Ladies, did you know that there are six men-only spas in the United States? These include Nickel Spa for Men in New York City, The Grooming Lounge in Washington, D.C, and GQ Barber Lounge in Denver.
Sir Spa in Chicago, another male-only spa, bills itself as “where men get their go.” The facility includes a grooming club room with a 50″ flat-panel TV, and services that include massages, abdominal wraps, a Sir Scrub full-body exfoliation, airbrush tanning, and a hot towel treatment with deep-pore cleansing and extractions that sounds suspiciously like a facial.
In 2012, men comprised 30% of all American spa go-ers, says Lynne McNees, president of ISPA, the International Spa Association, in a trend that may have begun with Cellular, a 2004 film that featured a cop who was about to retire. Was he going to spend his newly-found free time hunting, fishing, or traveling the world? No. He was going to open a day spa.
Men’s spas have a long tradition, especially in Thailand, where massage has been part of the culture for centuries. Originally, the spa was designed to provide relief for male warriors and to re-energize their minds.
Today, the Thai massage has gained popularity, and hotels around the world now offer Thai massages. The best of them, not surprisingly, are found in the hotels of Bangkok or Chiang Mai resorts. Thai massage parlors in the U.S., especially in Los Angeles and throughout Southern California, are also frequently among the top rated.
“We’ve been tracking men’s visits to spas, and they’ve been pretty consistent over the past 10 years,” McNees explains.
Like women, men want relaxation, McNees says, and they particularly like massages because they help them to manage their stress. “But,” she says, “They also want spa visits to help them be more flexible for their golf game, or to improve their basketball game.”
As a result, says McNees, spas have become increasingly competitive in their desire to attract male clients. Some male-only spas set themselves apart by offering amenities containing alcohol. Kapalua Spa at Kapalua Resort on Maui offers a beer bath to men.
Meanwhile, the Spa at The Hotel Hershey in Hershey, Pennyslvania offers a Gentleman’s Whiskey Body Scrub as well as a Gentleman’s Whiskey Facial. On its website, the spa explains that the treatment begins with a drinkable shot of whiskey, and includes a facial cleansing with the malt extract found in Scottish Whiskey, plus an anti-aging mask.
McNees adds that some spas offer specific men’s packages and, along with doing that, usually change the aromatherapy scent to a more masculine fragrance. Spas, to entice men, also custom-select magazines displayed in the waiting room and also the programs shown on TV.
GQ Barber Lounge’s website describes itself: “A friendly sanctuary where men still rule. It’s your music. It’s your channels on the screens, and your magazines in the lobby.” The spa’s motto is “Real men smell great,” and its “performance haircuts” start at $38. The website also has a reading room with grooming tips and stories on style icons such as athlete’s David Beckham and Ryan Lochte – and their hair.
According to McNees, spa revenue as a whole is up 4.5% over last year, with spa revenue in 2012 maxing out at $13.4 billion. Ladies, gift certificates are still available.
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