- The rise of Touchless treatments
With staffing an ongoing challenge for spas, operators are continuing to source and implement a range of results-driven non-touch treatments which work across body and mind. Examples include new innovations like the Wave Touch Massage at the North Lakes Hotel & Spa in the Lake District. The Wave Touch Massage immerses spas guests into a state of weightless bliss as warm water jets provide a full or partial body massage, easing tension and promoting relaxation.
For those that suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD), the Aquasun experience at Donnington Valley Hotel & Spa in Newbury, offers a warm salt water bath which gently massages the body to boost circulation, disperse toxins whilst nourishing dry skin conditions. A low level UV canopy overhead provides an essential source of vitamin D.
At the Manor House Hotel in East Cheshire, the 30-minutes Salt Shed experience provides guests with an automated guided meditation in the relaxing 40-degree heat of the Himalayan Salt Sauna.
- Music is taking centre stage
Music in spas used to be an afterthought. With the entry of companies like Myndstream (part of the Cutting Edge Group –producers of music for some of the biggest names in TV and Film such as Stranger Things, Whiplash and Bridgerton), the significance of music has begun to play a pivotal role in creating memorable and immersive experiences. Freddie Moross, Founder of Myndstream says “Spa music is no longer just about background ambiance; it’s about crafting authentic audio experiences that connect with the essence of the spa and its surroundings and deliver health and wellbeing outcomes. In 2024, we’ll see a growing emphasis on incorporating the sounds of nature, local culture, and the spa’s unique ambiance into the music design to enhance the spa’s overall brand identity and client experience.”
- Collective wellness emerges to foster connection
While self-care remains important, there’s also a growing demand for experiences that foster connection and community. Expect to see more group programmes, sound baths, and even communal dining experiences offered at spas and wellness hotels. European Spa magazine’s publisher, Sarah Camilleri says “As spa reflects life, people need connection, resilience and tools to create their best lives…the most innovative spa destinations are creating extraordinary and immersive programmes to answer this call”
- Stepping into your Discomfort Zone
Life has become increasingly more comfortable but this doesn’t seem to have translated into happier, more satisfied public. With more people than ever suffering burnout (particularly the under 30s and women*) spas are responding with stress relieving therapies and treatments which take guests out of their comfort zone. Cryotherapy and cold water bathing experiences are growing as are more extreme ways of letting go such as ‘Scream Therapy’ which recently launched at Armathwaite Hall Hotel & Spa in the Lake District.
*source: future forum
- Personalised spa experiences
With diversity and inclusivity an important part of feeling relaxed during your spa day, spas are looking at ways they can meet the demands of specific demographics. Carden Park in Cheshire is looking at trialing women’s only spa days in 2024 and more spas are tailoring their wellness experiences and treatments to increase the number of men visiting spas.
Digital spa experience and booking agency Spabreaks.com has reported a 346 per cent increase in male spa bookings since 2019. The insights, derived from the company’s booking and platform data, reveal men across the UK are turning to spas to support both their physical and mental wellbeing.
In an interview with Leisure Opportunities, Spabreaks founder, Abi Selby, commented: “When it comes to men in spas, the challenge across the years has been changing the way we think about spas and making it clear that they’re a space for everyone to enjoy, men included. I think men feel pressure to push through when they’re struggling. While it’s not the solution to all things, taking time to relax and proactively doing things to relax the body and its corresponding impact on mental and emotional health can make a huge difference.”