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Marriott innovating to relaunch two of its major hotel spa concepts, reveals Kenneth Ryan
By Megan Whitby 21 Oct 2021
Kenneth Ryan began his journey with Marriott in 2011, following a previous nine-year tenure with Fairmont Hotels and Resorts Credit: Marriott International
Marriott International's global head of spa Kenneth Ryan has revealed the company is preparing two new major spa concepts for its St. Regis and W Hotels hospitality brands, during an exclusive interview with Spa Business.

The new concept for St. Regis – called simply, St. Regis Spa – will be rolled out to all St Regis hotels (currently 44 destinations), with the first unveiling recently launched at the St. Regis Bermuda Resort in June 2021.

“The new spa concept will layer the rich patina of St. Regis traditions with a sheen of contemporary glamour to meet the needs of the modern customer.

“Celebration is a big brand pillar of St Regis, so we focused on bringing celebrations into our spa by asking ‘what does that look like in a spa?’,” says Ryan.

The narrative of the new spa, he says, will be “comfortable, familiar, entertaining and residential.

In the spirit of The St. Regis founder, John Jacob Astor, guests will feel as though they’re being invited into one of his private estates.”

To bring the concept to life, he adds: “We didn’t want the imposing formality of a traditional reception desk. Rather, we want guests to feel as though they’re entering a grand foyer and the celebration is waiting for them.

“It won’t be devoid of a check-in area, but the desk will be more for staff to perform admin duties, rather than act as a transactional space for guests, as this can take place in other areas of the spa.

“There’ll be a Celebration Bar, where guests can receive a fresh-pressed juice, or a glass of champagne if it’s that time of day (all St. Regis sites still honour the sabring of the champagne ritual at 4.00 pm).”

All upcoming openings – including the Dominican Republic, Dubai and China – will have the new spa concept, while all existing spas in the collection will be gradually transitioned over time.

The second standout concept to be rolled out this year is a re-imagining of the Away Spa at W Hotels.

“The Away Spa concept has been around for quite some time and will now undergo a complete transformation. The only thing that will stay the same is the name,” says Ryan.

W customers, he adds, “want everything available to them all the time, they don’t like rules and they don’t want to miss out.”

To meet some of these demands, the Away Spa will move away from a tranquil concept towards a livelier ‘social spa’ experience.

Dallas, Texas, will be the next site to showcase the new concept, followed by a new build project in Philadelphia.

Ryan says: “The arrival point will offer a social hub, with areas for quick-fix treatments (things you can do fully clothed) and open areas with upbeat music where friends can socialise and have a giggle.”

However, Ryan is mindful that ‘social spa-ing’ is not for everyone, and that Marriott International must also provide for ‘the other half’.

“Our research shows we have two main types of spa clients – those who want to switch off and have ‘alone time’ and those who want to relax and have fun with friends. And sometimes these two requirements can be found in the same guest, during the same visit.

“Away Spa will provide for both guests – there will be more private spaces and cabanas away from the social buzz, where guests can escape and feel safe in all ways – physically and mentally.”

Spa Business asked Ryan how he felt ‘social spa-ing’ will fit in a more cautious world since the coronavirus outbreak, where most have become used to social distancing, masks and periods of isolation?

“For one thing, social spa-ing is not a new thing – it’s a trend that we’ve seen at Marriott International for the past three to four years.

“Increasingly our guests want to ‘social-spa’ with family and friends – those who they know, like and trust – and of course the desire to do that will become even stronger as we come out of COVID-19.”

To read Spa Business full interview with Ryan about navigating lockdowns, re-imagining the company’s portfolio and what it will take to succeed in the aftermath of COVID, click here.


News
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02 Dec 2021
Raffles Hotels and Resorts has opened a new resort in Dubai with a comprehensive 23-treatment-room spa to reflect the city’s lavish character. Offering panoramic sea views and vistas of Dubai’s iconic skyline, the 389-room resort ... More
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The Global Wellness Institute (GWI) and BBC Storyworks have struck up a partnership to create a digital film series exploring the true meaning of wellness. BBC Storyworks is the commercial creative arm of BBC Global ... More
01 Dec 2021
The global wellness economy will grow by 9.9 per cent annually and reach US$7trn by 2025, according to new research by the Global Wellness Institute (GWI). Named The Global Wellness Economy: Looking Beyond Covid, the ... More
30 Nov 2021
The recently-transformed Bamford Wellness Spa in Gloucestershire has been recognised as the UK’s Best New Spa at the sixth annual Good Spa Guide Awards ceremony. Decided by internal judging by The Good Spa Guide’s Spa ... More
29 Nov 2021
Georgia-based wellness community Serenbe is set to gain a brand new wellness community dedicated to play, said co-founder Steve Nygren, speaking to Spa Business. Named Spela – which means play in Swedish, the new community ... More
26 Nov 2021
Exercise has been found to increase levels of endocannabinoids – cannabis-like substances produced by the human body – which in turn helps reduce inflammation and could potentially treat conditions such as arthritis, cancer and heart ... More
26 Nov 2021
People suffering from mild depression should be offered exercise, mindfulness, therapy or meditation before medication, such as antidepressants. New draft guidance, published by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommends that a ... More
25 Nov 2021
The City of Madrid could become one of the healthiest in the world if plans by the council come to fruition. The local government has revealed plans to develop wellbeing infrastructure for the next generation, ... More
24 Nov 2021
A new trans-awareness course, certified by Habia, has been launched for the spa sector to help teach spa staff how to accommodate, attract and support transgender clients. Named Trans Awareness for Spas, the programme includes ... More
23 Nov 2021
A sustainable hot springs retreat is set to open in Fingal on Australia’s Mornington Peninsula, Victoria, drawing on the healing benefits of water, immersion in nature and sleek minimalist design. Set within 15 hectares of ... More
23 Nov 2021
Nuffield Health has reopened the historic Barbican health club in London, as part of ambitious plans to establish its first wellness "health campus" in the UK. Nuffield Health Barbican – the 114th health club in ... More
22 Nov 2021
Marriott’s luxury city hotel brand Westin Hotels & Resorts has opened a new location and branded Heavenly Spa by Westin urban wellness retreat in London, UK. The new spa at Westin London City marks Heavenly ... More
     
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Oakworks Inc
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Jobs    News   Products   Magazine
NEWS
Marriott innovating to relaunch two of its major hotel spa concepts, reveals Kenneth Ryan
POSTED 21 Oct 2021 . BY Megan Whitby
Kenneth Ryan began his journey with Marriott in 2011, following a previous nine-year tenure with Fairmont Hotels and Resorts Credit: Marriott International
Increasingly our guests want to ‘social-spa’ with family and friends – those who they know, like and trust
– Kenneth Ryan
Marriott International's global head of spa Kenneth Ryan has revealed the company is preparing two new major spa concepts for its St. Regis and W Hotels hospitality brands, during an exclusive interview with Spa Business.

The new concept for St. Regis – called simply, St. Regis Spa – will be rolled out to all St Regis hotels (currently 44 destinations), with the first unveiling recently launched at the St. Regis Bermuda Resort in June 2021.

“The new spa concept will layer the rich patina of St. Regis traditions with a sheen of contemporary glamour to meet the needs of the modern customer.

“Celebration is a big brand pillar of St Regis, so we focused on bringing celebrations into our spa by asking ‘what does that look like in a spa?’,” says Ryan.

The narrative of the new spa, he says, will be “comfortable, familiar, entertaining and residential.

In the spirit of The St. Regis founder, John Jacob Astor, guests will feel as though they’re being invited into one of his private estates.”

To bring the concept to life, he adds: “We didn’t want the imposing formality of a traditional reception desk. Rather, we want guests to feel as though they’re entering a grand foyer and the celebration is waiting for them.

“It won’t be devoid of a check-in area, but the desk will be more for staff to perform admin duties, rather than act as a transactional space for guests, as this can take place in other areas of the spa.

“There’ll be a Celebration Bar, where guests can receive a fresh-pressed juice, or a glass of champagne if it’s that time of day (all St. Regis sites still honour the sabring of the champagne ritual at 4.00 pm).”

All upcoming openings – including the Dominican Republic, Dubai and China – will have the new spa concept, while all existing spas in the collection will be gradually transitioned over time.

The second standout concept to be rolled out this year is a re-imagining of the Away Spa at W Hotels.

“The Away Spa concept has been around for quite some time and will now undergo a complete transformation. The only thing that will stay the same is the name,” says Ryan.

W customers, he adds, “want everything available to them all the time, they don’t like rules and they don’t want to miss out.”

To meet some of these demands, the Away Spa will move away from a tranquil concept towards a livelier ‘social spa’ experience.

Dallas, Texas, will be the next site to showcase the new concept, followed by a new build project in Philadelphia.

Ryan says: “The arrival point will offer a social hub, with areas for quick-fix treatments (things you can do fully clothed) and open areas with upbeat music where friends can socialise and have a giggle.”

However, Ryan is mindful that ‘social spa-ing’ is not for everyone, and that Marriott International must also provide for ‘the other half’.

“Our research shows we have two main types of spa clients – those who want to switch off and have ‘alone time’ and those who want to relax and have fun with friends. And sometimes these two requirements can be found in the same guest, during the same visit.

“Away Spa will provide for both guests – there will be more private spaces and cabanas away from the social buzz, where guests can escape and feel safe in all ways – physically and mentally.”

Spa Business asked Ryan how he felt ‘social spa-ing’ will fit in a more cautious world since the coronavirus outbreak, where most have become used to social distancing, masks and periods of isolation?

“For one thing, social spa-ing is not a new thing – it’s a trend that we’ve seen at Marriott International for the past three to four years.

“Increasingly our guests want to ‘social-spa’ with family and friends – those who they know, like and trust – and of course the desire to do that will become even stronger as we come out of COVID-19.”

To read Spa Business full interview with Ryan about navigating lockdowns, re-imagining the company’s portfolio and what it will take to succeed in the aftermath of COVID, click here.
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The global wellness economy will grow by 9.9 per cent annually and reach nearly US$7trn by 2025, according to new research by the Global Wellness Institute (GWI).
Bamford Wellness Spa scoops Good Spa Guide’s Best New UK Spa award
The recently-transformed Bamford Wellness Spa in Gloucestershire has been recognised as the UK’s Best New Spa at the sixth annual Good Spa Guide Awards ceremony.
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