The luxury spa industry is becoming increasingly competitive with more sophisticated clients seeking the highest quality experiences, but what distinguishes the best of the best? A Forbes rating is a true mark of quality awarded only to the most exceptional spas, ranking them amongst the most prestigious in the world. The accolade is one which many luxury spas aspire to achieve – read on to find out what it takes to make the grade!
Consistency of Service
Service is absolutely crucial in earning a 5* Forbes rating, with 75% of the assessment process focusing on this aspect. Inspectors will arrive unannounced and anonymously at any time to carry out a strict assessment process, so there is no room for error. In order to make the list spas must prove that their service is consistently flawless to match up to the very best in the industry, which would require a minimum score of 92%. Think the ultimate in guest comfort, personalisation, intuitivity and acts of graciousness. Are the spa staff aware of the guest’s sequence of treatments and are recommendations for additional treatments made? Do they provide a full orientation on arrival and demonstrate excellent knowledge of the spa and its services?
First Class Facilities
The second essential criteria to be met is the provision of extraordinary, immaculate facilities which give the spas guests the wow factor. Forbes describe ESPA Life at Corinthia’s facilities as ‘state-of-the-art’, including a glass wall amphitheatre sauna and black mosaic steam room. Attention to detail and luxury touches such as use of Tunisian marble throughout are further examples of what sets this spa apart from the rest. Careful use of sound, light, scent and visual elements contribute to overall spa ambience and are features that the spa spies will be looking out for.
As you will by now be aware, at a Forbes 5* spa its all about going above and beyond guest expectations. Another way that these luxury properties succeed in doing so is by making sure that they are leading the way in terms of new technology and trends, and offering their clients something new. At London’s Bulgari Spa you will find unusual radio frequency, mesotherapy and cryotherapy anti ageing treatments – not items you’d find on the average treatment menu.
Cuisine is recognised as an intrinsic part of the spa journey, and an exquisite menu will definitely add points throughout the assessment process. The Dorchester were praised for their opulent afternoon tea served in its uniquely named Spatisserie during Forbes’s 2018 inspection.
Needless to say, a spa wouldn’t exist without its therapists and having a professional well experienced team is integral in achieving 5* status. During treatment, the therapist should demonstrate that they are able to inform and guide their client throughout the experience whilst maintaining a relaxing and peaceful environment. On top of this excellent technical skill is required and a caring approach, ensuring that the client’s comfort needs are met throughout.
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