Byline: Melissa Drier

HAGEN, Germany — Douglas, Germany’s giant, 617-door perfumerie chain, opened the first Douglas Beauty Spa at the Park Hotel Bremen here Sept. 3.
The spa is part of the hotel’s new five-floor, 13,000-square-feet wellness and fitness club. The hotel, which is a member of the Leading Hotels of the World and situated in the midst of Bremen’s renowned Volkspark, invested more than $4 million in the club.
Claus Mingers, a member of the Douglas Group board with responsibility for the perfumery division, who was in Bremen for the spa’s opening, acknowledged that the Douglas Beauty Spa was not primarily a money-making project.
“The goal is not financial. For us [the spa] is a service for the Douglas customer, and through the ambience, it’s an image booster,” he said.
He said he expected the spa to help Douglas get closer to its customers.
“The contact in a treatment cabine is naturally much closer than it would be in a store. We can learn more about our customer and her wishes and needs,” he said.
On two floors of the club, Douglas operates 10 beauty cabines, offering a full range of facial and body treatments.
Each of the following brands is housed in its own cabine: Annayake, Estee Lauder/Aramis, La Prairie, Lancome, Lancaster, Orlane B21 and Thalgo.
There are cabines for manicures and pedicures, a solarium, a massage center, a sales corner featuring the above-mentioned brands and a Douglas European exclusive — a Japanese luxury cabine where a treatment called the “Oasis of Enlightenment” is available.
The 90-minute, $75 treatment for “body, mind and soul” includes an aromatic steam bath, a soap lather massage on a heated stone massage table, a whirlpool bath, a Thai oil massage on the tatami mats, a Chinese horoscope and appropriate “lucky stone.”
“The variety of brands is what makes this spa different,” said Mingers. The program of services and treatments is also extremely varied, he pointed out, “and in terms of atmosphere and furnishings, we believe we can offer something that hasn’t existed until now.”
Douglas has leased the Beauty Spa space, and the perfumery chain worked in close cooperation with the Park Hotel Bremen in conceiving and designing the beauty cabines. The conventional cabines have parquet floors, ceilings in sky blue or with trompe l’oeil paintings of clouds and sky, and windows looking out on trees and the park.
The cabine for Thalgo Thalasso treatments has a stone floor, and a dark blue water-jet bath. The Japanese “Oasis of Enlightenment” room features subdued lighting, rice-paper-screen walls, a lacquer red massage table, lacquer red tiled steam bath and a tatami mat area for relaxation and massage.
The September issue of the Douglas Card magazine, Come In, which has a circulation of 1.3 million, featured the spa in its beauty editorial.
Douglas probably will offer special Bremen spa travel packages to its one million Douglas card members.
Is Bremen’s Douglas Beauty Spa a pilot for more to come?
It took Douglas a long time to find such luxurious and spacious surroundings, and Mingers said the perfumery chain would be willing to duplicate the project at a hotel elsewhere under similar circumstances.
“I could envision Douglas Beauty spas in five leading European cities, like Barcelona or Paris,” he added. “But it’s all provisional, and we’re in no rush.”
The Douglas Beauty Spa has nine employees and is open daily from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Individual treatments, from makeup sessions to body peeling, depilation, massages and special baths with aromatic additives, can be booked separately. Each cosmetic brand offers its own range of 90-minute service packages, and there is also a variety of set programs, such as the five-hour Beauty Day or a five-day beauty program.
The spa is open to all; whereas the hotel’s other fitness and wellness facilities are open only to hotel guests and the hotel’s fitness club members.