As the holistic wellness side of the industry continues to grow, the demand for spas to provide full-package, sensory experiences is on the rise, and client expectations have never been higher. It’s no longer just about providing an excellent service, but all of the finer details that come with it, from the entry to your spa, to the signature scent, the treatment bed to the beverages on offer.
As experts on the subject, Qualia (literally meaning sensory experience) set in the idyllic Whitsundays, immerses clients in head to toe bliss from the moment they walk through the doors, so we asked Qualia Senior Therapist, naturopath and yoga extraordinaire Damien Evans why it’s so important to create a full sensory journey.
“Creating a sensory experience is all about providing our beautiful guests with a Spa journey, from the moment they read our Spa menu to the final moment in sublime bliss wandering back to their Qualia pavilions in our transcendent Whitsunday Tropical Island environment,” says Damien.
“Significantly ‘qualia’ is Latin for a collection of deeper sensory experiences. We look to create a special, unique, relaxing and healing space for our guests. To indulge their senses and allow them to reconnect with themselves, nature and both their inner and outer beauty and wellbeing. Such a journey involves indulging all of our guest’s senses, sight (vision), hearing (audition), taste (gustation), smell (olfaction), and touch (somatosensation).”
According to Damien, location and surroundings play an important role in the overall journey, before clients even make it through your front door. “We are perfectly situated to catch the soft sea breezes and tranquillity of the beautiful surroundings, making it the ideal place to unwind. Our spa treatments are thoughtfully designed to balance the synergy between mind and body and to capture the essence of Australia and the Great Barrier Reef.”
“From the first moment our guests arrive they are welcomed into a sanctuary. Our doors open out into our tranquil Spa ponds with the soft sound of little waterfall features and the beautiful sounds of nature from the surrounding Whitsundays. Our Coy delight guests as they gracefully swim in the ponds, and the signature Qualia candles release enticing aromas into the cool breezes within the open air format of the Spa.”
These details not only play a crucial role in branding your business and creating a vital point of difference, but creating subtle, often unconscious connections with clients through senses like touch, sound and smell can be the deciding factor in your client’s final response – both on an emotional level and their consumer intentions.
Indeed, a study by the University of Houston, TX, cites that environmental components such as pleasant music, fresh scent, lighting, and soft fabrics evoke senses of pleasure in spa clients that can have a positive influence over a consumers’ willingness to buy, spending more time and money, revisit intentions, desire to stay more and longer, and liking to the extent of recommending the experience to others.
In essence, never underestimate the power of those little extras and connections in the detail – utilise aromatherapy to influence the mood of the room, use heated beds or electric blankets to envelop clients in warmth during treatments, include products that smell good enough to eat, or that link with other components of the visit. For example, Qualia’s signature couples treatment involves a full body aromatic chocolate oil massage to tie in with their complimentary chocolate platter and glass of bubbles.
“The true essence of a complete sensory journey is to open the space for healing at a deeper level,” says Damien, “and delivering true spa experiences that engage the individual in the intention of self-renewal, well-being and restoring a sense of self, a sense of a deeper re-connection.”