June 2011

Hotel Spa Site Inspection

By Lynne McNees


  • Find out if any other organizations will be at the hotel during the dates of your program. This way you will have a good understanding of how busy the spa may be.
  • Find out the last time the spa was renovated, if there are any future plans for renovation or construction during your program. 
  • Ask if there is a resort fee and if it includes access to the spa.
  • Request a copy of the spa menu to provide in attendee meeting materials.
  • Ask to take a tour of the facility so you can check out the spa’s amenities. Most spas encourage guests to come early and stay after their treatment to take advantage of the sauna, pool and gym.
  • Find out how big the facility is and how many guests the spa can accommodate at one time. Ask how many designated treatment rooms there are for massages, facials and hydrotherapy treatments.
  • Request a list of frequently asked questions from the spa to include in attendees’ meeting materials. This will help ease concerns from attendees who are unsure about visiting a spa.
  • Talk to the spa about their treatment menu to see the types of treatments they regularly offer and if they’re willing to create a special menu for your attendees offering discounts.
  • Ensure that the spa offers diverse treatments so there is something for everyone. Men usually go for sports-related treatments to help them improve their golf swing or soothe sore joints and muscles.
  • Treatments targeted at relieving stress are essential since reducing stress is the number one reason why people go to the spa. Traveling, deadlines and meetings can often trigger extra stress amongst your attendees. Make sure to talk with the spa about ways to educate them on how to reduce their stress.
  • Ask the spa to offer express treatments that are 30 minutes or less. Attendees are on strict schedules so sometimes it’s not possible for them to spend a full hour at the spa.
  • Offer a group discount to attendees at the spa. A special deal can entice someone who otherwise might not go to the spa.
  • Request for the spa concierge to reach out to guests before the meeting so they will be aware of the spa’s offerings before the meeting.
  • Ensure that the spa will be flexible with appointment times. Many spas often charge a fee for last minute cancellations. Ask them if they will waive this for your attendees who might be tied-up in a meeting.
  • Enquire about the number of therapists available on site. Many spas work with therapists on a part-time or contract basis.
  • Ask the spa if they will provide “energy breaks” for attendees by setting up chair massages outside the meeting rooms. This will give attendees a taste of what they can expect at the spa and give them a quick time out.
  • Tour the fitness facility and ask about fitness classes that will be available for attendees to take advantage of. Many travelers don’t realize that spas often offer yoga and pilates classes that fit into their routine.
  • Double check the spa and hotel’s plans and procedures in the event of an emergency.


Lynne McNees is the president of the International SPA Association (www.experienceispa.com). Since November 1997, McNees has managed the operations of the organization representing spas and product companies around the globe. McNees works from ISPA's headquarters in Lexington, Ky., and travels throughout the world promoting and representing the spa industry. Prior to her role with ISPA, McNees worked for several years in Washington, D.C., including stints as events manager for the National Association of Chain Drugstores and as the education director for the President's Commission on The White House Fellowships and assistant to the Deputy Director of Presidential Personnel in The White House.


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