Spa Business issue 2 2021

Page 46



or a modestly sized hotel collection, Capella has been packing a punch despite the challenges of a global pandemic. The group has pressed ahead with openings in Bangkok and Hanoi, bringing its portfolio to seven hotels. With two new destinations set to open in Sydney and the Maldives by 2023, the pipeline was further bolstered by signings in Kyoto, Osaka, Macau and Chiang Mai. Capella caters to the luxury end of the leisure market. Storytelling is embedded into each hotel through top-flight design, unique sites chosen for heritage or nature, cultural immersion initiatives and wellness prioritised through Auriga Spa and resort programmes. Room inventory is limited in number but big on size (Shanghai’s smallest is 111sq m). These USPs are likely to stand it in good stead as affluent travellers are expected to be the first out of the gate as international restrictions lift. With the group also launching an upscale lifestyle brand called Patina, Spa Business sits down with the top development and wellness team to find out more.

Top Team

Capella Capella Hotel Group is forging ahead with development and also launching a new lifestyle brand and associated spa concept. Perfect timing, then, for the group’s owning company and senior executives to speak with Neena Dhillon

Nicholas Clayton CEO, Capella Hotel Group


Clayton recognises the value of wellness both personally and in business 46 issue 2 2021

luxury hospitality veteran whose personal investment in health ranges from daily yoga to dedicated wellness travel, Nicholas Clayton has no doubt about the value of a well-executed strategy in this arena. “Between 20-30 per cent of our bookings for Capella are driven by guests who travel to pursue wellness from spa therapies to fitness, meditation to breathwork or nutrition to beauty,” he tells Spa Business. “They’re interested in making optimal lifestyle choices beyond one-off treatments.” Originally developed by Sylvia Sepielli and Raison d’Etre, Auriga remains Capella’s spa concept, rooted in the science of waxing and waning moon cycles with aligned treatment protocols of renewal and restoration. “We’ve been working diligently to evolve the concept in recognition that wellness extends beyond the physical being into spiritual and mental health,” Clayton observes. With signature moon rituals just one of the foundations, Auriga Spas are free to incorporate local treatments into each destination’s menu, mixing western and eastern philosophies. Wellness is consciously weaved into resort programmes with daily activities such as meditation, yoga and sound healing, while transformative experiences include, at Capella Ubud for instance, chakra balancing with a traditional healer. New bathing rituals, tea- and water-purification ceremonies are on the way while plans are afoot for resident astrologers to be installed at each destination.