Spa Programmes
On the menu

Spa Business reveals the tastiest wellbeing treatments, programmes and retreats that spas and wellness resorts are serving up

By Katie Barnes | Published in Spa Business 2018 issue 4



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23 Feb 2019 Spa Business: uniting the world of wellness
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Spa Business
2018 issue 4

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Spa Business - On the menu

Spa Programmes

On the menu

Spa Business reveals the tastiest wellbeing treatments, programmes and retreats that spas and wellness resorts are serving up

Katie Barnes, Spa Business

Yoga in a millennial thermal cave

  • Grotta Giusti, Tuscany, Italy
  • 50 minutes
  • €40 (US$47, £36) for group session or €90 (US$105, £80) private

Grotta Giusti, a historic spa retreat in Tuscany, Italy (see SB18/1 p72), is launching a yoga experience in its ancient cave which is heated by a subterranean hot spring lake. Practising yoga in the natural warmth of the underground labyrinth amplifies sensations, aids concentration and raises body temperature while guests benefit from the therapeutic effects of the cave’s thermal vapours.

The waters, rich in salt, sulphate and alkaline earth, are used to treat respiratory, circulatory, osteo-muscular, nervous system and skin complaints.

Napping oasis opens in New York City
Mattress firm Casper has created The Dreamery concept which it may rollout in workplaces and airports
Neil Parikh
  • The Dreamery, New York City, USA
  • 45 minutes
  • US$25 (€22, £19)

Mattress innovator Casper has opened The Dreamery, an on-demand napping facility in New York City’s SoHo neighbourhood.

Customers can book 45-minute sessions of downtime in one of nine private, cosy nooks – outfitted with Casper’s mattresses, pillows and sheets. They can also borrow constellation-print pyjamas from Sleepy Jones, and freshen-up afterwards with a face wash from Sunday Riley.

The Dreamery is designed with a starlit entryway and ‘dream-enducing’ mural. It will also be available to the community for events focused on sleep and wellness.

“The Dreamery is about making sleep and rest a part of our regular wellness routines – similar to how many people prioritise a workout class,” says Neil Parikh, co-founder and COO at Casper. “The concept enables us to pilot new ways of bringing better sleep to more people and more places – whether that’s here, the workplace, airports or beyond.”

Holistic African therapies at One&Only Nyungwe House
  • One&Only Nyungwe House, Rwanda, Africa
  • 60 minutes
  • US$130 (€114, £102)

The One&Only Nyungwe House in Rwanda opened in October with a spa embracing nature and local traditions.

The signature Intoga Amasatchi treatment is a 60-minute, deep tissue massage using hands and different sized sticks to stretch tight muscles and relieve toxic overload from daily stress. Traditionally the sticks, recognised as a valuable ‘energy of the earth’ tool, represented wisdom and direction to healers.

Additional treatments from organic South African brand Africology include an intuitive herbal oil massage designed to boost energy.

The 23-room resort is set in a tea plantation on the edge of the ancient Nyungwe rainforest and activities such as treehouse yoga and jungle bootcamp workouts take advantage of the location, alongside exciting experiences such as chimpanzee trekking, a canopy treetop walk and jungle stargazing.

Wellness programming for senior living
Equine therapy will be offered at 50-plus retirement communities
Amy McDonald
  • Watermark Retirement Communities, across the USA

Innovative wellness programmes such as equine and horticultural therapy are being created for Watermark Retirement Communities across the USA.

The company has retained Under a Tree Health and Wellness Consulting to develop the offerings which will be trialled at its newest community, The Hacienda at the River in Arizona, before rolling them out across its 52 existing sites and 10 pipeline projects as and when they open.

Under a Tree owner and CEO Amy McDonald says: “Watermark is transforming ageing, taking what we know of the best destination spas and their approach to caring for guests and integrating it into each community.”

McDonald will work on the concept, design and pre-opening for each new Watermark property as the company’s hospitality wellness expert.

Chiva-Som adds metabolic health assessment
Tests focus on levels of folate and how the vitamin is absorbed
  • Chiva-Som, Thailand
  • THB3,000, (US$90, €79, £71)

Thai destination spa Chiva-Som has revealed a range of treatments ahead of its November reopening (see p18), including a comprehensive assessment for metabolic health and detox.

The assessment hones in on cellular levels of folate – a vitamin which is essential for metabolism and detoxification, as well as a promoting a healthy nervous system.

It also tests for an MTHFR gene mutation which reduces a person’s ability to convert folate or folic acid. It’s estimated that up to half the population may have this common gene mutation which can ultimately impact how the body metabolises food, balances hormones and eliminates toxins.

The tests, carried out in collaboration with a local hospital, will be used to provide insights into treatment recommendations, diet and potentially a prescription of folic acid (a synthetic form of folate).

IV therapy launching at Niyama Private Islands
  • Niyama Private Islands, the Maldives
  • 45 minutes-1 hour
  • Price start at US$250 (€214, £190)

Drift Spa at Niyama Private Islands in the Maldives has teamed up with Beverly Hills IV Therapy to offer nine wellbeing-focused formulations.

Under the supervision of medical staff, nutrients, vitamins and antioxidants – designed to help with anything from jet lag, hangovers and anti-ageing to boosting the immunity – will be delivered into the bloodstream. Pricing starts at US$250 (€214, £190) for the Happy Hydration treatment with its revitalising blend of IV fluids and electrolytes.

“After 16 hours of travelling to paradise, the last thing you want is to lose days of enjoyment because you’re too exhausted,” says Beverly Hills IV Therapy CEO Deborah Alessi, who’s a frequent guest at the resort. “Guests can spend an hour at the spa getting a manicure and IV at the start of their stay and get all of the vitamins they need to strengthen the immune system, clear toxins and hydrate. It’s the perfect jump start to any vacation.”

Mandarin Oriental embraces Japanese hot stone therapy
  • Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong, China
  • 3 hours
  • HK$7,560 (US$967, €829, £739) Fri-Sun; HK$6,750 (US$864, €740, £659) Mon-Thur

A new 3-hour Eastern Experience journey at Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong is based on the Japanese hot stone practice of ganbanyoku.

During their spa journey, guests lay on a tenshoh seki bed which is made of natural lava rock heated to just over 44˚C. The rock is said to radiate far-infrared rays and emits negative ions to rebalance the body’s equilibrium.

The treatment continues with a soothing sakura (cherry blossom) or yazu (citrus fruit)-infused anti-oxidant shower, azuki bean scrub and Chinese meridian massage.

Extreme fitness at Anantara Al Jabal Akhdar
  • Anantara Al Jabal Akhdar, Oman
  • 2 days
  • £378++ (US$498, €424)

Oman’s Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar is pushing the mental and physical boundaries of its guests by taking on the very mountain it sits on. Perched on the cliff top overlooking the Al Hajar Mountain Range, the hotel offers an exhilarating approach to health with activities like local high altitude treks, traversing a 20m-long steel cable route at the side of the mountain and even abseiling down it.

A Two-Day Adventure & Fitness package incorporates mountain activities plus a Thai massage, sauna session and wellness breakfast.

Mythology treatments at Grand Hyatt Bogota
  • Grand Hyatt Bogota, Columbia
  • 4 hours
  • COP550,000 (US$183 (€156, £139)

Treatments at Zaitania Spa at the newly-opened Grand Hyatt in Bogota, Columbia have been influenced by the mythology of the local Muisca people.

Zaitania was the era in which the world was created, when the god Chibchacum breathed life into a quinoa seed and another of corn, creating Sua, the sun god, and Chie, the mood goddess.

Sua and Chie have inspired a morning and evening package. The longer 4-hour Sua treatment begins with a drink of chia and lemon water, followed by reflexology, a Turkish bath session and a water circuit accompanied by a therapist. Guests are then exfoliated with oil, sea salt and macerated quinoa before having a massage and mini facial and finishing up with a light lunch.

Product houses include native line Loto del Sur and global brands Sothys and Sisley.

Spa inspired by map making methods
Bonnie Baker
  • Hotel Cartesiano, Puebla, Mexico
  • 2 hours
  • MXN2,500 (US$132, €113, £101)

Spa consultant Bonnie Baker has created a spa in Mexico based on the Cartesian Method for map making – to “invite guests to delve within themselves, using a personal compass to create their own map to wellness”.

The Northern Alignment Ritual, at the boutique Hotel Cartesiano, for example, is designed to help guests find their own ‘magnetic north’ by focusing on expanding the breath, releasing physical and emotional blockages and connecting with the subconscious mind. It begins with a foot cleanse and energetic alignment, followed by a massage with rhythmic movements to stimulate acupressure points and bring inner awareness and a feeling of expansion in the body.

The idea is that all treatments allow guests to embark on their inner territory and to understand the connection between mind, body and emotions. “We tend to get a little bit stuck in our approach to life and forget about the infinite possibilities in front of us,” Baker says. “This is a place where people can not only connect with where they are, but see the possibilities in front of them – honouring the past and moving forward to the future”.

Spa inspired by map making methods
Sessions will be led by Tim Stoneman
Sandie Johanessen
  • Four Seasons Seychelles, Africa
  • 60 minutes or 90 minutes
  • €180 (US$212, £161) or €235 (US$276, £210) plus taxes

Four Seasons Seychelles is to offer hypnotherapy to help with anything from stress reduction, sleep issues and happiness through to relationships, phobias and weight-loss, as part of its new Visiting Masters programme. Hypnosis taps into the subconscious, allowing harmful, negative beliefs and behaviour patterns to be released and new, positive beneficial ones to be implanted.

The sessions will be led by Tim Stoneman who works with numerous high-end spa resorts across Asia. Stoneman also specialises in energetic emotional pain release and reiki healing.

Sandie Johanessen, Four Seasons senior spa director Middle East & Africa, says: “We are providing our guests with an alternative way to step back temporarily. Hypnotherapy allows introspection and aims to break bad habits and provide a better coping system for stress management. It helps us find balance in the modern world – where smartphones are pinging every five minutes – and this is something that’s good for our health and our relationships.”

Groupo Vidanta collaborates with Deepak Chopra
Deepak Chopra
  • Vidanta Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico
  • 4.5 hours
  • (US$378, €322, £287)

Integrative medicine specialist Deepak Chopra is to keynote at a conference and VIP dinner for Mexico’s Vidanta Nuevo Vallarta in November. He will speak about The Future of Wellbeing.

Chopra will be one of a number of speakers at the inaugural 4-day Vidanta Wellness Retreat which includes workshops, lectures and classes on everything from vegan cooking and healthy nutrition to sunrise and aerial yoga, paddle boarding and functional training camps. Spa-inspired cuisine, guided meditation and traditional temazcal healing experiences are also on offer.

The weekend retreat is available to both resort guests and members of the public via three packages. Access to just the Chopra conference and dinner costs MXN7,122 (US$378, €322, £287).

Originally published in Spa Business 2018 issue 4

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