Pulse June 2017 - Page 53

“We have a 'Peach & Quiet Policy' that speaks to our mission to be a sanctuary from stress. We tell this story through social media and in all our marketing and PR materials.” — CHRIS SCHEEL, General Manager at Sundara Inn & Spa Sundara's Conversation-Free Tranquility Garden allows guests to reconnect with their own thoughts. forced into something. Her tactics also rely heavily on staff engagement. “I try to train the staff to communicate to our guests that this is a gift, not a punishment.” Allowing one area to remain openly cell phone friendly, can make it obvious to guests that they’re not allowed elsewhere in the spa. At Fusions Spa & Wellness in Sylva, North Carolina, co-owner Jeanine Sowers has found that setting up charging stations in the locker rooms along with signage saying phones aren’t allowed elsewhere in the spa allows the spa to remain sensitive to guests’ technology needs, while still enforcing a silent spa experience. Mandarin Oriental’s digital detox initiative encourages guests to surrender their phones upon entering the spa. To combat the urge to seek out their phones, Mandarin’s spas provide a full range of mindfulness activities such as journaling, note card writing, coloring, and meditation to help guests unwind and forget about their devices. Idle hands and minds will be the first to reach for their phones, so this tactic of keeping guests busy has become popular. Says Shingle, “Most guests have cell phone reception on property, so we provide as many opportunities to see what it feels like to not be digitally connected, even if just for a few hours a day. We remind guests that not that long ago, life existed without constant digital connection. We encourage our guests to take baby steps by going one day at a time without digitally connecting to their devices. At The Ranch each day is packed with activities; from hikes to fitness classes to spa treat- ments. Many guests find that there is so much to do—whether socializing with new friends, curling up with a good book in a hammock, or learning a new pose in a yoga class—that with each passing day it gets easier to remain unplugged.” Marketing Your Digital Detox As more and more spa-goers get used to the idea of unwinding from their digital lives at the spa, it’s important to market your silent offerings and show guests the positive experience they’ll gain from opting out of technology for a day—or longer—at the spa. “We have a ‘Peace & Quiet Policy’ that speaks to our mission to be a ‘sanctuary from stress,’” says Scheel. “We tell this story through social media and in all our marketing and PR materials.” Sundara Inn & Spa has also recently added “unplug” pouches for storing electronics and “unplug” tee shirts for purchase in the boutique to promote their mission as well as spread the message even further. Fusions Spa & Wellness chooses to inform guests of their silent policies before they even book an appointment. “Our website and brochure mention that we are an unplugged facility,” says Sowers. “It is in all caps and bold font in our membership agreement, and we have recently required an “I am June 2017 ■ PULSE 51