Archive for May, 2010

Lausanne Hospitality Offers Global Spa Summit Scholarship

One of the most exciting developments I heard about while attending the Global Spa Summit was the launch of a spectacular new scholarship. Lausanne Hospitality Consulting, the Executive Education and Consulting subsidiary of Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne, recently debuted a new professional certification in spa management. The one-year program is designed for those who are looking to develop their management skills or simply better apply them to their spa. Now, you have a chance to take advantage of this powerful program thanks to the LHC Global Spa Summit Scholarship. This scholarship gifts one place on the Professional Certification in Spa Management Programme for the June 2010 or February 2011 rollout, and is valued at more than $18,000.

The Professional Certification in Spa Management consists of four one-week sessions in Lausanne, Switzerland, at the campus of Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne. The program is specifically designed for professionals currently working in the spa industry who would like to boost their career to management levels. The program covers four spa-specific areas—Finance, Human Resources, Marketing, and Facilities Management—and includes spa visits and coaching. What makes this program so unique is the added value it provides to the spa operation: Participants are required to develop a Spa Case Project that aims to develop profitable solutions for your spa operation.

Who is eligible? Any motivated individual who is passionate about the spa industry; who has high professional growth potential; who has five years professional experience or a university degree; and who speaks English. For more information, visit

Repêchage To Host its 12th Annual Congress in August

Repêchage will host its 12th Annual Congress from August 2-3 at Manhattan’s Park Central Hotel. The event is sponsored by Les Nouvelles Esthetiques & Spa magazine and will feature a lineup of speakers including Lydia Sarfati, founder and CEO of Repêchage; Leon Alexander, M.D., specialist in beauty retail and salon development; DeeDee Crossett, president of the San Francisco Institute of Esthetics and Cosmetology; Dzigbordi Dosoo, founder of Allure Africa Limited, the premier Day Spa Group in West Africa; Randall Feingold, M.D., aesthetic plastic surgeon; Denise R. Fuller, editor in chief of Les Nouvelles Esthetiques & Spa magazine; and Shiri Sarfati, vice president of Sarkli-Repêchage. They will address spa and salon industry issues such as branding, retailing, education, and distribution. “Coming upon this momentous occasion has given me pause to reflect on all that we have accomplished as a company and as a family business,” says Sarfati. “I am so proud of how far we’ve come and am so excited as to where we are going.” To find out more information or to register for the upcoming 12th Annual International Congress, visit or call (800) 248-SKIN.

Courtney Akai and NovaLash
Cure an Editor’s Lash Envy

A few weeks ago, a couple of my American Spa cohorts returned from the IECSC Las Vegas show with fabulous-looking lashes. To say the rest of us were a bit jealous is an understatement. If there is one thing we all covet, it’s lush lashes. Luckily for me, I had just discovered a gift card for a complimentary set of lash extensions from Courtney Akai in a swag bag from a SpaWeek Media event I attended last month. I had thought to save the card for a special occasion but couldn’t resist booking an appointment after seeing my fellow staffers bat their lovely lashes around the office. Because I’m blonde and fair-skinned, I must admit I was a bit worried that I might end up looking like a drag queen with lashes that were far too dramatic, However, Courtney instantly put my fears to rest, and two hours later, I was batting my own lovely NovaLash extensions. It’s been about five days now, and I still can’t get over the transformation. Interested in becoming a NovaLash lash artist and creating some transformations of your own? Then call (866) 430-1261 or log on to

Virginia’s Tides Inn Offers Spa-Goers a Sea Change

Beach bums will love the recently unveiled ocean-inspired spa treatments at The Spa at the Tides Inn. Incorporating marine-loving OSEA products, these two seaweed-rich services bring the skin-saving benefits of the Deep Blue to the spa.

•To get clients in the mood, therapists ask clients to visualize themselves floating in the ocean when kicking off the Tides of Change Signature Massage and Body Treatment ($120, 60 minutes; $160, 90 minutes). Enhanced by a soundtrack featuring the soothing sounds of the sea, the offering was designed to refresh and invigorate guests as they are polished and massaged with mineral-rich products that leave skin nourished.

•An in-depth skin analysis starts off the Tides of Change Signature Facial ($120, 60 minutes; $160, 90 minutes) to determine any causes of imbalance. High-tech marine-based serums are combined with a pure plant mineral oxygen infusion, an algae skin tightener, and mineral enzymes to help stimulate cellular metabolism and relax stress lines. Not only will this treatment help diminish hyperpigmentation, but it will also help diminish the signs of weather, travel, or stress.

NovaLash President Receives Honor

Sophy Merszei, president and owner of NovaLash recently received the title of VIP Woman of the Year for 2010 from the National Association of Professional Women, which is an exclusive network for professional women to interact, exchange ideas, educate, and learn through seminars, podcasts, webinars, keynote speeches, and educational tools. Merszei was chosen based on her dedication and commitment to developing only the most researched, physician-approved and face-friendly eyelash product. In addition, Merszei gives back to her community and her world by affiliating with charities such as Girls Inc. and the UNICEF Haiti Relief Fund for Children.

New Foundation Offers Safer Way for Patients to Undergo Anesthesia

With many medical spa practices expanding their services to include aesthetic surgery procedures, it is important that both patients and doctors alike understand the effects of anesthesia. According to Dr. Barry Friedberg, a board-certified anesthesiologist, many patients wake up after surgery not quite the same person they were beforehand because of the overuse of anesthetic drugs, and risks include long-term dementia, memory loss, and even death. To help make undergoing anesthesia safer, Dr. Friedberg has formed the Goldilocks Anesthesia Foundation, a not-for-profit foundation dedicated to educating the public about the risks associated with anesthesia. In particular, Dr.Friedberg urges patients to request that their anesthesiologists use a brain monitor during surgery, and if their particular anesthesiologist doesn’t use one, request someone else who does. “Without a brain monitor, anesthesiology is not an exact science, so most doctors figure it is better to give the patient more than they need in order to make sure they don’t wake up during the operation,” says Dr. Friedberg. “With a brain monitor, doctors would be able to use a more exact dosage, use less drugs, and be safer. Instead of using too much or too little, they’d use a dosage that is just right, hence my reference to Goldilocks with my foundation.” To find out more about the Goldilocks Anesthesia Foundation, click here.

What Plans Do You Have For the Spa
For the Upcoming Summer Season?

“The summer in New York City lends itself to exciting parties, weekends in the Hamptons, and looking fabulous. We will focus our treatments around summer trends in order to cater to our clients needs. For example, we have created some summer packages such as the Break Out Bikini ($100, 75 minutes), which includes a bikini wax, a body scrub, and a spray tan. From a marketing standpoint, summer is a time to create mini getaways for those not traveling. We try to add little luxuries to our treatments, such as complimentary mini add-ons like foot scrubs with citrus-infused sea salt, deep cleansing scalp treatments, and cooling leg gel massages, as well as offer indulgent spa treats and cool drinks at check in, and wrap the cost of take-home products into the service price. I also check out local boutiques, many of which are promoting new bathing suit and shoe designers, as well as jewelers with hot up-to-the-minute summer lines, and then tap into these launches by creating a gift-with-purchase gift certificate, such as express pedicures, manicures, and spray tans to be handed out at point of purchase. This is a great way to reach out to our target demographic and gain exposure.”—Margaret Lora, spa director, Spa Merge (New York City)

Global Spa Summit: Post-Event Synopsis

I’m back from the Global Spa Summit in Istanbul, Turkey, and my mind is buzzing with all of the amazing experiences and ideas. It was a wonderful event, filled with truly interesting speakers, relevant reports and statistics, powerful brainstorming sessions, and incomparable networking opportunities. Here are a few highlights:


  • The session kicked off with a thought-provoking talk by Edie Weiner, a world-renowned futurist who got us all thinking about our industry and its future. One of her most compelling points—look to the 65-and-older set. Though the group traditionally gets lumped into one 65-plus demographic, this population is growing, has money to spend, and has wellness and health needs that our industry can satisfy.
  • The day continued with a presentation from Katherine Johnston of SRI International on her company’s comprehensive market research, Spas & the Global Wellness Market: Synergies & Opportunities. Best lesson: The worldwide wellness market has a nearly $2 trillion value. That number is staggering, but so are the opportunities it presents.
  • In other good news, Jan Freitag from Smith Travel Research reported on the latest benchmarking stats in Hotels & Luxury Spas. The good news? A slow recovery is underway. The first quarter of this year is showing improvement over the dismal years of 2008 and 2009. However, discounting is still prevalent across both hotels and spas, so we all face the challenge of bringing our prices slowly back up. Another interesting find is that salon service numbers are up, so it may be time to refocus on your spa’s haircare and nailcare offerings. We’ll be doing just that in our Hair & Nail Supplement in the July issue, so don’t miss it.
  • One of the big talking points of the conference involved bridging the gap between medicine and spa, and Dr. Ken Pelletier spoke on just that topic and got us all thinking about what we can do. The  healthcare system is not sustainable in its current form, so he tasked us all with coming up with innovative ways to work with insurance companies, doctors, and other healthcare professionals to make preventative medicine a priority.
  • Other hot topics of the day included a look at Wellness Tourism from the perspectives of Terry Stevens, Ph.D., who talked about global trends and best practices, and Laszlo Puczko, who discussed both past and present developments in Wellness Tourism.
  • We also got to experience some of the best hammams Turkey has to offer, thanks to a presentation by Aysegul Sungar. I was so inspired that I’m working on a story on the growing hammam trend in the U.S. for one of the fall issues of American Spa.
  • The day concluded with research presentations on benchmarking, today’s spa consumer, and medical tourism. Stay tuned to the August issue of American Spa for more in-depth reports on these findings.
  • Evening activities included a cruise on the Bosphorus and dinner at the spectacular Les Ottomans Hotel, where I toured the Caudalie Vinotherapie Spa, an inspiring spa that had such unique offerings as a Dead Sea Salt flotation pool and a futuristic-looking meditation room.


  • The next morning kicked off with a discussion on Architecture & Design and was followed by a keynote address by the incomparable Philippe Bourguignon, who talked about the evolution of luxury and what we can expect in 2025 when it comes to wellness.
  • I then attended a breakout session on spa retail, and my takeaway on this? This is a topic that inspires passion in spa owners and directors and in spa product manufacturers, and there are some wonderful ways we can all be working together to grow our business—but it’s going to take a lot of work. In fact, this is perhaps one of the most asked-about topics here at American Spa, which is why we recently debuted Shelf Life, a guide to growing your retail business. Stay tuned for our next edition in October.
  • After a lovely lunch with Dr. Murad, where I learned more about his company’s new partnership with Massage Envy, we headed off to an afternoon that focused on technology and social media. We here at American Spa do have a new website, a blog, and Facebook and Twitter accounts, but I left with about five pages of notes on what we can be doing to make our online presence even more impactful, thanks to a report by Marc Smith and a panel led by Fairmont Raffles’s Anne McCall. Let me tell you — if  you haven’t thought about your online offerings, it is time to start. Check out our May story, “Virtual Bliss,” for information about how online booking and gift card capabilities can help grow your business, and watch for our September issue, where we’ll report about the importance of social networking.

Also, be sure to check out our August issue, which will feature event photos, research reports, and more on the 2010 Global Spa Summit. It was an incomparable experience, and I look forward to sharing it with you.

Spa Hospitality Expo Brings the Trade Show Floor to Your Computer

The Spa Hospitality Expo, hosted by Healing Arts Guide, will be launching online on May 26th.  This virtual trade show, which will be open for 90 days, will allow registered participants to enjoy free education, experience product demos, network, and check out various presentations. Eligible for discounts and prizes, they will even be able to chat live with execs from each of the suppliers—more than forty are currently slated to participate—who will be exhibiting on the virtual trade show floors. Jeffrey Hollander, founder & CEO of Seventh Generation will deliver the keynote address on May 27th.  The topic of his presentation: The Responsibility Revolution, How The Next Generation Of Businesses Will Win. Registration for the event if free and open to interested professionals. To participate, click here.

Affinia Hotels Celebrates Sex and the City 2
with the Ultimate Girlfriend’s Getaway

Fans of the fabulous foursome—Carrie, Miranda, Samantha, and Charlotte—can live out their own dish-worthy adventures in the city thanks to Affinia Hotels’s Girls Getaway in the City package, offered by the brand’s five New York City properties. Coinciding with the May 27 debut of Sex and the City 2, the package features a SATC Hotspots Tour by On Location Tours, a canvas stiletto shoe bag for any Carrie-inspired impulse buys, a Sex and the City book with the behind-the-scenes scoop on the movie, a 20 percent discount on Cosabella’s SATC line of racy lingerie, a split of Champagne, and accommodations for the ideal girls’ getaway. The package starts at $219 per night and is available from May 28 through September 6, 2010. The women can also enjoy an in-room spa treatment through Affinia’s SPAffinia program and opt for an in-suite mani/pedi party. For more information, check out Affinia is also launching a Twitter contest with partners On Location Tours and Dogeared Jewelry, May 24 through May 28, which will award followers of @affiniahotels with a chance to be part of the New Line Cinema release of Sex and the City 2. For further details and the official contest rules, visit

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