European Spa magazine - Spring Issue 91

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The singular wellness vision of Naturhotel Forsthofgut, Austria


The best therapist-free treatments on the market


Psilocybin and the magic of mushrooms in the Netherlands


European Spa launches a new spa industry handbook


European Spa goes platinum

This spring we proudly launched the new European Spa Platinum Resource 2024 at Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London (p14). We were delighted to host a glittering guest list from across the industry, including an incredible number of notable spas, brands, expert suppliers, designers and investors. If you have not yet read the European Spa Platinum Resource 2024 please click the link on the following page to sign up for your free copy.

Meanwhile, this special spring issue of European Spa magazine brings you a collection of five fantastic spas (p78) as well as an exploration of the conscious connection to nature delivered by our cover spa, the wonderful waldSPA at Naturhotel Forsthofgut in Austria (p20).

Tracking the latest shifts in wellness demand, we look at the effect that the rise of non-alcoholic drinks is having on spa F&B offerings (p90) and present the best in touchless treatments (p40). While advances in technology and equipment innovation are widening spa programming, therapists remain firmly at the heart of every spa experience, so we welcome massage expert Beata Aleksandrowicz to remind us of the true value of compassionate touch (p68).

Exploring new frontiers in mental health, Well Intelligence founder Anni Hood reports from Beckley Retreats in the Netherlands on the benefits of psychedelic medicine (p72), while Mark Smith meets Ruby Wax to find out about her retreat collaboration with Broughton Sanctuary, UK (p96). We hope you enjoy all the inspiration and innovation we share in this edition and look forward to hearing your news and plans for renewal this spring. 4
Welcome ISSUE 91 | SPRING 2024
Image courtesy of Engel Ayurapura, Italy, selected as one of our Five Spas to Watch for spring (p78)

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Meet the team

European Spa is the No.1 business magazine for spa and wellness leaders

Sarah Camilleri

Editorial director & publisher

A respected magazine editor with over 30 years’ experience, Sarah founded European Spa in 2007 to help the spa industry grow and flourish. An influential voice in the global wellness community, she serves on the advisory board of the British Beauty Council and supports the Global Wellness Institute’s Living Well From Within coalition.

Mark Smith


The founder of UK meditation concept Kalm Horizons, Mark has contributed beauty and wellness news to European Spa and for over a decade. In this issue he takes a tour of five of the best new spa openings from Italy to Finland and brings us the latest treatment and product innovations.

Wendy Golledge

News editor

Constantly up to date with the latest spa trends, property openings, redevelopments and appointments, Wendy visits Naturhotel Forsthofgut in Austria and compiles a showcase of the best touchless treatment technologies available to spa operators. She also highlights the best new spa furnishing releases.

With thanks to our expert contributors...

Emlyn Brown

Global senior vice president Well-being (strategy, design and development), Accor

With a role that focuses on Accor’s Luxury & Lifestyle division, including the Raffles, Fairmont, Sofitel and MGallery brands, Emlyn shares his thoughts on sleep enhancement for hotels and spas.

Beata Aleksandrowicz

Massage expert

Anni Hood Founder, Well Intelligence

Deputy editor

Mark Smith

News editor

Wendy Golledge

Art director

Richard Page

Production and online editor

David Fagan

Production and proofing

Angela Sharpe

Accounts manager

Julie Jones

An author and global educator on massage, healing and wellbeing, Beata answers our questions on the topic of the power of touch – something that is becoming of increasing importance in light of the current boom in touchless treatment innovations. Spa

A global thought leader, wellbeing adviser and strategist, Anni advises and supports organisations seeking to nourish their workforce. In this issue she visits Beckley Retreats in the Netherlands to discover the benefits of psychedelic medicine on wellbeing. 8
Publishing Ltd Registered in England. Company No.
On the cover: Naturhotel Forsthofgut, Austria
Editorial director & publisher Sarah Camilleri


Guests are immersed in nature at Naturhotel Forsthofgut, Austria



Inextricably linked to nature, the philosophy at this family-run hotel has evolved with significant wellness investment. We explore the pioneering forest spa and its comprehensive offering


With psychedelic-based medicine becoming more established as research confirms its various positive effects, Well Intelligence’s Anni Hood asks if psychedelic retreats are a new frontier for improving mental wellbeing


Spa investment and innovation is pushing ever forward and global beauty brands are making their mark with branded luxury spa offerings and exclusive partnerships. We spotlight the best recent openings, including Engel Ayurpura and Casa Cipriani Milano in Italy; Les Couvent des Minimes Hotel & L’Occitane Spa, France; Maria Spa at Hotel Maria, Finland and Guerlain Spa at One&Only Aesthesis in Greece



To celebrate the launch of a our latest publication, which stands as a new home of spa intelligence, European Spa held a glittering party at Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London, attended by a ‘who’s who’ of spa expertise and leadership


Emlyn Brown, global senior vice president Well-being (strategy, design and development) at Accor highlights opportunities in the sleep market


Enabling spas to better manage staff flow, therapist-free treatment options maximise service time and introduce new revenue opportunities. We highlight 11 of the best options available


Beata Aleksandrowicz, author and global educator on massage and wellbeing, discusses the importance of touch as the cornerstone of spa services 10 Contents ISSUE 91 | SPRING 2024
xx 78 40 20

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Patricia Fisas, senior vice-president of research and innovation at Natura Bissé Group, explains the science behind how spa treatments can improve self-esteem and wellbeing


Dr. Philippe Allouche, co-chairman, head of creation and research and development at Biologique Recherche, discusses the global brand’s new innovation in bodycare


Laura Meeson, director of spa at hotel technology provider Journey, outlines how spas can use technology to seamlessly personalise the guest experience


Longevity Spa is an off-the-shelf solution for spa operators wanting to offer guests more, says Francesco Rinaldini, business development manager at Starpool

70 GROUND WELLBEING: SINCERE WELLBEING THROUGH ADVANCED MASSAGE GROUND Wellbeing founder Peigin Crowley explains how the brand’s purpose-driven treatments address common issues impacting spa therapists and their guests



Our round-up of the best new products and treatment innovations begins with an exploration into how L’Occitane’s multisensory Listen & Feel Massage aims to enhance emotional wellbeing and balance energy


Delving into the ever-widening world of wellness, we look at how sober-curious guests are demanding greater variety in the realm of spa F&B, while Ruby Wax tells us about her latest retreat offering, ‘Keeping it real in a frantic world’


A selection of the latest stylish equipment and leading-edge technology, including the innovative MLR Transform from Gharieni Group and the Assisted Stretch Pod from Proverb 12 European Spa magazine is published by Spa Publishing Ltd. The Publisher has taken all reasonable measures to ensure the information detailed in European Spa magazine is correct at the time of publishing, and while every care is taken to avoid inaccuracies the Publisher does not accept responsibility for any errors or omissions from any information within this digital edition. Views expressed in European Spa are not necessarily those of the Publisher or Spa Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved, reproduction in whole or part without the Publisher’s permission is strictly prohibited. © Spa Publishing Ltd 2024
ISSUE 91 | SPRING 2024
90 99 xx 32 70


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The launch: European Spa Platinum Resource 2024

The who’s who of spa industry VIPs joined us at the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park London, to celebrate the launch of our new handbook, which is ‘the home of spa intelligence’

Celebrating industry innovation and success, VIP spa leaders from across Europe gathered at Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London for the launch of the European Spa Platinum Resource 2024

European Spa’s new yearbook – the home of global spa intelligence – showcases wellness leadership, spas, trends and brands to watch for in the coming year and beyond.

“Wellness is now an essential pillar for hospitality brands – getting spa services and wellness right is the highest form of hospitality and requires dedication, experience and the latest information,” said Sarah Camilleri, editorial director and founder of European Spa magazine.

“I have devoted 20 years as a business journalist to track spa leadership, industry developments and the destinations shaping the future. This set the vision for European Spa magazine back in 2007 and remains at the heart of all the news and expert content we work to deliver today.

“As a respected spa business resource, 14 European Spa Platinum Resource 2024 launch event
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PHOTOGRAPHY : Nigel Chapman

European Spa Platinum Resource 2024 launch event

1. European Spa’s Wendy Golledge, Mark Smith and Sarah Camilleri

2. The event was held in the ballroom of Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London

3. Sarah Ronchetti, TempleSpa; Jaclyn Hughes, UK Spa Association; Sarah Tester, Lifehouse Spa; and Victoria Dello Ioio, Sothys

4. European Spa Platinum Resource 2024

5. Don and Sarah Camilleri

6. Yuki Kiyono of Aman Resorts with Mark Smith

7. The well-attended launch party was a celebration of the spa industry

8. Hydrafacial’s Zoe Williamson, Hilton’s Louise Moore and Anna Histed from Lemi Group

9. Stephanie McKenzie, ESPA; Noella Gabriel, Elemis; and Danny Golby, ESPA

10. Spa directors enjoying the opportunity to network at the launch event 15
10 8 9 7 6

European Spa Platinum Resource 2024 launch event

European Spa is here to help spa leaders worldwide connect, learn and share thought leadership so our industry can thrive and prosper.”

The new European Spa Platinum Resource 2024 has been designed to serve as the ultimate companion for spa business success. Inside you will find so much information to help you run your spa business in 2024 and beyond.

“European Spa would like to thank all the industry experts who contributed to making the Platinum Resource such a valuable and successful publication,” said Sarah. “We look forward to compiling the 2025 edition later this year to continue to serve the industry and all those who work in it.”

n To download your free copy – sign up at: com/2024platinumresource

n You can view the video of our launch event on the European Spa YouTube channel: www. 16
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European Spa Platinum Resource 2024 launch event

1. Jamie Pagan, Mandarin Oriental with Sarah Camilleri

2. Charmaine Harbour, Harbour Hotels and Robbie Leung, Pan Pacific London with Genesis Montanez-Valle, Harbour Hotels, Richmond

3. Seán Harrington, Elemis with spa consultant Siân Parry Jones

4. Lesley Bacon, Hand Picked Hotels and Oriele Frank, Elemis with Sarah Camilleri

5. Mark Smith welcomes attendees to the Platinum Resource launch event

6. Sarah Camilleri introduces the European Spa Platinum Resource 2024

7. Mehmet Er, Gharieni; Wendy Golledge and Zoe Williamson, Hydrafacial

8. Benoit Flament and Riadh Bouaziz of RKF Luxury Linen with Sarah Camilleri

9. Neilroy Gunn of Saint Associates with Alberto Apostoli, Studio Apostoli

10. Susan Morrissey of The Lanesborough London

11. Paula Perkins, Spa Consultancy 17
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European Spa Platinum Resource 2024 launch event

1. Charmaine Harbour with Sarah Ronchetti, TempleSpa, and Diane Hey, Armonia Training Academy

2. Sherrie Emery and Beca Tuffnell, Glow Bright Marketing

3. BC SoftWear’s Barbara Cooke (left) and Sam Cooke (right) with Sarah Camilleri and massage expert Beata Aleksandrowicz

4. Mark Smith and Jamie Pagan, Mandarin Oriental

5. Leon Trayling, ishga and Neil Fairplay, Sparcstudio

6. Emma Pridding, The Spa at Carden; spa industry expert Clare Dickens; and Erin Lee of the Touchless Wellness Association

7. Clair Davidson, Elemis, with Mark Smith and Katherine Pye, Wildsmith Skin

8. Yvonne Ebdon, UK Spa Association; Teresa O’Farrell, Dorchester Collection; and Holly Webster, Oskia

9. Dahlia Dean of Swissline with Peigin Crowley of GROUND Wellbeing

10. Lisa Buttle, Journey Hospitality; Diane Nettleton, Gaia Skincare; and Jessica Grant Sloyan, Lucknam Park

11. Kyode Walker, Hilton London Syon Park with Kent Richards, Six Senses

12. Spa training expert Jennifer Young; Flora Gandolfo, Frog and Wolf PR; Stella Photi, Wellbeing Escapes; and wellness and spa strategist Sheila McCann 18
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3 4 6 5 19 European Spa Platinum Resource 2024 launch event 11 12 10 9 8 7 20 Spa Spotlight Naturhotel Forsthofgut, Austria

Come to rest

Surrounded by the Leogang mountains in Austria, waldSPA at Naturhotel Forsthofgut has a wellness philosophy that is inextricably linked to nature. We find out what it has to offer 21 Spa Spotlight Naturhotel Forsthofgut, Austria

Naturhotel Forsthofgut has a singular vision for its guests – that every visitor, whether they experience waldSPA’s extensive thermal journey, try forest yoga or enjoy a treatment, should get in touch with nature and feel its strength. Located at the foot of the Asitz Mountain, part of the Rocky Mountains of Leogang, and enveloped between meadows and forests, it’s perhaps unsurprising that Forsthofgut’s philosophy focuses on harmony with nature, inviting guests to ‘breathe a sigh of relief’ and consciously experience their environment.

The Schmuck family has been running Forsthofgut for more than 400 years and the inherited knowledge of five generations is noticeable at every turn. The venue started life in 1617 as a farm and forestry business, then in 1905 the family turned the property into a hospitality destination. The foundations of the present-day hotel were laid in 1960 with the creation of two guest rooms, and Naturhotel Forsthofgut now has 109 rooms including 33 Nature suites, 42 Family suites and three Garden Loft suites. Last year the family invested £20m (€23.5m) in the main building and visitor numbers now total around 100,000 guest nights annually.

Europe’s first forest spa

It wasn’t until 2013 that the fifth generation of guardians, husband and wife team Christoph and Christina Schmuck, truly focused on wellness, launching Europe’s first forest spa and pioneering the ‘nature hotel’ concept. In 2016 the spa was enlarged and rebranded to waldSPA, adding an

“What motivates us at Forsthofgut is not the pursuit of higher, faster, further. Rather, we want guests to consciously experience a connection with nature.”
Christoph Schmuck Co-owner and managing director, Naturhotel Forsthofgut

800sqm family spa plus a 5,700sqm wellness retreat. Most recently, the waldSPA Lake House and Japanese onsen were added in 2021.

The 3,500sqm adult-only area has a large-scale thermal journey, supplied by Ruha, set across three floors and culminating in a rooftop hot tub and sauna with panoramic views of the Asitz Mountain. The journey gradually increases in temperature as guests ascend, beginning with a 35°C infrared salt cabin, 60°C bio sauna and forest fog steam bath, and 22
Spa Spotlight Naturhotel Forsthofgut, Austria
This page: the forest spa concept at Naturhotel Forsthofgut extends to outdoor treatments and yoga sessions

culminating in the 90°C Leoganger panorama sauna. There is a 25m sports infinity pool on the second floor, as well as a rock shower and forest tea lounge. The family forestSPA has a pool, water slides and a 24-hour 40˚C bio sauna to introduce children to sauna use. Pools are supplied by Eberl.

A wellness-first destination

Spa manager Lisa Markl spent three years working for Six Senses in Thailand prior to joining waldSPA. Her overarching concepts for the space are twofold – enabling deep relaxation and assisting guests with health issues. “Forsthofgut is a wellness-first destination. Wellness has been a significant cog in the Schmucks' hospitality wheel since 2013 and has led to a conscious and carefully considered expansion of the facilities,” she says. “I am working hard to encourage my team to see every guest holistically. So if, for example, someone comes to us with neck tension and pain, of course we can offer a massage, but what deeply relaxing thermal sessions can we suggest to eliminate stress beforehand or continue the benefits afterwards?”

The spa’s bespoke waldYURVEDA treatments 23 Spa Spotlight Naturhotel Forsthofgut, Austria
This page: panoramic views of the Austrian countryside from the rooftop pool and sauna and a cosy relaxation room

combine classic Ayurveda with Alpine forest offerings, such as oils from Tyrol, to create something completely unique to Forsthofgut. “We invite guests to approach nature in a gentle way and to trust in its effects,” says Markl. “The focus is always on individual needs – what is good for the guest right now, today, in this moment? That’s what matters.”

Japanese-Austrian fusion

The newest wellness addition, the Lake House, is conveniently connected to waldSPA by an underground passage. A giant relaxation lounge with 50 recliners and water beds leads to a 42°C onsen-style pool, adjacent to a natural, chemical-free swimming lake with an infinity pool and floating Finnish lake sauna – perfectly positioned so guests have uninterrupted mountain views.

“We have a passion for the Japanese culture and onsen bathing rituals, so created the Lake House to offer something not available anywhere

else in the area,” explains MD and owner, Christoph Schmuck. “It was a logical step to add AlpineJapanese fusion dining with the Mizūmi restaurant.”

With so many wellness offerings to choose from other than spa, and a clear focus on winter sports during the ski season, the team works hard to encourage guests to spend time in waldSPA.

“Every Monday there are cocktails in Botanist with the Schmucks, so I try to be present to reach as many guests as possible then,” says Markl, who has also worked closely with the hotel’s reception team to ascertain guests’ wellness motives on arrival and signpost them to waldSPA.

“Check-in is the best time to establish guests’ goals – it’s when we can uncover their motivation for choosing Forsthofgut,” she explains. “Increasingly we see guests seeking health and self-optimisation, above getting pampered. We spend time researching what’s new on the world wellness stage and 24 Spa Spotlight Naturhotel Forsthofgut, Austria
Clockwise from above left: Naturhotel Forsthofgut is a place for reflection; fresh produce is on the menu; waldSPA uses a selection of its own bespoke products sourced from the Tyrol


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Taking pride in therapist recruitment and training

All massage therapists at waldSPA are certified in medical massage. “We’ve also introduced extra training from external experts,” says Lisa Markl. “In November 2023, for example, we had osteopathy training, so therapists can now use manipulation techniques to offer adapted treatments.”

Markl says the waldSPA team is her proudest achievement to date. “I’ve grown a team of highly professional individuals who are experts in their field and work with passion in waldSPA. It’s these people who allow us to make every treatment a personal experience and every encounter memorable,” she says.

Flexibility and versatility is key to the spa’s approach. Therapists don’t just work in treatment rooms, they go into the forest to offer massages on the yoga platforms in the summer, for example, which is preceded by an ‘awareness hike’ to the site.

When it comes to recruitment, Christoph Schmuck adds that Austria is experiencing similar staffing difficulties to the UK. But the business has taken a direct and long-term approach to these difficulties. “We’ve just opened new staff quarters – the Forsthofgut Campus – with dedicated chefs, social and recreational facilities, just for our team, to help with retention,” he explains. “If we want staff to do good for our guests, we have to do good for our staff.”

“I’ve grown a team of highly professional individuals who are experts in their field and work with passion in waldSPA.”
Lisa Markl Spa manager, waldSPA

Sauna masters play a key role

Forsthofgut’s sauna infusion timetable is a key experience for guests, and the expert-led aufguss rituals on offer include:

n Sugar peeling

n Salt peeling

n Lemongrass infusion

n Ice ceremony

n Lavender and lemon infusion

n Birch tree ceremony

n Stone pine infusion 26 Spa Spotlight Naturhotel Forsthofgut, Austria

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A focus on facials

waldSPA has invested in a new open-plan faceBAR, located in the retail and reception area, which offers facial workouts and social treatments.

“I was keen to offer an approach to facials that was different to what we have in the treatment room – something social and more open that friends can experience together,” says Lisa Markl. “We offer faceYoga, faceHIIT and faceZination. It’s a unique feature for an Austrian spa.

“We use our own waldSPA products and include facial acupressure with Gua Sha derma rollers and ultrasound technology in the workouts to stimulate metabolism.”

Another recent addition are JetPeel treatments – a skincare innovation that uses cold high-pressure airflow to cleanse, exfoliate and revitalise the skin. This airflow contains tiny microdroplets to remove dead skin cells and simultaneously delivers active ingredients into the skin.

adapting everything to work alongside our nature ethos. The meTIME massage and the waldYURVEDA treatments are the spa’s most popular.”

A comprehensive approach to wellness Wellness doesn’t start and end in the spa; it reaches into every corner of Forsthofgut, with innumerable ways to foster mental and physical wellbeing woven into the hotel’s fabric. “There is a daily schedule of activities from tennis and mountain biking to runs, hikes and of course in winter, skiing,” says Schmuck. “In October 2022, we unveiled the Riding Stables with 12 horses, and we offer group or private lessons as well as hacks into the mountains.”

Even the children’s miniGUT zoo has a restorative, back-to-nature effect on adult visitors, with alpacas, goats, donkeys and babydoll sheep nudging guests for a mutually soothing stroke.

Movement and mobility are important aspects of Forsthofgut’s spa offer and there are packages that blend the two, combining personal training and treatments, for example. “The 18-person yoga studio 28 Spa Spotlight Naturhotel Forsthofgut, Austria

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is complemented by a smaller space and, in the summer months, we offer classes and one-to-ones on six local-spruce yoga shalas in the forest,” says Schmuck. The yoga sessions include Hatha, Yin and Power Vinyasa Flow. Schmuck’s newest innovation is a space dedicated to improving mental wellness. The Thoman Alm, unveiled in 2023 is an off-grid Alpine rustic hideaway, a hike away from the main hotel in a nearby valley. The hut sleeps up to 12 and has no wi-fi access, offering a distinctly meditative seclusion in line with the hotel’s natural ethos. “What motivates us at Forsthofgut is not the pursuit of higher, faster, further,” says Schmuck. “Rather, we want guests to consciously experience a connection with nature.”


Naturhotel Forsthofgut, Austria

Owners Christina and Christoph Schmuck

Managing director Christoph Schmuck

Spa manager Lisa Markl

Spa architect Geisler and Trimmel

Spa design and interiors Christina Schmuck and Katharina Naglich

Spa team 26 including 12 therapists

Spa size 3,500sqm

Treatment rooms 10 plus two faceBAR seats, two nailBAR seats and two outdoor platform massage beds

Thermal facilities Bio sauna, infra-red cabin, steam bath, ice fountain, panoramic sauna, onsen-style pool, floating Finnish lake sauna, family pine sauna, textile sauna

Furniture Made in Austria by Wittmann

Fitness equipment Technogym

Treatment beds Ionto Comed

Towels and robes Arteks

Thermal areas Eberl, Ruha

Uniforms Pure

Product partners Team Dr Joseph, waldSPA skincare, Madára organic makeup, Alpienne, OPI, b.well, Landsberg, Saint Charles 30
Spotlight Naturhotel Forsthofgut, Austria
Right from top: the spa's Finnish lake sauna; an outdoor infinity pool puts guests in touch with nature; an 18-person indoor yoga studio

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A new era of emotional beauty

Patricia Fisas, senior vice-president of research and innovation at Natura Bissé Group, explains the science behind how spa treatments can improve self-esteem and wellbeing

Natura Bissé has been at the forefront of research and innovation in the spa industry for decades. The power of touch has been at the heart of its skincare concept since 1979 and the brand has continually sought to elevate the guest experience.

To determine the efficacy and neuroscientific effects of its treatments, in 2016 the Spanish company set up a scientific research programme. Fast-forward to 2023 and the brand embarked on a new quest – to scientifically validate and quantify the power of touch and its ability to affect people’s sense of wellbeing.

Partnering with Starlab, a research institute specialising in neuroscience, and the University of Murcia, Spain, an ally of EUniWell, the European University for Well-Being, the study explored the physical and emotional benefits of spa treatments.

Thirty volunteers aged between 25 and 60 took part in the unique study. Participants experienced a signature Natura Bissé facial treatment that lasted 60 minutes and used no appliances. The power of touch was employed by therapists using Natura Bissé’s massage techniques with a selection of the brand’s skincare products and aromatherapy.

Four types of objective instrumental measurements and four subjective

“Our study quantifies the increase in wellbeing after enjoying a beauty treatment. It demonstrates that massages and spa experiences decrease cortisol levels and boost oxytocin.”

Patricia Fisas Senior vice-president of research and innovation, Natura Bissé

questionnaires were taken before and after the treatment to examine emotional state, perceived stress and self-esteem. The same was also taken before and after a control session with no treatment. 32
to Watch
Brands Patricia Fisas, Natura Bissé INTERVIEW BY MARK SMITH

The study, which measured brain activity (monitored by EEG), heart rate and biomarkers such as cortisol, alpha-amylase and oxytocin, among others, sought to scientifically prove the physical and emotional benefits of the brand’s treatments. It found that Natura Bissé spa rituals improved people’s sense of wellbeing by 67% – in addition to transforming their skin, improving relaxation and boosting their sense of self-esteem.

This research is powerful on many levels as it validates what many spa therapists and practitioners already know – that spa therapies offer real

transformational results for clients. It also helps to elevate the role of the therapist and the spa industry beyond pampering, proving that spa treatments can help to improve emotional and mental wellbeing.

We talk exclusively to Patricia Fisas, senior vice-president of research and innovation at Natura Bissé Group, about this research and what it means for the spa industry.

Why did you invest in this research?

As a skincare and wellbeing brand, our ambition has always been to help people look, but more importantly, feel better. We truly believe in emotional beauty and the connection between body-mind-soul.

That’s why, seven years ago, we began analysing brain activity, heart rate and skin reactions during our rituals to elevate our spa experiences to the maximum, emphasising the power of touch and demonstrating that not only do they transform the skin but also our emotions.

What does it demonstrate about the importance of the power of touch?

At Natura Bissé we have always highlighted something very precious and important to us: the power of 33
Brands to Watch Patricia Fisas, Natura Bissé This page: scientists’ research measured brain activity as part of Natura Bissé’s study into the power of touch

This page: founded in Spain in 1979, Natura Bissé has an established reputation for luxurious results-driven treatments

touch provided by the hands of aestheticians. Born as a professional skincare brand over four decades ago, we understand that the combination of their skilled hands together with our advanced cosmetics and protocols achieves transformative results: for people’s wellbeing and the skin’s health and appearance.

Our study quantifies the increase in wellbeing after going to the spa and enjoying a beauty treatment, but also confirms the boost in self-esteem. It demonstrates that massages and spa experiences decrease cortisol levels and boost oxytocin.

We hope that these findings encourage more people to visit the spa and take better care of themselves. Essentially, because we believe that to look good, we first need to feel good.

How should this elevate the position of spa and wellness industries?

The results demonstrate that the spa and wellness industries are about much more than beauty – something that

A global leader in innovation

Renowned for its innovative approach to skincare, Natura Bissé has been delivering results-driven skincare since its launch in 1979. Found in over 40 countries, the brand’s focus on the power of touch translates to more than seven million treatments delivered annually by professional therapists harnessing the quality of its products and experiences.

The brand has a global reputation for quality and it partners with leading hospitality brands, including, Nobu Hotels, Ritz-Carlton, Four Seasons and Jumeirah. In the UK it can be found at Grantley Hall, Chewton Glen, Wentworth Golf Club, The Grove, Rudding Park, the Savoy London and Pennyhill Park among other notable spa destinations.

can be understood as physical. Ours is not a frivolous or cliché sector. The positive effects that selfcare have on our mind and mood have been widely proven by neuroscience.

Our industry has deep implications; it can transform emotions and the way people feel and approach life. We hope that this study – and the fact that we have scientifically validated the power of touch – empowers aestheticians and therapists. We firmly believe that they play, and will play, a vital role in a society dominated by staggering levels of stress and anxiety.

What were the most surprising discoveries from the investigation?

When we designed the study, we knew that massage and the power of touch would positively influence the emotional state of the participants but quantifying this reality with almost 34
Brands to Watch Patricia Fisas, Natura Bissé

a 70% improvement in wellbeing delighted us immensely.

On the other hand, we were also pleasantly surprised to scientifically validate that going to the spa enhances self-esteem, mental wellbeing and the capacity to achieve goals. The new era of ‘emotional beauty’ has begun.

What can the wider industry learn from this research?

The beauty and wellness industries have a deep understanding of the power of touch. We hope that this study helps us believe in it even more. By doing so, the industry would be able to view new technologies as allies rather than threats.

A good example is the Mindful Touch experience, which has been part of our study. It combines virtual reality with mindfulness – and, of course, the power of touch – to help clients connect with the present moment and enjoy spa experiences to the fullest.

Knowing that what we do can make a difference to people’s wellbeing will motivate us to strive for even greater excellence, more innovation and a deeper sense of touch in its broadest sense. And, most importantly, it will contribute to making us feel more fulfilled. 35
Brands to Watch Patricia Fisas, Natura Bissé This page: Natura Bissé treatments were scientifically shown to increase clients’ sense of wellbeing by almost 70%

Sleep is the key to wellbeing

Emlyn Brown, global senior vice president Well-being (strategy, design and development) highlights opportunities in the sleep market for spa destinations

There was a time when a hotel was merely a place to sleep at night while travelling away from home. But hotels have now become destinations in their own right – attracting locals and tourists to their world-class spas, restaurants, lounges and idyllic poolside locations.

create in our rooms and extending to the elements of the hotel that support the ability to achieve a night of rest.

Emlyn Brown


Emlyn Brown has led group operations of several leading luxury spa and fitness operators. During his time at Resense Spas S.A he was managing director of Asia, and he has held senior positions at Six Senses. His new role at Accor sits within the design and development side of the business, focusing on the group’s Luxury & Lifestyle division. This includes the brands Raffles, Fairmont, Sofitel and MGallery among others.

Hotels have also become places to live as well as to rest. Yet, as a 2020 research study led by Rebecca Robbins, PhD, division of sleep and circadian disorders at Harvard Medical School, confirmed, the experience of a satisfying night’s rest remains at the core of a successful hotel stay.

Sleep is central to the guest experience and a good or bad night not only impacts a guest’s day, it colours their entire stay and even their view of your brand. Accor has the most diverse portfolio of hospitality brands in the world – and among every one of them, sleep is the biggest contributor to wellbeing among our guests.

Going beyond bedtime

Hotels traditionally relied on items such as luxurious mattresses and linens to provide sleep support. But research suggests that how a person will sleep is determined by factors far beyond their bed. According to, what a person does during the day can determine how they sleep, including factors such as exposure to daylight, regular routines and stress levels.

Life is more pleasurable – and things more easily forgiven – after a good night’s sleep, while more things can go wrong when we are sleep deprived. Providing a restful and restorative sleep experience is one of the most important things we do as hoteliers, starting with the sense of wellbeing we

According to the National Sleep Foundation, the right light exposure plays a big part in helping manage your circadian rhythm. It’s also a super influential factor for your overall sleep health. In-room black-out curtains are important at night, but programmes such as sunrise yoga on the beach at Raffles Bali or a morning facial treatment in an oceanfront cabana at Fairmont Orchid’s Spa Without Walls in Hawaii, start the day strongly.

Recovery and rest

Sleep is fundamental to wellness and when we think about rest and recovery as the ‘compound interest’ of wellbeing – it adds up. Taking moments to rest during the day can calm the mind and restore energy, ensuring guests are not overtired or overstimulated at bedtime.

L’Occitane’s Rest & Reset signature treatment, offered at the spa at Sofitel Dubai The Palm, is a 90-minute massage endorsed by the European Sleep Center. It helps guests to recover from accumulated fatigue, restores the body’s sleep cycle and prepares them for an improved night sleep. Meanwhile, Raffles offers a Nutrition for Pleasure programme that incorporates teas and tinctures delivered by private butlers at pre-determined times to help with sleep and jet-lag recovery.

Incorporating and eliminating technology

The most impactful progress we’ve seen in recent years is how spas are integrating wellness therapies throughout the entire guest journey. The evolution continues with the 36 Business Insight Emlyn Brown, Accor

How to curate a sleep journey for your guests

n Sleep is a journey Start with in-spa massages or treatments that continue with takeaway amenities for private bathing, guided meditations or bedtime rituals in the guest room.

light masks or colour, sound and scent therapy allow customisation for how a guest relaxes and reduce daytime emotional and mental stress.

interface of technology and spa. Relaxation and sleep apps are being incorporated into spa treatments, while traditional spa experiences are becoming personalised guest room services or amenities.

The blue light of phones and TV screens disrupts natural sleep cycles, but many spas use smart technology that contributes to healthy sleep at night. Immersive experiences with sound and light therapy encourage biological responses that improve sleep, energy and mood; diffusers emit the scent of relaxing essential oils; and in-room Nordic hydrotherapy mixes aromatherapy showers with cold plunge ice baths.

The neuroscience of sleep

At The Purist Retreat & Spa, within Cures Marines Hôtel & Spa Trouville – MGallery Hotel Collection, guests can take neuroscience-based rituals to help them rediscover the pleasure of sleep and resynchronise their circadian rhythms. Morning or evening respirology classes are taught by coaches trained in the Lucas Rockwood method.

n More exposure Morning routines with exposure to early daylight are proven to support better sleep. Offer spa services outdoors, on rooftops, among the gardens, or by the pool.

n Micro-naps Private sleep chambers for short naps after treatments can help reset the body. Advise guests to limit naps to 20 minutes for optimal recovery.

n Tech support Treatments such as LED

n Sleep supplies Create a focal point of wellness products for in-room use, such as bath oils, relaxing teas, crystal eye masks, pillow mists, ear plugs, CBD products, light reading books – all to support healthy bedtime rituals.

n Partner up Collaborate with experts, such as the Novotel x CALM partnership, which provides bespoke meditative and relaxation content and night time stories for guests.

Firmly grounded in neuroscientific research, Rebalance Impulse sessions offer a guided neuromeditation with synchronised colour therapy, which enables deep relaxation to improve sleep quality, combat chronic stress and strengthen the immune system. For many guests, sleep comes easily. For others it is determined by complex physical, mental and emotional settings that we, as hoteliers and spa operators, can support. Accor was instrumental in moving hotel spas out from behind their walls – with more sensory lobbies, wellness programming and so forth. Now, as hotels go further to integrate spa treatments and philosophies all the way into guestrooms, we can create truly seamless wellness experiences. 37
Business Insight Emlyn Brown, Accor

Body perfect in 3D

Dr. Philippe Allouche, co-chairman, head of creation and research and development at Biologique Recherche, discusses the global brand’s new innovation in bodycare

Renowned for its results-driven approach to professional skincare, Biologique Recherche has a global reputation for excellence in personalised programmes.

Bringing together more than four decades of innovation, research and development, the brand takes a similar approach to bodycare. It offers diagnostic techniques to ensure that clients receive the most targeted, skin-appropriate products possible.

New for 2024, the team has developed a unique body-lifting product, Lift Buste 3D – a targeted serum formulated to firm and plump the skin of the décolleté and buttocks, offering a ‘push-up’ lifting effect.

Dr. Philippe Allouche, co-chairman, head of creation and research and development at Biologique Recherche, reveals more.

How does the Biologique Recherche body diagnosis process work?

Our bespoke body treatments are tailored to target specific areas. Each treatment can be applied to the entire body or only to selected zones. The skin expert will discuss what protocols best match the client’s needs, according to the duration of the chosen treatment.

If required, the therapist can perform a comprehensive personalised evaluation of how to treat specific areas of the body. This is carried out before the skin expert treatment and focuses on individual needs

such as weight loss, firmness or stretch marks.

As with our facial rituals, our body treatments follow a unique and meticulous Biologique Recherche methodology in three phases. The assessment phase analyses the specific needs of the skin; the initialisation phase prepares and balances the epidermis; and the treatment stage targets

each issue and treats it.

The assessment phase includes three components: an in-depth questionnaire, precise measurement with the Skin Instant Lab machine and a visual and tactile analysis of the body areas to be treated. The skin expert then devises and conducts treatments that are 100% personalised.

Why did you develop Lift Buste 3D?

We believe that personalising treatments with the right products and providing the proper protocols is key for delivering immediate and 38 Brands to Watch Biologique Recherche promotion

long-lasting results. Our expertise is not only focused on facial skincare but also on the body and the scalp to provide adapted treatments.

As a truly expert treatment, Lift Buste 3D is the new targeted serum to firm and plump the skin of the décolleté and buttocks, offering a ‘push-up’ effect. This is the first time we have combined a product focusing on the bust and bottom, adapted for sagging and volume-loss ‘Skin Instants’.

Our research and development team collaborated with a group of medical experts to test and validate the effectiveness of our serum and protocol with our Remodeling Face machine. Surgeons, oncologists, socio-aestheticians and gynecologistobstetricians were part of the medical expert group.

What are the key ingredients?

Highly concentrated in plumping and firming active ingredients, the bust and buttocks regain a voluptuous, fluid and shapely curvature from the very first month of use. Skin is smoothed, redensified and firmer, for a ‘natural bra’ push-up effect.

Arctic peptide and hyaluronic acid

“Lift Buste 3D is the new targeted serum to firm and plump the skin of the décolleté and buttocks.”
Dr. Philippe Allouche Biologique Recherche

have a plumping action and restore skin thickness while increasing hydration. Botox-like active ingredients deliver an immediate tightening effect, significantly reducing wrinkles and their depth. The décolleté is smoothed and

the micro-relief improved with visibly smoother skin. Organic silicon complex replaces damaged collagen fibres for firmer, more elastic and denser skin.

What are the key results and benefits of using the product?

The chest is plumped up, buttocks are resculpted and the curves are enhanced. There is a smoothing result that significantly reduces wrinkles and décolleté skin. Finally, there is a firming effect. The product prevents and corrects sagging and slackening of the skin. The chest is strengthened and enhanced. Buttocks are firmer.

How is Lift Buste 3D suited to professional application in a spa environment?

We have created a cabin treatment specifically for the bust and décolleté. It is also possible to use our Remodeling Face machine during the treatment to enhance the effect of Lift Buste 3D. This advanced bio-electronic treatment combines four currents that work together to improve the volume and light effect.

Only professional expertise, a thorough understanding of muscles, a precise methodology and a sense of volume and shape will allow us to make the most of the Remodeling Face machine’s functionality. This is an advanced bio-electronic treatment for tailored skincare for immediate and lasting results.

It is a firming treatment that tones the entire natural bra area (décolleté, chest and arms) of slackened Skin Instants. Bust skin feels lifted, firmer and plumper. Lift Buste 3D is also available in a 100ml retail size from April 2024.


To find out more about how Biologique Recherche can boost the results of your treatment menu, visit: 39 Brands to Watch Biologique Recherche promotion

The best touchless treatments

Touchless wellness technologies are advancing at pace. We explore what’s new to the market and the advantages for spas

Wellness practices such as gong baths, meditation and sound healing have been around for centuries, but touchless wellness treatments are now a rapidly growing offer within the spa industry. Having gained considerable traction after the pandemic, in the last 12 months advances in touchless technology have been prolific, increasing their benefit to spa businesses and their guests.

The new Touchless Wellness Association defines this category as any treatment, therapy or guest experience that delivers a selection of physical, mental, emotional and spiritual benefits to wellbeing without using direct physical touch.

Vibration, light, sound, scent and other alternatives to therapists’ hands are all employed in the newest technologies to provide these services. And guests are catching on, with spa booking agency Spaseekers’ 2024 Spa Trends

report stating that searches for touchless spa treatments were up 50% year on year.

What is driving the trend?

As well as enabling spas to better manage staff flow, therapist-free treatment options maximise service time and introduce new revenue opportunities. Furthermore, the related technology has developed so much that many spas are also now considering investing simply to enhance the touched experience.

Spas are creating engaging journeys that combine therapist-led treatments with touchless add-ons to keep guests engaged for longer. Touchless treatments can also be used to prepare guests for touch treatments and prolong their benefits.

We explore the latest innovations on the market and consider their USPs for providing a high-tech, no-touch treatment.

Business Insight The best touchless treatments 40

RLX Satori Wellness Lounger by Metawell

What is its USP?

Designed to improve both mental and physical wellbeing, the RLX Satori Wellness Lounger offers full-body vibration combined with healing binaural beats, while noise-cancelling headphones deliver music, sound and guided programming.

Key features

A sensory experience grounded in scientific research, the RLX Satori Wellness Lounger pioneers vibroacoustic therapies by combining binaural sounds amplified by the power of tactile frequencies to rebalance the user’s mind and body, helping with low energy, lack of sleep, anxiety and stress.

The programmes feature music and voice-guided meditation, designed to ease guests into a state of relaxation and optimum mindfulness, which can unlock the path for behavioural change including weight reduction and addictive behaviours.

The design enables zero-gravity body placement and the RLX Satori Wellness Lounger can be used fully clothed, so does not require a dedicated treatment room, offering spas the option to improve existing menu offerings with therapist free evidence-based wellness.

How much does it cost?

Starting from £16,897 (€19,800)

What should spas consider before investing?

Erin Lee, founder of the Touchless Wellness Association, a global organisation dedicated to advancing the field of touchless wellness

“Investing in touchless technologies benefits spas by supporting staffing, boosting efficiency, distinguishing businesses from their competitors, personalising experiences and offering adaptability.

“With thoughtful protocols, spas can optimise resources to meet evolving customer expectations. To ensure an investment is right for them and their guests, spas must first consider their existing experiences and treatments. Then establish whether touchless additions can integrate to form part of a meaningful guest experience – augmenting traditional therapies while benefitting staff wellbeing.

“Touchless technology investments can enhance efficiency and differentiation, and increase revenue and customer satisfaction.”

Business Insight The best touchless treatments 41

What is its USP?

Combining medical and wellness spheres in one offering, reLounge is a treatment couch that uses four proven methods to treat back pain in a system that feels like a therapist-led massage, leaving guests feeling stronger but relaxed.

Key features

Requiring no therapist input, reLounge can offer spa guests immediate pain relief and muscle relaxation, as well as strengthening benefits.

Created to target back pain, which affects 70% of people at least once in their life, reLounge incorporates muscle training through electronic muscle stimulation (EMS), pain relief with the help of transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), heat therapy at 40˚C and a soothing, deep massage. The design of the reLounge ensures guests are laid in an ergonomic position and the system can be placed in a treatment room, or as part of relaxation or lounge areas.

Operated at the touch of a button, reLounge is able to provide a complete back training programme for repeat visitors, compensating for muscular imbalances with EMS while using massage to stimulate deep muscles and release painful tension. As their muscles are being systematically strengthened, guests get to experience relaxation and stress relief. reLounge is soon to launch a mobile app that will enable automated guest check in and provide trackable personal analytics.

How much does it cost?

Personalised pricing solutions are available on request. 42 Business Insight The best touchless treatments reLounge


Harvesting the skin-nourishing benefits of organic, sustainably sourced seaweed to create highly effective spa treatments and products.

For more information on VOYA treatments, contact

Wellsystem Wave by Wellness JK

What is its USP?

One of the original touchless hydrotherapy massage offerings, Wellsystem Wave delivers a consistent, high-quality massage treatment without the need for a therapist, which can help to save resources and generate additional revenue.

Key features

During a Wellsystem Wave treatment guests remain fully clothed as powerful warm water massage jets hit the underside of the soft rubber surface. Sessions have an optimal duration of 25 minutes. This allows spas to accommodate a minimum of two treatments per hour.

As guests don’t need to undress, Wellsystem Wave can be located anywhere, from a treatment room to a relaxation zone or any under-utilised space.

Wellsystem Wave can be incorporated as a stand-alone treatment or as part of spa package. A range of massage programmes is adjustable to body size and shoulder width using the touch-screen control. An optional Spa Canopy delivers an immersive sound, light and aromatherapy experience.

How much does it cost?

Monthly leasing cost from £459 (€537)

Amethyst Tourmaline BioMat

What is its USP?

BioMat uses far infrared technology, negative ion therapy, amethyst and tourmaline to help relieve guests’ pain and discomfort.

Key features

BioMat uses far infrared and negative ion therapy to offer relief from muscle and joint pain, sprains and strains, inflammation, stress and fatigue. It can be used to augment and enhance treatment options and add value for spa guests.

Inflated with air and incorporating three vibroacoustic speakers, the mat relaxes the brain while providing deep cellular stimulation to skin, muscles and joints. BioAcoustic Mat has 12 therapeutic tracks created in the delta, alpha, beta or gamma wavelengths for bringing brain rhythm into harmony. Vibrations travel through the body, delivering increased circulation, relaxation and stress relief.

How much does it cost?

BioMat professional series starts from $1,950 (£1,524/€1,784). BioAcoustic Mat begins at $1,850. 44 Business Insight The best touchless treatments

Exclusively in beauty institutes, hotel spas, thermal and thalassotherapy centers & cruise ships.

French excellence in professional treatments for beauty institutes and spas.

French excellence in professional treatments for beauty institutes and spas.

Exclusively in beauty institutes, hotel spas, thermal and thalassotherapy centers & cruise ships.

Responsible beauty that respects the skin and the environment.

Responsible beauty that respects the skin and the environment. Les Jardins Sothys® (the

Fbg St
Sothys Gardens). Sothys flagship Institute, 128
Honoré, Paris

EXO Float Pod by Wellness Technology

Iyashi Dome

What is its USP?

Based on Japanese technology, Iyashi Dôme created the concept of ‘Japanese sauna’ in 2005. Following measured clinical studies in the areas of detox and weight loss, Iyashi Dôme claims to be the only infratherapy device that has been proven to eliminate toxins in real time during a treatment.

Key features

Iyashi Dôme uses non-contact infratherapy to aid detox, anti-ageing, muscle preparation and recovery as well as sleep and weight loss. Long infrared rays deeply stimulate the body, inspired by Japanese Suna Ryoho cures – the ancient practice of burying oneself in hot sand to induce sweating to release toxins. A 30-minute session can have the equivalent effect of a 20km run, with users perspiring up to 1.2 litres of sweat and burning up to 600 kcals.

What is its USP?

Float tanks require almost no staffing and generate repeat business as well as significant margins. Float therapy is an attractive offering for spa guests that removes external stimuli, decreasing cortisol levels and increasing the release of dopamine and endorphins.

Key features

The EXO Float Pod is filled with a highly concentrated solution of Epsom salt water, denser than the Dead Sea and heated to body temperature. The salt allows spa guests to reach a state near to zero gravity, while being disconnected from the outside world. Magnesium is also absorbed through the skin and can help to improve the immune system and general health.

A photo-catalytic UV sanitises and filters the solution in between each session. Users enter the room to an empty pod, which only takes a few minutes to fill up while they are getting undressed and showering. Testing of pH, hydrogen peroxide and salt levels is done automatically, and lighting and HD audio are programmable.

How much does it cost?

£29,500 (€34,529)

floral water and warm oshiboris – white tea scented cotton washcloths. Iyashi Dôme offers its partners a training programme to ensure therapists deliver a high-end, differentiated treatment experience.

The new Iyashi Dôme Omedeto signature treatment combines Iyashi Dôme infratherapy technology with a therapist-led firming face and body massage, using a single dose of the brand’s

How much does it cost?

Prices from £20,504 (€24,000) 46 Business Insight The best touchless treatments
One device. Endless possibilities for your business. Get the best skin of your life. hydrafacialemea hydrafacialemea


What is its USP?

EnergyLounger is a full-body red and near-infrared light therapy device designed for relaxation, rejuvenation and overall wellness. It stimulates the body’s natural healing processes to provide stress relief and skin health improvement, as well as alleviating pain.

Key features

Ergonomically designed to increase blood flow, EnergyLounger can be used as a stand-alone treatment or as a bed on which to carry out other therapies. The light bed doesn’t require the guest to wear any eye protection and treatment time can range from 20 to 30 minutes. The benefits of red and near-infrared light therapy include pain relief, enhanced muscle recovery, reduced inflammation, relaxation and skin rejuvenation.

Suggested retail for a session is between €60 and €100 and spas can increase this return by offering a treatment layering option, so guests can also receive facials, manicures or pedicures, or use LED facial masks while on the lounger.

How much does it cost?

EnergyLounger retails from £17,083 (€19,995)

Zerobody Cryo by Starpool

What is its USP?

Zerobody Cryo offers spa guests dry cryotherapy, featuring a patented membrane that wraps the body entirely without the need to get wet. This allows users to experience cold therapy at temperatures as low as 4°C in a non-invasive environment.

Key features

Zerobody Cryo offers the same benefits as traditional cryotherapy or cold-water immersion in a condition of microgravity thanks to its dry float system.

Using dry cold therapy, which is more versatile than immersion, the device cools the skin, stimulates the immune and metabolic systems, reduces muscle and joint pain and promotes muscle recovery, as well as endorphin production.

Zerobody Cryo has low energy consumption and is easy to use through its touch-screen display. The electric platform is lowered allowing the user to experience dry floatation and the session can be autonomously stopped at any point.

How much does it cost?

Starting from £24,776 (€29,000) 48 Business Insight The best touchless treatments

Wellbeing Cabin

What is its USP?

Pitched as ‘the world’s most relaxing treatment to help people to activate the relaxation response’, the Wellbeing Cabin combines eight science-based therapies in one stand-alone mind-body treatment.

Key product features

Created by Alan Sharrock, the Wellbeing Cabin is based on the principles of Dr Herbert Benson’s ‘relaxation response’ – a physical state of deep rest that can change our response to stress. Benson showed that switching the body from a stress response to a healing one can release serotonin, endorphins and dopamine.

The 2m x 1.8m Wellbeing Cabin combines aromatherapy, light, far infrared and pulse electromagnetic field therapy, mindfulness meditations, affirmations, visualisations and hypnotherapy to help guests quckly access this deep state relaxation response. The cabin’s LEDs reduce power consumption, it can be retrofitted into smaller rooms, and it is said to be able to generate up to £10,000 a month in revenue for spas.

How much does it cost?

Purchase from £19,950 (€23,351). Lease from £400/month

Swell by Brian d’Souza

What is its USP?

Swell, created by DJ Brian d’Souza, is a sound treatment that combines nature, music composition and sound therapy with ground-breaking generative technology to make sound therapy easy, mobile and inclusive.

Key features

Swell treatments provide bespoke wellness solutions for spas, such as the Swell Room at Kimpton Charlotte Square Hotel in Edinburgh (pictured) and Le Chambre Verte at Kimpton Blythswood Square, Glasgow.

At Charlotte Square, recorded sounds of the sea, fields and natural wildlife mix with traditional sound treatment instruments, including gongs and bagpipes.

The Swell experience can be combined with vibroacoustic furniture and spatial audio to enable spa guests to both hear and feel the sound. It is designed to lower the heart rate, blood pressure and stress, while bringing equilibrium to the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system.

How much does it cost?

Price on application 50 Business Insight The best touchless treatments


The ultimate holistic cool down experience.

Rebalance Impulse

What is its USP?

Rebalance Impulse is a non-invasive mental wellness and neuro relaxation machine. Based on applied neuroscience and cognitive training it can be used to help tackle chronic stress, improve sleep quality and enhance the immune system.

Key features

A lounger created in a zero-gravity position, Rebalance Impulse offers users a series of indicators on its MyRebalance smartphone app to help identify which sessions would be the most beneficial. Choices include Vitality, Emotional Balance, Sleep Quality and Relaxation. Sessions then offer a selection of methodologies including breathing exercises, guided mental imagery, full body chromotherapy, neuromeditation exercises, sound therapy and binaural synchrotherapy – a new therapeutic discipline emerging from neuroscience. It combines three techniques – chromotherapy protocols using targeted wavelengths expressed in nanometers, pulsed light protocols expressed in hertz and lux, and

dynamic light scenarios in the shape of an iris (patent registered) acting on targeted frequencies.

A Rebalance Impulse session can be used by spa guests for relief from chronic stress, sleep disturbances and emotional imbalance. It also helps to improve vitality, brain agility and concentration.

The device measures users’ psychological and neurophysiological responses via a neurofeedback headset – similar tech to EEG technology – and a biofeedback wristband that tracks cardiac rhythm in real time.

How much does it cost?

Price on application. 52 Business Insight The best touchless treatments

A game-changer for spa management

Laura Meeson, director of spa at hotel technology provider Journey, outlines how spas can use technology to seamlessly personalise the guest experience

With spa guests today expecting an ever more bespoke experience, the industry is increasingly using technology to personalise and improve the customer experience while still delivering the human touch.

“Integrating technology into spa operations may not sound too holistic, but it can enhance efficiency and convenience for guests and staff,” says Laura Meeson, director of spa at hotel technology provider Journey.

“In today’s digitally driven world, spas must provide a truly bespoke experience for every guest – melding facilities, amenities and services to personalise a stay – while preserving the sense of personal connection that is integral to spa culture.

“From an online booking platform to mobile wallet payments, a flawless digital booking experience streamlines operations, helps reduce call volumes and enables staff to prioritise getting the in-person experience spot on.”

Personalised communications

“The right technology system can personalise communication, going

A testament to technology

Journey works with more than 750 luxury global partners, including Roe Park Resort in Northern Ireland. “The importance of ecommerce to Roe Park Resort has increased immeasurably over the last number of years,” says the resort’s general manager, George Graham. “Journey’s software has enabled our guests to book without having to call, which enables us to focus more on our in-person interactions and concentrates the minds of staff.”

beyond generic emails and texts to create a meaningful connection with guests,” says Meeson. “Personalised communication understands people’s preferences, needs and concerns, and tailors every touchpoint accordingly. This can be as simple as addressing people by name, remembering their favourite treatment or following up with a personalised thank-you.”

The Journey solution

Journey’s Experience Management System (EMS) is a game-changer for operators as they can oversee all spa services, leisure activities like yoga or Pilates classes, and facilities such as spa garden or hot tub bookings – all from one portal.

Journey’s EMS unifies activities into

“The right technology system can personalise communication, going beyond generic emails and texts to create a meaningful connection with guests”
Laura Meeson, Journey

a central system, which integrates with Journey’s ecommerce booking platform. This technology frees staff up to focus on what matters most: getting the guest experience just right.

“Attentive service remains at the heart of the spa experience,” says Meeson. “Journey’s suite of technology enables spas to enhance the guest experience through technology while maintaining the human connection central to spa enjoyment.”


To discover how Journey’s Experience Management System could revolutionise accessibility to your spa, visit: 54 Brands to Watch Journey promotion



+44 (0)1784 259988

On the Menu


L’Occitane’s Listen & Feel combines music and massage

A multisensory experience that blends the soothing benefits of music with an ultra-relaxing massage, L’Occitane’s Listen & Feel Massage aims to enhance emotional wellbeing and balance energy.

The 45-minute body massage features a musical composition by sound engineer and composer Anthony Bui, which vibrates in unison with the massage movements.

“Music and touch is a winning duo with a three-dimensional impact which, when fused, creates a powerful and immersive experience that promotes a

sense of grounding and reconnection to oneself,” says Lydie Martin, spa project development leader for L’Occitane and an expert in reiki and yoga.

Sound and touch

The Listen & Feel Massage uses shiatsu inspired techniques to restore inner calm and promote deep relaxation. The spa experience begins with a breathing ritual using L’Occitane’s relaxing pillow mist Cocon de Sérenité, which contains lavender and sweet orange and geranium oils.

The early stages of the therapy work on energetic cleansing with alpha wave sounds, Tibetan bowls and Koshi chimes. Shiatsu-based massage elements deliver theta and delta sound waves encourage deep relaxation.

As the treatment progresses, beta waves are engaged in a more dynamic massage to revitalise the body’s energy. L’Occitane’s Souffle de Liberté offers a final burst of freshness with pine, rosemary and lemon to leave guests feeling revitalised and rebalanced. 57

Elemis offers Essential Skin Kits

Elemis has introduced three Essential Skin Kits that offer customers key products to cleanse, refresh, hydrate and rejuvenate skin.

Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm Discovery Trio features the brand’s iconic cleansing product in three aromatics – original, Rose and Naked. The decadent 3-in-1 balm melts into a luxurious oil to loosen and lift impurities, emulsifying with water into a hydrating, wipe-away milk.

The Pro-Collagen Icons Collection draws together three of the brand’s top-selling products – Pro-Collagen Marine Cream, Pro-Collagen Marine Cleansing Balm and Pro-Collagen Night Cream.

The clinically proven, three-step ritual is designed to reset, revitalise and restore the skin for a consistent glow. All three products are formulated with the brand’s signature moisture-boosting algae, padina pavonica.

Finally, Pro-Collagen Rose Discovery features Elemis’s popular rose skincare products. Pro-Collagen Rose Marine Cream carries a heady mix of rose that partners with Rose Cleaning Balm and the dual-phase Pro-Collagen Rose Micro Serum, promising 72 hours of hydration.

New serum and face mask by Natura Bissé

Natura Bissé has added to its popular Essential Shock Intense collection with the release of a retinol-boosted serum and an intense-lift face mask.

Essential Shock Intense Retinol Night Renewal is a night-time serum that renews the surface of the dermis to help rejuvenate, firm and restore the cutaneous barrier.

Its formula includes amplified retinol – a combination of encapsulated retinol and bakuchiol that multiplies the anti-ageing action of retinol with maximum skin tolerance.

The brand’s new Essential Shock Intense Instant-Lift Mask is a redensifying mask with an immediate firming effect that helps to visibly fill wrinkles and reveal luminous, hydrated skin.

It boasts collagen with two molecular weights to help combat sagging skin, offering an immediate lifting effect. A combination of hyaluronic acid with five molecular weights diffuses the appearance of wrinkles and niacinamide reinforces the barrier function.

58 Spa Specifier On the Menu

TempleSpa formulates two new moisturisers

Adding to its Glow and Radiance range, TempleSpa has introduced a silky gel moisturiser, Moisture to Glow, that instantly melts in to boost dull, tired skin.

The product features gold-encapsulated liposomal vitamin C and alpha arbutin, which work to refresh, revitalise and brighten the appearance. Botanical extracts of tomato, broccoli, mango and prebiotic dragon fruit combine with vitamins A and E, sodium hyaluronate and sunflower oil to soften and smooth the skin with moisture. Sweet orange oil adds a light, fresh aroma, leaving the skin healthy-looking, radiant and glowing.

New essential oils enhance Voya’s spa collection

Irish seaweed-based skincare brand Voya has developed three unique essential oil blends to sit alongside the original Voya Essence oil. ‘Lift’ is a refreshing and revitalising scent with top notes of spearmint, rosemary and lavender. ‘Rest’ is a grounding blend that features top notes of lavender and is balanced with lemon and rosemary to soothe and promote tranquility. ‘Zest’ is an awakening and uplifting scent with top notes of eucalyptus combined with lime and rosemary.

For best results, Voya recommends adding the essential oils to a bath or combining 1-2 drops per 10ml body moisturiser. For a bath or foot spa, fill the tub to at least one third full and add 10-15 drops. The oils have also been designed to be used alongside specific Voya spa treatments, allowing spa clients to choose their preferred scent to create a personalised sensory experience.

Boosting the Purify and Balance range, Mattifying Moisturiser works to control and rebalance oily, blemish-prone skin. This soft, ultra-lightweight mattifying hydrator features Mediterranean botanicals of lemon, myrtle, rosemary and sage to help refresh, purify and soothe.

Retinol and phytic acid smooth away dead skin, and seaweed, pomegranate, multivitamins and minerals help to plump and firm the skin by replacing lost moisture. Prebiotic willow herb and tapioca starch help absorb oil and keep skin shine-free.

Spa Specifier On the Menu 59

ESPA introduces a super-sized candle

The Alabastros Bergamot & Jasmine Candle is a limited-edition super-sized candle in ESPA’s signature citrus scent. Infused with the brand’s best-selling bergamot and jasmine blend, this hand-poured, natural wax candle is an eagerly awaited addition to its home fragrance collection.

The candle offers a unique ethereal glow from the translucent crystal line grain of the Alabaster stone casing, which gently illuminates revealing a unique character with natural variations in the pattern and shade of the stone.

Bergamot, eucalyptus, and tea tree complement the uplifting notes of jasmine and ripe citrus with pine completing the unique blend.

Each alabaster piece has been individually cut and polished and is one of a kind, as each vessel contains organically formed patterns and variations from the earth. After enjoying the candle, clients can reuse the empty container as an ornamental box or jewellery case.

Alqvimia calms and soothes skin with new facial treatment and formulations

Alqvimia has launched its Calm Facial Treatment and two reformulated products that work to decongest, moisturise and protect sensitive skin.

The treatment begins with a thorough cleanse using Pure Micellar Cleansing Water across the face, neck and décolleté. Naturally Pure Scrub then exfoliates the skin before the therapist performs a facial massage with the Essentially Beautiful Calm Serum using the Facial Gua Sha tool.

Moisturizing Action Seaweed Mask is applied and a foot, neck, hand or cranial massage is offered before application of the reformulated Essentially Beautiful Eye Contour Cream and Essentially Beautiful Calm Cream.

Alqvimia’s Essentially Beautiful Calm Serum has extracts of physalis angulata and white lupin to pamper the most delicate of skin while stimulating the production of collagen.

Essentially Beautiful Calm Cream is now enriched with natural active ingredients including saffron flower extract, probiotic and biological filter, an ideal synergy for the most delicate skin types.

60 Spa Specifier On the Menu

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Yon-Ka addresses sleep issues with new professional treatment and CBD Serum

A new professional treatment to restore peaceful sleep and relieve tension, Yon-Ka’s CBD Sleep Therapy is a 14-step wellbeing experience that includes a double CBD massage choreographed to release tension and promote restful sleep.

The ritual begins with a signature Phyto-Bain footbath, an Emulsion Concentree inhalation and shoulder pressure, accompanied by a discussion about sleep quality.

The first 30 minutes include a back massage with stimulation of nine key energy points for relaxation. The therapist then offers a soothing facial and applies hot stones under the nape of the neck, lumbar region and solar plexus to release tension.

The skin is cleansed and prepared with a delicate exfoliation, followed by a customised spray of Quintessence. This is followed by de-stressing techniques with Aventurine quartz, a relaxing Serum CBD massage and the double application of masks for the face and eye contour.

Used in the treatment and available for home retail, Serum CBD is a new night-time serum with 300mg CBD developed to deliver destressing, smoothing and reharmonising properties.

Dermalogica unveils collagen serum

Dermalogica’s new Pro-Collagen Banking Serum is the latest addition to the brand’s expansive skincare collection. Developed to prevent the first signs of visible premature skin ageing and address existing fine lines and wrinkles, the formula works to promote, protect and preserve collagen levels in the skin.

Based on a series of amino acids – the building blocks of collagen – the formula delivers key ingredients directly to where the skin needs them.

The unique formulation features pro-collagen preservation complex with collagen amino acids, and carnosine dipeptide, which helps preserve collagen. Jojoba esters and polyglutamic acid nourish and plump for a firmer appearance; wild indigo extract and arginine PCA help restore skin’s radiance; and pink carnation extract helps improve skin’s softness and resilience.

Apply two pumps of the serum to double-cleansed skin and lightly spread it over the face, including around the eye orbit. The skin will be left visibly plumper and more resilient and luminous, along with a reduction in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

62 Spa Specifier On the Menu

Mind and skin revolution - rede ning skincare

Aromatherapy Associates unites the mind and skin with innovative treatments and revolutionising skincare products.

Pioneers in wellbeing, the Aromatherapy Associates innovative eleven-piece facial skincare collection has been created to transform the skincare landscape. Powered by a proprietary blend of Essential Oils, Active Botanicals, and Skin Stress Relief technology, this collection aims to restore harmony to both mind and skin.

“Our skincare collection is a re ection of the intersection between science and wellbeing. Inspired by the eld of psychodermatology and its evolving connection to psychosomatic medicine, we acknowledge the profound link between our mind and

“Our skincare collection is a re ection of the intersection between science and wellbeing.”

Serina Sandhu, Chief Commercial O cer at Aromatherapy Associates.

in ammation with lasting e ects on health and skin function, we have crafted a unique BioActive Complex. This powerhouse blend combines Essential Oils, Active Botanicals, and Skin Stress Relief Technology to counteract environmental stresses on the skin, promoting a harmonious balance and radiant complexion.” – Serina Sandhu, Chief Commercial O cer at Aromatherapy Associates.

With professional treatments continuously at the heart of the business, the collection is also used as part of three innovative skin + mind treatments. More than just a facial,

protocols informed by emerging skincare science combined with multiple wellness disciplines o er a transformative experience.

The Ultimate Wellbeing Facial focusses on lowering stress levels in the body and encouraging full reset and repair for skin and mind. Featuring conscious holds, guided breathing, lifting, and sculpting facial massage and abdomen massage, all to create a truly holistic facial.

To nd out more about Aromatherapy Associates pioneering skincare collection and facial treatments, email:

As leaders in the eld of aromatherapy, Aromatherapy Associates are uniquely quali ed to respond to both state of mind and the skin itself, restoring balance between the two. The BioActive Complex combines potent Essential Oils of Blue Tansy and Sandalwood with skinloving Botanicals such as Squalane and Raspberry Seed Oil. Skin Stress Relief Technology, featuring Pink Rock Rose and Pink Algae Extract, further soothes and forti es the skin.


Sothys refreshes seasonal treatments

Sothys has announced its seasonal treatment offering for 2024 featuring a unique blend of strawberry and basil.

A pioneer of limited-edition treatments, the brand combines chronobiology and distinct ingredients to reveal the skin’s radiance. The formulas feature minerals to boost the body’s natural defences and a cocktail of vitamins to revitalise before the summer months.

The 45-minute spring/summer seasonal facial treatment revitalises the skin with a broad range of vitamins and includes a gentle exfoliation, mask and relaxing massage for a revitalised and hydrated skin.

Sothys’ Seasonal Body Massage invites the guest to choose their own texture (oil, cream, balm or shea butter) with the added essence of strawberry and basil. Spas are encouraged to curate a food offering to reflect the unique fruit pairing, with smoothies, juices and fruit platters.

The launch is supported by three retail products: Radiance Cleansing Foam, with D-panthenol and gluconolactone; Complexion Beautifier, a tinted emulsion with tonifying basil-strawberry aromatics; and Nourishing Body Elixir Light, a textured body oil with invigorating fruit extracts.

Skin-enhancing ingredients combine for Oskia’s glow-revealing serum

Developed to revitalise skin luminosity, Oskia’s advanced, vitamin-enriched water serum, H2 Glow, is clarity-enhancing with a cooling lightweight texture to transform the complexion.

Promoting clarity, brightness and a balanced complexion, the formula contains argireline 5%, a peptide that instantly lifts and firms. Vitamin B3 (niacinamide) is present to support barrier function, plump and brighten. Pink glacial snow algae regenerates the skin while encapsulated Swiss glacier water, PGA and prodew – a blend of nine amino acids – work to deeply hydrate.

Vitamin C, glutathione and arbutin even the skin tone and Zymo lift, a bacterial enzyme, keeps pores clear, especially in more humid conditions, making it ideal for oilier skin tones and those prone to blemishes. Gotu kola (centella asiatica) and white peony root help to calm underlying redness while vitamin B5 conditions the skin and Oskia’s trademark MSM Regen Complex contributes to skin health.

64 Spa Specifier On the Menu European Spa selects the best professional product launches for spas. Contact

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Adding life and longevity to every moment

Longevity Spa is an off-the-shelf solution for spa operators wanting to offer guests more, says Francesco Rinaldini, business development manager at Starpool

Agrowing trend in the wellness industry, longevity is becoming an ever more important aspect of the spa experience. Responding to this demand, Italian wellness experts at Starpool have created Longevity Spa, which offers advanced technologies that need minimal activation and therefore less staff investment.

“An increase in life expectancy is one of the great achievements of our times,” says Francesco Rinaldini, business development manager at Starpool. “However, the true challenge now is living well, increasing healthy years and reducing the chance of chronic diseases. Starpool’s Longevity Spa has been developed as an easy solution for operators wanting to devote space to preventive healthcare and healthy longevity.”

A four-tiered approach

Longevity Spa – available in Basic, Pro, Elite and Elite Plus configurations – allows operators to add regeneration programmes to their menu using sophisticated technologies that address today’s lifestyle challenges.

Longevity Spa Basic

Developed for restricted spaces, Longevity Spa Basic can be created inside a single room for customised treatments or used to transform an existing relaxation area into an exclusive longevity space.

Products include a choice of loungers plus Starpool’s Wellness Coach, a versatile and intuitive software

“Our goal is to make your spa a space of excellence, offering little pieces of innovative wellness.”

that offers guided mindfulness and breathing programmes. It also includes the Molecular Hydrogen Booster – a nasal inhalation system that works as a selective collector for free radicals.

Longevity Spa Basic is easy to use and offers a variety of psycho-physical benefits. Spas can offer 20-minute regenerating experiences that are ideal for time-poor clients.

Longevity Spa Pro

Adding to the Basic option elements, Longevity Spa Pro offers extras such as Starpool’s patented Zerobody Dry Float – a one-of-a-kind system offering the benefits of flotation therapy in more than 400 litres of warm water without the need for undressing or getting wet. Floatation with Zerobody Dry Float

allows guests to regain energy thanks to the experience of reduced gravity and its targeted programmes for stress management, sleep and longevity.

Longevity Spa Elite and Elite Plus

The top tier configurations, Elite and Elite Plus include Starpool’s Zerobody Cryo – a cutting-edge cryotherapy solution that wraps the body in a membrane at temperatures as low as 4°C, offering the benefits of traditional cryotherapy without having to undress or get wet (see p48).

Providing a more gradual exposure to the cold than ice-water immersion, the system effectively and quickly aids recovery.

The Elite Plus option adds in photobiomodulation – a therapeutic technique that delivers low-frequency light energy through the skin, providing cells with new energy to help them function more effectively.

“Our trainers provide extensive support for our partners’ teams and also help spas build a successful treatment menu,” says Rinaldini. “Our goal is to make your spa a space of excellence, offering little pieces of innovative wellness that can be experienced by guests at any moment.”


To find out more about Starpool’s approach to longevity in spas, visit: 66 Brands to Watch Starpool promotion
Starpool promotion

Touching new ground

We talk to Beata Aleksandrowicz, author and global educator on massage and wellbeing, about the importance of the power of touch in an era of touchless wellness

As this issue of European Spa magazine spotlights new innovations in the realm of touchless treatments (p40), we also acknowledge the importance of human touch in the spa experience.

Beata Aleksandrowicz is an international expert on massage, healing and women’s wellbeing, and a vocal advocate on the potent power of touch. A global educator who teaches her spa training method online as well as in locations around the world, she shares her expertise about the importance of human connection in the wellness industry.

What makes touch such a powerful sense?

Touch is the mother of all senses; it helps us to grow physically and emotionally. Touch is what makes us human. It gives us the deepest connection with each other, bringing comfort, care and attention. It reassures us that we are not alone. Throughout our lives we learn about the people and things in the world through our sense of touch. What sets it apart from other senses is its intimacy, as it requires direct contact with the skin, the sensory organ of tactile sensation. Touch is fundamental to all human interaction.

Scientifically speaking, how does touch positively affect us?

We have around five million touch receptors in our skin, with around 20,000 just in our hands. Tiffany Field, a leader in touch research, concluded that when we stimulate these receptors, vagal activity increases.

“There should be no tension between technology and touch: tech-led treatments still require spa teams to create a journey”
Beata Aleksandrowicz Massage expert

The vagus is one of 12 cranial nerves with many branches all over the body including (but not only) in the heart, gastro intestinal system and vocal cords. When vagal activity increases there is a significant drop of cortisol, the ‘stress’ hormone, and an increase in oxytocin, our ‘bonding’ hormone.

Lowering cortisol levels also seems to help maintain our natural ‘killer’ cells. There is also an increase in serotonin, which is the body’s natural antidepressant and anti-pain chemical.

Why is touch so important in the modern day?

We live in a world where people feel starved or deprived of touch. We physically connect with others less

and less and there is a stigma around touch. Many people don’t have the emotional understanding of how to respond to touch or know how to handle intimacy – even a simple hug can be problematic. There is also social isolation, an increase in people living alone and of course the advancement of technology.

We know that touch deprivation leads to loneliness and so often to depression. Yet we are afraid to touch others. We simply don’t know how.

With ‘no touch’ policies introduced in schools and workplaces, and with years of isolation caused by the pandemic, the chances of receiving touch have narrowed to family and close friends.

The International Psychological Journal conducted research that showed that 72.73% of participants expressed a longing for touch. That is a staggering number! As Ashley Montagu said in his incredible book, Touching: The Human Significance of the Skin, we know how to reach the moon but we seem to have lost how to reach another human.

Why is touch so important in the spa industry?

The spa environment has become the only place for many of us to receive nurturing touch, which – as we know today beyond any doubt – plays a vital role in our lives. The core purpose of our industry is to serve society by contributing to the healthy growth of people’s emotional, physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing.

We have everything at our disposal to make such a contribution. We have knowledge, facilities and therapists to 68 Business Insight Beata Aleksandrowicz

Touch is a cornerstone of the spa experience, even with the rise of technology-led treatments

offer people what they crave the most – the human experience. Touch is the essence of our offering, with its potent power to heal and to connect.

With the rise of touchless treatments – how can we combine touch and technology?

There should be no tension between technology and touch – tech-led treatments still require spa team members to create a journey –diagnostics, analyses and therapies need to include a human touch. People can be fearful of procedures, but your therapists and medical wellness teams are the conduit between technology and the human experience.

Imagine what would be possible for the client if the very high level of technical knowledge would be elevated by offering also the human experience?

How can we encourage spa teams to embrace the power of touch?

We all have a deep need to be touched. We all want to feel the warmth of a hand on our shoulder after a long day, or a gentle stroke on our head in moments of difficulty.

To deliver touch in a meaningful way, therapists need to be coached and empowered. It is not enough to simply expect them to provide it.

We are talking about developing soft skills: empathy, connection and the ability to relate to people, personalisation beyond the physical, consistency and so on. It cannot be taught just by creating protocols. Each of these skills must come from within and this requires enhanced training that addresses the emotional wellbeing of the team.

Essentials skills for touchless treatment delivery

n Run sessions with your team on how to be present – not only for the guest who they are guiding to a touchless experience, but also with themselves.

n Ensure your team has enough time to engage with the clients pre and post-treatment so they can authentically connect with each person.

n Teach therapists deep-listening skills so that when they engage with a client they are able to truly understand their needs and desires.

n Ensure your staff have a thorough knowledge on how your spa’s touchless technology works, so they can be seen as experts by their clients.

n Build the skills base of your team with advanced training, elevating them from passive providers to active advisors. 69 Business Insight Beata Aleksandrowicz

Sincere wellbeing through advanced massage

GROUND Wellbeing founder Peigin Crowley explains how the brand’s purpose-driven treatments address common issues impacting spa therapists and their guests

Established in 2020 by spa expert Peigin Crowley, GROUND Wellbeing aims to create effective spa treatments and aromatherapy products that respond to real wellbeing needs. The brand’s massage rituals encourage purposeful selfcare to bring relief from insomnia, anxiety, burnout, menopausal symptoms and digestive issues.

Crowley wants to help spa teams fall back in love with massage. “GROUND’s advanced massage training helps therapists understand and harness the power of touch in relation to sleep, stress and compromised health in times of transition such as menopause,” she explains. “Each treatment supports the body’s functions, naturally, reflecting our commitment to sincere and inclusive wellness.”

A therapist-centric brand GROUND works to inspire massage therapists and Crowley has more than 25 years’ experience in the field. In the last three years she has gathered a team of award-winning therapists, led by Rachel O’Malley, who designs

GROUND’s rituals, to rekindle the passion of massage practitioners through its training.

“Advanced massage training delivers more than just treatment excellence; it inspires therapists and, through development, helps to retain spa teams,” says Crowley.

GROUND Wellbeing’s purposeful spa rituals promote healing, relaxation and a deeper mind-body connection. Therapists are taught to stimulate and support the vagus nerves, encouraging a deep rest-and-digest state.

GROUND Wellbeing partners with industry-leading brands

n The Lanesborough, London

n Six Senses Crans-Montana, Switzerland (pictured)

n The Bulgari, London and Rome

n Limewood Hotel, New Forest, UK

n Waldorf Astoria, Berlin and Edinburgh

n Rosewood, Madrid and Munich

n The Four Seasons, Geneva and Megève

“We’re a brand that believes in addressing our inner world to achieve balance,” says Crowley. “To better understand clients, we teach therapists to first tune into themselves. They learn how real-world stresses can affect wellbeing and how best to soothe the body back into balance.”

Cancer care with the Barróg Rituals Most recently, GROUND launched its Cancer Care Training. The Barróg Rituals (meaning ‘the Hug’) are a collection of products and massage rituals designed to bring comfort to those going through cancer treatment, surgery and beyond. GROUND Cancer Care Training commenced with Christine Clinton Cancer Care and is accredited by the Standards Authority for Touch In Cancer Care.


To find out more about how GROUND Wellbeing’s massage philosophy can help your guests and therapists, visit: 70 Brands to Watch GROUND Wellbeing
Peigin Crowley


Purpose driven, GROUND specialises in advanced massage training to understand and harness the power of touch in relation to sleep, stress, compromised health and support in times of transition menopause and pregnancy.

w ellbein g

Psychedelic retreats: a wellbeing frontier

Anni Hood, founder of Well Intelligence, visits Beckley Retreats in the Netherlands to explore the growing use of psilocybin as medicine

Psychedelic medicine is heralded by some as the next mental health frontier. As our understanding of the possibilities around expanded consciousness grows, could this mark a shift change for the wellness industry?

One brand at the vanguard of psychedelic experiences is Beckley Retreats. Co-founded by Amanda Feilding and Neil Markey, it offers comprehensive expert-led programmes for people looking to grow and improve their wellbeing through psilocybin ceremonies and holistic modalities. Launched in 2021, the company hosted its first

retreat in the Netherlands in August 2022 and its knowledgeable team has decades of experience in both modern approaches to wellbeing and indigenous wisdom traditions.

What is psilocybin?

Psilocybin is a psychoactive compound found in over 200 species of fungi, more commonly referred to as magic mushrooms. Illegal in most territories around the world, some countries, including the Netherlands, allow for its therapeutic use (see box on p75). Eating the mushrooms’ compounds 72
Spa Spotlight Beckley Retreats, Netherlands

induces a range of effects from distorted perceptual reality and emotional shifts to a sense of spiritual awakening. It also creates what is referred to as a state of neuroplasticity, enabling the brain to reorganise neural networks, function and structure. This can be beneficial for creating new habits and behaviour patterns in the weeks following digestion.

A detailed 11-week programme

The scientifically based psilocybin retreats offered by Beckley Retreats provide a safe and unhurried space for individual transformation and awakening – not only in-person but pre-arrival and post-departure. This all-too-rare dedication is a signature that sets it apart from many wellness programmes available across the broader spa and wellness market.

Detailed pre and post-retreat work forms part of an 11-week journey for participants. Four weeks of online preparation precedes a five-night residential

“We believe safe access to these plants is a human right. We also believe in the non-clinical benefits of this work and have seen a tremendous impact on guests.”
Neil Markey Co-founder and CEO, Beckley Retreats

element before a lengthy follow-up programme.

The in-person retreat is curated as a nurturing and safe space that includes guided meditation, mindful movement, breathwork, creative expression, immersion in nature, psilocybin ceremonies and the assimilation process that immediately follows the psychedelic experience.

The entire 11 weeks is a masterclass in sustainable personal growth, concluding with a six-week integration period completed at home. 73
Spotlight Beckley Retreats, Netherlands
Above from far left: the power of mushrooms is increasingly being tapped for wellbeing purposes; Code 49 is the venue for Beckley Retreats; guests work through the programme at their own pace

From the very beginning each participant is professionally cared for and taken through a screening process that includes questions about their mental and emotional state, current medication, diagnosed conditions, expectations and intentions. There is also an online one-to-one screening conversation with Beckley’s professional team. This ensures no contraindications or reasons someone may not be suitable to take part.

Preparing for the retreat

During the initial four-week virtual preparation stage, participants are given access to an app that leads them through 1-2 hours of preparation per week. Topics include guided practice (in the form of audio and video), the efficacy of psychedelics, information on neuroplasticity, insight on inner healing intelligence, and the increasing evidence of psychedelics in the support of raised consciousness and mental ill-health. The app is designed so everyone can work at their own pace and is woven together with two group calls and invitations for as many questions as anyone wishes to ask.

The residential retreat takes place at a venue (renamed recently as Code 49) situated in remote woodland between Amsterdam and Utrecht. Four full days are spent in residence for the psilocybin ceremonies. Arriving in the afternoon of day one,


Amanda Feilding

Often referred to as the Queen of Psychedelics, Amanda Feilding is founder of the Beckley Foundation and co-founder of Beckley Retreats. With over 50 years’ experience, she has pioneered and raised the profile of psilocybin therapy in the mainstream. Her mission has been and remains to marry modern science and ancient wisdom, further psychedelic research, provide evidence of safety and efficacy, and to influence policy.

guests have the chance to meet the rest of the group and discuss their intentions and what to expect over the coming days.

Taking the tea

The first ceremony happens during the afternoon and early evening of the second day. That morning begins with yoga and meditation and is spent ensuring everyone feels fully prepared for the psilocybin experience.

The normal dose of mushrooms for the first ceremony is three grammes. In the Netherlands the legal psilocybin compound for use is the truffle part of the mushroom. The dose is adjusted by the facilitators on a case-by-case basis, but most people ingest a standard amount for the first ceremony with an option for a top up within the first hour.

Burning sage and Palo Santo wood – traditional cleansers and energy purifiers – are used in a ‘smudging’ ritual before entering the ceremonial room. Comfortable clothing and an eye mask are recommended to ensure everyone is as inwardly present as possible during the experience.

The ceremony room is laid around a central mandala that is created using leaves, flowers, stones

In addition, born from the Beckley Foundation to harness the decades of scientific research already banked, are Beckley Psytech (2019) and Beckley Waves (2021). Beckley Psytech aims to change the way neurological and psychiatric conditions are treated and to deliver innovation where there is unmet need. Beckley Waves is a venture capital studio that offers funding, support and mentorship to emerging leaders, entrepreneurs and partnerships. 74 Spa Spotlight Beckley Retreats, Netherlands
Below: yoga and meditation play a part in the schedule of Beckley Retreats’ psilocybin rituals

Left from top: psychoactive mushrooms are illegal in many countries; guests are encouraged to immerse themselves in the grounds during their retreat

The legal situation

There is rising acceptance and legalisation of psychedelic drugs globally and the segment spectrum ranges largely between these three categories and classifications;

n Legalised (with conditions or licencing) in countries including; Netherlands, Brazil, Peru, Jamaica and the Bahamas

n Decriminalised (lowest law enforcement priority) in countries including: Costa Rica, Columbia, Chile, Argentina, Spain, Portugal, Italy

n Legal for medical access: Canada and Australia. The US states of Oregon and Colorado legalised psilocybin and psilocin (only under supervision) in 2020 and 2022 respectively. In July 2023, Australia became the first country to formally recognise the therapeutic use of psychedelics.

and moss from the woodland outside. Individual mattresses, made up with sheets, pillows and blankets are arranged in two half-moon shapes on either side of the mandala. At the head of the space is a slightly raised area where the facilitators gather to tend to and guide participants through their psilocybin experience, some singing and playing instruments. The room becomes a beautiful, candle lit, energetically cleansed space that feels as comforting as it does enticing.

A sacred celebration

The ceremony opens with a choreographed shamanic ritual that honours the ancient wisdom and practices of ancestral forebears and nature’s age-old intelligence. Beckley’s expert team distributes the mushroom tea, and once ingested, everyone waits for the effects to be felt. Of course, the individual experience of psilocybin is different for everyone and can range from feelings of nausea and vomiting to euphoria and bliss; and from the confrontation of ugly emotions to side-splitting laughter.

During the ceremony everyone is in varying states of ‘undone’ and it is in this pinnacle part of the programme that the Beckley facilitators excel, with personalised care, nurture and love potent 75
Spotlight Beckley Retreats, Netherlands

throughout. The trip lasts until the effects of the psilocybin wears off – generally six or so hours following ingestion.

Integrating a new reality

The following day is described as an ‘integration’ day, when everyone is invited to sit with and share their experience. Participants are encouraged to spend time in nature, enjoy massage, sauna time and journaling. The afterglow and effects are different for all – some people feel more vulnerable than others – but a sense of growing trust between guests is widely acknowledged. A ‘shame circle’ allows for unburdening and letting go, and the practice is both liberating and comforting.

The ceremony and integration experience is not only an individual exploration, but also an express route to intimacy within the group. The sharing of private vulnerabilities engenders trust that becomes a bonded thread through the newly formed community. This is borne through careful curation of the programme and the skills and experience of the Beckley team. Their humility and unconditionality appears to be a hallmark. The team to guest ratio is one to two.

Anni Hood


“What Beckley Retreats provides is a high calibre and grounded space for human flourishing. It creates a tailored and responsive system that allows for deep work and increased emotional awareness.

“Experiencing the retreat was something akin to a colonic irrigation for consciousness. It was intense, brutal, revealing and profoundly inspiring. There are dozens of different ways I might describe what I was doing; from becoming more spiritually aware to ‘peeling back the layers of my own onion’.

Post-retreat follow up

“Raised consciousness is everyone’s rite of passage. What I’ve found to be true is that wellbeing gold isn’t found in the highest price tag; it is found in the emotional mud and muck of the humble, the ordinary and the ancient.”

The six week post-retreat integration process is stewarded through the Circle app and four 90-minute calls with Beckley’s director of integration. This period of the programme is considered the most valuable, especially the weeks immediately following the mushroom ceremonies. It is then that new seeds of habit and behaviour are planted and nurtured for sustainable embodiment. The app guides participants through multiple modules ranging from somatic self-care to deepening emotions and new ways of relating and connecting to nature. The group calls 76 Spa Spotlight Beckley Retreats, Netherlands
Right from top: the Code 49 venue is in remote woodland between Amsterdam and Utrecht; the grounds are dotted with spirtually significant art and sculpture

serve as a supporting mechanism and one-to-one coaching is also offered.

Why is the psychedelic industry growing?

There is a global mental health crisis and research and clinical trials are increasingly pointing to the benefits that psychedelic medicine can provide. According to Acumen Research, in 2022 the value of the global psychedelic drug industry stood at £2.04bn (€2.39bn). It is expected to grow to £5.5bn by 2032. Notably, the psilocybin sub-segment generated £863m of the 2022 revenue, a 42% share.

In the UK, the Centre for Psychedelic Research at Imperial College London focuses on the efficacy and clinical use of psychedelics, both for exploring consciousness and treating mental health disorders. Current research confirms the positive impact of psychedelic medicine for those suffering from illnesses such as depression and addiction.

Against a backdrop of global challenges, an increasing number of people are seeking greater awareness of who they are, both individually and as part of the larger collective – they’re more conscious of releasing trauma and limiting beliefs and, fundamentally, being able to ‘feel’ again.

“We need to enable the integration of the potential

of psychedelics into mainstream life, where their amazing capacity for improving health, wellbeing and transformation would be of the greatest advantage to both the individual and society,” says Beckley Retreats co-founder, Amanda Feilding.

What this means for the wellness industry

The allure of exploring and closing the gap between ‘what we know’ and ‘who we are’ is becoming more evident. This poses an interval for the spa and wellness industry to take pause and adjust its wings.

The process of nurturing raised consciousness is not the same as booking a 90-minute treatment. The 11-week programme that Beckley Retreats deliver is that length for a reason. And curating a community and structure to focus on this is proving to be something people want to immerse themselves in.

Even without further legalisation of psilocybin use, the demand and pursuit of efficacy gives the industry a heads up on its own neural path resetting – both for leadership and for the evolution of the industry at large.

People, communities and nations are seeking to be put back in touch with themselves and psychedelics can help to achieve this. Of crucial value for business leaders is recognising the space between where you are as a spa and wellness facility and what it would mean to evolve into an offer that could deliver a psychedelic experience (if your country’s law allows it) or create a programme designed to wrest the same result. The question I would ask is if the spirit of the industry will be to play it safe or to fully embrace the transformational space it proposes to embody? 77 Spa Spotlight Beckley Retreats, Netherlands
Below: the five-night stay at Code 49 is preceded by a four-week course to prepare guests for their journey Casa Cipriani Milano, Italy Maria Spa at Hotel Maria, Finland
One&Only Aesthesis, Greece
Les Couvent des Minimes Hotel & L’Occitane Spa, France

Five spas to watch

European Spa shines a light on the best new spa openings across Europe this spring

As the pipeline for spa development continues apace this looks set to be a high-growth year for the industry. Investment in new properties is a key focus, but in addition many spas are being refurbished, adding contemporary facilities for the discerning wellness traveller. Global beauty brands are also making their mark with branded luxury spa offerings and exclusive partnerships. This partnership trend is expected to grow, and more of these unique flagships will appear worldwide in the next few years.

When searching for somewhere to raise the bar for spa and wellbeing, global operators continue to focus on Greece, with One&Only opening the first of two planned luxury resorts. We speak to the team at One&Only Aesthesis about its new Guerlain Spa – another first for the country. Our exploration also takes us to Italy, Finland, the Dolomites and France, where L’Occitane has opened the doors of its new global flagship spa at Les Couvent des Minimes Hotel in Provence.

As spas continue to innovate, ensuring that guests are connected to nature wherever possible, we travel from the city to the sea and from the mountains to the valleys to present the best new spas for spring.

Spa Spotlight Five spas to watch
Engel Ayurpura, Italy

Engel Ayurpura, Italy

Built in a commanding position in the Italian Dolomites, Engel Ayurpura is an adult-only Ayurvedic retreat offering guests a true connection to nature as well as beautifully crafted rooms and spa facilities.

Led by Studio Marx/Ladurner, the interior and external design has been conceived to help the resort sit comfortably in its mountain setting, an angular roof line echoing the crags of the nearby Rosengarten massif. Using reclaimed wood and natural materials, it blends into the landscape and makes the most of a sunny south-facing aspect.

The interior is sleek and contemporary, with natural tones and clean lines running throughout. Accommodation consists of 15 guest rooms, including two suites and one loft suite, each with a freestanding bath and private sauna.

“Our uniqueness lies in our team of dedicated staff who know and love Ayurveda,” says Carmen Kohler, wellbeing concierge and owner. “With Dr Vaidya Swami Nath Mishra and Claudio Denti, a passionate Ayurvedic chef,

we are the only retreat that offers a wellbeing concierge and tailored Ayurvedic treatment programmes and menus.”

A focus on Ayurveda

Dr Mishra leads a highly qualified team of Ayurvedic doctors and therapists who offer consultations and therapies in 12 treatment rooms. Wellness facilities also include a yoga shala with forest views, a cosy lounge with an open fireplace and library, and the Atelier, where mindfulness or health-themed lectures take place, as well as a range of courses including meditative painting and floristry. The spa, complete with relaxation room and tea bar, has a panoramic sundeck

BEST FOR AYURVEDIC PROGRAMMING Spa Spotlight Engel Ayurpura, Italy

overlooking the outdoor salt-water pool, a sauna surrounded by trees and a garden with loungers and gentle walking trails. The rooftop relaxation area offers guests luxurious infrared heated loungers.

The spa restaurant is run by Claudio Denti, a Sardinian chef with a passion for Ayurvedic cooking. Each guest receives a personalised menu, created after private consultation with the Ayurvedic medical team. Unique to the property’s concept, instead of the set dosha menus widely offered in Ayurveda restaurants, meals at Ayurpura are all adapted and prepared individually to enhance the set goals of the guest’s programme.


Engel Ayurpura, Italy

Spa Size 1,120 sqm

Product partners Maharishi Italia, Effegi Lab, Lakshmi Italia

Spa suppliers Poolshop, Devine, Bonaldo, Balneo Spa, Calligaris, Ethimo, Innova, Technogym, Supra, Hotex, Schranz, Tencel, Hästens 81
Spa Spotlight Engel Ayurpura, Italy


Casa Cipriani Milano, Italy

Located in the heart of Milan, the boutique Casa Cipriani Hotel is a modern wellness retreat in the heart of Italy’s fashion capital. Designed by the renowned Italian architectural practice Studio Apostoli, the spa is overseen by spa manager Valeria Carlomagno and offers guests treatments performed in seven rooms across multiple levels.

The spa design is said to reflect the Cipriani family aesthetic while also embracing the history of Palazzo Bernasconi, where the hotel is situated.

“We believe that an iconic spa in the heart of Italy’s design and fashion capital could only find its home in the former Palazzo Bernasconi,” says Alberto Apostoli, founder of Studio Apostoli.

On the ground floor, there is a beauty area with dedicated spaces for treatments including massages, cosmetic micro-surgery, manicures and pedicures. High-tech facial treatments use the latest machine-led technology combined with results-driven products from Bakel Skincare.

A fitness area on the same level features rooms dedicated to Pilates, boxing and personal training. All of this is accessed from the bustling Corso Venezia, but members can access the spa area through a private entrance from the hotel.

A world of hydrothermal experiences

In the basement the spa opens out to include chic relaxation spaces and a stunning floatation

Casa Cipriani Milano, Italy

Spa Spotlight

Casa Cipriani Milano, Italy


Casa Cipriani Milano, Italy

Spa size 1,000 sqm

Product partners Bakel Skincare, Auteur skincare, Mimi Luzon, Fedua

Spa suppliers Nilo, Jacuzzi, Lemi, Dornbracht, Duravit, Gessi, Technogym, Cemi, BSR Engineering, Rivolta Carmignani, Hydrafacial, Lightwave, MeDioStar Diode Laser, B-strong by Esthelogue, Cryovis, Fertilseta, Omeoenergetica, Book4Time

pool, said to be inspired by the canals of Venice. This salt pool is a cocooning experience with a mirrored ceiling that allows guests to float in a beautifully designed, mindful space.

Suppliers for the male and female spa areas include Nilo, Jacuzzi, Lemi, Dornbracht, Duravit and Gessi. A women’s area has soft, curved shapes and employs precious stone mosaics in its design. It includes a Finnish sauna, ice fountain, sensory showers, and a hammam with a vaulted ceiling clad in French red marble.

The men’s space draws inspiration from Japanese traditional onsen and features a double-level sauna, two sensory showers, a Turkish bath and an ice fountain. 83

Les Couvent des Minimes Hotel & L’Occitane Spa, France

Following a three-year renovation project, Les Couvent des Minimes Hotel & L’Occitane Spa has opened in the Provence region of France. The hotel has 49 rooms and suites with views of the surrounding countryside.

Part of the Relais & Châteaux group of hotels, the project was designed by De Planta & Associés architects from Geneva, Switzerland and overseen by architect Anthony Micoud. Sustainability is at the core of the development, with bio-sourced insulation, eco-certified paint, low-energy fittings, geothermal heating, and smart lighting, air and water management.

The design of the 2,500sqm spa – crowned as the new flagship for L’Occitane spas worldwide – has been inspired by its natural surroundings and is

FOR NATURE IMMERSION Spa Spotlight Les Couvent des Minimes Hotel & L’Occitane Spa, France


Les Couvent des Minimes Hotel & L’Occitane Spa, France

Spa size 2,500sqm

Product partners L’Occitane en Provence Spa suppliers Symbieau Tech, Bien-Être & Confort, Balneo Spa, Elis, Gharieni, Matrix Fitness, Booker by Pure Informatique, Lazer

divided between wet and dry areas.

“Offering a personalised wellbeing experience is a key priority,” says spa manager, Marianne Ducos. “Our strength lies in bringing together not only spa practitioners but also a naturopath, yoga teacher and sports coach, all working together in synergy to offer a holistic wellness experience.”

An exhilarating circuit

Across ten generously sized treatment rooms, including two for couples, guests can enjoy a full range of L’Occitane treatments. The wet area boasts two swimming pools facing each other – one indoor and one outside for swimming and aqua gym classes, as well as an icy post-sauna plunge pool.

Two unisex saunas, set at different temperatures,

are bathed in natural light and offer views of the surrounding countryside. A steam room, comprising two areas separated by a Provençal fountain designed by a local artist, is reminiscent of a local village square.

The sensory pool provides an exhilarating water circuit, and this area also features a salt grotto and light therapy and sensory showers, including a snow shower. Elsewhere, guests will find a relaxation room with cosy cocoon-like swing chairs next to a fireplace. The spa also includes a gym, a yoga room and a softly lit relaxation area.

A large reception area is decorated with herbariums featuring plants used by L’Occitane, while a wellness bar-restaurant offers light snacks for guests to savour between treatments. 85
Spa Spotlight Les Couvent des Minimes Hotel & L’Occitane Spa, France

Maria Spa at Hotel Maria, Finland


Maria Spa at Hotel Maria, Finland

Spa size 500sqm

Product partners Biologique Recherche, Niki Newd, Julie Lindh

Spa suppliers Medanta, Lemi, Fysioline, Pent Fitness, Bala, Book4Time

Located in the centre of Helsinki, Hotel Maria has opened the Maria Spa to provide a unique Nordic wellness experience. Part of Preferred Hotels & Resorts’ Legend Collection, the 117-room and 38-suite hotel’s 500sqm spa focuses on expert facials and recovery therapies.

The spa has four treatment rooms, a Finnish sauna by Harvia Group, a unique steam room, a hot tub and cold and warm-water plunge pools by Pool4You. Relaxing day beds surround a beautiful water fountain.

“We are the only Finnish hotel offering comprehensive recovery wellness and beauty tools such as compression boots, Neurosonic recovery mattresses and LED light treatments,” says Emilia Marttila, head of spa and beauty.

The spa’s interiors were created by head designer Jana Sasko and Finnish interior design firm Puroplan, and include the stunning, greenery-filled, fully enclosed glass roofed atrium, which is home to a Spa Bar.

A wellness concierge creates personalised programmes including jet-lag treatments and nutrition programmes, a weekly Run Club and in-suite spa treatments. Maria Spa’s facilities will expand further in June 2024 with the opening of the Wellness Club fitness space.

Maria Spa at Hotel Maria, Finland
























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One&Only Aesthesis, Greece

One&Only has opened its latest property in Europe on the Athenian Riviera close to the centre of the Greek capital. This highly anticipated debut – the first of two resorts planned in the country – is situated within a serene 21-hectare beach and forest reserve.

Designed by architects AUDO, A6Architects and K-Studio, the hotel’s interiors have been created by Muza Lab, and One&Only has partnered with French beauty house Guerlain to open the first Guerlain Spa in Greece.

“We take pride in our collaboration with Guerlain,” says Fanny Martin, director of wellness. “Offering exceptional facilities, we extend a warm welcome to guests of all ages with unique treatments for men and exclusive children’s experiences, including a soothing scalp, hand, and foot massage.”

The spa features seven luxurious treatment rooms, including two spacious double suites, a sauna, hammam, cryotherapy chamber and a stunning outdoor pool. Guerlain’s treatment menu incorporates scientific precision into the spa experience with its ultra-personalised treatments. Enhancing the wellness journey further, a Bastien Gonzalez Pedi:Mani:Cure Studio offers guests exceptional hand and foot rituals. The spa also offers personal training and movement classes in its fitness centre.


One&Only Aesthesis, Greece

Spa size 2,800 sqm

Product partners Guerlain, Reverence de Bastien

Spa suppliers KLAFS, Mecotec, Keit Paris, RKF Luxury Linen, Garnier Thiebaut, Gharieni, Ionto-Comed, Technogym, SpaSoft

Spa Spotlight One&Only Aesthesis, Greece
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Sober-curious guests celebrate at spas

As the preference for low and non-alcoholic drinks continues to grow, we examine what is driving this trend and what this means for the spa industry

Champagne celebrations have long been an integral part of many day spa experiences, but that situation looks set to change as more people become sober-curious or completely abstain from drinking alcohol.

The research company Mintel has reported double-digit growth of low and no-alcohol drinks in 2021-2023, estimating that the UK market in 2023

was £278m (€325m). It also predicts that UK value sales of low and no-alcohol drinks will grow by 54% between 2023 and 2028. Similar trends have been observed across Europe, especially among a younger demographic, with Spain and Germany embracing zero-per cent beer options.

“With the growth of low and no-alcohol drinks in the wider market, it’s important that we offer

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alcohol-free options in the spa space,” says Robert Jeffers, director of wellbeing at Raffles London at The OWO. “It’s important as there is a consumer demand for it – and given that spas are centered on health and rejuvenation, it’s essential.”

Spas embrace low and no alcohol

Many spas already offer a wide selection of non-alcoholic beverages, including The Spa at Carden Park, Titanic Spa, Ragdale Hall, Glass House Retreat and Moddershall Oaks.

Silvia Ammesso, spa manager at Four Seasons Hotel London at Park Lane agrees: “Spas are, and always have been, a pivotal space for wellness and wellbeing. Not only have we seen a decrease in alcohol consumption in young adults, but we have also become more attentive to seeking out health.”

Offering a wider choice of no and low-alcohol

“Retail value sales of low or no-alcohol beer in the UK grew by 28.7% and volume sales by 18.8% over 2021-23”

beverages on the spa menu appeals to a wider audience too, ensuring that cultural and religious beliefs are accommodated.

New brands bring greater choice

With an explosion of new brands launching to market, the choice for spa operators is vast. Non-alcoholic sparkling wine and ‘Nozeco’ are natural replacements for prosecco and champagne, while sparkling tea is fast becoming a go-to wellness option in hospitality settings.

Floreat Wines and Wild Life Botanicals have made inroads into the market, while taking a boutique option, Limewood Hotel serves Thomson and Scott’s non-alcoholic Noughty Sparkling Organic Chardonnay.

“This growing market will only develop, and along with a wider choice of brands we must continue to offer solutions to guests – not only to enjoy with us but to take home to continue a better way forward,” says Doug Sheard, operations manager at Ragdale Hall Spa. | | | | | | |

Spa Specifier Wellness Trends 91
Opposite page and below: the Spa at Carden Park, in Cheshire, offers an array of alcohol-free beverages Right: guests enjoy mocktails at Ragdale Hall Spa, Leicestershire

Six Senses Ibiza addresses guests’ long-term brain health at new retreat

Six Senses Ibiza has launched a new four-day retreat focusing on the mind. The Brain Health with Dr Hanna Poikonen retreat explores all elements for optimising wellbeing – movement, creativity, mental clarity, and social interaction – through hands-on experience and science.

Dr Poikonen shares the latest brain and health research about physical, cognitive, emotional, and social wellbeing. Guests will deepen their knowledge with both energising and meditative movement practices to enhance mental clarity, cognitive performance, and social interactions.

“People will feel a state of calm awareness and mental clarity,” she explains. “Guests will receive neuroscientific knowledge and simple movement exercises to take care of their brain health.”

Alongside daily classes including yoga and sound healing, guests will learn how the brain processes senses, creates harmony and reaches high performance. They will also learn how to sustain mental power and how to perform and collaborate at work and at home.

Specialised breath programmes to combat respiratory illness at Vivamayr

Vivamayr Medical Health Resort has introduced an Active Breath medical programme at its lakeside centre in Maria Wörth, designed to aid people struggling with respiratory illness due to asthma, Covid-19 or other lung-related medical issues.

“Active Breath is both a reaction to the ongoing respiratory issues we see among our clients, and a response to the growing global demand for serious respiratory healthcare,” says Dr Werner Zancolo, medical director at the resort.

The programme begins with the foundations of the centre’s medical services, including clinical examinations, dietary consultations and thorough tests to determine which treatments are most vital for each patient.

A highly personalised treatment plan then features therapies such as Interval Hypoxic Hyperoxic Treatment, nasal reflex therapy and saline inhalations, all partnered by its world-leading personalised nutritional programme. Breathing exercises and yoga are also included in varying degrees, depending on the client’s need.

92 Spa Specifier Wellness Trends

A brand presence and support functions in nearly 90 countries. Treatment protocols inspired by nature, tested and with proven results. A Spa offer integrated into the hotel customer journey and dedicated support. The mission to create value with our exclusive partners, in exceptional destinations.

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Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London partners with Clinique La Prairie

Swiss longevity clinic Clinique La Prairie and Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London have introduced the Detox Holistic Heath Ritual to help guests feel refocused and re-energised.

Created to activate the body’s natural purification processes, the ritual includes wellness coaching and leading-edge nutritional guidance, accompanied by a two-month intensive detoxification by Clinique La Prairie’s Holistic Health Purity supplements.

A one-hour experience, which features a nutritional consultation, is designed to align health goals with individual wellness needs.

The three-hour immersion includes an interactive Health & Balance Nutritional Workshop offering an in-depth understanding of holistic wellness. Guests will also experience a personal training session, a 60-minute massage and detoxifying tea.

“We are delighted to develop our strong longevity and wellness relationship with Clinique La Prairie,” says Jamie Pagan, Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London’s senior director of spa and wellness. |

Leadership skills take centre stage on Euphoria Retreat’s new programme

Euphoria Retreat has developed a new Holistic Leadership Retreat for senior business owners and leaders. The five-day programme has been curated by owner, Marina Effraimoglou, and the Greek resort’s spiritual teacher Mary Vandorou.

Developed to help people identify what kind of leader they are, it will demonstrate how to improve leadership skills and become more efficient through the ‘yin’ aspect to personal management styles.

“I wanted to create a new retreat to explore the power of yin energy such as intuition, compassion, and empathy,” says Effraimoglou. “And explore how essential it is to have a balance of yin and yang energies for sustained wellbeing and leadership, whether this be in your work or personal life”.

Participants will take part in a unique series of immersive workshops, forest bathing, energetic nature walks, drama therapy, somatic awareness practices, round table discussions, and specially curated treatments to help define and gain a deeper self-awareness of leadership style and practices.

94 Spa Specifier Wellness Trends
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Time to retreat

Author, TV star and mental health advocate

Ruby Wax tells us about the retreat programme she is leading at Broughton Sanctuary in Yorkshire, UK

Amental health advocate and the author of several books on mindfulness, Ruby Wax has curated a retreat programme, ‘Keeping it real in a frantic world’ with Buddhist monk Gelong Thubten and author Rahla Xenopoulos. The mindfulness-based programming is offered at Avalon Wellbeing, part of Broughton Sanctuary, one of the UK’s leading retreat centres. Located in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales, the stunning property was recently selected as the first and only UK-based ‘Healing Hotel of the World.’

96 Spa Specifier Wellness Trends
Participants on the course will immerse themselves in nature

“Gelong, Rahla and I are offering this five-night retreat because we know that when we feel connected to our bodies and minds. It’s as if we’ve found home,” says Wax. “During the retreat, we offer workshops and tools to help you stop thinking, ‘I’ve failed. I’m not good enough. I should have/could have done more’.”

Lifestyle changes for the better

After the success of their first retreat at the property in 2023, Wax, Thubten and Xenopoulos are returning to lead a series of workshops that provide tools to help participants combat stress, anxiety and low mood by making simple lifestyle changes. The retreat is intended to hold space and enable deep transformation for participants who she says must be open to evolving.

“We teach you how to understand that who we are is enough,” says Wax. “And that if we can create a calmer environment inside us, it affects everyone around us. We humans work like neural wifi. If we change ourselves, we change the world.”

During their stay, guests will have the opportunity to experience the unique Pool Suite: a low-chemical swimming pool looking out onto the adjacent woodland, a sauna, a steam room

and hydrotherapy pool. There are also many other places in the Sanctuary grounds to return to nature, from meditation labyrinths to wild swimming reservoirs and a cosmic garden.


“When our computers overload, we know to switch them off and boot them up again a bit later. Why can’t we do that to ourselves without feeling like a failure?”

“We’re surrounded by weapons of mass distraction. We have to have a way of paying attention and attention is the ultimate tool. It saves your cortisol from erupting so you can be present when you want to be.

“To me, it’s the definition of living longer, because being able to pull down your stress, and being able to give your focus when you want to, this is the ultimate tool. That’s what mindfulness encompasses.”

Spa Specifier Wellness Trends 97
Above: the mindfullness-based retreat will offer guests help to combat stress, anxiety and low moods


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MLR Transform

Gharieni Group

Enhancing the luxury spa equipment line of the Gharieni Group, MLR Transform is a multifunctional spa table that transitions from a bed that lies flat on the floor to a conventional elevated spa table. This versatility enables spa operators to ensure maximum utilisation of space, allowing for a more dynamic and versatile treatment room. The MLR Transform transforms easily and has sleek lines and aesthetics; a luxury design to complement the ambiance of exclusive spas.

Lying flat, the MLR Transform extends to reach a width of 120cm, making it suitable for ground-level treatments

such as Thai or Shiatsu massages. It can subsequently be easily adapted into a standard 80cm-wide spa table suitable for facials and massages.

The Dior Spa Cheval Blanc Paris in France was the first spa to incorporate the MLR Transform into its treatment rooms, fusing luxury with functionality.

“The MLR Transform is a real game-changer for the treatment room – the first ever Thai mattress that seamlessly turns into a multifunctional spa bed,” says Sammy Gharieni, founder and CEO of Gharieni Group.

Spa Specifier Spa Style 99

Assisted Stretch Pod


Created to allow gym staff and therapists to perform better assisted stretches, Proverb Assisted Stretch Pod uses the client’s body weight and gravity to achieve great results.

“All Proverb’s treatments are centred around assisted stretching, as we know it improves manoeuvrability and flexibility to deliver more satisfying results,” explains Kirstie Sherriff, co-founder of Proverb. “We’re trying to push the mantle of 360-degree health in the gym and the spa. Assisted stretching gives guests deeper sensations and vastly improved benefits. The Pod also ensures staff are not on their hands and knees all the time, which is better for their welfare.”

Proverb Stretch Pods are handmade in the UK and have a hinged lid for hidden storage. Spas can offer one-on-one assisted stretch sessions as a warm-up, cool down or to work on specific body zones.


Lemi Group

The latest innovation from Lemi, ThermoSoft-V blends heat, music and vibration into a unique sensory experience.

An integrated heated blanket in the bed base provides deep thermal therapy to relieve tension and eliminate toxins. The temperature (both of the blankets and the massage table) can be adjusted according to client preference.

Vibro-acoustic technology in the memory foam mattress, creates a healing touch that reharmonises cells and reactivates microcirculation, while acoustic frequencies stimulate the production of endorphins and dopamine.

Part of Lemi’s classic line, the ThermoSoft-V has a horseshoe headrest and the height, back and leg rests are all electrically adjustable. It can be used for both touchless and traditional treatments.

100 Spa Specifier Spa Style


Brass Monkey

Made using upcycled matured whisky and sherry casks, Pro-Barrel from Brass Monkey is produced by hand in Scotland’s Spey Valley, and sanded, cleaned, sealed and reinforced to be water-tight.

Suitable for indoor or outdoor use, Pro-Barrel works well in smaller spa spaces and can be set to temperatures between 3˚C and 15°C using the Brass Monkey app. Dual filtration allows for up to 100 users per day, catering to growing demand for cold-water immersion in the wellness industry.

“We are always looking at innovative ways to allow more people the opportunity to ‘get their cold on’,” says the North Yorkshire brand’s founder and innovation director, Dale Bosomworth. “Our compact Pro-Barrels – with their unique design and easy fitting – offer the wellness industry the opportunity to easily expand into cold-water therapy.”

Emma Nest


A new compliment to architect and designer Monica Armani’s main Emma collections, the Emma Nest is a suspended cocoon chair made of powdercoated stainless steel for longevity. Shaped like a cradle, this suspended nest chair is ideal for spa gardens or relaxation areas. Offering the same handmade woven rope design as the rest of the Emma collection, it is available with or without a suspension frame.

The seat cushion and padded backrest use Dryfeel foam, making the chair suitable for outdoor use. The woven rope is available in nine colours while there are more than 220 cushion colour options.

“The rigor of geometry always inspires my projects, alongside an unexpected optimisation of space with innovative and specific technical solutions,” explains Armani.

Spa Specifier Spa Style 101

Yin and yang design offers hot and cold water therapy

The uniquely stylish wet spa feature for colour-coded contrast bathing


ContraSpa SpaFlo

One of the oldest researched natural water therapies, first outlined by Professor Sebastian Kneipp, contrast bathing is growing in popularity as people learn that it can support the immune system, aid muscle recovery, reduce fatigue and lactic acid build-up and reduce swelling.

Created by Richard Gowland (pictured right with Olympian Colin Jackson), founder of SpaFlo – known for its water walls – ContraSpa is a dual use, single-shell spa pool for hot and cold water therapy. The spa pool is based on a yin and yang design, separating the water while allowing easy access through integrated steps. The unit is made of UK-sourced sustainable commercial-grade steel, and lighting highlights the hot and cold areas. Controls are wi-fi and touchscreen-enabled.

“Health through water is at the heart of what we do at SpaFlo,” says Gowland, who launched SpaFlo in 2019 to create high-end stainless steel spa features. “I am delighted to launch the first ever single-shell, dual-use contrast therapy water

spa to market, to help spas offer the wide-ranging benefits of cold and hot water therapy.”

Suitable for indoor use, ContraSpa operates as low as 5˚C and as hot as 40˚C, and can be customised to individual specifications. Endorsed by Olympian Colin Jackson, who has used cold water therapy throughout his career, the new concept creates an opportunity for guests to immediately switch from cold to hot water.

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Myrtha modular panels technology are the epitome of ‘Made in Italy’ thermal bathing wellness products.

Fragrances for steam baths, saunas, whirlpools, hot tubs and experience showers

Cleaner for sauna, spa and wellness areas. Disinfectant and cleaner for whirlpool and spa tubs.

Sauna and spa technology for experience showers, saunas, hamam, steam baths and rhassoul, dosing systems, inhalation systems, lighting technology

Kemitron is a manufacturer of high quality products for spa, sauna and wellness (technology, fragrances, cleaning, cosmetics) with a focus on best quality and workmanship. All products are “made in Germany” and are sold on the international spa and wellness market.

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ESpa_206x120.indd 1 02.03.22 15:16

The Voyage

Kenneth Cobonpue

Award winning designer, Kenneth Cobonpue, has revealed a new bed design. Ideal for covered spa gardens or around a pool area, it can also be used to create added luxury in relaxation lounges.

The Voyage bed has been designed to emulate a reed boat, to encourage guests to drift away. Shaped like a traditional Philippine papyrus fishing boat, it has a precision-bent steel frame overlaid with strands of Abaca palm leaf ropes. These are artfully placed to cast shadows on guests as they lay in it.

Polyethylene can be used as an alternative material if the Voyage is being designed for outdoor use. The bed is available in sizes from European queen to American king. Other items in the collection include the Voyage Le Petit chairs and the Voyage Nite table.



Following the creation of its unique Snowroom – a room with -10°C cold air and fresh snow –TechnoAlpin has launched Snowsky, an aesthetic design feature in which falling snowflakes can be illuminated to create different lighting moods.

Snowsky produces real fresh snowflakes with no artificial additives that fall heavily from the ceiling at room temperature. This allows guests to experience gentle contrast therapy without the shock of extreme cold. Snowsky can be used as a spa shower and even over a swimming pool. It consumes approximately 11 litres of water per hour and requires a 4KW power supply.

Also new from TechnoAlpin is a solution that enables spas to recover up to 80% of the energy required for a Snowroom as thermal energy. This waste heat can be used throughout the spa, for example to heat a swimming pool.

European Spa selects the best styles and equipment launches for spas. Contact:

104 Spa Specifier Spa Style
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