Last updated: 09:00 AM ET, Sun October 18 2015

Hilton Embraces Wellness Trend With New Spa Club

Hotel & Resort | Janeen Christoff | October 18, 2015

Hilton Embraces Wellness Trend With New Spa Club

Hilton has created a new wellness offering that is the first of its kind in the hotel industry, making high-end wellness experiences more attainable to local consumers while maximizing business opportunities for Hilton’s spas.

The Spa Club is a membership-based program now available for Hilton properties across its six brands worldwide.

“We basically have the perfect storm for the wellness community right now,” said Ryan Crabbe, senior director of global wellness at Hilton. “If you look back over a couple decades, you can see the beginnings of the wellness trend." 

He said in the 1980s, golf and tennis grew in popularity and the 90s saw a boom in movement, fitness programs and group exercise while in the 2000s, spa really took off, as did the consumption of whole foods.

“By the end of the decade, consumers figured out that there was a deep connection with spa,” said Crabbe. “Fast forward to 2015 where there is a proliferation of wellness and where all of these pillars have come together, and you can see that everyone is realizing that it is healthier to live a balanced life.”

Hilton’s new Spa Club is designed to provide this lifestyle to the local community.

“If you combine the gaining appetite for these modalities of wellness, then you end up with an increased need for solutions,” says Crabbe. “Hilton has been in the wellness business for decades, and we have more than 400 hotels around the world. The Spa Club is a great way for us to position ourselves as a solution for our customers seeking wellness.”

The high demand for wellness was made clear at Hilton Short Hills, which introduced a similar membership offering over the past three years. The overwhelming success of this pilot, along with clear research supporting the desire for affordable wellness, revealed an opportunity for Hilton Worldwide to respond to this growing demand and be a wellness pioneer in the hotel space.

“The Spa Club was inspired by this property,” said Crabbe. “Back in 2011, we hit a dilemma because the spa was really busy and had high demand on the weekends. We needed to find a way to drive business midweek to free up time on the weekends.”

Adding discounts and promotions didn’t work at the level that the spa was looking for but the membership solution, which offered discounted treatments, at rates of more than 40 percent off, for members who visited Monday through Thursday, clicked.

A Win-Win Solution

And with a recent survey finding that 58 percent of respondents feel that they are unable to achieve their ideal state of well-being due to financial concerns, this new offering will provide a solution that responds to consumer demand while also supporting Hilton’s spa business.

With overall spa treatment utilization being approximately 40 percent, slower weekday traffic and seasonally weak periods have a significant negative affect on overall traffic at spas. The Spa Club addresses this head on.

“The great thing about the program — a clever aspect — is that it exists across six of our brands,” said Crabbe. “It can live within any of our six full-service luxury brands around the world. We have a number of spas that are currently building the program, and we expect to have 30 properties by the end of the year.”

However, it is optional for the spas and hotels to participate, Crabbe noted, and each property can choose what they would like to offer as the programs are defined by the local needs of the spa and the community.

Member Benefits

The Spa Club encourages customer commitment to wellness and offers local residents a discounted spa treatment each month, access to amenities at the nearest Hilton, and a host of other perks.

“One of the added perks is access to our facilities and skilled therapists,” said Crabbe. “There are a lot of day spas but hotel spas have luxurious relaxation facilities with excellent pre- and post-treatment spaces.”

Properties also have the ability to create their own added perks, based on the needs or desires of its members.

However there are certain member benefits that are the same program-wide. The Spa Club offers two different membership levels — a six-month or a 12-month commitment. All members can select the Spa Club location most convenient to them to enjoy one 50- to 60-minute massage or facial during Spa Club hours each month at a minimum of a 30 percent discount for a 12-month membership and 20 percent for a six-month membership.

Also included in the monthly program is access to the hotel’s spa facilities and fitness center on the day of their treatment, complimentary hotel parking and discounts on retail items and other property perks. 

Members visiting other Spa Club locations will receive at least a five percent discount or more off any spa treatment, any time.

Hilton hotels worldwide received the news of the Spa Club announcement on Oct. 15.

“We think that the Spa Club is an incredibly innovative solution,” said Crabbe. “This is the first multi-brand spa treatment membership program in the history of the industry. We hope it inspires the rest of the hotel spa industry. The spa industry is a $15 billion industry but most spas aren’t running at their full potential. People are hungry for wellness options and this is our secret weapon.”


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