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Industry insightS Forward thinking spas are bringing forest bathing into their programmes


NATURE Nature is what consumers want. It’s where spa began and the pandemic has increased everyone’s appreciation of the world around us. Mary Bemis reports...


spa business HANDBOOK 2021 – 2022

hungry people are for real nature – big trees and a sense of private communing with nature – which is why the retreat concept resonates more with consumers than the spa concept right now.

The original spa Didn’t spa begin as a nature retreat? Mineral springs have been flowing and drawing people to remote areas since the beginning of time. The sun has been seducing people outside for eons, and let’s not forget that it was a search for the world’s best sunshine which lured Edmond and Deborah Szekely to Tecate, Mexico, 82 years ago, where they created Rancho La Puerta and accommodated their first guests in tents: North America’s first modern spa retreat. We’ve been working up to this thirst for nature for some time now. The rise of indigenous botanicals in skincare and thus in spa treatments can be

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estled high above the historic mining town of Telluride in Colorado, is the 42,000sq ft Spa at the Peaks. Large picture windows dominate the spa, keeping clients constantly in touch with the great outdoors. The views are breathtaking, which is why you won’t find a lot of artwork gracing the walls. Nature is all the art needed here.” These were the opening sentences of the very first spa feature I wrote for American Spa back in 1997, the year we launched the trade publication. That was a good quarter century ago and guess what? Nature is still all the art one needs. More importantly, it is powerful medicine. Bringing nature and the great outdoors into the spa environment – whether that be via design, spa service, or programming – is paramount today. Nature has become the ultimate luxury. What’s surprising to me is how