CHI's Tony Potter Talks About Spas, Wellness and Lisbon

This week, the Corinthia Hotel Lisbon opened a nearly $6 million spa complex in a partnership with Lisbon-based Malo Health Group. The Malo Clinic Spa will offer not only rest and relaxation opportunities, but true wellness with non-invasive medical treatments.

"His technique is unique, and is very world-renowned," says CHI President and CEO Tony Potter about Paulo Malo, the Malo Clinic's president, adding that he hopes the new brand of spa will become synonymous with Corinthia hotels. Still, he says, the spa should not be confused with traditional medical tourism. "Medical tourism is slightly different. I think medical tourism is more of a wider scenario, in that you go to a country to have treatments because it’s famous for whatever-it-is, and you [just] stay in a hotel…The Corinthian and Malo experience is not that kind of tourism."

Instead, with medical opportunities available at a luxe spa, guests can avoid the angst and frustration of hospitals while still undergoing treatments from medical professionals. During and after treatment, guests can enjoy a much more comfortable experience that can help promote healing. "With Malo, you come to the Corinthia because Malo is resident in that facility," Potter says. "And that facility works very well with Malo."

Potter was reluctant to specify what kind of treatments will be available at the spa, but emphasized that only non-invasive methods would be used. "It's easier to do these kinds of things because of leaps in technology, and that you don't have to cut someone open," he says. The spa's treatment area has 13 treatment rooms for a wide range of treatments that will include weight loss, anti-aging, mesotherapy and dermabrasion. The spa will also offer a wide range of water-based therapies, including an aqua bed, hydro-massage, sauna and hammam.

"I do believe that this sort of niche marketing is very important," Potter says. "If [hotels are about] service, they have to be a very high-end service product, or they have to offer products that people want. But if you want to be a serious player in the leisure business, you have to offer the whole range, which is the very high standard of leisure products."