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Spa People
Zoe Wall

Kerzner has been quiet in terms of wellness, but I’m aiming to change that


January 2022 signalled the start of a new direction for resort developer and operator Kerzner International. Having appointed former group spa director for MSpa International, Zoe Wall, to head up its wellness division, Kerzner indicated its intent to ramp up its spa and wellness offering.

“We want to position our hotels with wellness as a central resort hub and not just an add-on or an afterthought,” Wall tells Spa Business.

At present, Kerzner’s portfolio includes 12 One & Only Resorts, Mazagan Beach & Golf Resort in Morocco and three Atlantis Resort & Residences – with an anticipated cap of five being built, given their US$2bn price tag. In 2021, the brand had also outlined plans to grow its portfolio with the launch of a new fitness-focused hospitality concept called Siro Hotels.

Wall has been brought on board to align and define each brand’s wellness offering. She says the most important thing for Kerzner is that each hotel group is very distinct, so each concept needs to be unique to that brand. “Currently, properties that are part of a bigger portfolio – such as One&Only – are running almost independently from the collection,” says Wall. “My job is to ensure we make the spa and wellness offering specific to each location while we also achieve consistency between properties under one brand.”

Wall says Kerzner is unlikely to develop its own spa brand for One&Only until it has at least 30 properties worldwide.

The overall strategy
Ultimately, her main goal is to weave wellness through the experience of every Kerzner location.

“We want to leverage our destinations and have a flawless wellness flow throughout the entire resort,” she says. “It’s a big task, and there’s only one brand out there that does it well and that’s Six Senses.”

Wall emphasises that her appointment doesn’t just signal a new focus on spa, but also on Kerzner expanding its wellness reach in terms fitness, recreation, nutritional F&B and retail, within both the resort and the spa.

One&Only has the largest wellness focus following an alignment with Chenot Group in 2019. Fast-forward three years and only two Chenot Spas have opened, in Malaysia and Montenegro. However, Wall says Chenot will feature at upcoming locations in Greece and Montana.

“When that deal was signed, it seemed Chenot would roll out across all properties,” she says, “But Kerzner soon realised that medical wellness is complex and requires a completely different business model from a spa.”

Adding medical across the One&Only portfolio isn’t viable, says Wall and also doesn’t really make sense. “Having worked on medical spas for years, I know demand is specific to certain locations and markets. The destinations where you launch must have the infrastructure to support it. You need the capacity for hospital collaborations so you can run diagnostic tests, for example.”

Licensing and expensive staffing are also pitfalls, especially because regulation varies by region, while refits are challenging. “If you’re doing greenfield projects, you build your spa to meet requirements, but if you’re pivoting an existing spa to incorporate medical, it’s more difficult,” says Wall.

Guest perspectives are also a factor, because positioning a medical offering where the majority are on holiday can cause a mismatch of expectations.

“I agree there’s a space for medical in the right location, but that offering has to be adapted if it’s a luxury hotel where guests are predominately on holiday,” says Wall. “The biggest challenge going forward will be to make the medical model more hospitality-friendly.”

Partnering up
One&Only properties will either open in partnership with Chenot or offer a holistic wellness pathway in partnership with other brands, something Wall is already pursuing.

She’s gained inspiration from collaborations with fashion houses such as Guerlain, Givenchy and Dior, having seen strong results at the Guerlain Spa One&Only The Palm, in Dubai which delivers 130-150 treatments a day.

“I was impressed by the attention to detail in the spa, retail boutique and treatments,” she says. “The entire guest journey is very high couture.

“Previously I think these luxury brands only wanted one exclusive spa, but now they’re open to exploring collaborations with high-end hotels,” she says.

“From their perspective, they’ve changed their business dynamics because these spas can be very profitable – they also massively drive retail. A couple of well-known fashion house spas in Paris have a retail turnover of a couple of million euros annually.

“Much like Chenot, a partnership like this wouldn’t be for every location,” says Wall, “but perhaps more for urban locations where you have the footfall.”

Wall says 40 per cent of Guerlain Spa’s custom comes from day guests, something she’s impressed by as it’s not the most accessible location in Dubai. “The fact guests are willing to drive all that way is telling. So for city locations where we have the residential locations, I think partnerships like this could be interesting,” she continues.

Wall doesn’t confirm which brands she’s looking into, but she’s searching further afield for fashion house tie-ups that are new to the spa market.

Introducing SIRO
The latest brand for Kerzner is SIRO (pronounced sigh-row), representing the pillars of Strength, Inclusive, Reflection and Original. Moving away from a traditional spa model, the brand will invite guests to aspire to live at their fullest potential through a blend of hospitality, fitness and wellness.

A fitness club will be at the heart of a SIRO hotel, offering a Technogym-equipped gym, space for yoga and meditation, classes, a pool and use of local sports venues.

Each will also offer a Recovery Lab, offering massage therapies, cryotherapy, infrared saunas, meditation classes and sports rehab, for mindful regeneration.

Wall says SIRO will have a major focus on recovery which can either be approached holistically with sauna, steam, infrared or cryo, or via IV therapy, micro-needling and acupuncture.

The gameplan involves two openings in Porto Montenegro and another at One Zabeel, Dubai – a very interesting project, according to Wall: “The location consists of two towers joined at the middle and we’re splitting these into one for SIRO and one for One&Only,” she says.

The main connection between the towers will be the SIRO club where guests will be offered memberships and retreats. Kerzner has also partnered with AC Milan to leverage the club’s expertise in fitness and recovery.

“We’re looking to build more partnerships like this, where we can invite guests to our properties and entice them to train like an AC Milan footballer, or come and train like GB Olympic swimmer, Adam Peaty (a SIRO ambassador).”

SIRO has the biggest growth potential, says Wall: “We want to grow the brand in all major cities, so there’s synergy between locations, with unique programmes and ambassadors – so if you’re visiting SIRO Dubai then progressing to the Montenegro resort, there’s a flow,” she explains.

To achieve this, there’ll be a digital component, including an app, so guests can remotely check-in, log workouts, access nutritional advice, use videos, view class schedules, book retreats or reach out to team members.

Maintaining momentum
The task now is to keep up the momentum, but there are promising signs, says Wall: “If anything good has come from COVID, it’s been that it’s put the spotlight on wellness and made us hyper-aware we need to take time out – when you’re on holiday is a perfect time to do this,” she says.

More to the point, the Kerzner clientele have the disposable income and Wall says they want to indulge after such troubled times. Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley in Australia is producing an ADR of AUS$3,000 (£1,698, US$2,249, €2,043) while One&Only Nyungwe House in Rwanda rolls in at US$2,400 (£1,818, €2,181).

“COVID has caused a pent-up demand for wellness and people are eager to experience new things,” she says. “Some of the numbers we’ve been seeing are higher than in 2019. For example, at Atlantis The Palm, the end of 2021 saw the highest revenues since opening 13 years ago.

“Because guests have so much choice, I think the biggest job will be to keep up with the times,” says Wall. “Often spas get stuck in their ways and are not very adaptable, especially in retail. If we want this momentum to be sustainable we need to be more flexible, adaptable and listen to the markets.

“You’ll start to see a lot more from Kerzner,” she says. “Previously as a brand it’s been quiet in terms of wellness, but I’m aiming to change that moving forward.”

Zoe Wall: career path

Steiner Leisure 2004 - 2008

Atlantis The Palm 2008 - 2013

Animator 2013 - 2015

Natura Bissé 2015 - 2017

MSpa 2017 - 2021

Kerzner 2022

The portfolio currently includes 12 One&Only resorts around the world Credit: Kerzner International/RUPERT PEACE
The Guerlain Spa at One&Only The Palm in Dubai delivers 130-150 treatments a day Credit: Kerzner International/RUPERT PEACE
Credit: Kerzner International/RUPERT PEACE
Credit: Kerzner International/RUPERT PEACE
Chenot will feature in more upcoming Kerzner openings Credit: Chenot Group
One&Only at Kerzner’s Nyungwe House in Rwanda Credit: Kerzner International
Wall sees the greatest opportunity to scale in the SIRO brand Credit: Kerzner International
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Spa People
Zoe Wall

Kerzner has been quiet in terms of wellness, but I’m aiming to change that


January 2022 signalled the start of a new direction for resort developer and operator Kerzner International. Having appointed former group spa director for MSpa International, Zoe Wall, to head up its wellness division, Kerzner indicated its intent to ramp up its spa and wellness offering.

“We want to position our hotels with wellness as a central resort hub and not just an add-on or an afterthought,” Wall tells Spa Business.

At present, Kerzner’s portfolio includes 12 One & Only Resorts, Mazagan Beach & Golf Resort in Morocco and three Atlantis Resort & Residences – with an anticipated cap of five being built, given their US$2bn price tag. In 2021, the brand had also outlined plans to grow its portfolio with the launch of a new fitness-focused hospitality concept called Siro Hotels.

Wall has been brought on board to align and define each brand’s wellness offering. She says the most important thing for Kerzner is that each hotel group is very distinct, so each concept needs to be unique to that brand. “Currently, properties that are part of a bigger portfolio – such as One&Only – are running almost independently from the collection,” says Wall. “My job is to ensure we make the spa and wellness offering specific to each location while we also achieve consistency between properties under one brand.”

Wall says Kerzner is unlikely to develop its own spa brand for One&Only until it has at least 30 properties worldwide.

The overall strategy
Ultimately, her main goal is to weave wellness through the experience of every Kerzner location.

“We want to leverage our destinations and have a flawless wellness flow throughout the entire resort,” she says. “It’s a big task, and there’s only one brand out there that does it well and that’s Six Senses.”

Wall emphasises that her appointment doesn’t just signal a new focus on spa, but also on Kerzner expanding its wellness reach in terms fitness, recreation, nutritional F&B and retail, within both the resort and the spa.

One&Only has the largest wellness focus following an alignment with Chenot Group in 2019. Fast-forward three years and only two Chenot Spas have opened, in Malaysia and Montenegro. However, Wall says Chenot will feature at upcoming locations in Greece and Montana.

“When that deal was signed, it seemed Chenot would roll out across all properties,” she says, “But Kerzner soon realised that medical wellness is complex and requires a completely different business model from a spa.”

Adding medical across the One&Only portfolio isn’t viable, says Wall and also doesn’t really make sense. “Having worked on medical spas for years, I know demand is specific to certain locations and markets. The destinations where you launch must have the infrastructure to support it. You need the capacity for hospital collaborations so you can run diagnostic tests, for example.”

Licensing and expensive staffing are also pitfalls, especially because regulation varies by region, while refits are challenging. “If you’re doing greenfield projects, you build your spa to meet requirements, but if you’re pivoting an existing spa to incorporate medical, it’s more difficult,” says Wall.

Guest perspectives are also a factor, because positioning a medical offering where the majority are on holiday can cause a mismatch of expectations.

“I agree there’s a space for medical in the right location, but that offering has to be adapted if it’s a luxury hotel where guests are predominately on holiday,” says Wall. “The biggest challenge going forward will be to make the medical model more hospitality-friendly.”

Partnering up
One&Only properties will either open in partnership with Chenot or offer a holistic wellness pathway in partnership with other brands, something Wall is already pursuing.

She’s gained inspiration from collaborations with fashion houses such as Guerlain, Givenchy and Dior, having seen strong results at the Guerlain Spa One&Only The Palm, in Dubai which delivers 130-150 treatments a day.

“I was impressed by the attention to detail in the spa, retail boutique and treatments,” she says. “The entire guest journey is very high couture.

“Previously I think these luxury brands only wanted one exclusive spa, but now they’re open to exploring collaborations with high-end hotels,” she says.

“From their perspective, they’ve changed their business dynamics because these spas can be very profitable – they also massively drive retail. A couple of well-known fashion house spas in Paris have a retail turnover of a couple of million euros annually.

“Much like Chenot, a partnership like this wouldn’t be for every location,” says Wall, “but perhaps more for urban locations where you have the footfall.”

Wall says 40 per cent of Guerlain Spa’s custom comes from day guests, something she’s impressed by as it’s not the most accessible location in Dubai. “The fact guests are willing to drive all that way is telling. So for city locations where we have the residential locations, I think partnerships like this could be interesting,” she continues.

Wall doesn’t confirm which brands she’s looking into, but she’s searching further afield for fashion house tie-ups that are new to the spa market.

Introducing SIRO
The latest brand for Kerzner is SIRO (pronounced sigh-row), representing the pillars of Strength, Inclusive, Reflection and Original. Moving away from a traditional spa model, the brand will invite guests to aspire to live at their fullest potential through a blend of hospitality, fitness and wellness.

A fitness club will be at the heart of a SIRO hotel, offering a Technogym-equipped gym, space for yoga and meditation, classes, a pool and use of local sports venues.

Each will also offer a Recovery Lab, offering massage therapies, cryotherapy, infrared saunas, meditation classes and sports rehab, for mindful regeneration.

Wall says SIRO will have a major focus on recovery which can either be approached holistically with sauna, steam, infrared or cryo, or via IV therapy, micro-needling and acupuncture.

The gameplan involves two openings in Porto Montenegro and another at One Zabeel, Dubai – a very interesting project, according to Wall: “The location consists of two towers joined at the middle and we’re splitting these into one for SIRO and one for One&Only,” she says.

The main connection between the towers will be the SIRO club where guests will be offered memberships and retreats. Kerzner has also partnered with AC Milan to leverage the club’s expertise in fitness and recovery.

“We’re looking to build more partnerships like this, where we can invite guests to our properties and entice them to train like an AC Milan footballer, or come and train like GB Olympic swimmer, Adam Peaty (a SIRO ambassador).”

SIRO has the biggest growth potential, says Wall: “We want to grow the brand in all major cities, so there’s synergy between locations, with unique programmes and ambassadors – so if you’re visiting SIRO Dubai then progressing to the Montenegro resort, there’s a flow,” she explains.

To achieve this, there’ll be a digital component, including an app, so guests can remotely check-in, log workouts, access nutritional advice, use videos, view class schedules, book retreats or reach out to team members.

Maintaining momentum
The task now is to keep up the momentum, but there are promising signs, says Wall: “If anything good has come from COVID, it’s been that it’s put the spotlight on wellness and made us hyper-aware we need to take time out – when you’re on holiday is a perfect time to do this,” she says.

More to the point, the Kerzner clientele have the disposable income and Wall says they want to indulge after such troubled times. Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley in Australia is producing an ADR of AUS$3,000 (£1,698, US$2,249, €2,043) while One&Only Nyungwe House in Rwanda rolls in at US$2,400 (£1,818, €2,181).

“COVID has caused a pent-up demand for wellness and people are eager to experience new things,” she says. “Some of the numbers we’ve been seeing are higher than in 2019. For example, at Atlantis The Palm, the end of 2021 saw the highest revenues since opening 13 years ago.

“Because guests have so much choice, I think the biggest job will be to keep up with the times,” says Wall. “Often spas get stuck in their ways and are not very adaptable, especially in retail. If we want this momentum to be sustainable we need to be more flexible, adaptable and listen to the markets.

“You’ll start to see a lot more from Kerzner,” she says. “Previously as a brand it’s been quiet in terms of wellness, but I’m aiming to change that moving forward.”

Zoe Wall: career path

Steiner Leisure 2004 - 2008

Atlantis The Palm 2008 - 2013

Animator 2013 - 2015

Natura Bissé 2015 - 2017

MSpa 2017 - 2021

Kerzner 2022

The portfolio currently includes 12 One&Only resorts around the world Credit: Kerzner International/RUPERT PEACE
The Guerlain Spa at One&Only The Palm in Dubai delivers 130-150 treatments a day Credit: Kerzner International/RUPERT PEACE
Credit: Kerzner International/RUPERT PEACE
Credit: Kerzner International/RUPERT PEACE
Chenot will feature in more upcoming Kerzner openings Credit: Chenot Group
One&Only at Kerzner’s Nyungwe House in Rwanda Credit: Kerzner International
Wall sees the greatest opportunity to scale in the SIRO brand Credit: Kerzner International
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DIARY

 

25-27 Jun 2022

IECSC Las Vegas

Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas, United States
27-28 Jun 2022

Medical Wellness Congress

St. Martins Spa & Lodge, Frauenkirchen, Austria
+ More diary  
 


ADVERTISE . CONTACT US

Leisure Media
Tel: +44 (0)1462 431385

©Cybertrek 2022

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