Spa Partners Blog

Partner News, Information and Inspiration

Archive for July, 2009

Join Our Social Network – SpaFinder is now on Facebook and Twitter!


Become a fan of SpaFinder’s Facebook page and receive the latest updates on SpaFinder sweepstakes, spa industry news, promotions, and more!


SpaFinder is now on Twitter! Follow SpaFinder’s Susie Ellis, Sallie Fraenkel, Milana Knowles, and SpaBooker, as they “tweet” about what’s new in the spa industry, new spa partner updates, and much more!


We love interacting with our spa partners and hearing your opinions on happenings of the spa industry, so write on our wall, reply to a tweet, or direct a message to us to get the conversation of social networking flowing.

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Man Oh Man: Renaming and Reframing Services Can Increase Your Male Client Base

marketing idea of the month

Men are more sensitive and receptive to spa services (and even pampering) than they may appear—or want to appear.  They make up over 30% of spa-goers, so there is terrific growth potential, and that growth can be easier to achieve than it seems. The name of the game is the name itself, what you choose to call a treatment or service and how you describe, or “frame,” it.


Using this technique, you can dramatically expand the “man’s” side of your menu simply by rewording names and descriptions of treatments geared for women using more man-friendly terms. (We’ve even had men tell us that they feel left out when they can choose only a hot stone or sports massage, while women are offered long lists of enticing treatments!)  

Here’s how to begin making your spa menu manlier.

Deflower (your language)

As an example, we have reframed the following treatment so it will appeal to men. 




Magic Tresses

Relax in our beautiful garden room while your head, neck, and shoulders are gently massaged, your scalp is tenderly stimulated with fingertips, and a warm pack is applied to your hair. While the pack works its wonders, you’re encased in warm, subtle fragrances and lulled by soft breezes.  




Revitalizing Scalp Treatment

While the brain is not a muscle, the overtaxed nerves and muscles that surround it are a key to releasing persistent stress and strain. Using a warm pack, the scalp is given a revitalizing treatment that also stimulates the hair follicles, promoting healthy growth. The secluded surroundings enhance the experience of a complete and renewing massage.     


In short, steer clear of language that has a softening, flowery feel. Use words/phrases like: de-stress, revitalize, deep tissue, muscle work, tension-relieving, unwinding, renewing, releasing. Using this technique, you can offer the same treatment to customers who might not feel comfortable booking it.


In the next issue we’ll discuss the dilemma many men experience when asked, “Would you like a man or a woman therapist?” We’ll also offer more tips on how you can increase the number of male clients in your spa without expanding your marketing budget.

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5 Ways Spas Can Grow Their Business Today with


SpaBooker by SpaFinder is a complete spa management solution that streamlines all spa business practices, leaving spa operators more time to focus on their customers. SpaBooker continues to give partners ways to grow and improve their business with the introduction of its 5 newest features: Instant Gift Certificates, Customizable Booking Engine, Partnership, Inventory Management & New Marketing Tools. Unlike traditional desktop software, SpaBooker is completely Internet based and improves productivity across every aspect of a spa’s business. Since its launch, SpaBooker has taken off and is proving its value at many top spas around the world.


SpaBooker is the only software solution designed to enhance a spa’s business and bring more customers. Since SpaBooker is a part of SpaFinder, the largest spa marketing company in the world, it is equipped to help consumers find, research, and book any of SpaFinder’s spa partners. Now spas are able to sell their own instant gift certificates on as well as their own website, which allows consumers to purchase, personalize, and print instant gift certificates.      


Another new feature is SpaBooker’s newest distribution partnership with Allure, the only magazine devoted entirely to beauty. This partnership enables consumers to search and easily book spas through’s virtual store. This means a quick and easy way for new customers to find and book their appointments! All software programs have the basic tools, but only SpaBooker can guarantee more customers.


SpaBooker also helps spas grow their business by giving them the ability to customize their booking engine with their own look and feel including logos, colors, and images of their choice.   These enhanced marketing tools, along with the ability to manage their spa’s inventory and create specials to sell open appointments, provide unparalleled opportunities to increase customers and revenue. 


Once a spa partners with SpaBooker, it will have access to a wide range of services. Unlike many competitors, SpaBooker takes on the responsibility of setting up the system on behalf of the spa and providing one-on-one training and account management. SpaBooker also provides clients with a multitude of supportive training videos, biweekly webinars, and friendly customer service!


SpaBooker gives spas the tools to bring in new customers, increase online and gift certificate sales, and improve efficiencies and performance. Find out how to grow your business today at

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The Marketing Power of Gratitude


It’s no secret that the current economic climate is affecting people’s wallets and attitudes.  Especially in competitive and stressful times like these, it’s important to differentiate your company from others in the spa world. Who knew that the key to success is as simple as saying two words? Gratitude has become a new component in marketing, an easy (and free) way to reward those who deserve it and turn those negative attitudes into smiles. So say, “Thank you!” and reap the benefits.


It’s always important to begin by thanking your staff members, those who work hard to make your spa as successful as it is. It may not be feasible to give workers a raise, so start by creating a positive work environment. Provide a dessert platter every Friday, add an extra vacation day every year, or create a “worker-of-the-month” program with rewards for those who are putting in 105 percent. By simply thanking everyone, including the cleaning crew, the receptionists, the massage therapists, and the managers, you will have happy workers. Happy workers = happy spa = happy clients!


Saying, “Thank you,” to your customers is just as, if not more, important. A simple “thank you for returning my call,” “thank you for holding,” or “thank you for choosing us” can be a real drive for your clients to choose you over your competitors! Although times are tough, it’s important to downplay the doom and consistently display a positive attitude.


Your appreciation for a client’s business can sometimes be expressed more loudly through actions. Rewarding loyalty shows that each client is more than just a number or a $100 dollar bill. Create a frequent spa patron program (e.g., when you spend $100, you get a free manicure), or have the manager go up to a client when leaving and ask about their experience. (This is also a good way to get feedback on your services.) Little gestures like these are easy and inexpensive to implement but will leave a lasting and enormous impression.


In May, Willow Stream and Fairmont Spas launched their “Spa It Forward” Gratitude Envelopes initiative. At the end of every treatment, spa guests are presented with a sealed Gratitude Envelope, which the guest gives to someone they are grateful to have in their life. The next time the recipient goes to a Willow Stream or Fairmont Spa, they open the envelope and reap the benefits of the deal inside. This is just one example of how gratitude marketing can be successful and how so few words can lead to so many smiles and returning, happy customers.

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Spa & Resort/Medical Aesthetics Expo & Conference

spa and resort expo and conferencePlease join us September 15 and 16 at the Jacob K. Javits Center in New York. Our all-inclusive exhibit hall and education package is available to everyone at one low cost of $25. Your registration fee includes entrance to both the Spa & Resort/Medical Aesthetics Expo & Conference and the HBA Global Expo, along with the business-relevant education sessions, live demos, and workshops on both show floors.




To learn more visit or click here to register.

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Sowing the Seeds for Success: A Lesson in Wine and Spa


It was in the lush vineyards of Château Smith Haut Lafitte that Mathilde and Bertrand Thomas first began to daydream about creating a spa experience that would combine their love of wine with health and wellness. The Thomases’ dream of creating this experience came true in 1993, as their beauty company, Caudalie, which is named for a unit of sensory measure corresponding to one second, defining the taste of wine after swallowing, was born.


It was during a chance encounter on the family vineyard with a professor from the nearby university that the Thomases realized that the discarded grape seeds at the end of the harvest contained powerful anti-aging properties. It seemed the skins and stems of wine grapes also possessed rich polyphenols and resveratol. Resveratol has great antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties, reduces levels of “bad” cholesterol, and prevents blood clots.


It was shortly after the professor’s discovery that Mathilde and Bertrand began researching the grape seeds and patented their first three products in 1993. Today Caudalie offers 35 products, with the brand sold at Nordstroms, Henri Bendel, Blue Mercury, select Bath & Body Works, and independent specialty cosmetic boutiques.


The Thomases are credited with creating both the world’s first wine spa, Les Sources de Caudalie, which opened in 1999, as well as the official term vinothérapie. Caudalie’s Vinothérapie Spas use the grapes to make their signature Crushed Cabernet Scrub and Honey and Wine Wrap, to name just two. With the success of Caudalie’s skin line and spa, the couple decided to expand and create three other spas.


Following in Caudalie’s footsteps, many spas around the globe have added vinotherapy treatments to their menus. Many see that the health benefits are plentiful, as are the physical effects of wine treatments. Following vinotherapy baths or massages, customers claim to feel relaxed and rejuvenated. The flavonoids in these treatments also fight wrinkles and are 10,000 times stronger than Vitamin E and 50 times more effective, so skin is left feeling soft and glowing.


It’s not surprising that Caudalie is such a revered beauty brand with premier spas. It’s Mathilde and Bertrand’s true passion and pride in their company that have helped their business succeed in every aspect. The couple’s impeccable taste in furniture and art can be seen at their Vinothérapie Spa at the Plaza: They even have an 800-square-foot wine lounge stocked with wine from all over the world. An on-site sommelier, who hosts wine tastings between treatments, and the smell of toasted oak, created specially by Mathilde, combine to make a spa experience one will not soon forget. It seems the couple has found a true recipe for business success and spa perfection!

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Spa Light On: Mathilde & Bertrand Thomas of Caudalie





Husband and wife Mathilde and Bertrand Thomas founded French skincare company Caudalie back in 1993. Caudalie’s specially patented skin-care products pack cutting-edge antioxidant technology into formulas that help your skin look better with age.


In 1999, Caudalie created the world’s first Vinothérapie® Spa in the heart of the Château Smith Haut Lafitte vineyard in Bordeaux, France. Caudalie’s luxurious spa treatments provide all the benefits that grapes and grapevines have to offer. Caudalie has created three other Vinothérapie® Spas: one in an 18th century Franciscan Monastery in the Piedmont region of Italy, a second designed by acclaimed architect Frank Gehry in the Rioja region of Spain, and, most recently, one at The Plaza in New York City in 2008.


How did Caudalie first come up with the idea to use grape seed extract as an antioxidant?

Back in 1993, we met Dr. Vercauteren, professor at the University of Pharmacy in Bordeaux, France, who is a leading expert on grape and grapevine polyphernols. The professor had noticed the leftover skins and seeds of the grapes from the harvest and explained to us that the seeds possessed polyphenols, which are a group of chemical substances that have antioxidant characteristics, and are treasure troves for the skin!

This information sparked our interest, and two years later in 1995, we launched Caudalie’s first products for the skin. A year later we signed an agreement with the Pharmacy Faculty of Bordeax to set up our own team of researchers to continue research on the benefits of polyphenols.

What is Vinothérapie?

We actually created and trademarked the term vinothérapie. Vinothérapie is centered on spa treatments based on the antioxidant properties of grape-derived products. Some vinothérapie treatments include wine barrel baths, merlot scrubs, and wine wraps.


What do you feel are the most important benefits to vinothérapie treatments?

We at Caudalie have a secret patent that lies in the stabilization of grape polyphenols. These grape seed polyphenols fight against free radicals, which cause 80 percent of skin aging. These free radicals are generated by light and pollution, smoke, etc. They destroy our cells and thus lead to premature aging. Our vinothérapie® products help with reducing the appearance of dark spots and wrinkles, along with keeping the skin looking firm and fabulous!

Tell us about the feedback that you receive from spa-goers who receive vinothérapie
treatments. How do they feel after these treatments?

We have received such wonderful feedback from people all over the globe who are using our products and from those to have been to our spas. Those who have visited our vinothérapie® spas usually leave feeling quite relaxed and re-energized. Our facials leave the skin aglow, with the skin looking hydrated and feeling soft.


 What makes Caudalie standout from other “wine spas”?

Since we opened the first vinothérapie, we feel we are at the top of our game. Not only do our spas have excellent treatments, but they are combined with quality, all-natural products. We also offer outstanding service and pay special attention to every detail. We try to make sure that every customer who comes into our spa receives the best possible spa experience.

Do you use red or white grapes in your products and treatments?

Only grape seeds from white grapes are used for the extraction of polyphenols. Red wine grapes are not used because their seeds macerate in vats, where they release their polyphenols, becoming unusable. The white grape seeds hold the majority of polyphenols, which requires over a ton of grape seeds to extract one kilo of polyphenols.


We do believe in drinking red white (in moderation) for added health benefits. Red wine contains resveratrol, a key ingredient in red wine that is shown, in medical studies, to prevent damage to blood vessels, reduce “bad” cholesterol, and prevent blood clots.

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Spa Light On Dr. Mike Berkley, Founder and Director of the Fertility Spa



Dr. Mike Berkley is founder and director of the Fertility Spa  in New York City and is licensed and board certified in acupuncture in the states of New York and Connecticut and licensed as a doctor of acupuncture in the state of Rhode Island. Dr. Berkley is also board certified in clinical herbal medicine by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine.


Dr. Berkley graduated from the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine in New York in 1996, and he has been treating reproductive disorders since then. Dr. Berkley is the first acupuncturist/herbalist in the United States to work exclusively in the field of reproductive medicine. He has developed unique acupuncture protocols and herbal formulae which have been shown to increase success rates by 35 to 40 percent. He works exclusively in the area of reproductive medicine and enjoys working in conjunction with some of New York’s most prestigious reproductive endocrinologists.




 What exactly is a fertility spa?

When couples are faced with infertility, they’re either treated by a gynecologist or a reproductive endocrinologist. It’s a very hard, cold, difficult, and emotionally painful process. At the Fertility Spa, we created a beautiful spalike environment whereby we offer services provided by experts in infertility that can help patients get pregnant. We work in conjunction with in vitro fertilization clinics to help improve egg quality in women and sperm quality in men. We also reduce stress in our peaceful, tranquil, and nurturing setting. The Fertility Spa is the only clinic in the country that exclusively treats fertility issues!



What kinds of treatments do you offer and how effective are the treatments? Do you see consistent results? 

We offer acupuncture, herbal medicine, psychological counseling, and nutritional counseling.  We never see consistent results. It would be impossible to see consistency, since the patients are inconsistent. Sometimes we get patients who are 20 years old; sometimes we get patients who are 52 years old. And you have patients with blocked tubes and different medical disorders that interfere with their getting pregnant. You’re never going to have consistent results. However, what I can say with certainty is that when possible, the work that we do definitely increases the desired outcome of a take-home baby. What that means in English, if in-vitro fertilization is 25 to 30 percent successful, when they do in-vitro fertilization in conjunction with our program, we see a 35 to 40 percent increase in outcomes. This is an average, and sometimes we see patients with 50 percent success rates, and sometimes we see only 30 percent.



What is the most popular treatment?

Our most popular treatments are definitely acupuncture and herbal medicine. Some people opt for just one or the other, some patients involve themselves in every modality we offer. Why acupuncture and herbal medicine? They have the greatest direct clinical effect on the outcome. It’s good to optimize one’s nutritional balance, but if push comes to shove, most people can live without the nutritional counseling. The massage is great for stress reduction, but if push comes to shove, you can live without that, too. Counseling is great, but not everybody needs it. Acupuncture and herbs have the most definite effect on egg quality and is thus the first choice of most patients.



Why would you suggest that someone go to a fertility spa rather than use medicines or see a specialist?

There’s a definite answer to this question. What a couple gets in in vitro fertilization is the development and the retrieval of eggs from the ovaries. These eggs are fertilized and turned into embryos, and the embryos are transplanted back into the uterus. The outcome of this in vitro fertilization is really dependent on the quality of the eggs and the sperm. There’s nothing that those doctors can do to improve those eggs or sperm. What our fertility spa does is improve egg and sperm quality. We add something to the mix that does not exist without our intervention. We don’t see ourselves as a replacement for in vitro, we see ourselves as a complement, as an addition, to in vitro fertilization.



What challenges, if any, do you see the fertility spa industry facing in the future?

First of all, there aren’t that many fertility spas. I don’t even know if “they” exist. “I” exist (laughs). The immediate challenge is definitely the economy. However, I think we face many more upside potential aspects than downside. More and more people are starting to include complementary medicine in their journeys to conceive.



Tell us how you embarked on this career.

I was an acupuncturist 12 years ago. Eleven years ago, I had a patient who couldn’t get pregnant. I treated her, and she subsequently became pregnant. My wife and I also had problems, but once she saw an acupuncturist, she was able to get pregnant. Ever since then, I’ve devoted my life to learning about infertility, both the Western and Chinese medical perspectives.



Do you have any advice?

The major piece of advice that I would give to anyone is that women should all get pregnant before they are 33 or 34 years old. No matter how strong they think they are, older women will have problems afterwards. That’s a fact. For those trying to start a fertility spa, they have to surround themselves with staff who are experts in their field. That’s critical. They have to be able to have a relationship with reproductive endocrinologists and gynecologists so it can be a team-wide approach. Patients shouldn’t use only complementary medicine; they need to establish relationships so it can be a joint effort. In addition, if you have the room to do it, offering multiple modalities is a great idea. Yoga and tai chi can be really great tools.

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The Scoop on Latisse®


Latisse®  solution is the first (and only) FDA-approved prescription treatment for eyelash hypotrichosis, the condition of not having enough or having inadequate eyelashes. Approved by the FDA in December 2008, Latisse has since attracted a wide audience of users, including spokesperson and avid promoter Brooke Shields.  Formally known as bimatoprost solution, Latisse® is produced by Allergan, Inc., and helps eyelashes grow longer, fuller, and darker than usual.


Allergan conducted a clinical trial of Latisse® with 280 volunteers using the product for 16 weeks. The study revealed eyelashes typically grew to be 106 percent thicker, 25 percent longer, and 18 percent darker. Seventy-eight percent of participants experienced a significant increase in overall eyelash growth (including elements of length, fullness, and darkness) at week 16.


Using a sterile applicator, users carefully swipe the solution across the base of their upper eyelashes, making sure to blot the excess solution and throw out the applicator after one usage.  They must continue applying the topical solution every night in order to see results. Full results usually occur within 12 to 16 weeks of starting Latisse®, though the gradual growth process can be visible after a mere 8 weeks of usage. 


It is not fully known how the Latisse® system works, though it is believed to affect the anagen phase of the eyelash hair cycle by increasing the length of this growth phase and also by increasing the number of hairs involved. Eyelashes experience real measurable growth, though Latisse® eyelash lengthening is not permanent. 


Common side effects of Latisse® include itchiness or redness in the eyes, skin hyperpigmentation (when the skin surrounding the eye may become darker than usual), and increased brown iris pigmentation. In addition, if the Latisse® solution repeatedly touches the same area of skin aside from the eyelash area, there is an increased possibility of hair growth there.


Profit from the many women and men who are searching to enhance their lashes, let Latisse® help grow your spa’s business today!

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