The changeroom is a huge part of the total guest experience in your spa business and can be the reason why guests don’t return. So whilst this space does not directly earn income it most certainly is a discussion point when people in a group talk about a spa experience.
The changeroom space is also the transition space between the welcome/check in area into the world of tranquillity, relaxation and rejuvenation. This space is so important and needs such careful consideration and planning. So give this space a lot of thought, plan it carefully and walk it through as if you were the guest.
Try and allocate as large an area as you possibly can to the changerooms and even consider putting a chat lounge or collection spot inside the changerroms. Women and men feel comfortable in this space and love the chat time they can have in the changerooms so why not think about combining two spaces into one and putting all of it inside the changerooms. Since the changeroom space is not a quiet area keep all socialising inside it. Try position male and female changerooms back to back in order to save on plumbing points and pipes etc.
Lets analyse each section of the changerooms carefully and i hope to give you some valuable tips.
Try give the toilet space some thought and don’t just assume the smallest space to be used possible. Ensure to leave enough space to move around inside the cubicle without needing to move around inside to be able to close the door. I like to work with about 1m width or a little more and 1.7m depth or a little more. Also ensure to put the toilet roll holder in a reachable and comfortable spot. Allow for storage of additional toilet rolls either as a loose item or fitted cabinet but make sure you plan where this will fit. Use the inside door panel of the toilet to your advantage by either installing flat screen tvs with adverts of your spa and products or install an elegant frame where you can change the information inside it every month. And lastly make sure that what ever locking mechanism you use for the toilets has some form of being unlocked from the outside i cannot share enough stories about guests and staff being locked inside toilets. You should allow for a disabled toilet and here you need a minimum space of 1.8 width by 1.8 depth or slightly more if you can
If you can try at least have 2 of these as people do like their privacy especially when getting naked in a spa environment. Somehow in a gym set up privacy is not an issue but in a spa set up privacy does seem to be very important in the experience. A space of about 1m x 1m is minimum and can be tastefully done with a lovely full length mirror and luxurious heavy curtain fabric to give privacy when changing. Ensure to position one or two hooks to hang up clothes, towels, etc. Make sure there is something available for the guest to position their items whilst changing for example a bench either inside the change cubicle which then means you need a wider cubicle or if you don’t have change cubicles a great idea is a bench just outside the lockers on which to place items.
These can also double up as change cubicles if given enough thought. Generally you require only 900 x 980 for a standard size shower which is perfect but if you have the depth then rather use 1m x 2.2m and use the extra depth to allow for a change area for when guest gets out of the shower so they can change in privacy or to be used as a change area at the start of the spa journey. Both options are shown on the plans below. Don’t skimp on the shower head rather invest in an experience shower head possibly with changing settings and water strengths as this really completes the experience in a lovely way. Ensure that the water pressure is sufficient for the entire needs of the spa and this pressure can only be determined by the plumber once he understands what all the water needs of the business are. This means that if your spa is running at full capacity, all showers being used at the same time, possibly a Vichy shower and jet bath that none of the treatments or facilities are jeopardised due to insufficient water pressure.
There is nothing worse than a tiny little locker and a lock that does not work. My recommendation is that you meet half way between an extravagant locker and a tiny locker and give the guest an acceptable and comfortable locker. The minimum size should be 600 height x 400 width which will allow for a shirt or skirt to be hung comfortably and allow for shoes to fit as per attached diagram. For a luxurious locker 1.5 height by 500 is even better as this allows for gown to hang full length and allows for shoe space etc. A few items to consider: Try incorporate some sort of ventilation system in the design of the locker either on the door or the side of the locker but this is really important. Also have some sort of container or section for shoes and small items like car keys and jewellery so guests don’t have to search for them. Once again use your lockers to your advantage and put a promotion on the inside of the door, or some sort of offer or little gift inside it to add to the guest experience. Make sure that the lockers smell gorgeous when the guest opens the door and this can be achieved by aromatic salt stones that really make the space smell gorgeous.
Don’t forget about these. We always seem to plan all the obvious bathroom elements and forget about the back of house. Allow for storage of clean linen and soiled linen whether it be part of the vanity design which is probably best or as a loose item but make sure before you build that you know where the loose item will be positioned as it is not exactly the smallest item to position. Clearly sign soiled linen as some guests may think it is a dust bin.
You will obviously need a vanity to house the hand wash basins but carefully plan this vanity to include storage space for clean linen and toiletries as well as cleaning material for back of house that can be locked. Another type of vanity to consider is a prep station where make up, hair, etc is done. Ensure that you allow enough space for two people to be able to get ready at once with all the equipment they would require like hair dryer, possibly a flat iron, hair brushes, toiletries etc. Should you choose to have hair brushes on display for all to use, you must have a sterilising solution that is visible for guests to see that you are sterilising the brushes.
Think carefully about this as you need to allow sufficient space for guests to walk around each other so make sure that around lockers, showers, toilets etc there is enough space for two guests to pass each other.
In terms of floor treatments I recommend tiles and quartz carpet. Stay away from carpets and timber floors.
Finally make sure that you have detailed plan with dimensions, furniture layout, electrical layout, lighting layout, plumbing layout, etc PLUS all samples of hard and soft finishes BEFORE you go ahead and begin building. I have included an example of a layout plan with sample boards.
If you are choosing not to have a public changeroom but rather private ones in each room please carefully consider each item discussed above but of course for one person or two at a time.
Spend time and effort on this important space that adds to the experience and can really leave an impression and gorgeous memory for the guest to ensure that they return!
For more information contact Marisa Dimitriadis – The Spa Consultants
Office: 011 234 2150
Fax: 011 234 2627
Mobile: 083 626 8382