The latest trend in bridal parties signals a departure from the traditional luncheon bridal shower, with its customary pastel décor, tea and finger sandwiches. In fact, many brides are doing away with the shower entirely and opting instead for the spa bachelorette party, featuring crudités, champagne and massages for all. Spa owners can capitalize on this trend by marketing their facility as the place to throw a party, as The Lounge Spa has masterfully done.
“We do a lot of parties,” says Koskas. “We’ll get six to 10 women who all have fun, and in turn want to throw their parties here.”
The Lounge Spa doesn’t charge a space rental fee for between five and 10 guests, nor for the theme-oriented decorations, plates, napkins, glassware and special touches. There is also no minimum spa treatment purchase (the spa adds 20% gratuity to all services to ensure staff is taken care of), and guests can choose from any treatment on the menu. Events can be booked for any day or time of the week.
What do partygoers pay for? “The treatments and the food—simple fruit trays, cheese and crackers, sandwiches, salads, cupcakes, desserts—and they can bring in their own alcohol, usually champagne,” Koskas replies. “All we ask is that they show up on time, have a great time, tell their friends and leave with the swag bag we provide. The repeat business we get is worth the price of not charging for the space and the extras we provide.”
About 80% of The Lounge Spa’s party clients are drawn from its Yelp listing, featuring exciting photos of past parties and motivating Yelpers to visit the spa’s übercool website, which includes a “VIP Parties” tab on the menu to showcase a variety of past party imagery, and encourages guests to book their own special event. “I don’t have a publicist, because our website and Yelp presence have done the job for us,” Koskas says.
She does, however, enlist dedicated party help. “I have my own events coordinator, who started out at the front desk. She does a lot of business-to-business networking for us at events around town,” Koskas says, adding, “We are booked for parties up to six months in advance.”
The Lounge Spa will even custom-theme a party around a couple’s honeymoon destination, or anything that the bride holds dear. Past motifs have included Hello Kitty, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Hawaii, Mexico and 1950s Rockabilly. Koskas runs around town to find all the needed décor.
For the 1950s rockabilly bride, she decked out the buffet with a tabletop ‘50s jukebox, old-fashioned shake glasses and a vintage straw container, and strung vinyl records from the ceiling. The Breakfast at Tiffany’s event featured the 1961 film playing on a TV in the background and Tiffany-blue boxes wrapped in white satin, with blue mints to top off the party. “We add as many special touches as we can think of,” Koskas says.