Archive for Tag: consulting
Sleep on it Innovative Spa Management can deliver sweet dreams

May 10, 2018 | no comments | ISM News | by: Christina Stratton

March is National Sleep Awareness Month. Yes, that really is a thing.  And it’s a very important thing.  Most of us aren’t getting enough sleep.  And when you aren’t getting enough sleep, your ability to dream – and to live your dreams – is limited.

The spa consultants at ISM SPA understand the importance of both sleep and dreams.  We all groaned a bit when we realized it was time to change our clocks again.  That’s when we found out that the fact that National Sleep Awareness Month coincides with the yearly ritual of switching over to daylight savings time is no accident.

“In general, ‘losing’ an hour in the spring is more difficult to adjust to than ‘gaining’ an hour in the fall.  An ‘earlier’ bedtime may cause difficulty falling asleep and increased wakefulness during the early part of the night,” Vanderbilt University reported. “If you have insomnia or are sleep-deprived already, you could experience more difficulties. In this situation, you could see decreased performance, concentration and memory during the workday, which is common to sleep-deprived individuals.  You also may experience fatigue and daytime sleepiness. All of these are more likely if you consume alcohol or caffeine late in the evening.”

Sleep support is just one of the innovative programming concepts introduced by ISM SPA consulting as part of a completely holistic spa environment. Our unique treatment helps people experience the benefits of sleep and the healing it can bring.

If you haven’t had the opportunity to experience this refreshing concept, here are some tips from the National Sleep Foundation that might help you get a good night’s rest:

  1. Exercise daily. Vigorous exercise is best, but even light exercise is better than no activity. Exercise at any time of day, but not at the expense of your sleep.
  2. If you have trouble sleeping, avoid naps, especially in the afternoon. Power napping may help you get through the day,but if you find that you can’t fall asleep at bedtime, eliminating even short catnaps may help.
  3. Practice a relaxing bedtime ritual. A relaxing, routine activity right before bedtime conducted away from bright lights helps separate your sleep time from activities that can cause excitement, stress or anxiety which can make it more difficult to fall asleep, get sound and deep sleep or remain asleep.
  4. Sleep on a comfortable mattress and pillows. Make sure your mattress is comfortable and supportive. The one you have been using for years may have exceeded its life expectancy – about 9 or 10 years for most good quality mattresses. Have comfortable pillows and make the room attractive and inviting for sleep but also free of allergens that might affect you and objects that might cause you to slip or fall if you have to get up during the night.
  5. Avoid alcohol, cigarettes, and heavy meals in the evening. 

Research also shows that we sleep better in a cool room (the optimal sleeping temperature is apparently between 60 – 67 degrees). All the experts agree that we should turn off all our screens before bed, too.  The little from those screens – including your phone, your laptop or your TV – can trick your body into thinking it’s time to get up, not wind down.  Going to bed and getting up at the same time every day will also help.

Your physical environment can have a big influence on your moods, your energy and your ability to relax – whether you’re in your bedroom or at the spa. Design Expert Douglas Stratton, a valued member of the Innovative Spa Management Executive Team has an inherent understanding of mood, ambiance and character that allows him to seamlessly transition any space into an elegant atmosphere of warmth, serenity and escapism.

If you would like to see your spa’s menu and its environment go from traditional to transformational, we would be happy to meet with you. Our spa consultants work with day spa management clients as well as hotel spa management clients to introduce a holistic spa environment that will enhance the wellness experience for your guests.

And – if you don’t manage to improve your sleep cycles during National Sleep Awareness Month, you’ll have another chance to find inspiration and encouragement when Sleep Better Month rolls around in May. https://naturalsleepmattress.com/whats-in-a-bed/

Igniting the Future – It’s a good time for inspired spa management

April 25, 2018 | no comments | ISM News | by: Christina Stratton

The annual International Spa Association’s Conference & Expo provides opportunities for spa professional to learn from and network with respected business professionals and spa industry leaders. This year’s event will be held September 24 through 26 in Phoenix, Arizona. “This isn’t your typical spa event,” organizers say. “It’s an inspiring experience developed for today’s spa professionals by spa professionals.”

One of the highlights of last year’s event was an appearance by acclaimed poet Richard Blanco, who wrote “Ignite the Self Who Loves You Most” specifically for the occasion. Blanco is one of the most beloved and influential poets and storytellers writing today. You may remember when President Barack Obama tapped him to serve as his presidential inaugural poet (only the fifth poet so honored). In addition to his poetry, Blanco keeps busy today as a public speaker, teacher and memoirist. And, as his website says, “He continues to travel the world, inviting audiences to reconnect to the heart of the human experience and all of its beautiful diversity.”

It may be time to start thinking about this year’s conference, but it’s always a good time to take a few minutes to revisit Blanco’s poem.  You can read the poem below or click over to YouTube to hear him speak at last year’s conference. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W1oF5davKWU

In the poem, Blanco talks about the self “you ignore too often, but who’s always there in the murmur of your every breath, even when you’re not listening.” Here at ISM SPA consulting, we’d like to think that our spa management company was born because we were listening.  

Our company culture celebrates service, welcomes innovation, rewards smart solutions, fosters wellness and reflects the passion that inspired founding partners ILANA CRAIG ALBERICO and CHRISTINA STRATTON. ISM SPA specializes in day spa management and hotel spa management as well as providing a range of spa management services. The spa management company’s approach is grounded in creating positive lasting relationships with clients by building branded spas that offer unsurpassed service, impressive results, attention to detail, and a commitment to continuous improvement.  

 

Ignite the Self Who Loves You Most

By Richard Blanco

Like far too many mornings, you probably woke up today with a stranger who is you, the self you haven’t loved enough, but who’s always loved you, more than enough. The one you ignore too often, but who’s always there in the murmur of your every breath, even when you’re not listening. The invisible arms of the one who holds your soul, no matter how much you resist that embrace. The self who remembers the dreams you’ve given up to the darkness, who’d redeem them for you in full-color, if you’d trust yourself. The one who draws in dawn’s light so you can soothe the worry in your bones and burdened blood you keep living with, though you have a choice. 

The self who calls you to rise like a songbird— sing your truth, though too often you remain mute with fear. The face of the one you hide behind your own face, not daring to stare into the mirror, see straight into the self who does dare to believe in you, wanting you to erase all doubt in your eyes as you brush your hair for the day. The self who invites you to sit for coffee at your kitchen table, and chat like a best friend who knows just what to say to you. The one you don’t talk to enough, whose hand you don’t hold enough, or cry with enough— to let you step at ease into the raging world. 

The self on your way to work who tempts you to turn the radio off, tune your noisy thoughts into a melody. But also longs for you to sing out loud to a favorite song like a prayer. The one who sees poetry in the clouds like a symphony in the distance, sees the pines like giant angels pointing toward heaven—who sees your life like the road before you—one mile at a time. 

The self who makes you stop for strangers to let them cross the street, reminding you of your path. The one you don’t thank enough for teaching you how to give, as rain gives to a river, as mountains give way to dust, as waves give to the shore. The one you forget to give to as much as you give to others. The self you need as much as a bird needs a branch to rest, and a cloud needs wind to carry it, and the moon needs the sun’s touch to let its face shine. 

Enough. Tonight, come home with the self who’s always lived within you. Greet yourself at your door, let yourself in. Pour wine. Break bread. Write in your journal. Forgive yourself, as you have forgiven others. Dance again with the one who’s always been your perfect partner. Pour through old photos and remember the self who’s known all your joys and sorrows since you were a child. The one who can heal all you must heal, who praises all you must praise. Then, carry yourself off to bed in the arms of the one who’s your most loving self. Listen to that pure voice who’s always been your guide, your counsel, your lullaby. Fall asleep as one with the one who’s always burned within you as bright and true as the starlight in your eyes.

Case in Point: The Biltmore Estate

April 20, 2018 | no comments | ISM News | by: Christina Stratton

ISM SPA provides spa management services worthy of a Vanderbilt

When the management of the historic Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina, wanted to develop a spa for one if its hotel properties, they knew that it had to be very special.  Developed as part of a new property – the Inn on Biltmore Estate – the spa had to reflect the impeccable surroundings of the original Biltmore House while adding all of the modern amenities that its exclusive clientele would expect.

George Vanderbilt, a grandson of famed industrialist and philanthropist Cornelius Vanderbilt, built the original Biltmore House over a six-year period from 1889 to 1895.  Vanderbilt’s 250-room French Renaissance chateau is a true marvel, the largest undertaking in residential architecture. Over the six years it was under construction, an entire community of craftsmen came together to create America’s premier home and the environmental wonderland that surrounds it.

Opened to friends and family on Christmas Eve 1895, the finished home contains more than four acres of floor space, including 35 bedrooms, 43 bathrooms, and 65 fireplaces.  The Biltmore House was opened to the public in 1930.

Vanderbilt long wanted to build an inn on his property, but the plans never materialized.  The idea finally became a reality in 2001 with The Inn on Biltmore Estate, offering guests a personal taste of Vanderbilt hospitality. The Inn promises gracious hospitality, attention to detail, and the level of service the Vanderbilts themselves offered their guests.

One of the signature features of the Inn on Biltmore Estate is The Spa – a project for which the Biltmore Estate management turned to ISM SPA consulting, known throughout the hospitality industry as a leader in hotel spa management. As spa consultants, the firm was integrally involved with The Spa since well before its opening.

The spa management company began with an extensive feasibility study looking at the potential for a spa at the Biltmore Estate.  Once the decision to move forward was made, ISM SPA consultants were integrally involved in creating concepts and design elements for The Spa.  The goal was to create a modern spa with outstanding amenities in a setting that evoked the traditions of the Biltmore House.

As the opening of The Spa drew close, ISM SPA management was responsible for integrating spa operations with the hotel, including training and IT functions.  Its role then continued into pre-opening preparations – the process of hiring and training the staff, establishing policies and procedures, and generally planning every aspect of The Spa’s operations before it opened its doors.

Ultimately, the pre-opening success of the ISM SPA consultants was rewarded when the spa management company was giving responsibility for the ongoing spa management of The Spa at the Inn on the Biltmore Estate.

As the focus shifted from the pre-opening process to a level of day-to-day operations that would deliver profits along with five-star service, ISM SPA consultants drew on their experience and understanding of the spa industry.

Knowing that a successful spa relies upon the quality of its staff, ISM SPA’s management system includes an extensive focus on talent management and acquisition. One of the reasons the spa management company has become such an acclaimed leader in the field of hotel spa management is its certified training courses, which provide ongoing continuing professional education for spa employees. ISM SPA consulting also has an extensive Job Coaching program to identify, train and develop promising employees.

Knowing that ISM SPA management company has been with them every step of the way, allows the management of the Inn on the Biltmore Estate to rest assured that its in-house spa will meet every expectation of its customers.