See how Grand Hôtel Stockholm, a luxury hotel in Sweden, achieved to dynamically promote its Spa, making it the talk-of-the-town!

It is very common to meet hoteliers struggling to boost their hotel spa sales and promote its services. The Hotel Spa can create a significant revenue for the hotel, upgrading at the same time the guests’ experience. But which are the best ways to promote a hotel spa effectively?

In this Hotel Case Study article, we examine the case of Grand Hôtel Stockholm. The hotel team’s bright ideas did not only achieve to turn the Hotel Spa into a talk-of-the-town but showcase a great source of inspiration for hoteliers all around the world.

Grand Hôtel Stockholm and its talented team, did not focus on numbers and typical ways of promotion. On the contrary, they worked on creativity, presenting an interesting city experience. And what they did was to run a special campaign, under the inspiring name “The Spa Secret – A secret oasis for tranquility in the middle of a vibrant city”.

Despite being a top luxury hotel, Grand Hôtel Stockholm raised the standards even more

Grand Hôtel Stockholm can definitely claim the title of the “Historic hotel in Stockholm”. The hotel’s history dates 140 years back, “playing a pivotal role in shaping Stockholm as a cosmopolitan city”, as its people rightly state. Located in the prime position of the city’s waterfront, the hotel hosts high-quality facilities like the stylish Cadier Bar, Mathias’ Dahlgren’s award winning restaurants and the classic Veranda, all offering spectacular views of the Royal Palace. Grand Hôtel is proud to be one of Scandinavia’s Leading luxury hotels.

However, and despite the fact of being such a dynamic luxury brand, the people behind Grand Hôtel Stockholm, chose to work with passion and creativity, for effectively promoting the hotel spa and extend its audience. Since the Spa used to have a reputation of being an exclusive service to the hotel guests, the team decided to change that reputation and show to the people of the city that the Spa and its facilities were also available to a limited and high-quality part of the citizens.

The ‘Nordic Spa’, with a stunning view of the archipelago, presents a unique Nordic experience focused on relaxation and peace. Therefore, it was vital to find an effective and clever promotional way that would make the spa popular to the right audience. At the same time, it was necessary to maintain its high-end and exclusive character.

The marketing team explains the concept behind ‘The Spa Secret – a secret oasis of tranquillity in the middle of the vibrant city’ 

When analysing such a unique hotel case study, we believe that there is no better way to present the campaign concept than letting the people of the hotel speak about it and comment on their ideas! Maya Johansson, Marketing Specialist in Grand Hôtel Stockholm, explains:

To communicate the spa in a cost-effective way without losing its exclusivity, we created a market­ing campaign named “The Spa Secret – a secret oasis of tranquility in the middle of the vibrant city”. Since the spa had a lack of brand awareness but was highly appreciated by our guests, we wanted to keep it like a secret spot for those who already knew about it. As a second step, we encouraged them to raise awareness, talk about it and recommend it to their networks. The purpose of the “Spa Secret”- the campaign was to communicate with a small, but highly relevant target group in an innovative and fun way. The campaign was built on three major building blocks: 

1.  Secret Night Swim Event

grand hotel hidden key secret spa concept , grand hotel treasure hunt

We invited a handful of influencers to experience the spa in an intimate and exclusive way after opening hours. An invitation was sent to them as a key to “The Spa Secret”. During the event, we of­fered our bathing ritual; The Nordic Bath Deluxe, healthy snacks in the Fitness bar and access to our spa suites where we offered try-ons from our signature treatments.

Our opinion: The Secret Night Swim Event was the perfect idea in order to protect the exclusive character of the spa. The use of selected influencers ensured that they would attract the right audience for the SPA. Also, the ‘closed’ character of the event made it even more special, triggering the invited guests’ interest. They were excited to be part of such an exclusive event and shared it with their network in a more intense and engaging way. At the same time, the new potential clients who got informed about the event and the Spa were now curious to visit the Spa, try its services and be part of such a unique product.

2. A Secret Treasure Hunt

grand hotel hidden key secret spa concept , grand hotel treasure hunt

To reach a wider target group, we created a treasure hunt in collaboration with high-end luxury boutiques in Stockholm. Once a week during this period, we hid a selected number of free entrance-keys to “The Spa Secret” in one of the collaborating stores. During that specific day, we posted hints in our social media channels where the keys could be found. The treasure hunt went viral since the lucky winners posted their prizes in their own social media channels. 

Our opinion: The Secret Treasure Hunt can be definitely considered the perfect merchandising example. By choosing high-end luxury boutiques as the places where the free-entrance keys were hidden, there was not even a chance of not finding the perfect audience for the spa! The profile of these boutiques’ customers matches perfectly with a Spa Lover’s profile. Also, the free keys gave an important opportunity for generating new, loyal Spa Guests.

3. A Secret Spa Drink

grand hotel hidden key secret spa concept , grand hotel treasure hunt

During the campaign, we also offered a new drink in our cocktail bar with a Nordic touch. Every person who ordered the drink received a “Spa Secret-key” as a surprise prize. 

Our opinion: The Secret Spa Drink highlights the holistic perspective of the marketing team. It perfectly connects the Spa with another department of the hotel, giving a bright example of a connective marketing tactic. The winners would be happy for this surprise and the chances for some additional wellness purchases would be very possible. Also, this move highlights the fact that the hotel wishes to share more things with its guests, something that enhances the overall staying experience.

Overall, the campaign was very successful. By the end of the campaign, we had managed to increase both brand awareness and the number of day spa guests. Today, The Grand Hôtel Nordic Spa & Fit­ness is top of mind when thinking of, or talking about spa treatments and day spa visits on the local market.

What did we learn from this Case Study?

  • When you want to promote your hotel facilities you should focus on the experiences, and create the ones that people will be excited to live. Nowadays, there are numerous good hotels with top quality facilities. However, the experience is what catches people’s attention and creates new trends.
  • If you want to make a certain service popular, then some people must be the first to try it out and share it with their network. So, don’t hesitate to give out some freebies! Of course, make sure that you offer them to the right people, who would be able to influence new potential clients from the audiences you wish to target.
  • Even if own or work in a renowned and top-quality hotel, you must always work hard on trying new things. So, let your marketing team be creative and socially oriented, trying out playful and original concepts beyond the ordinary, that will stand out from the competition.