7 questions with Sarah Ronchetti

Welcome to Ambie’s next edition of our 7 Questions with Series. Each month we will interview a professional whose experience and expertise expands across the hospitality sector, and gain insights into why music is so business critical.

1. So Sarah, please can you give us an introduction about who you are, what you do, about TEMPLESPA and the Spa – in hospitality industry.

I’m Sarah and I am Head of Spa at TEMPLESPA.  In my 25 years in the industry, I spent 3 years in the Cayman Islands managing a Day Spa for the Hyatt Hotel group. In 2002 I joined Elemis where I held two positions, one as a Senior International Trainer and the other as a Business Development Manager. I then joined TEMPLESPA in 2005 and have never looked back. My role at TEMPLESPA involves placing the brand in new and emerging markets, supporting our growth in the UK and maintaining our highly valued long-standing relationships with our brand partners. Within the spa industry, I am a Board Member for the UK Spa Association and together we raise awareness of our industry within schools, colleges, society and at government level. We also work to raise standards within the industry and help to ensure consumer confidence in the professional spa and wellness services our members provide.

TEMPLESPA is an award-winning British luxury skincare brand with a full top-to-toe offer of beautiful treatments; from high performance, results-driven facials to problem-solving massages and sleep- inducing experiences. Voted BEST BRITISH BRAND at the CEW Beauty Consumer Choice Awards 2022, our extensive product range of 70+ head-to-toe, unisex products borrow the very best botanicals from the Mediterranean and fuse with cutting edge derma-science to deliver outstanding results for skin, body, and soul. Every TEMPLESPA formula has been carefully created to combine the trifecta of texture, fragrance and performance, names that make you smile are a given.

2. Wellness is a very hot topic now, especially post COVID-19 lockdown. Is this a fleeting trend or here to stay? How should hotels and hospitality businesses gear up and embrace wellness, both for their staff and guests.

We’re a skincare brand with wellness at its heart and we’re proud to wear that heart on our sleeve.  It was one of our founding principles back in 2000 and we totally are here for it to stay! Spas, hotels and hospitality businesses need to pioneer and lead the way in the world of wellness, creating havens of escapism for their customers from their busy worlds.

Weekend wellness retreats, activities such as forest bathing and cold-water swimming, healthy and organic menus and innovative spa wellbeing experiences are all becoming increasingly popular on a guests list of requirements when choosing a stay/ break/ day away from home. It is vital for the hospitality and spa industry to look at their current offering and how they can adapt to the consumers changing wellbeing needs.

3. What impact does music have on wellness and wellbeing, and can you please share your top tips for choosing spa music as people respond and relax differently? Should the music be centralised by management, or should each treatment therapist choose what works best for them?

Music has a huge impact on ones wellbeing as it provides the opportunity for the mind to relax and slow down, encouraging mindfulness and a slower pace of thought. I would always recommend slow, calm music that represents nature and the outdoors as this helps to de-clutter the mind.

Most importantly, the music should be at the right volume- not overpowering but loud enough to hear. Each therapist should be able to choose what music works for their customer as during treatments such as manicures and pedicures clients often like to chat, and by providing the space and atmosphere to do so is beneficial to both the clients treatment and personal wellbeing.

4. Let’s talk about sensory experiences. How does appealing to all five senses in a multi-sensory spa experience boost your guests’ sense of wellbeing in a spa or wellness space?

Appealing to all 5 senses is so important in improving the guest’s wellbeing experience, it’s all in the detail! Soft lighting, relaxing music, scented candles and edible aromatherapy all contribute to creating a tranquil atmosphere that instantly makes your guest feel at ease. Arriving at a spa that’s cold, bright and loud creates an uncomfortable experience where the guest can’t truly relax.

Here at TEMPLESPA we have created our own unique ‘Guest Journey’ with little moments of joy that the customer can experience throughout their stay- a few examples being herbal tea and lavender biscuits in the spa relaxation lounge, our own suite of relaxing music playing throughout a guests treatment and the fragrance from our scented candles on reception desk as you arrive. All of these touches ensures the guest leaves feeling totally blissed out, wanting to return! 

5. Music is a powerful resource for creating a desired ambiance in hospitality spaces and can make or break the overall guest experience. How can the right music boost revenue and promote guest loyalty and vice versa?

Creating a welcoming atmosphere through the use of music helps to lift mood and enhance experience, it can also encourage a deeper state of relaxation, thus encouraging guests to return as they loved it so much!

6. There is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to music choice in business. Which tempo works best in spas, and enhances a sense of maximum wellness? And what are your thoughts on songs with lyrics / humming versus instrumental and nature sounds? 

We have come a long way from the classic ‘whale spa music’ that guests quite often take a disliking to. Modern music can still be slow, relaxing and resemble nature, but also upbeat and in tune with current trends. I do still prefer instrumental music in the spa arena, however there is space for music with lyrics in the right setting. It’s all about choosing what works for you and your customers.

7. What’s next in the wellness space? What wellbeing trends are there and is there a place for music to play a part? (Meditation, quiet rooms, sustainability etc).

Wellbeing means different things to different people, but everyone seeks a little escapism from the hustle and bustle of day-to-day life! Guests love activities that are held by the hotel/ spa that they can join in on, such as forest bathing, cold-water swimming, sound baths and meditation. Getting an expert in to run these classes not only offers a wellbeing experience for your client but also give them a lasting memory of their stay.

Music has a fundamental part to play in a guests wellbeing journey, and learning how to use it effectively can make a huge impact on your guests stay.

Check back each month for our next 7 Questions Series here.

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