The future of luxury Spas: in conversation with Paul Tchen, Peninsula Hotels

As part of our feature series dedicated to Spas, all the month of September and first week of October, CPP-LUXURY.COM has recently interviewed, exclusively, Mr Paul Tchen, General Manager, Operations Planning and Support, who is responsible for PENINSULA HOTELS‘ Global Spa Program

How important have Spas become for a luxury hotel? What percentage of your global revenue comes from Spas?

Extremely important – spas are a complement to the luxury hotel experience we provide and have become part of the lifestyle for many of our guests.

You own many of your properties and hold stakes in others. However, for your Spas, you have opted for a mono-brand collaboration. Is it a third party operator/joint venture or a collaboration?

When the first of our spas launched in Hong Kong in 2006, we collaborated with ESPA as our advisors. The Hong Kong spa was well received, which led to the introduction of others within the company. While we have opted for a mono-brand collaboration with ESPA in the past, we have now begun to welcome additional reputable brands to provide our guests with additional new options. We will, however, continue to self-operate our spas in order to ensure that they truly reflect the Peninsula service which our guest have come to expect of all of our facilities.

Across your chain of hotels and resorts, which properties boast the most comprehensive Spa offerings?

Each of our spas has a core range of treatments and products from which they may expand with other treatments which are bespoke or unique to their locale and to suit the needs of their local clientele. For example, our Vital Qi and Bamboo Harmoniser ceremonies, at our hotels in Beijing and Shanghai respectively, were created to incorporate local elements in the treatments. Another example is at our Beverly Hills property where we feature the most comprehensive facial offering due to the demand of its local market.

What are the most popular Spa services/packages requested by your guests?

In general, the holistic massage treatments are the most popular with our international travellers, while facial treatments are becoming more and more popular with our local guests.

In your Spas, have you considered introducing organic products?

We are always exploring enhancements to our product range, including organic or natural ingredients as long as they are safe, hygienic and can provide optimum results and effects.

From your research and feedback from guests, what do your guests seek from a Spa experience? (instant effects when it comes to skin related treatments versus healthy and lifestyle)

Guests taking a holistic massage treatment are looking for a spa journey which can rejuvenate the body and unwind the mind. On the other hand, guests having facial treatments are expecting immediate results-oriented therapy.

How important is it for hotel Spas to provide a sense of place, be it through type of treatments, products or even décor?

It is extremely important to provide a sense of place. The Peninsula Spa and wellness experience is based on the five senses: sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch. In other words, a spa journey is an experience of the combination of décor, music, refreshments, scent, treatment protocol, and more.