How to open a spa: Part 5 – Equipment and technical specifications


The writing of equipment lists is probably the most challenging and time consuming tasks in the whole process of opening your future spa. This stage includes two parts: Firstly, writing a list with all the things, from furniture to operating supplies, that you will need for your spa. Second, you also need to think about the technical considerations that are required for the spa equipment to function.

In this article, we will be discussing some of the best practices and tips that you need to keep in mind when elaborating your equipment list, that is your furniture, fixtures and equipment (F,F & E) lists.


Saving time and money

If you are a spa manager or spa therapist, have you ever experienced the problem where you have wanted to connect your facial steamer but found that there were not enough sockets in your treatment room? If you are a spa receptionist, have you ever encountered a situation where there was no preparation room near the reception so that you could serve your guests a glass of water or a cold towel while they are waiting for their therapist?

All those of us who have worked in a spa have definitely come across some operational aspect that was not considered and wondered why on earth did they not think about this! It would have been great to have been involved since the beginning!

It is very important that you think carefully about everything that your spa would need in order to operate optimally. If you do this phase in the right way you will be saving time and money in the long-run.

Creating your lists

When working on your equipment and supplies lists, the most effective way to make sure that you do not miss anything is to separate your requirements into the following four sections:

  • Furniture – This list will include all the operational furniture you will need in order to operate your spa. Examples of this would include treatment beds, manicure tables and chairs, reception desk, therapist chairs, etc.
  • Equipment – Here, you need to include any equipment you will need in the spa (e.g. a sauna, a steam room, a bathtub). We recommend you to speak to the spa equipment provider so that they can better advise you on all the intricacies of their equipment
  • Operating supplies and equipment – In this list, you should place all the supplies you will need in the day-to-day operations of your spa. For example, towel heaters, fridge, facial steamers, disposable amenities (e.g. underwears, cotton pads, spatulas), glasses, tea cups, etc.
  • Linen and uniforms – This list will include all the towels, bed sheets, robes, and related items that you will need in order to run your spa. You could also enter the uniform requirements for your staff depending on the manning guide you would have created during the feasibility study of your spa.

Additional actions

Once you have all your items added into each of the four lists mentioned above, you need to take the following actions:

  • Write a list of recommended suppliers
  • Get in touch with each of the suppliers to get quotations and specifications (for example: different treatment bed sizes and types)
  • Choose the supplier that meets all your expectations
  • And most importantly, look into potential lead times for each piece of equipment. Would they need to bring the equipment from another country? Are they any customs clearance issues that one needs to investigate into?
  • Organise the delivery dates of the different items according to your critical path planning. For example, it makes no sense to deliver your linen if you do not have a place to store them.

Technical and design requirements

While implementing your equipment and minor operating supplies’ lists, it is extremely important to make sure that you have taken into consideration any technical requirements (for example, electrical) of your spa. It is also crucial to consider if any equipment you have ordered has any special requirements in terms of design. Keep in mind that it is not always easy to make last minute changes to the design.

By Sonal

Sonal Uberoi creates and delivers smarter spas around the world. Spas and hotel groups hire Sonal to help them design, set up and manage their wellness businesses. Her finance background and worldwide operations experience in the spa, wellness and hospitality sectors make Sonal the go-to expert for business optimisation solutions. Connect with Sonal on LinkedIn

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