Health Trumps Wealth in Makeovers at GHM Spas Worldwide

    150 150 Daniel Fountain
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    The organic movement that swept the food industry is manoeuvring into GHM’s spas, property by property, banishing chemically enhanced formulations for the purest, greenest product lines available.Starting this month in Chiang Mai, Thailand, GHM embarks on a spa-by-spa makeover, embracing new organic lines from Voya, Ila and SpaRitual and a green philosophy that deepens the hotel management group’s holistic bona fides.

    “We’ve always had a holistic spa concept, but until now the choice of suitable product lines has been limited,” says Brenda Ramen, GHM’s spa director. “Savvy spa goers are demanding alternatives to chemically based formulations. If I wouldn’t put it in my body, why would I put it on my hair or skin?”

    The new line-up from GHM champions products approved by the Soil Association in the UK and the USDA in the United States. They contain no harsh chemicals, no parabens, no toxins — products that go beyond pure and natural to organic.

    The commitment to organic products by GHM does not come without cost. The shelf life for its new product lines is far shorter than its former lines. But commercial concerns took a backseat to what Ramen describes as an ethics-based approach.

    Items by Ila, for example, are hand-made in the Cotswolds, England. The company uses exotic ingredients — such as rose oil from India and argan oil from Morocco — and takes pride in its quality control.

    Ila’s founder, Ramen says, regularly visits the oil farms to make sure she gets something that’s genuine and 100-percent pure.

    “The Moroccan argan oil is especially fantastic because it’s rich in anti-aging fatty acids and it’s a ‘dry oil’ so there’s no greasy residue on the skin,” says Ramen.

    To jump-start the new initiative, Ramen summoned GHM spa trainers and managers from as far away as Miami and Muscat for a two-week training session in Chiang Mai. Manufacturers detailed the new lines and Ramen reinforced the hotel group’s commitment to this new, expanded realm of responsibility.

    “Our guests want upscale amenities, to be sure, but these days they’re as concerned — I’d say more concerned — about green solutions and green products,” says Ramen. “It’s not just the planet people are concerned about, it’s their own bodies. They’re after health before wealth.”

    Once the makeover is complete in Thailand, Ramen — a 17-year veteran of the spa industry and native of Canada — will see to the same changes on the spa menu at one of Asia’s most renowned resorts, The Nam Hai in Vietnam.

    From there, the new menus and products will debut at The Chedi Muscat in Oman, The Setai in Miami, The Legian in Bali and The Chedi Club Tanah Gajah, also in Bali.

    By the time the six-month project wraps, all GHM wellness specialists will qualify as experts on what makes the new products unique and how to apply those lines in the new treatments.

    Daniel Fountain / 09.08.2011

    Editor, Hotel Designs


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