These days, anyone with a room and a massage table can call themselves a spa,” says Brian Mills, managing director for Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH). Perhaps it’s this concern that led to SLH’s launch of the new Spa Book, Exclusively by Small Luxury Hotels of the World, which highlights 53 spas affiliated with the organization’s member hotels.
SLH says the concept for the book was inspired by the growth in consumer demand for luxurious spa experiences, as well as the lack of regulation in the spa business. “Some places make claims about their services and the fulfilling experience they offer, but completely fail to deliver when the client arrives,” says Mills.
Mills noted that the 53 spas were selected from SLH’s 329 member hotels; it’s an exclusive selection he hopes will establish a benchmark for the industry. Spas selected had to have a dedicated spa area that is a separate entity from its hotel as well as a dedicated staff to deliver treatments that are therapeutic in nature.
Useful elements luxury travel agents will find include the descriptions of spa amenities and services, as well as the hotel with which each is affiliated; GDS codes; an etiquette guide and glossary of spa terms. Spa Book even provides special e-mail addresses by which travelers and agents can reach the spas through SLH, which acts as a liaison to expedite the question-and-answer and reservations process.
Spa Book is distributed to SLH’s top-producing agents by mail, and is available to consumers at member spas, or for $5 as a supplement to the organization’s hotel directory (212-953-2064).