The spa for men who don't like spas
(FORTUNE Magazine) – IT STARTED WITH NEUTRAL paint colors and dark leather chairs in the locker room. Next came the "Keep your shorts on" massage. Now, in September, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts' Willow Stream spa in Scottsdale is launching MVP rooms, where men bypass the waiting lounge altogether, wear T-shirts and shorts or a smoking jacket rather than a robe, and watch flat-screen TVs with wireless headphones while being pampered.
It's a spa for men who have, um, spa issues. "Often men don't feel 100% comfortable sitting in robes in a lounge with other men," says Anne McCall Wilson, general manager of Fairmont Spas. She sees it as a growth industry: The rooms will eventually be rolled out at eight other Willow Stream spas.
Up to 75% of Fairmont's guests are men, but women account for most spa visits, so the Toronto hotel chain turned to market research to figure out what guys want. The MVP rooms are painted "pumping-iron gray" and stocked with manly publications like Cigar Aficionado. And even before the MVP rollout, treatments like the Aloe Eucalyptus Scrub were supplemented with the Gentleman's Barber Facial and the Golf Performance Treatment, a $159 massage. With so much testosterone in the room, you just might forget that you're there for a pedicure.
-- Amy Gunderson