Could spas become the new venue for company retreats for team building? While 20 years ago, men only made up 10 percent of the US spa market, the times are changing. By 2013, this figure had climbed to 47 percent now companies may be offering spa retreats as perks. In “Spa Vacations for Men: The New Executive Perk,” Matthew Kronsberg writes that wellness retreats are offering treatments and sports activities geared to men, such as beer body scrubs and recreational tree climbing,and that some CEOs are now footing the bill for their employees to go for retreats.
Peter Sharper, a founding partner of a Houston private equity firm, told Kronsberg he had envisioned spas as a place where ladies sat around in robes getting their nails done. However, after many requests from his wife to accompany her on a spa visit, he finally gave in and went with her to Arizona’s Canyon Ranch. There he hiked, biked and did a boot camp class and now he accompanies her on visits to other spas.
Make physical changes to accommodate male clients
While there is significant financial opportunity in adding men to your spa menu, you may need to invest in some changes to attract them. For starters, historically, spas have been geared to women. That’s why you’ll want to create a more gender-neutral spa environment that appeals to both men and women or provide dedicated facilities where men can feel more at home. Such an environment may utilize warm earthy colors and even go so far to provide different colored robes for the sexes.
To cater to men, you also may want to provide guests with more individual privacy than is typically provided by women-only spas by creating individual waiting rooms and private salons for services such as manicures and facials that many men might find intimidating to receive in a public setting.
Offer treatments that appeal to men
Unlike their female spa-going counterparts, men need to be educated about the world of professional esthetic care. Men don’t recognize or understand the various applications and types of facial and body care products. Nor do they have the long tradition of complex, multi-stepped personal grooming habits. They want fast and simple skin care routines.
Overwhelmingly, the number one treatment for both men and women is the massage, according to ISPA. Because it is important for men to ‘feel the treatment is working,’ they generally prefer deep tissue and sports massage to relax and soothe muscles that have taken a pounding from sports and exercise. Such massages can be even more effective by using a cooling analgesic lotion such as Polar Lotion that contains menthol, eucalyptus or peppermint to spot treat sore muscle and joint areas.
The On-Par Pressure Point Back Treatment is a good example of tying a treatment to a sports activity, in this case golf. The treatment begins with a sports back scrub followed by a targeted application of warmed Black Baltic Body Mud to detoxify, soothe and relax sore muscles. Next comes the deep tissue or sports massage on the legs and back, after which the client receives pressure point work using warmed golf balls in a fashion similar to hot stones.
As they do with their massage, men also want to feel that the body treatment is really working. A scrub using Dead Sea salts can accomplish this. And here’s a tip when treating particularly hairy men – add a little extra massage oil to the salts or even to some massage cremes and lotions can help facilitate the therapist’s work.
Many spas also report to the growing popularity of facials, especially for men in their late 20s and 30s who want to want help take care of their skin and reduce ingrown hairs, blackheads and other blemishes.
Whatever encourages men to visit spas – perk from company or pleas from partner – seems once they walk through the door, there is a good change, they will keep coming back.