How to partner with a fitness practitioner to boost your spa offering
Spas and salons are increasingly partnering with external fitness practitioners to offer 360-degree wellness without a large space or high cost. Penny Weston explains how to make it work.
Spas are the perfect environment to add in various practitioners like yoga instructors, physiotherapists, nutritionists and so on, so that they are offering an enhanced client experience, and go above and beyond.
At Moddershall Oaks, we have an on-site wellness centre called MADE, which offers our spa visitors plant-based food, fresh cold-pressed juices, advice and guidance, yoga, pilates, fitness classes and meditation.
But a small studio would be adequate as a starting point, or even a small space within a spa or hotel gym. You can do so much with some simple tools like a kettlebell or pair of dumbbells and a mat.
Is a partnership right for you?
Any classes that can enhance someone’s visit, offer additional benefits and help with health can only be a good thing. However, depending on your offering and location, it could be more profitable to offer additional treatments and have more spa facilities. Many spa customers want to relax and switch off, meaning fitness classes aren’t always a priority, so do a survey of your core customer group first before adding on a new service.
Choosing a practitioner
Make sure any practitioner you’re considering working with has relevant qualifications and a good few years in the fitness industry so you know that they are experienced enough to tailor their service to each person. Our spa customers vary from absolutely beginners at fitness or yoga, to complete experts. The practitioner needs to be able to customise their session to their customer. This goes for any health issues, allergies, injuries and also for pregnancy. I would always make sure the practitioner was highly qualified in pre- and post-natal exercise. It is too common to simply turn away someone who is pregnant because it is “safer” when really we need to be helping pregnant women to stay mobile, fit, energised and feeling good about themselves.
The details of the partnership should depend on the size of your facility and whether you need this as an extra revenue stream. If there is already a profitable wellness centre, you could leave the practitioner in charge of their own bookings and taking the majority of the money.
The spa benefits from being able to give an additional offering to its guests and members. If it needs to be a more substantial addition to your revenues then I would advise employing fitness experts, paying an hourly rate with some commission on top, and taking the bookings and sales at the spa.
The right activities
When it comes to scheduling your workshops and classes, anything works as long as you have a good variety. Everyone is different and sometimes when people are in a new environment they like to try something they’ve not done before. I love it when we have customers at the spa who try MADE and feel encouraged enough to try a new fitness class.
Test different options to find out what works for your guests. Some spas have more female than male visitors – we do, especially for our spa days – so classes like yoga and pilates are extremely popular. We also have a fun but challenging dance fit class which is great for groups of friends.
Penny Weston is founder of fitness and wellness space MADE and director at Moddershall Oaks Country Spa Retreat in Staffordshire.