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Phuket spas are saving jobs for now . . .

Phuket Spas Face Grim Season: Survey

Friday, November 21, 2008
PHUKET spas are preparing for a gloomy 2009, with the economic turmoil that has rocked the world now making inroads into the island's spa industry.

A survey by Phuketwan reveals that the rapid expansion of spas across Phuket in recent years is certain to halt as industry players see guest numbers shrink by 20 percent.

Some are also struggling to recover from cancellations after the blockade of Phuket International Airport in August.

One brand has already shut a spa only two years after opening. Body and Mind is stretching its existing staff to work in additional spas it is now managing, instead of hiring more.

Spas in the survey are retaining staff, but none are optimistic in the face of the global economic downturn and political uncertainty in Bangkok.

Body and Mind Day Spa,
Karon Beach

Open: 2004
Staff: 30
Size: 12 private treatment rooms, 22 beds
Daily guests: 50-80
What the management says: Last year was better than this year. High competition among local spas, the downturn in the world economy, the political situation in Thailand and the effect from the anti-Government blockade of the Phuket airport have all put pressure on the industry.
As a result, the Body and Mind Garden Spa that opened in 2006 at the Boat Lagoon closed its doors on November 15, and all staff were moved to the Karon branch.
There is only a short period of time when we will enjoy a profit; the rest of the year we are struggling to survive. Moreover, we have just signed a new management contract with two hotels in Patong to manage their spas. Instead of hiring new staff in an uncertain business situation, we have decided to maintain them in a position where we can manage and rotate our staff in Karon and Patong.
Some 95 percent of guests are foreigners, mainly from Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Korea and Japan (nations with a short distance travel flight time) while in the high season most guests come from Scandinavia, Russia and Europe.
Our spa offers good service with good-quality products at a reasonable price, and our therapists all receive specialised training from Body and Mind. We offer guests free round-trip transport in the Kata, Karon and Patong areas.
Prices range from 600 baht (not including tax and service charge) to 10,000 baht for spa packages. Currently offering an Andaman Sunshine promotion with a 30 percent discount on selected packages worth 1900 plus to 4200 baht per person. The promotion runs till the end of November.
Comment from Nuthawuth Singchan, who handles business development.
Body and Mind Day Spa is open 9am-10pm.

Hide Away Day Spa,

Open: 1988
Staff: 15
Size: 20 beds
Daily guests: 30
What the management says: Last year was better than this year because of the economic and political situation, and there was increased competition from spas being opened in hotels. All guests are foreigners, mostly from Australia and Sweden. We have walk-in guests and those who have booked through our website.
Our spa has good service and good products in an open-air natural setting. Prices range from 1370 baht to 5500 baht.
Comment from Soonthorn Saladtook, General Manager.
Hide Away Day Spa is open 9:30am-8pm.

Tew Son Spa, Kata Thani Beach Resort,
Kata Noi

Open: 2003
Staff: 23
Size: 14 beds
Daily guests: Up to 60
What the management says: This year is worse than last year by about 20 percent because there are more problems with the economy. About 99 percent of guests are foreigners, mainly from Australia, Japan, Malaysia and Korea. In the high season, guests are from Russia, England and other parts of Europe.
Our spa specializes in foot reflexology and is a nice place, with an ancient Thai style. Prices begin at 1070 baht for a half-hour treatment to 6800 baht for a four-hour package. Discounts of 10 percent are offered on certain promotional days.
Comment from Yaovarak Chotika, Spa Manager.
Tew Son Spa is open 8am-10pm.

Paradise Thai Spa at Patong Hotel,

Open: 2004
Staff: 12
Size: Thai massage 6 beds, foot massage 10 chairs, oil massage 15 beds
Daily guests: 20
What the management says: This year is very quiet compared with last year because of the economic problems.
Our staff offers four types of spa service: beauty spa, body treatment, body scrub and special treatments. The main customers are foreigners, 95 percent, mostly from Japan, while five percent are Thai. We have always a promotion, sometimes offering discounts of 40 percent.
Comment from Siriluk Sealhim, Spa Manager.
Paradise Thai Spa is open 10 am-10pm.

The Royal Spa and Health Club,
Phuket City

Open: 2000
Staff: 80
Size: 37 beds
Daily guests: 74
What the management says: Customer numbers are down compared with last year because of the decreasing value of money, political problems and high competition. It only takes about three million baht to open a spa, and many resorts are opening their own spas.
We offer seven types of spa services including aroma spa, Thai massage, scrubs, oil massage and face massage. Thais make up 40 percent of our customers while most of the remaining 60 percent are from Korea and Russia. Most of our guests are members of the spa and fitness centre.
We have the Phuket Spa Academy for training our staff and others interested in spas. We try to keep a high standard of service for our customers and we count on our return guests. We currently have eight branches in Thailand and we plan to open two more branches soon. Prices are 1850 baht to 6500 baht.
Comment from Nicha Mekpho, Marketing Manager.
The Royal Spa and Health Club is open 8am-10pm.

Sukko Cultural Spa & Wellness Resort,

Open: 2006
Staff: 80 therapists (215 for whole resort)
Size: 100 beds
Daily guests: 100
What the management says: About 90 percent of our guests are foreigners, mostly from Korea and Hong Kong in the green season and Russia and other European countries in the high season.
Our customer numbers are not different compared with last year, but we have fallen short of our goal by about 30 percent because of economic and political problems. Some guests cancelled during the airport blockade and have not rebooked.
We have the Spa Academy for training our staff and others who want to learn about spas. Currently we are offering a promotion for two days, one night in the resort for 5999 baht for two people, which includes a number of spa services. The package price is valid until October 31, 2009. Sukko has a good standard of service and we have designed our place in Thai style.
Comments from Rungsiman Kingkaew, General Manager.
Sukko Cultural Spa & Wellness Resort is open 8am-10pm.


Comments have been disabled for this article.


When you visit a spa they charge you from 2000 baht up, being a farang. But if you are a Thai its 25% of what they normally charge us.

Maybe if they were not so expensive, people would keep coming back rather than count their pennies to see where they can save money.

Posted by Anonymous on November 22, 2008 02:37

Friday September 30, 2022
Horizon Karon Beach Resort & Spa


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