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Suzette Meyer from Casa Mia Health Spa and Guesthouse gives some great insight into running a Spa and gaining the knowledge to do this successfully.

Q. Before you started your health Spa, you went to study in this field, to make sure you know everything you would later expect from your staff. Do you think that you could have started the Spa without that knowledge?

 

A. Before I started the spa business, I had a basic business and financial background to do the planning and to sort out the finances. This already was a great stepping stone for me to set up an accounting system, open a business account and choosing products. My main aim was to enter the health and beauty business and therefore I need to have more knowledge regarding spa treatments to offer as well as the different aspects of this new business I am investing in. For me, knowledge is power and the more you and your staff know the more information you can share with your clients.

Suzette Meyer

Q. What do you think are the biggest mistakes properties make when they want to start their spa?

 

A. Most people have no idea how complex the health and beauty industry is. Its more than just a good combination of skincare, diet and lifestyle. Health and skincare therapists have to study the anatomy, physiology of the human body. I believe that you have to lead by example and have the knowledge to support your staff in all aspects of any business.

Q. What are the minimum requirements for a property to be called a spa?

A. If you are a member of an organisation like SAAHSP, Les Nouvelles Estitique, there is a standard of service and requirements to meet. A spa needs to have 5 water therapies on offer, a sparkling pool, jacuzzi, sauna, steam room/shower, hydrotherapy bath and Vichy shower.

 

Q. Besides it being a great luxury, the Spa also has physical and mental healing properties. What are some of the transformations you have seen?

 

A. Spas are the source of finding a sense of well-being. Our main aim is to be a sanctuary where one can escape and a place to unwind. Here at Casa Mia you are allowed to renew your body and mind, and embracing the time to revive and de-stress. We see this now more than ever that individuals are seeking environments that help quiet the mind, they want to feel safe and close to nature. We are situated on a citrus farm, here you can enjoy the fresh air and wide-open spaces, listing to the call of a fish eagle while having lunch.

Q. What is your philosophy regarding giving big discounts during these trying times?

Before the Covid pandemic, we focussed on both local as well as international travellers. Now with the majority of local clients, we focus more on loyalty discounts for existing clients and offering off-season promotions.  This will help us discover which is best for the business. Discounts can attract new clients and business, but guests love long time value for money more than a one-time deal. Guests perception of your business’s quality and high standard of service is more important than a price war. Big discounts lessen the perceived value of your service.

 Q. Would you consider expanding, and what criteria would you use to determine if another property suits your business criteria?

It is important to look at all aspects of your business and explore both micro and macro wellness trends to ensure that you are abreast of the latest services offered across the spa and wellness industry as a one-stop wellness hub, for example, to add aesthetic treatments (botox, fillers).  We aim to have a more collective approach to mental health and connection to nature. We also act as a business school for third-year students. Learning more about hospitality and business skills will add value to any business in the wellness industry.