How to create an award-winning spa brand

Let me ask you a question: does your spa have a personality? To create an award-winning spa brand, your business needs to have one.

This question resonated with me a few years ago when we were in the first stages of planning to build Gaia Spa at Boringdon Hall in Plymouth. We knew our spa’s personality needed to be a person; hence a name was chosen and it was Gaia – the Greek goddess of nature, Mother Earth. 

The intention was always to create a brand that wasn’t location-specific, that could be free spirited and represent the brand values that were important to us. We wanted a brand that’s nurturing, grounding, liberating, exceptional and responsible – all the qualities of a mother offering emotional support.

Cementing your identity

To make our brand stand out, I knew we needed to have our own product line. Having plenty of experience trialling products over the years, I wanted Gaia’s range to be authentic, look good and do what it says on the bottle.

Natural and handmade became our USP, with the best quality ingredients to nurture those who use it. It took almost three years of perfecting our own range to ensure the highest quality in the most natural way.

A true brand is more than visual – it communicates its identity effectively and authentically so that what guests receive is what your spa truly is.

Our treatments are also personalised following consultation to work on areas the guest wants to focus on and we incorporate wellness in other areas too, such as retreats and fitness options.

5 ways to create an award-winning spa:

1. Look at what you’re trying to achieve at your spa – is it relaxation? Visible results? Retreats?

2. Who are the people coming to your spa? Are they coming for fitness, wellness, going through a life changing event, coming for a celebration, relaxation or something else?

3. Look at the support the brands you stock give and evaluate it

4. When looking at new brands, look at the ingredients and how many products are in the range, and think about how they would look in your spa

5. Be authentic and adaptable to guests needs.

Diane Nettleton


Diane Nettleton is director of Gaia Spa at Boringdon Hall, which won the Professional Beauty Regional Award South West and Wales Spa of the Year 2017. She is also a wellness expert and supporter of Global Wellness Day.

See the full list of winners from the Professional Beauty Regional Awards 2017.