Original Article

Can a luxury hotel compete without a spa facility? – Opinions from senior managers of London’s luxury hotels

Published in:
Volume 5, issue 1, 2015 , pages: 93–97
DOI: 10.2989/RHM.2015.5.1.12.1271
Author(s): Andy HeyesHospitality Management, University of Derby, Derby, United Kingdom, Colin BeardSheffield Business School, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield, United Kingdom, Sjoerd GehrelsAcademy of International Hospitality Research, Stenden University of Applied Sciences, Leeuwarden, The Netherlands

Abstract

The development of the wellness facility within the luxury hotel sector around the world has been evident, with many professionals believing that spas are an expected element within luxury hotels. This paper has been written to provide further consideration for hoteliers who are looking to open a luxury hotel within the city of London, to add to the body of knowledge on spas and to stimulate further research in the field. The literature revealed a lack of realistic insight by hotel professionals. Statistics are quite broad and look more at other markets than directly at hotels in the city of London. By interviewing five senior managers of London’s best known luxury hotels, the importance the spa plays to the hotel, its overall purpose of being in operation, personal managerial opinions on the facility and the overall economic benefit for the hotel are explored. The findings uncover some of the current positive and negative issues in the London luxury hotel spa sector. There turned out to be ambiguity among
the interviewees about the definition of a hotel spa and the amenities it should offer. It was concluded that a luxury hotel will be at a severe disadvantage if it has no wellness facilities. What those facilities must consist of, however, is not clearly defined. Further research is needed to look from the consumer’s point of view when defining the value of a hotel spa. It would benefit both the hotels and their guests to have more understanding of what actually is expected from the spa experience.

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