Grooming and health facilities provide a major
‘pull’ for potential guests, says Pam Wilby,
general manager of the upcoming Grosvenor House West Marina Beach by Le Meridien.
“For the last 20 years, spas have been seen as a ‘nice to have’ or
as an afterthought; however, we are seeing increasingly large numbers of potential
guests use spa and health facilities as a major factor in their hotel choice,” says Wilby.
According to a global survey on spa consumer preferences in 2004, 34 per cent of
respondents only visited spas when travelling, and 93 per cent actively looked for
spa facilities while abroad.
Wilby said: “The luxury hotel business is booming in Dubai, as record numbers of
tourists are visiting the city instead of the Far East or traditional favourites
such as Bali.
“Dubai has developed its five-star product tier, with many luxury properties
doubling profits in the last year, and re-investing the money in renovation and the
extension of spa facilities to meet this increased demand.”
Wilby is well placed to comment: she also manages the hotel’s sister property Le
Royal Meridien Beach Resort & Spa, which has won the award for Leading Spa Resort in
the Middle East for the last two years, as well as being the only Middle East spa to
be named in Conde Nast Traveller’s top 10 spas around the world.
Grosvenor House, opening in the summer, will be the first hotel complex to open on
the Dubai Marina. The hotel has partnered with Nextar, the UAE-headquartered holding
company for N.Bar and 1847, to operate trend-setting concepts in Retreat.
Retreat Health & Spa will house the fourth N.Bar in Dubai, the second 1847 - its
venture for men - and the group’s first ever hair concept, currently under the
working title of The Hair Bar. The whole floor will be open to hotel guests and
residents, as well as walk-in customers.