Latest
issue
GET SPA BUSINESS
magazine
Yes! Send me the FREE digital editions of Spa Business and Spa Business insider magazines and the FREE weekly Spa Business and Spa Business insider ezines and breaking news alerts!
Not right now, thanksclose this window
Uniting the world of spa & wellness
Get Spa Business and Spa Business insider digital magazines FREE
Sign up here ▸
News   Features   Products   Company profilesProfiles   Magazine   Handbook   Advertise    Subscribe  
Spa People
Alla Sokolova

We’re thinking about wellbeing from the ground up … it’s not about creating a spa just because we need to have a spa


At the Hotel J in Stockholm, a new initiative has seen an atmospheric, turn-of-the-century villa onsite turned into a venue for cultural activities, with chamber music and other classical concerts for residents and guests alike – all with a focus on their health benefits.

Weekend retreats, like a Spring Awakening, hosted in collaboration with wellness practitioner Sophie Benge, combine wild herb foraging, meditation, treatments and cold-water bathing in the archipelago, to create a transformative experience.

These are all part of a series of programmes created by Alla Sokolova, who last year took on a new head of wellness role with Hotel J’s parent company, Nobis. Her brief is to bring more guests to the family-owned, contemporary group which owns nine hotels in Stockholm, Sweden and additional locations in Copenhagen, Denmark and Palma, Mallorca.

Sokolova – who herself is a cultural mix of Swedish, Russian and Latvian – grew up in Sweden, but had spent the past 16 years in Latvia, where she co-founded the Balans International Wellness Centre. She also co-authored a book with Benge delving into the healing traditions of central and eastern Europe (see www.spabusiness.com/healingsources).

Outside influences
With a deep understanding of the importance of Nordic heritage and connections with nature, Sokolova began her mission of positioning Hotel J as more of a destination. The property is set on an archipelago on the city outskirts and Sokolova uses the water, woods and seasons to her advantage to create numerous alfresco experiences.

Regular forest bathing sessions, as well as meditation and foraging outings, for example, are offered by herbalist and author Lisen Sundgren. The 2 to 3-hour experiences involve a deliberately slow walk in the trees where guests are guided in different exercises to engage their senses, then end with a ‘fika’, or tea ceremony, using locally foraged herbs.

“We’re thinking about wellbeing from the ground up,” says Sokolova, adding that there’s an emphasis on that elusive idea of happiness since Sweden is consistently placed in the Top 10 happiest countries. “It’s about creating experiences that will make our guests and ourselves feel better – it’s not about creating a spa just because we need to have a spa.”

To this end, Sokolova is also introducing wellness to business guests as the hotel has always been a popular setting for conferences. Breathwork has been the most popular add-on for this audience so far, but other optional extras include sauna rituals, yoga, mindfulness sessions and forest bathing – helping to create a sense of unity among team members and reduce stress and fatigue. “We’re bringing more health and wellness into conference rooms,” she explains. “We work with all kinds of companies and groups to develop mindfulness, to inspire and to help people see new perspectives.”

Local community
All of the programmes at Hotel J “have a very strong alignment with a sense of place and community and a real Swedish flair” says Sokolova, to help entice more locals.

The classical music concerts have had great feedback and attract up to 150 people each time – many from the capital which is only a short boat journey away. While pop-up programming by local wellness specialists, including sauna rituals and holistic pilates, keeps the offer fresh and interesting.

And on Saturday mornings, Hotel J hosts a breathwork and guided cold bathing session in the often icy waters of the archipelago – something that grounds guests in the location and offers a dramatic connection to nature, as they are quite literally immersed in the landscape. Sokolova has partnered with local company MindDate, whose coaches first teach the science and essentials of breathwork, then invite guests to use the powerful practice in a controlled cold exposure in the water. So far, more than 800 people have attended these sessions since they started offering them last summer.

However bringing wellness to all the Nobis properties will not look the same across the portfolio, as each of the nine hotels has its own identity; several are urban boutique hotels, and the company also has locations in Denmark and Mallorca. “Wellness will mean different things to every property,” says Sokolova. “We want to create an individual feeling for every brand and adapt to the location. It’s about meeting the guests where they are.”

Wellness is being used to position the Nobis J hotel as more of a destination Credit: photo: Nobis Hospitality Group
Classical music concerts attract up to 150 people at a time Credit: photo: Nobis Hospitality Group
Kitchen braving the icy waters of the Swedish archipelago Credit: photo: jane kitchen
Wild-herb foraging is a new feature Credit: photo: Jane Kitchen
Pop-up programming keeps the offer fresh Credit: Photo: Nobis Hospitality Group
The natural setting is used to create alfresco experiences Credit: photo: Nobis Hospitality Group
FEATURED SUPPLIERS

Advanced regeneration technology: enhance your skin's future with myLEDmask by myBlend
MyBlend’s innovative myLEDmask is the result of years of meticulous research and development in photobiomodulation, phototherapy and laser techniques by Dr Olivier Courtin and his team of experts. [more...]

Snow’s holistic cool-down: Embracing inclusivity in post-sauna rituals
In the world of wellness, the age-old tradition of sauna bathing is synonymous with relaxation, detoxification and rejuvenation. But, a crucial and sometimes overlooked part of the journey is the all-important cooldown. [more...]
+ More featured suppliers  
COMPANY PROFILES
Subtle Energies

Subtle Energies was founded in 1993 as a clinic by Farida Irani in Sydney Australia. [more...]
bbspa_Group

The technical advice offered by bbspa is delivered via four specialist departments which offer turn [more...]
+ More profiles  
CATALOGUE GALLERY
 

+ More catalogues  

DIRECTORY
+ More directory  
DIARY

 

17-17 Jul 2024

UK Spa Association - Summer networking event

Pennyhill Park , Bagshot, United Kingdom
28-29 Jul 2024

Les Nouvelles Esthetiques Spa Conference 2024

Southern Sun Rosebank, Johannesburg, South Africa
+ More diary  
 
ABOUT LEISURE MEDIA
LEISURE MEDIA MAGAZINES
LEISURE MEDIA HANDBOOKS
LEISURE MEDIA WEBSITES
LEISURE MEDIA PRODUCT SEARCH
 
SPA BUSINESS
SPA OPPORTUNITIES
SPA BUSINESS HANDBOOK
PRINT SUBSCRIPTIONS
FREE DIGITAL SUBSCRIPTIONS
ADVERTISE . CONTACT US

Leisure Media
Tel: +44 (0)1462 431385

©Cybertrek 2024
Uniting the world of spa & wellness
Get Spa Business and Spa Business insider digital magazines FREE
Sign up here ▸
News   Products   Magazine   Subscribe
Spa People
Alla Sokolova

We’re thinking about wellbeing from the ground up … it’s not about creating a spa just because we need to have a spa


At the Hotel J in Stockholm, a new initiative has seen an atmospheric, turn-of-the-century villa onsite turned into a venue for cultural activities, with chamber music and other classical concerts for residents and guests alike – all with a focus on their health benefits.

Weekend retreats, like a Spring Awakening, hosted in collaboration with wellness practitioner Sophie Benge, combine wild herb foraging, meditation, treatments and cold-water bathing in the archipelago, to create a transformative experience.

These are all part of a series of programmes created by Alla Sokolova, who last year took on a new head of wellness role with Hotel J’s parent company, Nobis. Her brief is to bring more guests to the family-owned, contemporary group which owns nine hotels in Stockholm, Sweden and additional locations in Copenhagen, Denmark and Palma, Mallorca.

Sokolova – who herself is a cultural mix of Swedish, Russian and Latvian – grew up in Sweden, but had spent the past 16 years in Latvia, where she co-founded the Balans International Wellness Centre. She also co-authored a book with Benge delving into the healing traditions of central and eastern Europe (see www.spabusiness.com/healingsources).

Outside influences
With a deep understanding of the importance of Nordic heritage and connections with nature, Sokolova began her mission of positioning Hotel J as more of a destination. The property is set on an archipelago on the city outskirts and Sokolova uses the water, woods and seasons to her advantage to create numerous alfresco experiences.

Regular forest bathing sessions, as well as meditation and foraging outings, for example, are offered by herbalist and author Lisen Sundgren. The 2 to 3-hour experiences involve a deliberately slow walk in the trees where guests are guided in different exercises to engage their senses, then end with a ‘fika’, or tea ceremony, using locally foraged herbs.

“We’re thinking about wellbeing from the ground up,” says Sokolova, adding that there’s an emphasis on that elusive idea of happiness since Sweden is consistently placed in the Top 10 happiest countries. “It’s about creating experiences that will make our guests and ourselves feel better – it’s not about creating a spa just because we need to have a spa.”

To this end, Sokolova is also introducing wellness to business guests as the hotel has always been a popular setting for conferences. Breathwork has been the most popular add-on for this audience so far, but other optional extras include sauna rituals, yoga, mindfulness sessions and forest bathing – helping to create a sense of unity among team members and reduce stress and fatigue. “We’re bringing more health and wellness into conference rooms,” she explains. “We work with all kinds of companies and groups to develop mindfulness, to inspire and to help people see new perspectives.”

Local community
All of the programmes at Hotel J “have a very strong alignment with a sense of place and community and a real Swedish flair” says Sokolova, to help entice more locals.

The classical music concerts have had great feedback and attract up to 150 people each time – many from the capital which is only a short boat journey away. While pop-up programming by local wellness specialists, including sauna rituals and holistic pilates, keeps the offer fresh and interesting.

And on Saturday mornings, Hotel J hosts a breathwork and guided cold bathing session in the often icy waters of the archipelago – something that grounds guests in the location and offers a dramatic connection to nature, as they are quite literally immersed in the landscape. Sokolova has partnered with local company MindDate, whose coaches first teach the science and essentials of breathwork, then invite guests to use the powerful practice in a controlled cold exposure in the water. So far, more than 800 people have attended these sessions since they started offering them last summer.

However bringing wellness to all the Nobis properties will not look the same across the portfolio, as each of the nine hotels has its own identity; several are urban boutique hotels, and the company also has locations in Denmark and Mallorca. “Wellness will mean different things to every property,” says Sokolova. “We want to create an individual feeling for every brand and adapt to the location. It’s about meeting the guests where they are.”

Wellness is being used to position the Nobis J hotel as more of a destination Credit: photo: Nobis Hospitality Group
Classical music concerts attract up to 150 people at a time Credit: photo: Nobis Hospitality Group
Kitchen braving the icy waters of the Swedish archipelago Credit: photo: jane kitchen
Wild-herb foraging is a new feature Credit: photo: Jane Kitchen
Pop-up programming keeps the offer fresh Credit: Photo: Nobis Hospitality Group
The natural setting is used to create alfresco experiences Credit: photo: Nobis Hospitality Group
LATEST NEWS
Rugby legend Jonny Wilkinson joins the speaker lineup at the HCM Summit to share insights into his journey to health and wellbeing
Rugby legend, Jonny Wilkinson has been announced as a keynote speakers for the HCM Summit on 24 October in London.
Woodland Spa to double footprint with £16m revamp, set to complete in August
The Woodland Spa, a premier UK day spa located in Burnley, Lancashire, is set to unveil the results of its £16 million (US$20.5 million, €18.9 million) transformation this August.
Therme creating ‘natural-healing urban oasis’ in South Korea, eyes further locations in Asia and US
Global wellbeing organisation Therme Group is on a mission to make wellness accessible to all and is expanding globally, bringing its social spas to the US, Canada, the UK and now South Korea.
Prime IV Hydration & Wellness unveils Nashville location amid plans for 97 new franchise spas this year
Nutrient vitamin IV therapy franchise, Prime IV Hydration & Wellness, is accelerating its expansion across the US, having recently launched its third location in Nashville's Green Hills area.
Third Space is on a roll with the second of three 2024 club launches
Third Space is celebrating the launch of its 11th club in London at the historic Battersea Power Station development.
SwellSpa taps AI to deliver nature-based sound therapy for spa treatment rooms
Sound wellness company Swell has launched AI-generated music solutions for spas and hotels, scientifically proven to improve wellbeing.
Elaine Jobson, CEO of Jetts, publishes high performance management book
Happy staff make more profitable businesses is the message of Jetts CEO, Elaine Jobson’s new book High Performance through Happy People.
Restorative wellness retreat opens at Grand Hotel Son Net in foothills of Mallorca’s Tramuntana mountain region
Grand Hotel Son Net – a stylish, art-filled Mallorcan boutique hotel – has launched a brand-new spa and wellness area, after reopening in 2023.
GWI publishes Wellness Policy Toolkit to help address global mental health crisis
The Global Wellness Institute (GWI) has released a new report emphasising the critical role of mental wellness in supporting overall mental health.
Submersive's psychedelic bathhouse concept fusing wellness, art and tech to arrive in 2026
In 2026, the traditional bathhouse experience will get a futuristic twist with the arrival of Submersive – an innovative concept combining classical spa therapies with art, AI technology and multimedia effects.
Fountain Life to operate Sbe's flagship 'six-star longevity centre' opening in LA later this year
Lifestyle hospitality company Sbe is branching into longevity and wellness with a new brand of properties – the first of which will open in LA’s Century Plaza development by the end of 2024.
Walking 10,000 steps daily confirmed to reduce health risks of inactivity, say Australian scientists
A new study by the University of Sydney is one of the first to objectively measure whether daily steps can offset the health risks of sedentary behaviour.
+ More news   
 
FEATURED SUPPLIERS

Advanced regeneration technology: enhance your skin's future with myLEDmask by myBlend
MyBlend’s innovative myLEDmask is the result of years of meticulous research and development in photobiomodulation, phototherapy and laser techniques by Dr Olivier Courtin and his team of experts. [more...]

Snow’s holistic cool-down: Embracing inclusivity in post-sauna rituals
In the world of wellness, the age-old tradition of sauna bathing is synonymous with relaxation, detoxification and rejuvenation. But, a crucial and sometimes overlooked part of the journey is the all-important cooldown. [more...]
+ More featured suppliers  
COMPANY PROFILES
Subtle Energies

Subtle Energies was founded in 1993 as a clinic by Farida Irani in Sydney Australia. [more...]
+ More profiles  
CATALOGUE GALLERY
+ More catalogues  

DIRECTORY
+ More directory  
DIARY

 

17-17 Jul 2024

UK Spa Association - Summer networking event

Pennyhill Park , Bagshot, United Kingdom
28-29 Jul 2024

Les Nouvelles Esthetiques Spa Conference 2024

Southern Sun Rosebank, Johannesburg, South Africa
+ More diary  
 


ADVERTISE . CONTACT US

Leisure Media
Tel: +44 (0)1462 431385

©Cybertrek 2024

ABOUT LEISURE MEDIA
LEISURE MEDIA MAGAZINES
LEISURE MEDIA HANDBOOKS
LEISURE MEDIA WEBSITES
LEISURE MEDIA PRODUCT SEARCH
PRINT SUBSCRIPTIONS
FREE DIGITAL SUBSCRIPTIONS