Start with a Plan
Know exactly what you want. What is it about the spa experience that you want to share with your attendees? Is it the location, the reputation of the spa, a trademark treatment? Not every spa offers every amenity — and you might not be interested in every amenity that is offered.
Do Your Homework
Know the value of your business. Has the spa recently been written up in travel journals or featured on television? More importantly, have its competitors? The more the spa wants your business, the harder it will work to give you what you want.
Use Bargaining Power
Having another spa waiting in the wings can positively influence negotiations. Make sure you are well-briefed about competing spas, especially those close to your intended spa. It never hurts to have an initial quote to work from.
Many spas bundle popular services for a premium price. Ask if you can create your own custom package, including only those items that you want. There's no sense in paying for services that your attendees won't use.
Clarify Confusing Language
Also, watch for confusing names. Spas have been known to have different prices for “The Late Summer Package” and “The Deluxe Late Summer Package,” for example. That extra “deluxe” can cost you hundreds of dollars.
Susan Friedmann is author of Meeting & Event Planning for Dummies. She is based in Lake Placid, N.Y.