Every Inch in a Spa is Psychology – Part VI – The Spa Treatment Rooms August 4, 2016

Every Inch in a Spa is Psychology - Part VI - The Spa Treatment Rooms

In past posts we have covered the design of the reception as well as important elements to consider in the changing rooms. Today we move on to one of the most important rooms in a spa: the spa treatment rooms.

After carrying out more than 100 audits across the world I have seen very different kinds of hotel spas. We have collected my insights regarding the atmosphere in spas on our blog in a series entitled „Every inch in a Spa is Psychology“.



In a good spa, the guest will receive more than just a simple treatment. They are rather setting off on a journey of impressions. It is advisable to keep this journey in mind when planning the spa or when altering it at a later stage.

The spa’s architecture, furniture, atmosphere and the behaviour of the staff signal the guests important statements such as

  1. „Here you are at a special place.“
  2. „Here you’ll not only get a massage but a unique experience.“
  3. „Here you’ll set off on a journey.”


Part 6: The Spa Treatment Rooms

The running of a spa is a perfectionist discipline and the skill to create a mosaic of experiences out of many small details.

In the spa treatment rooms, ideally, the thought that should enter the guests’ minds is “This room is for me!” This statement should guide us in all decisions when it comes to the design of every treatment room.

From the guest’s point of view this room is the absolute highlight because this is where what they came and paid for in the first place is happening. The room should be designed in a way that it underlines the goal of the treatment: an uplifting experience and relaxation in combination with therapeutical effects. The room should not be bigger than is necessary for the treatment as otherwise the guest might start to unconsciously feel lost. The devices needed for the treatment, such as the massaging bench, the tub or the mat, are located in the centre of the room.

You also need to consider what the guest looks at the moment they enter the spa treatment rooms. Are they given the feeling that “This room is for me” or rather “I will be worked on”? In this context it is equally important to overcome a psychological border because the guest will usually walk towards something darker when entering the spa treatment room. If you have read our previous blog post on “The guest’s perspective” you know that their eyes should always be led to something bright, something beautiful. This means that guests should be able to see an illuminated, uplifting element, which takes up the topic of the spa in a spectacular – but never “cheap” – way. This can be a statue or picture, for instance. A sign of a well-designed spa treatment room is that the guest does not primarily perceive it as a ‘room’ but as an integral part of the spa topic.

EuropeSpa Expert tip: There is only a short period of time during which guests can get an impression of the spa treatment room, which is when entering and maybe when changing clothes, because during the treatment itself they usually only see the ceiling or the floor. This is the reason why it is crucial to attach great importance to what they perceive with their other senses: fragrances, sounds, temperature etc.


Photo credit: © Trencianske Teplice, Slovakia

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Written by

Dr. Kurt von Storch

Dr. Kurt von Storch is founder and CEO of EuropeSpa med & wellness GmbH, the international quality system for medical spa and wellness of the European Spas Association (ESPA). Since 2013 he is president of the Academy of Balneology and Climatology and Member of the Board of the German Spa Read More