Savor the serenity of this perfect Asheville getaway
Experience a Sanctuary of the Senses at The Spa at Omni Grove Park Inn located in Asheville, North Carolina. The 43,000 square foot subterranean spa built into the side of the mountain brings the outdoors in with awe-inspiring natural light, spectacular rock formations, and twenty therapeutic water features. Guests can enjoy the spa’s extraordinary design element while soaking in the restorative mineral pools or experiencing the magical touch of a full-body massage or facial. The art of relaxation is alive and well here at The Spa as the staff gets ready to celebrate its 20th anniversary on February 28, 2021. Ellen McGinnis is taking us behind the spa door to show us why it is consistently voted one of the top resort spas in the world.
BECOME ATTUNED WITH NATURE
Ellen Mcginnis attributes the world-class spa’s success to being one of the first large themed spas on the east coast. “We knew that people already were coming to our region for the beautiful surroundings and the healing properties of the mountains, but we wanted to create a unique spa destination that truly was a “Sanctuary of the Senses”.”
The elements of fire, rock, water, and light are prominent throughout the guest tunnels and facilities. Guests can experience over twenty different water features, including mineral-based pools, waterfall pools, and a lap pool blanketed with 6,500 fiber-optic stars and entrancing underwater music, as well as various fireplaces to sit and take in the amazing view.
THE HEAVEN SERIES
“Our signature treatments, “The Heaven Series”, were designed to provide the essence of the region, but also provide a spa experience that is not something that they would experience elsewhere. We have tweaked and evolved the treatments over the years, but have remained true to the mission of delivering an authentic, indigenous but world-class treatment.” says McGinnis. One of the spa’s most popular treatments is the Fire, Rock, Water, and Light body Treatment, which gives guests the experience of an entire day at the spa. It includes a rejuvenating full-body exfoliation, softening soak, healing body mask, warm stones, and remarkable Vichy waterfall massage.
Guests can achieve the ultimate balance in the spa’s most unusual treatment, the Color and Light Wrap and Aura Imaging treatment. The experience begins and ends with a special aura capturing photograph interpreted by the specially trained therapy. The Ultimate Facial described as “a cornucopia of a divine pampering experience” is also a guest favorite, including a “decadent combination of specifically selected active ingredients from the depths of the ocean,” says McGinnis. Using the spa’s perfected, exclusive treatment techniques, guests will leave the treatment with a smooth, firmer, and more youthful appearance.
“All marketing efforts at The Omni Grove Park Inn are integrated and cross-channel to ensure our message meets the consumer where they already are,” says Spa Director McGinnis. This includes social media, radio/ TV, print publications, and other forms of communication. The spa regularly evaluates these internal and external communication strategies to ensure their efforts are seamless. The spa modifies its marketing mix, messaging, and timelines based on business needs. “Currently, we are fortunate enough to be experiencing high demand for our Spa with treatments booking up to 6-8 weeks out. Therefore, we are not proactively promoting The Spa externally at this time,” she says.
The luxurious spa has an extensive training program to ensure superior customer service from its staff. A full-time trainer position was created several years ago to instill high-quality training. Every new staff member will go through a two-day orientation called “Spa 101 & Spa 102.” Each associate receives personalized training materials based on their position. The spa also utilizes digital training videos and presentations, as well as monthly “Moments of Service” reviews to reinforce cultural and service standards.
“We are fortunate to have a group of seasoned spa professionals that will also step in to provide additional training for red to reoffer our own CEU approved classes to our service providers,” says McGinnis.
The staff begins each day with a 10-minute meeting that sets the tone for the day and keeps everyone informed. The spa also hosts 30-minute monthly meetings that focus on a company designated service topic. “This is a time that we can review, share service experience or strategies, and share ideas.” Rather than conducting annual performance reviews, the spa focuses on giving “real-time feedback.” Spa Director McGinnis explains this as positive recognition through public praise or additional training due to guest feedback.
RETAIL & REVENUE
“Our retail selection is a collaboration between our corporate buyers and our property recommendations,” says McGinnis. The world-class spa offers the same products that guests are experiencing on their spa journey, including plush robes, spa slippers, elixirs, teas, skin care, and body products. It is important to remind guests of the relaxing spa experience at home, too. The spa also selects retail offerings that encourage the guest to recreate their sanctuary and practice self-care at home.
These not only include signature spa products, but neck rolls, eye pillows, diffusers, aromatherapy, journals, gratitude cards, and relaxation wear. When it comes to retail revenue, 45 percent of retail sales are from the spa’s own skincare line. Other product lines include BABOR, Epicuren, and FarmHouse Fresh. Guests are incentivized to purchase these products through gifts with purchase promotions, limited time offers, and seasonal specials. All spa guests receive a 10 percent discount that can only be used on the day of service.
Spa Director Spotlight
With over 25 years in the wellness and spa industry, Ellen McGinnis is the Director of Spa and Executive Committee Member at The Omni Grove Park Inn. She is a hospitality professional that is passionate about creating innovative spa experiences, building engaged, collaborative teams, producing profitable operational solutions, and supporting the future evolution of Wellness & Spa and 5 Star Service Standards. “Surround yourself with a diverse team of professionals that are smarter than you are and equally passionate about creating incredible memories!”