Spas add services for men as male client numbers increase
A man receives a hot stone massage at The Spa at the Hotel Hershey in Derry Township, Dauphin County. In 2003, roughly 3,500 male guests visited the spa. Last year, the spa had about 5,300 male visitors.
The silence inside The Spa at the Hotel Hershey is peaceful and calming. Drafts of air laced with the tranquil scent of soaps and lotions waft through the building, emanating from the bodies of spa visitors.
The guests, draped in yellow robes, lounge in various luxurious environments surrounded by handfuls of Hershey Kisses.
Women of all ages dominate the population, but a couple of men used the spa on a recent afternoon. About 12 percent of the spa’s clientele are men, said Ginger McLean, the spa director.
The facility welcomed 19,000 guests during 2001, its first year in business. Last year, more than 50,000 clients visited.
The male-to-female ratio has remained the same over the years, McLean said. In 2003, roughly 3,500 male guests visited the spa. Last year, it had about 5,300 male visitors.
“By and large, depending on the region and what’s available, men typically begin their spa experience because a significant female in their life introduced them,” she said. “I want to enhance and grow the things that are already doing well while seeing how we can raise the bar.”
McLean said she hopes the spa’s addition of a men’s shave-and-haircut package will increase the number of male clients. The package includes a scalp, hand and arm massage. Four of the spa’s 87 salon technicians will perform the service.
The package was introduced late last year, when the spa created a new men’s locker room to make room for more lockers for women. The male locker room was upgraded during the expansion and includes a flat-panel television. A barber chair also was added.
McLean took her post in mid-April. Her career includes positions at Marco Ocean Beach Resort & Spa, Fiddlers Creek in Florida and Ojai Valley Inn & Spa in California. Her experience focused on developing new spa programs and services.
McLean hopes the Spa at the Hotel Hershey will cater to men by offering massages that cater to the needs of athletes.
Last year, about 31 percent of U.S. spa-goers were men, according to the Kentucky-based International Spa Association. As a result, demand is up for products and services specifically designed for men.
Over the past 10 years, the number of men who have become spa-goers has increased by about 10 percent nationwide, McLean said. Spas across the country are responding to this trend.
“Across the board, you’re seeing more male-specific services,” McLean said.
The men’s locker room at the Spa at the Hotel Hershey features 14 lockers, a shaving counter and a masculine feel. The spa’s menu includes a guide for treatments recommended for men.
Within the past few years, the number of men visiting Lancaster spa Visage a Visage has grown from about 5 percent of the spa’s clientele to about 25 percent, said Tina Broderick/Stoltzfus, the spa’s manager.
“It grows every year,” she said. “Every year, we try to add a service to include men. I think a lot of men out there are curious and want to try (it).”
Visage offers packages recommended for men, with treatments including a gentlemen’s manicure, a gentlemen’s haircut and style, a seaweed wrap and a Swedish massage. Lately, more men have come in for pedicures, she said.
The spa promotes packages for couples to introduce men to the services, she said.
“By doing couples packages, it gives them a chance to come in without feeling funny,” she said. “When they come in, they’re a little uneasy until they’re in the room for 15 minutes, and then they’re asleep.”
About The Spa at the Hotel Hershey
The Spa at the Hotel Hershey opened in 2001 and offers signature chocolate treatments and a Cuban-inspired menu. The size of the spa was doubled in 2004 to 30,000 square feet on three floors.
While the spa will not be physically affected by the $35 million expansion project announced for the hotel this year, spa officials do expect more guests as a result. Spa Director Ginger McLean will explore possibilities such as poolside spa treatments (be careful on this one, there is nothing worse than paying for a massage in an area where children are yelling and running wild) to coincide with the outdoor recreational complex, which will include pools and cabanas.
On May 1, the spa launched medically based skin-care therapy services as a result of a partnership with Penn State Hershey Cosmetic Surgery. Guests at the resort can now be chauffeured to the cosmetic suite for treatments such as chemical peels and Botox.
Spas at resorts like the Hotel Hershey usually do not provide medical-based services beyond teeth-whitening and microdermabrasion services, McLean said.
“It’s going to be fun to see how that takes off,” she said. “For resort spas, that’s relatively new.”