Posted by: Rhett Hatfield | April 2, 2009

How to Create and Write a Killer Spa Menu

How to Create and Write a Killer Spa Menu

When I work with a spa to create a unique spa menu I like to first know a little bit about their guests cultural back ground and their likes and dislikes.  What is their socioeconomic background, what is unique about them, what turns them on and off.   Are they looking for a quick massage service after a full day on the golf course or are they wanting a complete get-away-at-the-spa-day experience of several hours or more.

With that in hand I then brain storm about all the modalities that I know of to create the “next best thing” to inspire, intrigue and delight them.  Some of the choices might revolve around a welcome drink, foot bath ritual, selection of aroma oils, type of massage service, various wraps or scrub options, cupping,  moxa or other Asian inspired addition, sound elements like Tibetan bowls or gongs, the type of music (programmed for the treatment on an IPod), facial or other skin treatment, flower bath, after session refreshments and special room decorations or special touches.

If you are not a large resort spa you probably won’t have access or even necessary licensing to put into practice the full range of services I am describing here.  However to in effect “be your own spa consultant” there will be many things that you can combine in unique ways to create packages of services to offer your client’s.  Think about your clients (your target audience) and what their needs are.  Adding just one extra element to your normal massage like a foot bath ritual before the massage or an aroma spray mist over the face at the end can make a lot of difference.  You create something unique that sets your practice apart and keeps your clients coming back.

That Unique Element: In music they call it “the hook” that element of the music that you love that keeps repeating over and over.  When I talk to students at Body Wisdom in our Signature Spa Courses, I like to use restaurants as an example.  If you think about why you keep going back to a particular restaurant its always going to be something like their special bread or that enticing can’t get it out of your mind dessert.  In the massage and spa business “the hook” may be your incredible service, your amazing touch AND the fact that you use a table heater in the winter or the fleece pad on your table or the aroma blends you have available.  Creating your own unique packages takes it a couple of steps beyond your normal good service and special touches into the realm of a true spa experience.

People, especially women guests are looking for something more than a massage or pedi.  They are wanting an “experience.”  Your job is to create that experience by doing a little brain storming.  Feel free to contact me on Twitter and I will be happy to help you out a little if you have something you are working on.  My Twtter name is @bodywisdominc.

OK now to the writing the killer menu part.  People are more or less gifted when it comes to writing menus.  If it just flows for you great, look around at some menus out there and go for it.  If you are a bit more challenged there is a short cut.

1) First take a look at what’s out there and cut and paste a lot of menus that you like into a word document.  Here are a couple of fairly underwhelming examples I just pulled off the web.  However there is always something to learn.

Enjoy a Balinese massage using oil before a warming blend of ginger, cloves and nutmeg wrap applied to your body follow with a relaxing head massage while you enjoy the wrap. A cucumber conditioner application will help you to refresh and cooling the skin. Luxuriate in a purifying bath to detoxify and cleanse your body. Emerge with smooth, hydrated skin.

110 minutes / 275 USD

Renew and refresh your skin with this unique island treatment. Starting with a natural coconut body scrub your skin is gently exfoliated in preparation for a soothing wrap of honey and papaya. Coconut oil is then gently applied to your entire body leaving your skin glowing and moisturized.

80 Minutes / 175 USD

2) When you look at all your sample menus cut out some of the words and phrases that you like and start to play with them a little inserting your own offerings and modalities.  I am NOT saying to plagiarize here, just to experiment with and be inspired by the word smiths that have come before you just like they all did at one point.

3) Then take a look at the Awesome Massage Words List from a previous post of mine and see how some of those words and phrases might fit into the equation.

4) Write out a rough draft and just keep playing with it and especially taking out more and more words until all you have left really has impact on the body, mind and especially the senses.

Here are a couple of menu descriptions I created for two trainings I did at the Ritz Carlton Bali last year.  One for their exclusive “Spa on the Rocks” villas and one to be used inside of their 35 treatment rooms attended by 70 therapists.  We ended up shortening them a little and even changing the names but here is the original draft that I created.

Ritz Carlton Bali Spa on the Rocks

Ritz Carlton Bali Spa on the Rocks

Since Heaven and Earth was created for their Spa on the Rocks villas with a 360 degree view of the Indian Ocean and is usually taken by a couple I brought a romantic touch into the treatment even adding the element of a mutual exchange of a special Jade necklace at the end.

Heaven and Earth 2.5 Hours

“A Warm and Cool Jade Stone Ceremony to Soothe Body, Mind and Spirit”


For 1000’s of years Jade has been revered as a symbol of divine love, purity and status and was regarded in ancient China as the “quintessence of Heaven and Earth.”  It is said to heal the organs, strengthen the immune system, sharpen the mind and bring good fortune to loving relationships.  Now you can experience the wonder of pure Jade Stone Therapy in one of our two magnificent Spas on the Rocks facilities.

Your 2 ½ hour ceremony starts with a sumptuous Jade Stone Foot bath ritual and ends with a rejuvenating and clarifying 1-Hour Jade Stone facial.  In between is a never to be forgotten body massage inspired by Swedish and Chinese Tui Na techniques using a precious all Jade set of warm and cool stones that will balance yin and yang, revive your senses and leave you feeling relaxed and vibrant.

At the completion of your journey you will be presented with a special Jade remembrance to continue the healing effects of your treatment and take a little “piece of heaven” along with you on your travels.

Body Wisdom Hot and Cold Stone Massage Course

Bamboo Bliss 80 Minutes
For centuries bamboo has been a vital part of everyday life throughout South East Asia. No one knows who first started to use bamboo tools to help ease the tired muscles of family members but it was only natural that they would fashion massage tools out of the material that had come to signify good luck, long life, friendship, peace and harmony.

Bamboo and Rattan Massage Training

Bamboo and Rattan Massage Training

Ritz Carlton’s “Bamboo Bliss” opens up a whole new world of the senses through massage.  You’ll fall in love with the smooth feel of warm Bamboo sliding around the contours of your body washing away tensions and soothing your mind with their mesmerizing rhythmic movements. This fresh and natural approach combines Swedish massage strokes with a beautifully crafted set of warmed aroma oil-soaked Bamboo tools to roll, slide, knead and tap you into a deep state of relaxation.  And for those who would like deeper work, your therapist can customize the depth of your massage to soothe away tensions in those tight areas.

Body Wisdom Bamboo and Rattan Massage Course

Signature Spa Series here at Body Wisdom European Spa, Premier Spa Indonesia and Best of Asia Spa.

Please let me know what you are thinking by commenting on this post

rhett


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Rhett Hatfield, Owner/Director of Education Body Wisdom School
“750-1600 Massage Therapist Certification Programs, 5 Different Career Tracks.” Create your “custom massage certification program” of anywhere from 750-1600 hours of World Class Massage and Bodywork Education.  CEU Programs available

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Responses

  1. Dear Rhett, How are you??? Thank you very much!! I enjoy reading your article.
    By the way, 1 APRIL, we re-branded hotel name to AYANA Resort and SPA.
    Please check our website…
    Michi
    http://www.ayanaresort.com

  2. Hello Michi … Michi is the amazing spa director for the Ritz Carlton in Bali which now has been re-branded to the name AYANA Resort and SPA as per her comment above. Just a little background on Michi’s amazing accomplishment in her role as spa director. Michi took her spa from only four rooms up to one of the most amazing spas in the world today with 40 rooms and 70 therapists and a menu of treatments that is several inches thick. I like to call her spa the Disneyland of spa because there is so much to do and so many wonderful treatments to explore. I feel very blessed to have been able to be there in this wonderland to train her capable staff. Hello Bamboo and Jade girls from Rhett … :))


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