Spa Business issue 3 2020

Page 66


Model behaviour

A new type of spa is emerging which is based on self-administered treatments and is less labour intensive. Lisa Starr takes a closer look at two examples in California


hile massages and facials are the cornerstones of spa menus, the International Spa Association’s current definition is more broad: “Spas are places devoted to overall wellbeing through a variety of professional services that encourage the renewal of mind, body and spirit.” This description gives us a prescient look into what the brave new world of spas may look like as we come out of lockdown and realise that traditional business models need a shake up. Even before the pandemic, many spas were struggling to firstly find the vast number of good quality therapists they needed and then to maintain payrolls which can amount to 45-60 per cent of operational

budget. That’s not to say there’s not a place for high-touch services post-COVID-19. There certainly is. But there’s also room for a fresher approach to business and Spa Business is seeing the introduction of new-age wellness centres without group amenities and locker rooms which offer all things wellness – from cryotherapy and light-stim beds to hyperbaric chambers and IV drips – which are mostly self-administered. They require more intensive capital investment up front, but much lower operating expenses and complexity and much less staff. I visited two such facilities less than a mile apart in West Hollywood, California, just before the coronavirus outbreak. Lisa Starr is a contributing editor at Spa Business ■


Remedy Place founder Dr Jonathan Leary (left) and COO Rhyce Lein

Stepping off of the busy Sunset Boulevard into 4,500sq ft Remedy Place, you immediately feel your blood pressure go down. The earthy tones, natural finishes, soft lighting, and cozy furnishings make you feel right at home. Remedy Place, a self-named ‘social wellness club’, is the ideal name for this collection of options based on seven pillars of holistic health – heat, cold, oxygen, nutrients, movement, mind and compression – to address whatever ails you. Elements include hyperbaric chambers, infrared sauna, cryotherapy, compression therapy, IV nutrient drips, ice baths, meditation and mindfulness classes and chiropractic services. Each is situated to afford maximum privacy and can be utilised alone or with others. Acupuncture cupping and consults with a naturopath are also available. Beyond the therapies, an important component of this self-named ‘social wellness club’ is connection – albeit respecting new social distancing rules. Founder Dr Jonathan Leary says: “It’s a place to socialise which is both temptation and toxin-free… by providing healthy substitutions for occasions like happy hour, Sunday brunch or a girls’ night out.” The beautifully designed lounge and bar offers a convenient space to work or meet friends, while enjoying locally-sourced food and drink. Adjacent is a large room suitable for group activities, such as sound healing, which is also equipped with

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