Archive for Author: Christina Stratton
Women In Wellness

March 22, 2021 | no comments | ISM News | by: Christina Stratton

We are so proud to be a women-owned business in an industry that is full of so many incredible women entrepreneurs and leaders.

As a women-owned business, we pride ourselves in supporting other women leaders and want to continue being a champion for those making strides, especially in the global wellness industry. 

In honor of National Women’s History Month, we take the opportunity to highlight a few women entrepreneurs and trailblazers across the wellness industry. And while we could write an entire book on the women game-changers we’ve seen throughout the years, here are just a few we can’t help but brag about:

Ilana Alberico and Christina Stratton, ISM SPA, Privai, Spa Space Technology

We would be remiss if we didn’t lead off with ISM’s fearless founders, Ilana and Christina. Aside from being genuine, kind humans and successful women, Ilana and Christina are pioneers in the spa industry - always one step ahead when it comes to innovation and vision.  Incorporating new offerings such as Privai skincare and integrating technologies such as Spa Space application are hallmarks of their renowned success.

In 2006, in response to ongoing problems with spa management, Ilana and Christina developed a creative solution and accompanying business model to serve an unmet need - earning them the true title of “trailblazers.”  Now, ISM Spa’s service execution is absolutely unmatched in the industry.

In an industry that’s easy to get lost in the notion of maximizing revenue, Ilana and Christina instead put their faith in the impact ISM makes on their spa guests as well as their client partners. They’ve built a company culture focused on creating a completely holistic environment that enhances the wellness experience - putting spa guests first in every decision made. 

We’re very fortunate to have two amazing women founders to inspire us (and all the men and women around us) to make real, positive changes in the health & wellness industry. 

Lauren Ash, Black Girl in Om

In 2014, Lauren Ash noticed she was consistently one of the very few women of color at yoga studios and in yoga instructor workshops. She soon realized there needed to be a safe space in the wellness industry for women of color and launched Black Girl in Om, which has become an influential online presence.

Black Girl in Om exists to hold and catalyze healing within black women around the world on their unique journeys towards wholeness. The brand offers inclusion to an online community that’s devoted to connecting the dots between healing and wholeness, a podcast series, an event series, and a plethora of guides and classes, like Heart to Heart & Meditation and 28 Days to Alignment. 

Lauren was able to see a gap in the health & wellness industry, and fill that need - rather successfully if you ask us. 

Afton Vechery & Carly Leahy, Modern Fertility

The desire to make fertility testing more accessible drove Afton & Carly to launch Modern Fertility, a reproductive health company, in 2017.  

Modern Fertility offers a fertility test that can help women who are trying to get pregnant - or may want to in the future - find out more about their fertility and plan ahead. The company gives in-depth reports based on your hormones, an app where you can get personalized predictions for your cycle and fertile window, and a free virtual community. 

Offering an at-home hormone test, the same one given in fertility clinics, but for a fraction of the price has resonated with women across the country - and the numbers are proof. Since its launch in 2017, it has raised over $22 million.

Afton & Carly are on a mission to integrate the fertility sector more broadly into women’s culture and mainstream wellness, and we’re excited to see what mountains they’ll move next. 

Deborah Szekely, Rancho La Puerta

If you’re no stranger to the spa industry, you have likely heard of Deborah Szekely, also named, the “Godmother of Wellness” by the Huffington Post. 

More than 80 years ago, back in 1940, she and her husband founded one of the world’s first destination spas, Rancho La Puerta! Guests at their summer health camp in Baja, California say they returned because of Deborah and her welcoming hospitality and passion for wellness. 

Now, at 99 years old, she is known as the founder of the modern health and fitness movement, has served on health and fitness councils under 4 presidents, and is still involved in her community today. 

A few other women in wellness honorable mentions:

Please join us in our efforts to advocate for women in wellness, not just this month but each and every day. Support their work, their career journeys, and their industry contributions. 

We love to give women in wellness the recognition they rightfully deserve, so please send us a message with the names of other women we should spotlight!

Caring For Our Partners

February 16, 2021 | no comments | ISM News | by: Christina Stratton

One of ISM Spa's core values is love.  Passionate about wellness, we genuinely love what we do.  We outwardly express this core value through commitment and care for our hotel partners, our team members, and our guests.

Oh, the season of love! Happy February to all of our partners and clients! 

Beyond the joy of filling Spas with happy guests celebrating Valentine's occasions, February’s arrival as the “month of love” is a welcome reminder to refocus on a driving force in hospitality: passion.  

Love is a major part of who we are and we bet it’s the same for you. If you’re new here, we’re all about appreciating and loving yourself, your neighbors, and this Earth. In fact, love is ISM’s first company core value. Our love of wellness and influencing those around us to find their truest, best selves is something we are very passionate about.

We are so fortunate to work in such an incredible industry with the power to positively influence someone’s draining day, tough week, and even change their life. A simple pedicure could be the small respite a new mom needs to recharge and feel like herself again. A couple's massage could be a first step toward saving a relationship that is going through a rough patch. Our industry’s ability to influence and encourage love is truly powerful and rewarding.

Here at ISM, we serve amazing partners whose passion to continuously improve mirrors our own. The optimism and celebration from working together through every stage of a successful partnership fuel our operation. From envisioning a new wellness concept in an untapped market to rebranding an existing spa asset to meet the guest demands of the future,  the feelings of accomplishment and respect when we work together are rewarding. We’re grateful for our partners’ open hearts and minds.

This time of year, we hope you are able to witness all of the love that is around you. Whether it is through your guests as they treat themselves to a special spa experience, your own partner as love floats through the air this time of year, or all of the special people in your life - we are so thankful that you are in ours! 

Happy season of love from ISM Spa to you!

Establishing Wellness Habits

January 16, 2021 | no comments | ISM News | by: Christina Stratton

Establish Wellness Habits for Yourself and Your Employees This New Year

As a manager, it is your duty to lead by example, focusing on your own mind, body, and soul, to inspire your employees.

As a manager of a busy spa, the days, weeks and months can be extremely stressful. It is near impossible to expect your employees to come to work with a positive attitude when you yourself feel worn-down emotionally, physically, and mentally. Lead your team by example and focus on creating healthy habits that fit your lifestyle, 9 out of 10 times, it will encourage others to do the same. 

Over the next few days, we encourage you to spend time focusing on where your mind, body, and soul may be craving some balance - it could be as simple as a small tweak to your schedule or a large investment of time and energy into something that truly brings you happiness. You may even find that you have established healthy habits in one area, but are lacking in others. In order to improve your own health and wellness, we suggest participating in things that will engage your body, nourish your mind, and replenish your soul every single day.  

We know investing in yourself can feel like a daunting task, especially if it’s something you aren’t accustomed to doing, which is exactly why we wanted to share a few of our favorite ways to help improve overall wellness through the three main pillars: mind, body, soul.

1. Nourish Your Mind

Sometimes we forget that mental health is just as important as physical health. When you take care of your mental health, you’ll feel less anxious or run-down and more positive during the day. 

An easy way to nourish your mind is to spend some time recognizing gratitude. Simply thinking of three things you are thankful for as you shower or drive to work every day will improve your overall mood and start your day on a positive note. During the day, take advantage of free time by spending a minute flexing your brain muscles, which could be in the form of learning something new, reading a book, or even doing a crossword puzzle. When finishing your day, try meditating before bed to relax and clear your mind for a restful sleep. 

Once you feel that you have a handle on nourishing your own mind, spend some time brainstorming how you can influence your employees to do the same. Create a gratitude wall for your employees to share a recent achievement or life event that has happened to them recently. Encourage other employees to add words of encouragement via sticky notes to bring the team together. Create brain-boosting office traditions such as sharing book recommendations once every year, or even quarterly.

2. Engage Your Body

One of the biggest inhibitors to establishing a successful exercise routine is the lack of time, which is especially true for busy managers who feel like their work never ends. Thankfully, there are so many simple ways to introduce exercise into your daily tasks to give yourself a quick break!

When you would otherwise be standing around – while your tea is steeping or lunch is cooking – practice a few sun salutations to stretch your body and relax your mind. If you usually take the closest parking spot at the grocery store, try parking near the back of the lot and enjoying a brisk walk in the fresh air. Simple tweaks to your daily routine, that provide your body with even just a minute of wellness, is much better than none at all.

Maybe you’re looking for that nudge to help you on your way to a healthier life (if you are, here’s your nudge!). If you have an exercise machine at home gathering dust, or – let’s be honest – a pile of laundry, consider multitasking in order to find the time to use it more. Unwind with your favorite guilty pleasure reality TV show while you pedal on a spin bike or check your emails while you walk on the treadmill. 

Another tip: make sure to turn exercise into something you look forward to and are held accountable for via a class. Hate running but love to dance? You’ll have more fun than you think at an upbeat Zumba class after work. Do you miss engaging your muscles the way you did as a star athlete in high school or college? Check out an early morning boot camp at a local gym.

Once you’ve established your favorite way to engage your body, get your employees on board too! Invite them to your favorite exercise class, create a fitness challenge for the month and compete against nearby businesses, or head out for a walk during your next team meeting!

3. Replenish Your Soul

Sincere focus on the body and mind is the key to reaching a healthy work-life balance, but in order to fully achieve “wellness,” you must focus on your soul’s health too. 

Brighten your mood by doing things you enjoy - things that really make you feel good! This could be having a morning cup of coffee or wearing clothes that make you ooze confidence. On the weekends or evenings, spend time unplugging from work and put energy towards something that you’re good at or that makes you happy, like painting or hiking. One of the best ways to replenish your soul while also helping those around you is to do something nice - buy a stranger their coffee once in a while or bake some cookies for an elderly neighbor! 

This is the most fun aspect of wellness to share with your employees. Once a month, schedule an outing after work or on the weekend to do something truly fun with your employees and their families. Throughout the year, volunteer to give back to the community by manning the local soup kitchen, sorting donations, or building a house! Periodically ask for recommendations and follow through with engaging activities. Remember - these don’t have to be expensive! 

There are so many ways to introduce health and wellness into your life that will also influence your employees to follow suit. Think about new traditions you can start at your spa that will continue for years to come.

Do you and your employees spend time focusing on wellness together? Send us a message to be featured and inspire others to do the same!

Top 10 Spa Technology Trends

January 14, 2021 | no comments | ISM News | by: Christina Stratton

ISM’s Top 10 Spa Technology Trends for 2021

Welcome to ISM’s Top 10 Spa Technology Trends for 2021! Why the focus on technology and not more general trends, you ask? Because the time is now for revolutionary technology to lead the way in the spa industry. We are always on the lookout for innovative solutions for all members of the spa value chain – our facility partners, team members, and guests—especially in these challenging times. At the outbreak of the pandemic, all 20 spas we manage experienced layoffs and closures across the board. By leveraging technology, we were able to quickly welcome guests and therapists back once state-mandates allowed us to safely re-open. 

Trend #1: Software-as-a-service (SaaS)

Software as a service (SaaS), also referred to as on-demand software, is software that is licensed on a subscription basis and centrally hosted. ISM has partnered with Spa Space, a new SaaS that delivers cost savings and revenue optimization while increasing customer satisfaction. A patent-pending algorithm perfectly matches customers with expert therapists at a location of their choice. For ISM managed spas, the ability to implement turnkey spa management solutions including payments, scheduling, local marketing, and therapist sourcing allowing spas to reopen with ease—delivers custom KPI reporting and dynamic yield management. 

Trend #2: Contactless Booking

From the booking process to check-in and check out and product purchases, contactless booking enables safe and efficient remote transactions. In addition to the obvious safety of a touchless experience amid the pandemic, contactless booking allows guests control over their experience from start to finish. From an operational standpoint, maintaining central reservations and a reception desk for check-in and check-out was tying up valuable human resources. Moving to our new technology partner Spa Space has allowed us to reopen all of our spas with significantly lowered costs, implement smart staffing solutions and personalize spa services for our guests.  

Trend #3: Dynamic Yield Management

Spas have traditionally been limited in their revenue management practices and relied on discounting, which ultimately erodes brand value. ISM runs reports on both demand and production to help our spas analyze their business so that they know how to dynamically price their treatments. We predict next-generation dynamic pricing will utilize sophisticated algorithms to match not only demand and supply, but detailed guest preferences, therapist skills, and preferred location. The Spa Space App offers custom KPI reporting and dynamic yield management to drive revenue while lowering costs. 

Trend #4: Smart Technology as Recruiting and Retention Tool

The best spa technology frees people up to do what they do best. The Spa Space platform gives our provider partners full control over their schedules—leading to a sense of ownership. This “work where you want, when you want” mentality is much different than adhering to strict protocols in the treatment room due to precise brand standards. Therapists can make their own schedules while nurturing their individual talents and areas of expertise, leading to overall job satisfaction. In the words of one of our longtime team members Melissa Donaghy, LMT, “I love the schedule flexibility, real-time compensation, and feeling of empowerment.”

Trend #5: CRM for Precision Marketing

Technology enables a highly targeted, “rifle” versus a “shotgun” approach to marketing. The right message to the right guest or prospect increases capture rates, repeat business, and guest loyalty and engagement.  Spa management software or CRM programs allow for market segmentation to divide your market into smaller, more defined categories based on similar characteristics. The more guests and prospects are segmented based on their similarities, (demographics, psychographics, behavior, geography, and lifecycle) the more effective your messaging. Resort hotel spas can leverage their CRM’s marketing functionality to have an opportunity to capture business by directly targeting and engaging with guests prior to their arrival. Hotel spas can target locals for memberships, staycation packages, and return visits. 

Trend #6: Death of the Static Spa Menu

The days of the “one size fits all” spa model is gone.  As guest needs become more individualized, effective use of technology has become critical. This need for “hyper-personalization” fundamentally changes the business model for how to attract, satisfy, and retain guests. ISM spas have eliminated the traditional spa menu and replaced it with customized massages and facials that meet guests’ personalized wellness needs. As a result, we have seen a 25% increase in guest satisfaction. In addition, our Spa Directors are freed from time-consuming administrative tasks and able to rebuild their business.

#7: High-Tech Touchless Treatments

Some spa-goers want to return to the spa but, for safety concerns, prefer a contactless experience. Luxury resorts are responding with high-tech touchless treatments, scientifically validated to address common wellness concerns like sleep, stress, pain, and immunity. Carillon Miami’s high tech and touchless wellness experiences feature The Gharieni Spa Wave, a computer-controlled acoustic and vibrational therapy, The Prism Light Pod which uses red light photobiomodulation therapy, The Rasha Body-Mind-Spirit, a vibrational frequency technology, and The VEMI all-in-one system which is a VibroAcoustic, ElectroMagnetic, and Infrared technology.

Trend #8: Investment in WellTech

Wellness technologies have exploded as people become increasingly educated and attuned to what they specifically need to keep their bodies and minds healthy.  WellTech is opening the door to a new trillion-dollar market of Wellbeing-as-a-Service (WaaS). According to Trendium: A Compendium of Trends from the Global Wellness Summit, “Investors are taking notice of this demand for more mental health and mental wellness technology solutions: Start-ups in this space raised a record-breaking $1.37 billion in the first three quarters of 2020, handily outpacing the $1.06 billion invested in 2019 (PitchBook)…The trend is also being spurred by generational shifts, with millennials and Gen Z demanding easier access to therapy and psychiatry while also being much more focused on self-care and mental wellness solutions.”  

Trend #9: Culture of Care

The Spa Space App has become the cornerstone of ISM’s culture of care by eliminating mundane administrative functions such as inventory management, scheduling, and payroll from our spa directors’ daily repertoire. By harnessing technology, they can be experience-makers and leaders rather than administrative workers. Why does having a culture of care matter? Because it impacts your bottom line: culture impacts employee engagement, which in turn affects absenteeism, retention, and productivity. Culture also impacts the guest experience: happy cultures produce happy employees and therefore happy guests. 

Trend #10: Technology will Disrupt the Status Quo

Technology has disrupted every category of hospitality, and now, the era of technological innovation has begun for the spa industry.  Our ability to adopt technology has been our saving grace during the pandemic. “ISM’s willingness to embrace new technology and create a personalized approach to booking guests appeals to the luxury scale client that we attract gives confidence that the world can again travel and enjoy the experience of a spa without the risk,” says Lori Kiel, Chief Revenue and Marketing Officer of The Kessler Collection. “Our partnership with ISM is what makes the spa viable.”



Reflecting With Gratitude

November 24, 2020 | no comments | ISM News | by: Christina Stratton

As a year we will never forget begins to wrap up, we reflect with gratitude and celebrate all of the great things that happened in 2020. 

Wow, what a year! 2020 brought plenty of highs and lows -especially to our industry- yet, we can’t help but feel gratitude as we look back on the year as a whole.

While many were searching for a sense of “normal” to return, we realized that maybe normal shouldn’t have been the goal in the first place. After focusing on the experiences our staff and guests were encountering during this season of uncertainty, we dedicated ourselves to improving our business processes - starting with developing new operations within our guest and staff relations and implementing new tools to revamp our digital footprint.

Spa Operations in the Next Normal

As we worked to navigate toward the “next normal”, all of the decisions we made aligned with our mission of Operational Excellence, Optimal Experiences.  It’s evident we must pivot many standard spa practices in order to safely and efficiently reopen spas, and in some cases, a full 180-degree turn is in order. After taking intentional time to revitalize our approach, we are able to streamline our processes to ensure all guests and staff participate in an extremely safe and satisfying spa experience. 

To ensure safety and cleanliness at all ISM spas, we equipped every location with proper personal protection equipment and sanitation items then trained our teams on proper usage and procedures. We also communicated these newly developed processes across every available channel so spa guests are aware and feel comfort in knowing we follow cleanliness protocols and thoroughly sanitize for their safety. 

We also introduced a simple online platform to not only reduce unnecessary contact but to also provide a simple, streamlined experience for our spa guests and providers. Contactless checkout and check-in don’t just equate to an easier experience for guests once they arrive at the spa, but it also reduces paperwork for staff to handle. Finally, staggered scheduling means each guest receives a personalized, calming experience without any distractions, enabling the power of technology to support the power of human touch. 

We are so happy to share that these new expectations and innovations are here to stay for our ISM partners and their clients and we look forward to building upon this foundation next year.

ISM Online 

In 2020, ISM also dove headfirst into digital to connect with our partners and guests. In September, our skincare line, Privai, launched their first Instagram Live in collaboration with Lifestyle Blogger, Alex Ferraro of @SunKissedinDecember. We are so excited to continue to leverage partnerships to educate spa enthusiasts on the amazing products our partners use. We’re always looking for wellness influencers, so if you have a favorite account, send us an email with your recommendation!

New Spa Locations 

This year, ISM successfully helped our hotel partners open three new locations! Charlotte, Savannah, and Nashville are now home to luxurious spa destinations within these gorgeous new hotels.   As the world focuses on wellness, we cannot wait to watch each spa grow and provide services to hotel guests and locals alike.

The Poseidon Spa at the Grand Bohemian Hotel in Charlotte, NC

The Poseidon Spa at the JW Marriott Savannah Plant Riverside District in Savannah, GA 

R+R Wellness at the Grand Hyatt in Nashville, TN

As we near the close of the year, we want to say a big THANK YOU to all of our partners and clients. We look back on 2020 with so much gratitude for you all, and we’re full of optimism for an exciting year ahead!

We hope your soul receives a well-deserved recharge by spending time with loved ones during this season!

With Gratitude,


*If you’d like to know more about ISM, our spa reopening solutions, and how we can enhance & elevate your hotel’s guest experience, please contact us

Giving Thanks

November 21, 2020 | no comments | ISM News | by: Christina Stratton

There is a light at the end of the tunnel! And here at ISM Spa Management, a boutique spa management company with headquarters in Asheville, North Carolina – and a portfolio of day spa and hotel spas under management across the country – we are determined to look on the bright side. 

This year will certainly go down in the history books as one of the roughest our world will have endured, but 2020 is almost at an end. This Thanksgiving will be unlike anything any of us have ever experienced, but if there has ever been a time when pausing to take stock of our many blessings is more appropriate, we can’t think of it

Counting Our Blessings

We sat down with our amazing team of spa management consultants recently – virtually, of course – to discuss what we were thankful for this year. And we are happy to report that there was no shortage of suggestions: 

  1. Topping the list of things that our spa consultants are grateful for is the good news surrounding the introduction of not just one vaccine but several promising Covid-19 vaccines that will be available soon. 
  2. It will be a relief to not have to eat Aunt Laura’s* - fill in the blank: sweet potato pie, green bean casserole, Jell-o salad, etc… (*the names have been changed to protect the innocent – and our spa consultants, too!).
  3. A New Year is just around the corner! AND no one is stressing about whether they have plans for New Year’s Eve. 

However you will be celebrating this year, we sincerely hope that you will have much to be thankful for. And all of us here at ISM Spa Management Company wish you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving!

The Next New “Normal”

November 20, 2020 | no comments | ISM News | by: Christina Stratton

Re-Opening: The Challenge for Spa Management

Profitable Spa Operations in the Next New "Normal"

Ilana Alberico shares her best practices on how to delight guests and still produce a healthy bottom line in a recent Hotel Executive article.

It’s no secret we’re living in unusual times that will undoubtedly lead to restructuring and reinvigorating our “old” way of life to better suit this new normal. 

Luckily, in her recent feature on Hotel Executive, our co-Founder & CEO Ilana Alberico shares valuable insight and best practices on how to safely operate your spa business, and continue to drive revenue while also ensuring an excellent spa experience for your guests. 

Here are a few best practices Ilana shares: 

1.  Optimize your technology

Illana identifies technology as a key enabler in boosting spa success by catering to increasing customer expectations, streamlining efficiency to reduce unnecessary costs, and future-proofing the spa industry as a whole.

2. Develop a spa revenue strategy

Instead of relying heavily on discounting to get customers into the spa, Illana describes how spas can utilize dynamic pricing based on demand, shifting percent of sales to higher profit items.

3. Create a touchless operational process

The hotel industry has been implementing touchless features in recent years and Illana believes that the spa industry will be following suit. She explains that soon, spa-goers may be electronically ushered into their own private pod and receive personalized treatments, making the experience touchless, but also personalized and unique.

4.  Safety is a MUST, but not a differentiator

Illana points out that although luxury spas are trusted by their clients as a highly sanitized and safe space, it doesn’t hurt to continue to build trust at this time by increasing messaging and reassurances to provide peace of mind.

5.  Market to your local community 

Due to the drop in travel across the country, Illana’s last recommendation to spas is to focus on reaching local clientele. She even recommends how to block out the entire spa for events or large groups in order to return to business safely.

To learn more about how to integrate these best practices into your spas, read Ilana’s full article on HotelExecutive here.

Want to know more about the one-of-a-kind spa experience ISM Spa can create to elevate and enhance your guests’ experience? Contact us here! We can’t wait to hear from you.

Color Theory, Spa Design and Beyond

October 12, 2020 | no comments | ISM News | by: Christina Stratton

Color theory is, of course, an important aspect of spa design and management. Understanding what makes a color soothing or calming and, therefore, appropriate for a particular spa setting requires some expertise. 

The spa consultants at ISM Spa Management have that expertise. They also have a healthy curiosity, which, when combined with an interest in color theory can lead to some interesting tidbits of information. 

Color Your World

“Color therapy is frequently employed in public spaces, though we might not consciously be aware of it,” Organic Spa Magazine reports. “For example, restaurants often incorporate reds and oranges, which stimulate hunger, while hospitals tend to use uplifting yellows or calming greens.”

The Colors of the Seasons

The folks at Color Matters are not only experts in color theory and design, they are also passionate about color. They embrace their love of all things color through sharing information – and occasionally having some fun while they do it. 

Here are a couple of fun color facts they provided that are perfect for the season (and the holidays – which are just around the corner!):

The Shade of Autumn Leaves
Plant researchers Bill Hock, Eric Zeldin and Brent McCown of the University of Wisconsin-Madison (Go Badgers!) were studying the way leaves change color in the fall. They “discovered that brilliant red pigments shade sensitive leaf tissue in fall while trees reabsorb nutrients from their leaves,” the folks at Color Matters say. “In actuality the red pigment produced by the leaves performs much the same important function as sunscreen on human skin.”

 “Hue and Cry” Will Tell You If Your Turkey Is Stressed 
Check this out! “A turkey has several flaps of loose skin around the head and neck that turn color depending on its mood. The flaps are called the "wattle" (on the chin), the "snood" (on the head and over the beak) and the "caruncle" (on the throat). Under calm conditions, these areas are pinkish-gray or blue; if the turkey is annoyed or mating, all these areas turn bright red.”

If you have questions about the color palette or any other aspect of spa design management, please contact the spa consultants at ISM Spa Management.

Wellness Will Be Even More Important to Spa Management Moving Forward

September 10, 2020 | no comments | ISM News | by: Christina Stratton

boutique spa management company - Featured Property: Ama Spa

Long before anyone had ever heard of Covid-19, the spa consultants at ISM Spa, a boutique spa management company based in Asheville, North Carolina, were focused on the concept of wellness. 

Not surprisingly, there are already strong indications that wellness will continue to be key to the future growth of the spa industry. 

As the U.S. Chamber of Commerce says, “Health has emerged as a key focus for consumers readjusting to their ‘new normal.’ And after months of social distancing, consumers’ approach to fitness and overall wellness may be permanently altered, experts said.”

Feeling Good About Wellness

This is a time of great upheaval and change – in many industries. Some responses to the pandemic will be temporary. Others will be lasting. 

On its editorial website, CO—, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce quotes Beth McGroarty, vice president of research for the Global Wellness Institute, as saying, “At the big-picture, long-term level, the case for the wellness concept and wellness markets post-pandemic looks very bullish."

“Pre-pandemic, wellness was already emerging as the biggest consumer spending opportunity in decades,” Wendy Liebmann, CEO of WSL Strategic Retail, told CO—.WSL, which releases an annual study on How America Shops, had found that almost three-quarters of Americans reported that they were eating healthier, meditating, working out, or embracing other activities to help them reduce stress and living well. 

 “Even before the pandemic, many people around the U.S. were beginning to dabble in proactive and preventative health and wellness practices,” Liebmann told the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s editorial team. “What this pandemic has revealed is that taking care and control of your own health — individual, family, home, etc. — is even more critical than before.”

From spas like The Spa Biltmore in Asheville, NC to Privai Wellness + Spa at the Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld, the spa management team at ISM Spa has extensive experience developing spa therapies designed to support the mental and physical health and wellness of spa clientele. 

If you would like to speak to one of our spa consultants about the future of spa management, please contact us.

What do spa consultants do on their day off?

August 22, 2019 | no comments | ISM News | by: Christina Stratton

What do spa consultants do on their day off?

As much as the spa consultants at ISM Spa management company like escaping the summer heat and relaxing with a good movie, we are dedicated first and foremost to developing branded spas that offer unsurpassed service, impressive results, attention to detail, and commitment to continuous improvement. 

Of course, Hollywood has produced any number of movies over the years that have been filmed, at least in part, in a spa setting.  One could say that, if you’re in the business of spa management, watching a movie that features a scene-stealing spa could be considered research. Very entertaining research, to be sure, but research, nonetheless. 

Spas on the Silver Screen 

You may be surprised at how many times movie cameras and crews have captured the beauty and amenities of international hotel and resort spas on film for all of us to enjoy – from Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman to Liam Neeson in Unknown. Here are a few of our favorites:

Some Like it Hot 

Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon starred in this classic comedy from 1959. Curtis and Lemmon play two Chicago musicians, who had the misfortune to witness a mob massacre. In an attempt to escape from the bad guys, they join an all-girl band heading to Florida. Although San Diego isn’t exactly on the way from Chicago to Florida, the Spa at The Del in the Hotel del Coronado appears in the film. 

The Way We Were 

With stars like Barbara Streisand and Robert Redford, perhaps it’s only fitting that the spa scenes in this 1973 romance were filmed at The Plaza Hotel in New York. Spa scenes from several other movies – including Funny Girl, which also starred Streisand – were also filmed at The Plaza.

Never Say Never Again

It’s not surprising that James Bond, as played by the always debonair Sean Connery, might find himself in the vicinity of a spa. And it’s not surprising that, when he does in this 1983 movie, the spa happens to be in Monte Carlo’s Hôtel de Paris.

At ISM Spa, a boutique spa management company based in Asheville, our innovative approach to spa programming finds its inspiration, not on the silver screen, but in the indigenous characteristics surrounding each individual property’s location.  For more information, please contact us. One of our hotel spa management experts would be happy to speak with you.