All's well in the wellness sector
Spas used to be little more than a couple of converted hotel rooms, with in-house guests as the main clientele. Now, spas are often the crown jewels of many resorts, says Greg Payne, Amanresorts spa director.
"A lot of spa development focuses on size, with bigger often seen as better," he adds.
Payne says Amanresorts has taken a mindful approach that includes movement and alignment, all-natural spa products, and natural surroundings and facilities.
"Wellness is really about good health, which in turn is the result of movement, mindfulness, nutrition and therapies that can release deep-seated tension," Payne says. "What we are seeing is a movement towards therapies that work at this deeper level to supplement the more traditional treatments that provide a sense of relaxation and of unwinding."
Amanresorts runs 25 resorts in 16 countries including Thailand, France, Morocco, Turkey and the United States.
For Ravi Chandran, senior vice-president and managing director of spa operations for Banyan Tree Spas and MD of Laguna Lang Co, travel trends today reveal a convergence of health, travel and hospitality.
"The spa industry is emerging to fulfil these needs by embracing wellness and focusing on experiences," Chandran says. "Discerning guests are increasingly visiting spas for holistic wellness and pampering on top of basic relaxation. It has become a popular activity for many in their quest for a healthy and balanced lifestyle."
As premium spa facilities become de rigueur in luxurious properties, Chandran expects spas to remain a crucial factor in vacation planning. His company has close to 70 spas in around 30 countries under the Banyan Tree Spa, Angsana Spa and Elements Spa By Banyan Tree brands. It plans to boost this to over 100 spas in the next few years.
Chandran cites the Banyan Tree Spa Macau, with its 21 treatment rooms offering signature beauty, health and wellness therapies, and products.
"It features time-honoured Asian beauty traditions and treatment techniques performed by professional therapists who are graduates of the Banyan Tree Spa Academy," Chandran says.
Banyan Tree Spa emphasises consistency in service delivery, so each therapist undergoes over 350 hours of rigorous training at its spa academy. It also practices a non-clinical 'high-touch, low-tech' approach - no machines - in all its treatments and facials.
"It celebrates the human touch through the rigorous training of our therapists. Guests will reawaken their senses by the intuitive touch of the therapists, with natural ingredients such as herbs, spices and aromatic oils," Chandran says.