Resorts and Hotels Leading the Wellness Movement
By Cecilia Hercik Founder & President, C-Spa Consulting | July 26, 2015
Looking back at the anecdotes from history books, spas were exceedingly popular in the Roman, Greek and Egyptian eras. Ancient philosophies preach the importance of cleansing the mind, body and spirit through connecting with Mother Earth and the world's energy, such as "Earthing," which promotes direct contact with the earth's electron-rich surface. The premise of Earthing is that grounding the body to the earth's surface, most commonly done walking barefoot, stabilizes natural electrical rhythms and reduces disease-causing inflammation. The ancient Egyptians, Romans and Greeks not only practiced Earthing, but also enjoyed hot and cold water treatments, followed by aromatic massages with fragrant oils, and had herbalists and apothecaries. Today, spa going is not so different from how it was in the olden days; the secret is to focus on being preventive instead of being reactive.
The historic practice of Feng Shui, which originated in the mountains of China over seven thousand years ago, and the Ayurvedic traditional medicine of India, which originated over five thousand years ago, both emphasize reestablishing balance in the body through diet and exercise, and on the health of the mind, body, and spirit. There are still certain regions of the world where large quantities of the population still rely on traditional medicine practices for most of their primary health needs. Due to these many examples along with overwhelming research, the modern day spa industry consistently utilizes not only older methods, but also revised, contemporary versions of the ancestor techniques. Spa trends also continue to utilize eco-friendly ingredients with real benefits, along with genuine ancient practices that will leave you more enlightened coming out than when you went in.
The vigor of the hotel industry lounges in its ability to stay one step ahead of its patrons by anticipating their needs, and delivering the right amount of a unique environment with relaxation and feel-good benefits. Of all the trends in the hotel industry, however, none is more significant than the expansion of the wellness movement. The hotel spa and gym facilities have traditionally been considered mere amenities, so the emphasis now is on providing wellness-focused experiences, along with "wellness everywhere" environments for fitness-minded guests. Companies are launching new hotel brands themed entirely around the concept of health and wellness, while other major hotel chains are rebranding their properties to offer similar, health-oriented amenities.
A few of these health services include personalized spa menus, free fitness gear, wake up light therapy, air purification and aromatherapy, vitamin C-infused showers, and wellness videos. The increased emphasis on health and fitness underlines the importance of spas in hotels, and the spa's value in attracting and serving hotel guests. As a result, corporations are beginning to expand their menu of services. Resorts with spas are starting to make their spa facilities easier for everyone to access, as their accommodations are no longer created for hotel guests only. These vast spa investments cannot rely solely on in-house patronage anymore, and are striving to target the different markets that are available within the area, such as residents, visitors, even guests in neighboring hotels.
Spa resorts offer escapism from our stressful reality, however the key to infuse wellness in our lives is by focusing on creating a "Spa Haven" in our own space, because in reality, a rare few of us have the time and the checkbook to come in to the spa regularly. Spa living allows us to bridge the gap between our at home care and our next spa visit. A few examples of re-creating the ambiance that is found at high-end spas in your own home range from investing in color therapy showers, sound remedy programs, and home saunas, to diffusers, candles, and plush robes. Even simply researching wellness recipes and acquiring wholesome ingredients is an excellent start to begin your wellness journey.
The spa industry is the wellness movement, as it does not only educate and enlighten the consumer, but also carefully cradles the balance between ancient and modern healing therapies. Spas are integrating more ancient and authentic wellness traditions into their operations, including Roman and Turkish baths, Russian and Finnish saunas, and even the ancient Indian medical system of Ayurveda. The focus of the spa industry was about returning back to the basics, which demands simplicity and a chance to relax and let go completely. Spa goers want to choose authentic experiences unique to the spa location, and enjoy customized spa treatments that have been designed to tell a story, while honoring the host culture at the same time. In certain cases this goal creates a challenge for the spa, due to the resorts or hotels residing in remote and exotic places, as these unique locations often do not manufacture bath and body products that follow the expected quality guidelines of a high end spa.