Spas can Learn from Holiday Inn’s new Social Hub!

11 thoughts on “Spas can Learn from Holiday Inn’s new Social Hub!

  1. Paul Linder

    Dear Susie,

    Greetings from Haven of life!

    I could not more agree with you and feel it is a fantastic thing the Spa Industry could learn, make it more comfortable. We have here at Chiva-Som a “Talk Table” which is mostly used by single travelers but at the same time by couples to like to have more social connection. It is a great Social Hub and people returning back home to Chiva-Som because they connected on previous visit and continually talking and writing to each other. Having an easy dress code and all kind of classes make it much easier like you mentioned at Golden Door.

    Definitely something for everyone to learn and even it may be not every once cup of tea but lots of more people looking for social hub’s!

    Thank you for this inspiring mail! see you very soon and hope this message finds you well and in best spirits!

    1. Susie Ellis Post author

      Hi Paul,
      Great to hear from you and thanks for adding your insights. It’s so fun to know you are facilitating the social interaction that is really part of people becoming truly healthy. In fact when it comes to an example of a person perfectly modeling the “connector” role – I can’t think of anyone better suited than you!

  2. Lisa Starr

    Hi Susie, just had to say what a great blog entry that was on the Holiday Inn Social Hub. I so agree, yet spas can still be so resistant to this kind of activity. Of course, it’s difficult to dedicate non-revenue producing space, but we need to have mud bars or micro treatments available to combat that. Just like the self-operated waffle irons!

  3. Kathryn Stolle

    Love this! But let’s not lose the relax, rejuvenate, etc. aspect of spa where people come to get away from all the “now-ness”that is crushing them – and yet….
    Are we moving to the “skinship” social aspect of spa – perhaps in a kinder, gentler, not so hard-edge way? Great opportunity to create a dialogue within the industry – can see this as a super panel topic at ISPA!

    1. Susie Ellis Post author

      good to hear from you….indeed we don’t need all spas to move in this direction and frankly I still want a nice relaxing quite massage room with spa music! Just would be good to see a few spas go in a social direction that could work without awkwardness. Especially some of the hotel spas where, for example if you are a woman alone, it wouldn’t be such a bad thing to feel like there would be a safe place to go to have a bit of relaxed conversation…maybe even with just other women.

      Anyway…am sure we’ll see something like this soon!

  4. Jeremy McCarthy Post author

    We have been doing this for a while now, starting with the Link at Sheraton:

    We are rolling this out to all our brands including the Le Meridien “Hub” (coincidence?)

    I like the connections you made to spas. I have a draft of a (someday future) blog article called “Silence is Overrated in the Spa” where I talk about how nice it is go to Physical therapy where everyone talks to everyone else and you have a social experience while the therapist is working on you. If I get it up soon I’ll link it to yours.

    1. Susie Ellis Post author

      Thanks for sharing the concepts for Sheraton Link and Le Meridien Hub…indeed lots of similarities. Seems that all that research is showing some similar results. Think that is because it is really human nature – we need some connections with others for true health. Perhaps we all got a bit over-isolated together. :)

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  6. Claudine Trontin

    Great article Susie! While working as a performance consultant at Signature Worldwide I have had the pleasure of partnering with some great hotels – many Holiday Inn’s. One of their “newer” brands, Hotel Indigo has this Social Hub concept very much established and it works! I love your idea of a ‘connector’ – it is an important key that while gets started with good intentions, often fizzles after a while. Many Hotel Indigo’s have a ‘canine connector’ or what they call a Doggie Innbassador I believe. The couple of Hotel Indigo’s I worked closely with (Hotel Indigo Columbus IN and Hotel Indigo Fishers IN) both had the sweetest small dogs that were ultimately the hotel’s dog and would act as that social conduit for people to interact in a very casual and friendly way. Sure not everyone is a dog person but these hotels are finding the dogs are bringing people to them and back time and time again – so it definitely is a win for many people. I recall one evening sitting in their version of social hub, eight middle aged men walked in together. They wouldn’t all be able to ‘check in’ at the same time since their was only so many people at the front desk. But to my surprise (and delight) four of them saw the cute tiny Doggie Innbassador named Phoebe and literally dropped to their knees to pet and play with her. They were pleasantly distracted while the first four checked in – a light bulb moment for me since no one likes to wait at a hotel front desk to check in! I share this as a way to ‘stir the pot’ a little more with your thought and idea-generating discussions. Can you have dogs in a spa – maybe, maybe not but the point is not to rest on the knee-jerk response of ‘No, that is not possible’. I’m sure the people at Hotel Indigo weren’t sure if it was possible either when the idea was first raised. But I know I am thrilled that they persevered!


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