As the wellness-travel sector continues to grow globally, hotels and resorts are launching new offerings, properties are building fancy new spas or enhance their existing ones, and tour operators are introducing new wellness-themed excursions. What it means for the travel agent is more product to sell, in more destinations and across the gamut of special interests.
Here’s a roundup of spring/summer news:
Ritz-Carlton launches new spa concept
The Ritz-Carlton has launched a new concept for The Ritz-Carlton Spa brand, beginning with 20 hotels and resorts including those in New Orleans, Fort Lauderdale, Amelia Island, Moscow, Vienna, Cairo, and Budapest.
Inspired by local culture, indigenous rituals, and natural and organic ingredients and solutions, it offers spa guests the opportunity to experience a connection to the destination they are visiting.
At The Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain, for instance, a treatment called On the Banks of the Dead Sea harnesses the highly re-mineralizing and detoxifying properties of Dead Sea salts. Five new Russian treatments were developed for The Ritz-Carlton, Moscow, incorporating organic Siberian honey. And, in Louisiana, The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans’s Voodoo Massage evokes the magical and mystical soul of New Orleans by using aromas of incense and voodoo chants to set the mood.
Hotels and resorts roll out multi-day wellness programs
Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica on Peninsula Papagayo has launched the first phase of its Pura Vida for All Wellness Program. Designed as a preview to the full program that is set to launch in early 2017, phase one is a four-hour session inspired by the “pura vida” lifestyle for which Costa Rica is known.
Created exclusively by and for Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica, the initiative brings together the principles behind the countries' secrets to living longer, healthier, and happier. When fully implemented, it will include a personalized consultation with a wellness concierge; a class on local natural remedies; and activities including yoga, guided meditation, the signature Pura Vista Climb stairway challenge, a stand-up paddle boarding class, and pilates. A “voluntourism” initiative is also being worked into the wellness program.
The Aman hotel chain in early August will roll out Aman Wellness at several of its 30 hotels and resorts around the world. The program will offer Individual Wellness Immersions personalized to each participant’s specific intention, plus a series of Group Retreat Experiences headed by globally celebrated health specialists.
The first Individual Wellness Immersions will launch at two of Aman’s flagship properties: Amanpuri in Phuket, Thailand, will offer programs ranging from 3 to 14 nights, and Amanbagh in Rajasthan, India, will offer 4- to 21-night programs. The Immersion programs will be complemented by the Group Retreat Experiences scheduled throughout the year and ranging from 3 to 10 days.
The brands’ three resorts in Bali will host Aman Wellness retreats in August, September, and October, while other Aman properties are scheduled to jump on the wellness bandwagon later in the year.
Viceroy Zihuatanejo, on Mexico’s Pacific coast, has added a multi-faceted wellness program called the Way to Wellness, directed by Edward Taub, M.D., a wellness pioneer.
Launched in April, the program already has expanded to include a Vegan Market Excursion, at which participants accompany executive chef Eduardo Avila to Zihuatanejo’s bustling central market to meet and chat with local farmers, sample a variety of organic products, and shop for ingredients to prepare a special lunch back at the resort.
Program components include mindful meditation, healing spa treatments, exercise sessions, hands-on cooking classes, and menus based on fresh fruits, vegetables, and fish. Full vegetarian and vegan menus are also available.
Key staff members—including the executive chef, yoga and meditation instructors, and spa therapists—are certified as wellness practitioners by Dr. Taub’s Wellness Medical Institute.
New resort with a showpiece spa in Mexico
Scheduled to open in October on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, a 25-minute drive from Merida in the heart of the Mayan forest, Chablé Resort will be a luxury property with 38 one-bedroom casitas, two three-bedroom presidential suites, and a showpiece spa. Built next to a cenote (natural cave formation believed to be sacred to the Mayans), the spa will house nine treatment rooms and offer a wide range of Mayan-inspired spa treatments. Amenities include a salt cabin, a floatarium, a water circuit, a yoga/meditation room, and a garden kitchen for guests interested in learning about and preparing their own aromatherapy products.
Wellness activities will include hiking, cycling, cooking classes, and yoga.
Tour operator introduces detox-themed excursions
With offices in Australia, Canada, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United states, Intrepid Travel has launched a series of 7- to 10-day Detox Tours for those wanting to disconnect from their omnipresent digital devices and take a more mindful approach to connecting with the world.
The company has transformed four of its most popular destinations—Ecuador, Thailand, Morocco and India—to create tours that are free phones and cameras. “Research shows people on a Digital Detox develop deeper friendships and participate in more meaningful conversations—and it has important mental health benefits,” the company said.
New wellness collection for travel consortium
Travel Leaders Group’s Hotel Division has introducing a Select Wellness Collection with an introductory portfolio of 40 hotels and spa resorts, to address the growing demand for a wellness product among agents and their clients.
Anne Dimon is Travel Market Report’s wellness travel contributor and the founder/editor www.traveltowellness.com