Starwood is the latest hotel chain to get on the spa branding bandwagon. The Starwood Spa Collection consists of 30 elite spas around the globe, ranging from the Spa Gaucin at the St. Regis Monarch Beach in Dana Point, Calif., to the AltiraSpa at the Mardavall Hotel & Spa in Mallorca, Spain.

Each Starwood Spa meets a lengthy list of membership criteria that includes such factors as overall spa size, the number of treatment rooms, and the kinds of services offered. So far, “the feedback has been good, and the brand has become recognizable,” says Elaine Fernard, Starwood vice president of spa development. Another eight spas will join the collection in 2005, she says.

Marc Pujalet, president of Noble House Hotels and Resorts, owners and managers of 12 luxury properties in the United States, says that its SpaTerre brand provides a way of “really breaking away from the generic spa.” SpaTerre, launched two years ago, are currently in five Noble House properties; another three are due to open at the end of the year. The spas, Pujalet says, have become “extraordinarily profitable,” and the brand has become so distinctive that Noble House has received requests from large destination resorts asking about licensing the name.