  

According to a scholarly paper by Karl Moore, at the time an Associate Professor at McGill University, and Susan Reid, an Assistant Professor at the Williams School of Business and Economics, “Brands are as old as civilization.” Indeed, they found evidence of branding, in various forms, dating back to 2250 BCE in the Indus Valley. 

For centuries, branding was used to keep track of the ownership of livestock, a practice that carries on to this day. The modern concept of branding, on the other hand, can only be traced back to the 1970s.  

In How Brands Were Born: A Brief History of Modern Marketing, which appeared in The Atlantic, Marc De Swaan Arons noted that, “The shift from simple products to brands has not been sudden or inevitable. You could argue that it grew out of the standardization of quality products for consumers in the middle of the 20th century, which required companies to find a new way to differentiate themselves from their competitors.”

From there, he says, “’Winning’ was determined by understanding the consumer better than your competitors and the[n] getting the total “brand mix” right. The brand mix is more than the logo, or the price of a product. It’s also the packaging, the promotions, and the advertising, all of which is guided by precisely worded positioning statements.”

In the 21st century, “The market looks very different to just 20 years ago,” Arons wrote. “The average western consumer is exposed to some 3,000 brand messages a day.” 

Cutting through the Clutter

Our spa consultants work closely with you to develop a concept that will infuse your brand with value. We look at market research to gain insight that will allow us to strengthen your spa’s position. We craft an authentic brand concept based on your spa’s culture that will pave the way for success. We can then weave your spa brand into every aspect of the guest experience – from product and service creation to subliminal design enhancements.

The bottom line: ISM Spa Management Company cultivates successful spa branding. For more information about Concept Development and Branding – or any of our other professional day spa management services – please contact us.

Is your spa’s management ready for Mother’s Day?

April 14, 2019 | no comments | ISM News | by: Christina Stratton

Is your spa’s management ready for Mother’s Day?

You don’t need a professional spa consultant to tell you that Mother’s Day is a big day in the spa industry.  always a tremendous opportunity for spas. As DAYSPA Magazine notes, “Every spa professional knows that Mother’s Day is second only to December’s festivities when it comes to gift card sales, and followed, of course, by Valentine’s Day.”

According to MuchNeeded.com, Americans are expected to spend more than $20 billion sending cards, taking Mom out to dinner or brunch and/or buying her a gift.  And it’s not just that we love our mothers. “Shoppers buy for their mothers and stepmothers, but a full 35% are buying for grandmothers, sisters, friends and even daughters — effectively expanding the reach of the holiday,” the website reports.

With that much on the line, you can be sure that spas all across the country are offering special Mother’s Day packages and discounts. You could let your clients know that you offer gift cards as the holiday approaches, but the spa consultants at ISM Spa, a boutique spa management company specializing in innovative programming that is redefining the spa experience, believe that Mom deserves something more, something that will make her feel as special as she is.  

According to MuchNeeded.com, 86% of Americans will be celebrating the holiday – which falls on Sunday, May 12 this year. On average, they say, we will each spend an average of $186. Other sales projections from the website include:

  • Spending on flowers is estimated to be $2.6 billion.
  • We’ll be buying $4.6 billion worth of jewelry
  • We will spend $813 million on cards alone.
  • And, when it comes to personal services – like a spa package or pedicure – it is estimated that we will spend $1.8 billion.

 

Another statistic from MuchNeeded.com worth noting: 31% of all that money – which works out to approximately $6.9 billion – will be spent online.  

We hope you will be among the 86% of Americans celebrating Mother’s Day with the special people in your life this year. And we hope that the holiday will be a very special occasion at your spa.  If it’s not, remember that our day spa management company is driving industry-leading profits for our clients.

Our spa management company is keeping an eye on 2019 wellness trends

March 6, 2019 | no comments | ISM News | by: Christina Stratton

Our spa management company is keeping an eye on 2019 wellness trends

As leaders in the field of spa consulting, the team here at ISM Spa makes a point of keeping up with the latest trends – not only in spa management but also in wellness and other related areas.

If you’re interested in spa management – whether day spa management or hotel spa management – you should, of course, already be aware of the ever-increasing importance of wellness. The majority of clients are as interested in strategies for wellness in their day-to-day lives as they are in wellness treatments at the spa.

At ISM Spa, our unique understanding of the spa industry and its clientele has allowed us to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to developments in wellness – both inside and outside of the spa.

A little earlier this year, we saw a report from a Forbes contributor on Wellness Trends You Have To Try In 2019, which was geared to consumers..

Our top picks from their list include:

  • Unplugging. Dr. Alka Gupta, co-director of the Integrative Health and Wellbeing program at NewYork-Presbyterian and Weill Cornell Medicine, told the reporter, “We are seeing a variety of apps and tools that help us monitor our use of social media. Sometimes consuming social media is important and can be helpful, but we often access this information mindlessly. I think we will continue to become more aware of the way we consume content, allowing us to unplug and avoid digital distractions that are not helpful.”
  • Finding big meaning in small rituals. “This year, we’ll all be shifting into a practice of curating moments that make us pause, appreciate and realize we deserve beautiful moments whenever and wherever we can get them,” Ashli Stockton, founder and chief executive of Sunday Forever, said.
  • Getting back to simple. “People are longing for permission to simplify, unplug and connect in meaningful ways,”  Dr. Lisa B. Nelson, director of medical education at Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health, says.

 

ISM Spa, a boutique spa management company based in Asheville, has designed advanced wellness experiences that are redefining the spa industry. If you want to be ahead of the next trend, one of our spa consultants would be happy to speak with you.

Join our spa consultants in celebrating International Women’s Day on March 8

February 16, 2019 | no comments | ISM News | by: Christina Stratton

Join our spa consultants in celebrating International Women’s Day on March 8

ISM Spa is a women-owned boutique spa management company. That’s just one of the reasons why our innovative spa consultants are looking forward to celebrating International Women’s Day on Friday, March 8. International Women’s Day means different things to different people, but the global focus on equality and celebration is clear. At our spa management firm, we see it as an opportunity to celebrate the many contributions women make to the social, economic, cultural and political life around the world.

According to the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), the number of businesses owned by women has grown considerably in recent years.

  • As of 2018, there are 12.3 million women-owned businesses in the U.S. Compare that to 1972, when there were only 402,000 women-owned businesses, representing 4.6 percent of all firms.
  • Women own 4 out of every 10 businesses in the U.S.

 

That is definitely worth celebrating!

Throughout history women have made valuable contributions to the wellbeing of their families, their communities and the world. The history books tell us of amazing women who accomplished great things, but there are countless more whose efforts to bring about a better future for their communities, their children and for themselves never made headlines.

International Women’s Day was established in 1911 by the Suffragettes who were striving for the right to vote. To this day, it continues to be a powerful platform that drives action for gender parity, while celebrating the achievements of women.

Some of the greatest International Women’s Day videos from around the world

There are 10 values that guide International Women’s Day:

  • Justice
  • Dignity
  • Hope
  • Equality
  • Collaboration
  • Tenacity
  • Appreciation
  • Respect
  • Empathy
  • Forgiveness

 

International Women’s Day 2019

Women have come a long way, yet there’s still more to be achieved. The International Women’s Day 2019 campaign theme of #BalanceforBetter is a call-to-action for driving gender balance across the world.

​IWD photos: In every part of the world, groups are calling for a #BalanceforBetter

International Women’s Day is all about unity, celebration, reflection, advocacy and action.

You can be sure that here at ISM Spa Management, we will take a few minutes away from our day spa consulting duties to put our hands out and STRIKE THE #BalanceforBetter POSE on March 8 and throughout the year as we continue to do what we can to make a positive difference for women.