Hotel Roanoke adds in room spa services



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Spa services now offered by Hotel Roanoke

The Hotel Roanoke now offers in-room spa services.

Susan Merryman stayed up nights trying to figure out how to incorporate spa services into a 125-year-old hotel.

Everything needed to be portable, so she searched high and low to find the perfect pedicure basins, manicure table and massage tables with wheels.
The owner of On Location Spa Services in Roanoke, wanted to create the most unobtrusive, relaxing and exclusive getaway for her clients.
Next, the 20-year spa-therapy veteran assembled a staff of 10 — including massage therapists, an aesthetician and a hairstylist.

Now, visitors and guests of the Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center can treat themselves to soothing massages, facials, manicures, pedicures, makeup applications and hairstyles in a guestroom.
A new spa suite is also available on the first floor, where there is room for couples and private parties.

“It is the ultimate experience to have the services done in the privacy of their hotel room,” said Merryman, who said the services are unique to Southwest Virginia hotels.

Services are available from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Merryman said Saturday nights is a popular time for couples massages.
The hotel began offering services May 1 and, within the first month, more than 80 services were requested, she said.

Gary Walton, general manager of the Hotel Roanoke, said when Merryman approached him with an idea to add a spa to the hotel’s services, he was intrigued.

But he wasn’t quite sure if it would work for the hotel.
After doing some research, Walton said he found that most hotels offering this type of service were tapping into a niche audience.
“This is just another service that guests are looking for today in the world of hotels today,” he said.

The addition of spa services is catering to hotel patrons who value pampering themselves, he explained.
“In society today, people pamper themselves. They look for opportunities to have stress relief,” he said.

The hotel is considering opening a full-pledged spa in the future. Demand for Merryman’s services will help hotel officials make the decision.
If this happens, private sessions be available, Walton said.
“People are looking for that type of quality and service in a hotel,” Walton said.

The new service not only benefits guests staying at the hotel, but also welcomes locals to experience the hotel-exclusive treatments.
“By coming to the Hotel Roanoke, locals can get a private mini-vacation with all the services,” she said.

Jessica and Parker Humphreys, residents of Roanoke, went in for a hour-long full-body massage as a cap off to a beach vacation on Wednesday.
They had their own reserved room complete with candle light and mood music.

“I thought it was wonderful, I really enjoyed having our own room,” she said.
Locals seeking a romantic weekend getaway are not the only ones taking advantage of the new spa services. Busy businesspeople are, too.

One customer came in during her lunch break for a quick pedicure, while other locals come in after work, order some wine and hors d’oeuvres and let the therapists massage their stress from work away.
Bonney Bashore, a pharmaceutical representative, said she travels to Roanoke once a week for business.

Tuesday night she received a massage. She said when she called the hotel to ask for spa recommendations, she wasn’t expecting to hear that the hotel had its own spa service.
“It is wonderful. It’s very convenient for the business traveler and a great service for a hotel to have,” she said.

Although the service is very convenient, one complaint Bashore had was the price. She said the hotel spa services are more expensive than other spas she has visited in town.

For example, Body Sense Day Spa and Clinic on Second Street in Southwest Roanoke offers a relaxation massage starting at $50 for a 50-minute session. The hotel offers hour-long massages starting at $110.
But many of Merryman’s customers agree that the quality, privacy and convenience are worth every cent.

Spa services are just one way the historical hotel continues to keep up with the ever-changing industry, Walton said.
“As we step into the next century, we are continuing with the history of the hotel,” he said.
“When you’re a property that’s 125 years old, there’s a lot of firsts and new services that have been introduced over the years.”

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