The SPA and Wellness Businesses’ History

Topic: Industry
Words: 2485 Pages: 9


It is important to note that the SPA and wellness businesses operate in a multifaceted and complex industry. A complete SPA design and marketing plan are critical and vital to ensure that it is launched successfully without any significant failures. The assessment analyzes SPA history, its constituents, as well as risks of Bali Spa Retreat as a reasonably large SPA complex designed to provide a high-quality wellness experience to a broad range of clients.

SPA and Wellness: History, Evolution, and Trends

In order to properly understand how SPA and wellness started and changed through history, it is critical to define them first. It is stated that SPA is “a commercial establishment providing facilities devoted especially to health, fitness, weight loss, beauty, and relaxation” (Merriam-Webster, 2022a, para. 4). Wellness refers to “the quality or state of being in good health, especially as an actively sought goal” (Merriam-Webster, 2022b, para. 1). Historically, SPA meant the use of water to improve health, which is why the term SPA is an acronym from the Latin ‘Salus per Aquam’ (Lotz-Heumann, 2021). One of the very first accounts of using a bath for health purposes can be seen in Hippocrates’s writings between 460 and 370 B.C. (King, 2021). Romans were active SPA users from 27 B.C. to 14 A.D. (Lotz-Heumann, 2021). It is stated that “in 1326, Collin le Loup, an ironmaster from Liège, Belgium, discovered the chalybeate springs in the town of Spa, Belgium” (Champneys, 2022, para. 9). In the United States, SPA exploded in popularity in Saratoga Springs, New York during 1810s (Champneys, 2022). Since then, it has become more commercialized and evolved into what it is today as an industry.

The global SPA trends include the merging of core characteristics of the field with the local traditional elements. It is stated that “world spas now enable you to dip your toes in another country’s culture and experience your destination on a holistic level” (Champneys, 2022, para. 20). Another trend can be seen in the holistic nature of the treatments, where modern SPA centers tend to offer their services in packages designed to provide comprehensive care. In addition, there is a trend with a heavier emphasis on wellness and health rather than recreation and entertainment. For example, meditation, healthy food, yoga, fitness, and alternative medicine are becoming mandatory parts of SPA service packages (Champneys, 2022). Thus, SPA is becoming more culturally reflective of the local population and more focused on health and holistic measures.

Hydrothermal and Thermal/Mineral Springs

Hydrothermal and thermal/mineral springs are natural formations created as a result of the Earth’s internal heat. The temperature beneath the planet’s crust is hot, where the rocks are liquefied, forming the magma layer. Whenever the water is able to penetrate and sink to the lowest layers of the crust, the heat from the magma superheats the water, which forces the water to move upwards (United States Department of the Interior, National Park Service, 2020). The heated water can take the form of hot springs, geysers, fumaroles, and mud pots (United States Department of the Interior, National Park Service, 2020). Hydrothermal and thermal/mineral springs are hot springs that can be used for SPA and wellness purposes. The healing effect and benefit are a result of the mineral contents of the water since it passes through deep underground rocks and other formations, where minerals are soaked into water (Perehudoff, 2018). The high mineral concentration of such water can provide numerous health improvements if properly delivered and managed within a safe SPA environment.

Health, Safety, and Hygiene Regulations

It is important to note that sanitation, cleanliness, and hygiene are more critical in a SPA setting than in most other industries. The main reason is that SPAs “offer services in which equipment and tools can easily transmit bacteria and viruses to clients and employees” (American SPA Rejuvenate, 2020, p. 1). It is stated that the pathogens can range “from viruses such as HIV, hepatitis B and C, herpes, and flu to fungi like athlete’s foot and nail fungus, and bacteria that can cause skin infections” (American SPA Rejuvenate, 2020, p. 1). SPA centers are usually moist, humid, and wet environments, where a wide range of microorganisms can grow and thrive, making it dangerous to have an unclean SPA.

In addition, the personnel and clients are in close contact with one another, which means that cross-contamination is an additional risk factor. Lastly, both the perceived and factual cleanliness of a SPA center has a major impact on its reputation and image (Smith, 2019). The key preventative measures include cleaning work spaces, protecting employee health, maintaining the highest hygiene and cleanliness standards, sanitizing surfaces, and disinfecting equipment to eliminate germs (Asia Pacific Spa and Wellness Coalition, 2021). Therefore, the high risk of pathogenic developments in a SPA environment, high cross-contamination level due to SPA operations, and perceptual and actual risks to SPA’s performance make health, safety, and hygiene regulations important.

SPA Risk Assessment

Bali Spa Retreat is an innovative business that attempts to join the hospitality industry and market. The venture attempts to leverage the market opportunity and create a retreat center. This business will offer services for older children and adults as it will incorporate distinct models. The primary reason for introducing this business is to provide staycation services for families that opt to spend their holidays in the country. This retreat will solve the issue of expensive getaways outside the country because it will be accessible and enjoyable. The Bali Spa Retreat will be located in Ubud, Bali – a place known for its wellness and hospitality industry. Therefore, the risks can be categorized into two major groups, which include general risks and location-specific ones.

In the case of general risks, the high-danger areas are restrooms, treatment rooms, and baths. These facilities require the highest level of cleanliness, sanitation, and hygiene. The pedicure area is of prime priority as well since bodily contact is made between employees and clients. It is important to ensure the use of gloves and other critical sanitary instruments. The two corridors and hallways separating restrooms and treatment rooms need to be properly floored in order to avoid injuries resulting from slippery surfaces (Asia Pacific Spa and Wellness Coalition, 2021). In addition, the flooring must be regularly cleaned since fungal infections can be a major concern.

For the risk specific to Bali, it should be noted that it is a third-world country with low levels of hygiene standards. Fungal infections are rather common, and strains from the regions are notoriously difficult to treat (Tripadvisor, 2022). Insects in Bali can be dangerous as well, which is why insecticides and traps need to be used to protect the clients (Tripadvisor, 2022). Bali has poor regulations on food and alcohol safety, which can cause poisoning of the clients who decide to consume products outside the retreat. The acquired diseases can spread within the SPA facility through fecal matter and vomit, which is why the regulations need to account for such issues as well (Bali, 2022). Lastly, heat exhaustion is a real danger in Bali, which necessitates the need to provide clean water access at all times (Wisnom & Capozio, 2021). Therefore, the risk assessment identified pathogenic, national, climatic, and general SPA risk factors.

Policies and Practices

The policies and practices at the SPA center need to be especially strict due to both local risk factors and COVID-19 on top of the general hazards. The first policy is reservation-based treatment, which means that only people present in a facility are the clients and personnel. This practice will eliminate accompanying guests, who increase the risk of transmission, infection, and contamination. The second key policy is safety-focus, where the identification of symptoms, such as fever and flu, leads to appointment cancelations and retreat movement restrictions. The third practice is check-in procedures, which are designed to ensure the timeliness and organization of all processes at the SPA center (Lansdowne Resort, 2022). In other words, delays and lateness penalize the client’s time since regular sanitation measures cannot be moved and locked in specific timeframes. The fourth and most important policy is cleaning procedures, which is a protocol developed for each worker. Under the policy, the employees must regularly disinfect and sanitize specific high-touch and high-contact surfaces within the allocated timeframes. In addition, the clients are mandated to undergo the check-in procedures as well as conduct self-sanitation measures.


Although having strong, rigid, strict, and justified policies are important within the SPA’s operations, it is additionally relevant to ensure compliance with these rules in order to enable their manifestations. A SPA manager could focus on accountability, and performance monitoring of the employees, which are critical elements of the compliance program (Smith and Puczko, 2018). It is stated that “the compliance management system uses methods and tools like internal audits, third-party audits, technology applications, reports and documentation, and security controls” (Power DMS, 2020, para. 3). The implementation process takes the form of a strict top-down approach with no room for flexibility (Power DMS, 2020). The primary reason is the fact that the risks are significant in the case of compliance below the required quality standards (Spa Education Academy, 2018). Thus, all employees need to be informed, educated, and briefed on the regulations as well as the penalties for non-compliance because the clients’ health must not be harmed.

Security, Data Protection, and Record-Keeping

Security of clients and their information is achieved by introducing effective data protection measures. It is stated that “the data breaches we hear about are outsider attacks. But the reality is that your staff also present a risk for data breach – due to both malicious and non-malicious intent” (Wisnom & Capozio, 2021). In other words, the security risks are primarily caused by data breaches and leaks enabled by employees, both intentionally and unintentionally. Therefore, both external and internal connectivity must be protected and secured. Data protection will be enabled within the external network, whereas the record keeping will become safe due to the internal one.

In the case of external connectivity, a corporate network needs to be established. It is important to note that a corporate network is a complex system that provides a wide range of data transfer between various applications used in a single information system of an organization. The corporate network allows the center to create a single database for all departments. Clients, employees, and suppliers will be interacting with the backend through the relevant B2C and B2B gateway. For internal connectivity, the core firewall will be placed between the external internet and clients. The key elements of the company’s information systems infrastructure include four major compartments. These involve center systems, backend, SPA supply line, and analytics with business intelligence or BI. In addition, all the records will be constrained to the internal corporate network, which can only be accessed by authorized employees, who will have to verify their access.

Licenses and Insurance

There is a wide range of licenses and insurance needs in a SPA center. For the former, these include a SPA management certificate, health inspection license, esthetician license, massage therapist license, local employer document, general business license, and cosmetology license, manicurist license (Bepos, 2020). General liability insurance, employee health insurance, business insurance, and commercial liability insurance are needed. The list is the same as with any business, but with added emphasis on client health liability.

Employment, Sales, and Product Legislation

Since the SPA is to be opened and operated in Bali, the Indonesian employment, sales, and product legislation needs to be followed. It is stated that “employees in Bali usually work 40 hours per week, and no more than six days per week and seven hours a day” (Emerhub, 2018, para. 15). There is a minimum wage in Bali, and employers must provide social security and insurance for their workers. The sales are taxed by the Indonesian government at the rate of 10% (Emerhub, 2018). Product legislation is relevant for the equipment, which needs to be imported in accordance with customs law (Emerhub, 2018). Imported goods are taxed and made useable in the country’s territory.

Benefits, Precautions, Maintenance, and Safety

When it comes to saunas and steam rooms, they are different in terms of heat dryness, which is drier and hotter for saunas. However, both are beneficial in relaxing the body, enhancing muscle recovery, easing bronchitis symptoms, improving circulation, lowering blood pressure, improving skin health, and clearing congestion (Wisnom & Capozio, 2021). The precautions include low blood pressure, heart rhythm problems, stroke history, and coronary artery disease (Wisnom & Capozio, 2021). The preparatory and maintenance measures for saunas and steam rooms include airing the space, cleaning the wooden interior, providing access to clean towels and clothing, and changing the water (Wisnom & Capozio, 2021). Hygiene and safety are critically achieved through regular sanitation, cleaning, and airing of the rooms. In addition, depending on how clients are allowed to walk in these rooms, foot cleanliness is essential to avoid fungal infections.

In the case of hydrotherapy and showers, their benefits are rooted in the non-invasive treatment of many ailments. These include pain, burns, physical therapy, muscle soreness, swelling, bruising, stiffness, and rashes (Wisnom & Capozio, 2021). However, the precautions and risks are infections and physical damage due to falls (Wisnom & Capozio, 2021). Hydrotherapy rooms and equipment must be cleaned regularly before allowing clients to use them. They need to be maintained by annual professional checkups and changes as well as more frequent functionality monitoring. Safety and hygiene are ensured by constantly changing and disinfecting the water element and sanitizing high-touch areas.

The relaxation rooms can come in a wide range of forms and types. One of the key benefits of such spaces in a SPA center is comfort, quiet, and relaxation. They are usually designed to enhance the experience of being in a SPA after the procedures are done. However, the precautions involve physical falls, slipping, and standard sanitation-related issues. These types of facilities are prepared and maintained through typical cleaning and disinfecting procedures, where the floor is dried, and high-touch surfaces are sanitized. Safety and hygiene are ensured by the latter methods as well. The detailed measures needed for the relaxation rooms are shown in Figure 1 below.

Relaxation room preparation and maintenance
Figure 1: Relaxation room preparation and maintenance


In conclusion, the SPA and wellness businesses operate in a multifaceted and complex industry. A full SPA design and marketing plan are critical to ensure that it is launched successfully without any significant failures. The assessment analyzes SPA history as well as its constituents, and the observation is that the risks of Bali Spa Retreat a reasonably large. SPA complex is designed to provide a high-quality wellness experience to a broad range of clients. The global SPA trends include the merging of core characteristics of the field with the local traditional elements. It is important to note that sanitation, cleanliness, and hygiene are more critical in a SPA setting than in most other industries.


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