Archive for Tag: boutique spa management company
Einstein Wasn’t a Spa Consultant, But…

April 9, 2020 | no comments | ISM News | by: James McCauley

Einstein Wasn’t a Spa Consultant, But…

You might not hear Albert Einstein’s name come up very often in a discussion about spa management, but here at ISM Spa, a boutique spa management company based in Asheville, NC, we like to look at things a little differently. And we think Einstein still has something to teach us.

Einstein, a brilliant theoretical physicist who gave us the theory of general relativity and who won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1921, could easily be considered one of the greatest minds of the 20th century – if not the millennium. This was a man who did not shy away from tough questions or hard work. 

Einstein’s Three Rules of Work

Einstein is, rather famously, said to have had three rules of work: “Out of clutter, find simplicity. From discord, find harmony. In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” 

Our spa consultants think these “rules” can be very relevant to the situation we all find ourselves in these days. 

  • Rule #1: “Out of clutter, find simplicity.”

Have you noticed how very many people are attacking the clutter in their lives while staying safe at home? Yes, many people have time on their hands and are looking for productive ways to fill it, but we think there’s more to it than that. Clearing away the clutter is a wonderful way to gain a sense of control over your surroundings. And once things are clutter-free, it’s much easier to see the way forward. 

  • Rule #2: “From discord, find harmony.” 

From our perspective as day spa consulting professionals, we see this as a reflection of the value of diverse perspectives. Einstein didn’t say, “Ignore those whose ideas differ from yours.” It’s almost as if the discord is an essential element of harmony. 

  • Rule #3: “In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.”

It might be a bit of an understatement to say that we are all in the middle of difficulty these days. But we believe that Einstein’s rule holds true and that out of the incredible difficulties we face, incredible opportunities for the spa industry will emerge.

All of us at ISM Spa Management Company hope that you and yours are staying safe. We look forward to working with you when the time is right to start exploring those opportunities for the spa management industry.

Lessons Learned from Spa Management

March 18, 2020 | no comments | ISM News | by: James McCauley

Lessons Learned from Spa Management

The spa consultants here at ISM Spa, a boutique spa management company based in Asheville, thought this might be a good time to take a few lessons from the day spas we manage

Wellness has become such an important aspect of spa design management and well as day-to-day spa management. And if ever there was a time for all of us to focus on our own physical and mental wellbeing, this is surely it.  

Wellness at Home

Many of the spas we manage – including Ama Spa at The Edwin Hotel, a lovley boutique property in Chattanooga, TN and the Privai + Wellness Spa at the Renaissance Orlando at Seaworld, Orlando, FLhave made wellness central to their identity. Some of the innovative spa services they offer reflect this commitment to wellness, including:

  • The Whiskey & Wellness Package at Ama Spa, which draws on the invigorating properties of locally made bourbon to cleanse and revive dull skin. This decadent experience includes a Chattanooga Whiskey-infused sugar scrub followed by a sweet orange warming body wrap and a full-body custom pressure massage. A collagen infused weeping eye mask protects and prevents eye aging and Privai body butter hydrates the whole body.

 

Of course, visiting one of the day spas managed by ISM Spa Management Company isn’t possible at the present moment. But that doesn’t mean we can’t all continue to pursue wellness in our own homes. 

Fortunately, breathing exercises – one of the easiest ways to manage stress – can be done anywhere. 

Stress Management: Breathing Exercises for Relaxation

As the health experts at the University of Michigan Health system explain, “There are lots of breathing exercises you can do to help relax.” They recommend belly breathing as a great one to start with if you want to relax and relieve stress.

Belly breathing

“Belly breathing is easy to do and very relaxing. Try this basic exercise anytime you need to relax or relieve stress,” U of M says:

  1. Sit or lie flat in a comfortable position.
  2. Put one hand on your belly just below your ribs and the other hand on your chest.
  3. Take a deep breath in through your nose, and let your belly push your hand out. Your chest should not move.
  4. Breathe out through pursed lips as if you were whistling. Feel the hand on your belly go in and use it to push all the air out.
  5. Do this breathing 3 to 10 times. Take your time with each breath.
  6. Notice how you feel at the end of the exercise.

 

All of us at ISM Spa Management Company wish you and yours the very best during this difficult time.

Featured Hotel Spa Management Properties

February 11, 2020 | no comments | ISM News | by: James McCauley

Featured Hotel Spa Management Properties

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 Project

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. This month, we would like to turn the spotlight on a unique property in Chattanooga:

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 Spa Management 

 

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

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.