Bruntsfield – Best Boutique Salon in the UK 2018
Hanover St – Best Large Salon in the UK 2018
20 National Beauty Awards
Having won both the Best Boutique and Large Salon in the Scotland and the UK, we are often asked by clients and other salon owners: “how do you do it?”. The answer is remarkably simple. We create a special customer experience which we believe is unique and which we believe cannot be bettered at any other beauty salon or day spa in the UK. Although that sounds simple, it is incredibly difficult to achieve, and only results from a laser-like focus on setting high standards every day, together with a true passion for developing outstanding therapists.
So what is special about this experience and what should you expect on a visit to one of our salons? There are 5 key elements which go into making a treatment at Zen unique:
Our main focus at Zen has always been on creating an exceptional treatment experience. When the business was founded by Fiona Fowley in 1999, she had one very simple and clear goal. It was not to create a big business or a highly profitable salon. The goal was simply to have the best reputation of any salon in Edinburgh. This founding principle has been the guiding ethos of the business ever since and underpins all our operations. Whether you come to us for a quick brow tidy or a half-day spa package, we expect you to be super impressed by your experience. And if that is not the case, please let us know – we love feedback and are always learning!
Our core clientele are busy, urban men and women, with excellent taste and high standards. They like to go to nice shops, quality restaurants, and appreciate modern design and a high-quality environment. So we have created a salon experience which meets those expectations, far superior to the ambience of a traditional high street salon. Zen founder Fiona has a deep passion for design and aesthetics, and the presentation of the salons distils the dozens of design cues she has acquired from many years of travelling and observing. Inspiration comes in particular from the modern design icons such as Philippe Starck and Philip Treacy.
From the iconic Tom Dixon ‘mirror ball’ light fittings to the custom-made furniture, from the beautiful flower displays to our Zen branded chocolates, we aim to present an interior experience which is both relaxing and luxurious. The treatment rooms have been designed with the best ergonomics in mind. In each spacious treatment room, we can customise the lighting, the music and the climate for each treatment. This allows us to create a sensory experience which can be adapted to how each client would like to feel, both during and beyond their time with us.
What makes a Zen treatment the best? It’s simple: we have the best therapists! As well as a careful recruitment and selection, we have developed an industry leading internal training programme. No matter how experienced or qualified a new employee is, she will have to undergo rigorous internal training in the ‘Zen Way’ of treatments. And only when she has passed an assessment in each treatment will be she able to perform the treatment on clients.
Training is ongoing for all team members, with regular internal and external training courses offered to all employees, whether they are straight from college or the salon manager. And we don’t just focus on skills training. We have an internal Coaching programme, to ensure each team member is encouraged to unlock their potential. Our dedication to training is a great expense, but is really what sets us apart and ensures not only quality but consistency across all therapists. We often get clients saying things like “I don’t mind which therapist I get, they are all so good”, and this is the greatest endorsement we can get for our focus on staff training.
At Zen, we offer over 100 treatments for men and women. So we can almost certainly provide whatever treatment or experience you are looking for. As well as the traditional salon staples such as waxing and nails, we are constantly researching and investing in the most exciting new devices and techniques coming to the market. In the last 6 months, we have upgraded our IPL (laser) equipment to the most powerful hair removal device available. We have also launched wonderfully advanced and effective new treatments for cellulite, fat reduction and facial skin tightening.
Our product ranges continue to evolve, to make sure we are offering the most effective solutions on the market, and our therapists are very knowledgeable in treatments and products for types of skin and body concerns, including anti-ageing, rosacea, acne, pigmentation, cellulite and others. We do very thorough research and testing of treatments that come on to the market, to make sure that we are introducing only effective solutions, and not the dozens of short-lived fads that come and go. We love to offer advice and share our expertise, so we are happy to offer new and existing clients free consultations. Please just give us a call if you would like to book a complimentary consultation.
There are literally hundreds of details which go into creating the client journey through our salons. Most of these will be invisible to the naked eye, but as a whole they combine to create a special sense of wellbeing and confidence. There are special enhancements to improve our treatment experiences and many special touches around the salon to create a sense of wellbeing. Our clients love the personal booking reminder they receive by text the day before their appointment. We offer tea, coffee, herbal drinks, red and white wine and Prosecco for clients who arrive early or to enjoy during a manicure or pedicure. We offer appointments early in the morning and late at night to accommodate clients with busy schedules at home or work. Our booking times are extended to make sure our clients do not feel rushed – and to ensure maximum ‘hands-on’ time for each treatment.
The first thing you should expect when making contact with Zen is a warm smile and a friendly greeting. Our receptionists are fully qualified beauty therapists and very knowledgeable in our treatments and products, so don’t be afraid to ask. We are here to help. Our consultation forms are all filled out on an iPad, synching wirelessly to our computerised booking system, so maximum confidentiality and minimum fuss are ensured. If you haven’t tried Zen before for a treatment, we would love to see you. Please just give us a call to speak to one of our friendly receptionists, who will be happy to offer advice or book you in for a treatment or consultation.