Cinq Mondes got its unique start after CEO and founder Jean-Louis Poiroux and his wife Nathalie became fascinated with traditional medicine, and how it could be applied to beauty regimes and health treatments. The pair subsequently spent 18 months travelling across the world in search of the most authentic beauty rituals. Their discoveries in India, China, Japan, Bali and Morocco provided the principles for the later creation of their personal brand.

The pair’s first spa was the only one in France to offer its clients health regimes designed in partnership with international experts from the different forms of traditional medicine across the globe. "Our originality lies in the authenticity of our rituals and treatments," says Poiroux. "We were pioneers in Europe when we started offering our customers special choices like Kobido, a Japanese facial massage that provides a remarkable natural lifting effect."

Cinq Mondes is a leader in another sense too, thanks to its insistence on using petrochemical-free ingredients during any product formulation. Its research team develops green products using botanical sources specially chosen for their effectiveness at cleaning the skin, without having any link to the environmentally unfriendly oil industry. The company’s commitment to sustainability is also evident in its ongoing pledge to use only Forest Stewardship Council-certified cardboard in its packaging.

Sparring partners

This attention to detail has brought the company success. Cinq Mondes is now present in over 30 countries, with 14 ownbrand institutions and a network of over 1,000 partner spas, including numerous hotel-based ones. These allied operators can use a comprehensive range of 64 cosmetic products, plus a selection of the brand’s special treatments. The company also offers the spas sales support, staff training and assistance in running operations, but associated businesses still keep their own history and reputation.

When asked why other companies should partner with his own, Poiroux enthusiastically outlines his company’s capabilities. "All our partners have access to the five Cinq Mondes signature treatments, such as Indian Ayurvedic massage, traditional Oriental massage or the Japanese facial massage," he says. "In addition, a franchisee can be given extra training to perform specialist therapies – such as Sirodhara, a relaxing Ayurvedic treatment or four-hand massage."

The guest experience lies at the heart of the Cinq Mondes business model, according to Poiroux, who says his teams work to create an emotional connection with their clients, and to go beyond the usual expectations for such treatments. Afterwards, a personalised recommendation is proposed to visitors when their bookings are finished, so that they can prolong the well-being experience and beauty techniques when they are back home. To be better connected to their customers, feedback is collected through focus groups, satisfaction questionnaires and regular mystery shoppers to the company’s facilities and partner enterprises, Poiroux adds.

Esteemed treatment

Such gestures, and high standards, have translated into solid commercial success for the enterprises that follow Cinq Mondes’s lead, Poiroux says. "The global turnover is £36 million, and our flagship, in Paris, has a turnover of €2.5 million, treats 35,000 guests each year and sells €800,000 worth of products annually with a retail-to-service ratio of 38%," he points out.

The excellence of its establishments and franchises have been recognised by outsiders, who have awarded prestigious grades and recommendations, including the ‘Spa-A’ label of approval and the TripAdvisor ‘Certificate of Excellence’.

"We still have the strong relationships we originally built with local experts in traditional medicines, who regularly share their latest discoveries with us," Poiroux says. "The excellence of our treatments, in which our therapists are trained, plus the effectiveness of our skincare products and the attention paid throughout the whole experience, absolutely guarantees the loyalty of our many frequent guests."