Big red: The Elizabeth Arden
Red Door Lifestyle Spa
at the Hyatt Regency
Bonaventure in Weston, Fla.
Just like convention
centers, casinos and sports arenas, resort spas are
getting bigger and brimming with more of everything, from sheer
space to number of treatment rooms to the array of treatment
options. According to the International Spa Association’s annual
Spa Industry Study, the total square footage of spas at U.S.
resorts and hotels increased from 11.6 million in 2006 to 14.5
million in 2007, a trend likely to continue as seemingly every
blueprint for a new hotel or resort includes a wellness facility,
and as more existing spas are upsizing.
“The demand is there,” says Susie
Ellis, president of SpaFinder Inc., a New York City-based spa
marketing, media and research company. “According to our research,
25 percent of the population has been to a spa, and an even larger
percentage is interested in going to one.” And much of the
interest, she adds, involves meetings.
“It used to be golf was important for
business, but we’re now finding that the spa is more important,”
Ellis maintains, which helps explain why meetings-friendly VIP
areas, private suites, cabanas and lounges are becoming de rigueur
for new facilities.
Matt Stewart, director of sales for the
Desert Springs JW Marriott Resort & Spa in Palm Desert, Calif.,
says one reason his property’s spa was expanded last year was to
accommodate groups during the high season of February through
mid-May. “I see many hotels expanding their spas to handle both
leisure and group demand,” he notes.
Here’s a look at some of the newest,
biggest and splashiest resort spas that offer physical and mental
respite to all.
The Elizabeth Arden Red Door
Lifestyle Spa at the Hyatt Regency Bonaventure Conference
(800) 327-8090; bonaventure.hyatt.com
Fresh from a $100 million propertywide
renovation, the 501-room Hyatt Regency Bonaventure debuted its
lavish 48,000-square-foot Red Door Lifestyle Spa in February 2007.
Features include a 20,000-square-foot fitness center, 31 treatment
rooms, a private pool, a full-service salon and a cafe. The
facility also offers a Zen garden, a Pilates studio and a movement
studio for yoga classes.
According to former director of sales
and marketing Kelly Commerford, fully 60 percent of the hotel’s
business comes from meetings, and preference is given to groups for
spa reservations. The facility will even set up a satellite
registration desk at a conference for attendees to book treatments
on the spot.
“We make sure times are blocked out to
coordinate with planners,” Commerford says, “and groups that have
more than 10 room nights can get an automatic 30 percent off
In January, Barbara Rogers, director of
marketing for Cranbury, N.J.-based LaJobi Industries, brought a
group of 20 salespeople to the hotel and received the royal
treatment, including a reception alongside the spa’s private pool
and an exclusive five-course meal with wine pairings at a private
chef’s table in the cafe. In all, she says, “I have never gotten
such positive feedback from my attendees like I did here.”
The Hyatt Regency Bonaventure also
offers 100,000 square feet of meeting space, including a
10,440-square-foot ballroom and an amphitheater that seats up to