Top 10 Spa & Wellness Trends for 2014

Today’s world is constantly in motion. There are new concepts that emerge from all sort of creative ideas all the time; every year comes with its own surprises. Nowadays clients have access to various means of communication and therefore are more educated about what is going on than ever. In any industry, to keep a customer satisfied, it is important to know what it is that they want and expect, and staying informed becomes crucial. In the spa industry, every year brings new technologies, methods, improvements and experiences. Since the customer is up to date, it is important to be on the same level with them, not just to meet their expectations, but more importantly to exceed them and make them want to come back for more.

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So where, how and why will consumers spa, exercise and get ‘their wellness on’ in 2014? Spa Finder Wellness 365 has the answer in their trend forecast report for top 11 trends in 2014:

Mindful Living: “A healthy mind is the key to true happiness”- Dalai Lama
Today’s world is supercharged, and that naturally affects one’s physical, but more important spiritual health. The key to remain in balance and at peace is ”mindful living”-staying attentive to the present moment.  This philosophy is one of the driving forces today in the wellness world, From now on clients are seeking to reboot their brains, and the spas will have to offer treatments & tools to their guests, which will help them reach a whole new place of serenity and calm.

Healthy Hotels 2.0
As predicted by Raison d’Etre in 2013, the Healthy Hotels are here to stay. Just in one year this movement has become a mega trend, with many hospitality industry leaders implementing wellness in their accommodation offer or even dedicating entire concepts to it. A great example are EVEN Hotels and upcoming Element hotels. These healthy hotels will not only be good for their guests, but also for the environment. An additional development within this mega trend is hotels moving away from stuffy, eat too much restaurants towards garb-and-go healthy food markets. Hot branded inside & outside fitness classes, in-room virtual training, free workout-in-a-bag…hotels are doing everything to become the local wellness hangout.

Wired Wellness
Our society is entirely absorbed by the digital world, and wellness is not an exception. Latest applications provide us with daily opportunities to stay fit & well. Clients can not only measure their work out results, but also participate in online yoga classes, easily book spots in the hottest fitness sessions and so on. The Wired Wellness has already spread into the corporate world, by engaging employees with various apps. For spas this trend is crucial to follow. It is very likely that in the future many clients will seek for smart clothing that will measure their performance during the work out and will want to receive professional advice on what wellness & fitness apps they should use in their daily life.

Hot Springs Heat Up
Bathing in hot springs may be the oldest “spa” experience in the world–dating further back than Roman times–but they are also incredibly on trend in 2014. In fact, there’s never been a hotter moment for thermal springs with more and more people seeking out this affordable, social and beneficial spa experience. And, with hot springs existing in virtually every corner of the world, governments and developers alike have taken notice and are funding hundreds of new, exciting developments.

Suspending Gravity
Gravity is associated with something heavy and restricting, and it is no surprise that people want to escape that feeling towards a sensation of freedom. This deep psychological and physical desire is fuelling the new “suspending gravity” trend, as a result of which creative solutions are coming up. You will be seeing more weightless, stress- and mind-melting flotation tanks, chambers and pools at spas. A unique novelty is the world’s first “zero-gravity” spa in Space Resort, Barcelona. Meanwhile on the fitness front: a global craze for aerial and anti-gravity classes and yoga, and new equipment like anti-gravity treadmills. And more spas are incorporating new technologies like anti-gravity massage beds and futuristic pods that simulate the experience of floating on a cloud.

Ferocious Fitness  
A new “ferocious fitness” trend is on the rise, led by people who take fitness seriously and who compete to establish their own “personal bests,” frequently at semi-professional levels. A key aspect of this trend is making fitness fun and much more exciting than lonely 45 minutes on a treadmill. Working out with joy is more motivating and helps people keep at it longer and actually achieve better results. For instance High Intensity Interval Training Programs became incredibly popular, and you can expect to see even more “ferocious fitness” programs in the year ahead. It is more than just a work out, it is a new fitness culture.

“Natural” Beauty Meets Social Media
Back-to-basics has come to force the faux beauty out. In recent years there’s been resurgence in less-invasive treatments that revive skin, hair, and nails and make humans look human again. This new era of beauty focuses on the nude, the natural, and a high-tech, low-risk beauty, where organic products, science and technology intersect to deliver minimal-downtime results that are seemingly produced by nature. It is now fashionable to post the “no filter selfies” on Instagram, to show that one can look their best 24/7 just as they are. The spas will play their role by offering even more customized treatments and using latest technology for a quick route to lasting, natural loveliness.

Aromatherapy: Scent with Intent
Aromatherapy is moving in bold directions and playing a greater role in the treatment of pain, as a mood enhancer, in sleep therapy, and to improve cognitive function. It has also moved to a new level of customization, spas are reimagining their aromatherapy approach from the more generically pleasant to the personalized and transformative, in order to further enhance experience with the scent power on our memory, emotions and body. In 2014, there will be a growing effort to craft an aromatherapy of intention, working in tandem with botanists and even high-tech digital technology. In addition, inspiring, local, and natural scent will play a bigger role in the business world and in public spaces (restaurants, retail, hotels, hospitals). Call it beyond sachets and cinnamon candles.

Wellness Retreats Rise & Urbanize
In 2014 (and beyond), we will see more all-new destination spa properties, like the just-opened VANA in India’s Himalayan foothills. We’ll see revered brands go on an expansion march, whether Miraval from the U.S. or Lanserhof from Austria. We’ll see more headline-grabbing, hit-all-angles, big wellness “campus-palaces,” but we’ll see even more smaller wellness retreats at more (affordable) price- points, and usually with more targeted angles: whether no-nonsense weight loss boot camps or rustic yoga retreats. Additionally, we’ll see so many more resorts add so much “destination spa” programming, that we may have to expand our idea of the “destination spa” beyond just a noun…to a “verb.”

Death & Spas: Thriving During Life’s Transitions
In 2014, spas are starting to have the “death” conversation and help people cope with terminal illnesses, whether they are patients or caregivers, in the most comfortable and supportive environment imaginable. Nowadays hospitals and long-term care facilities recognized the power of touch and started to break down the boundaries between hospitality and health care by creating a soothing environment for their patients. Cooperation between medical facilities and spas to help patients cope with severely stressful situation is becoming more of a reality. Caring is truly the DNA of the industry, and in 2014 and beyond we will see spas and wellness centers bring comfort and healing to more people…even those who are transitioning to the end of their lives.

Top 10 Surprising Spa & Wellness Destinations
Savvy spa-goers are pushing back against the “been there, done that” travel mentality and demanding more exotic destinations and indigenous experiences to stamp on their spa passports, thereby spawning a significant new industry trend: a map of new spa and wellness settings to explore that extends beyond the normal hot-spots. The magnitude of this trend lies in its ability to prompt a changed perception of each country, instigating a “wellness halo” that can provide a brilliant tourism growth tactic project safety and generate great press.

The full 75-page report, which includes an analysis of factors influencing each trend and examples of early trend adopters, can be downloaded here: http://www.spafinder.com/trends2014.htm

Spa Finders team of editors, along with research analysts and industry experts, have hit the mark with extensive analysis of the latest market findings, interviews with industry leaders, visits to spas and wellness locations worldwide, and continuous surveys with thousands of travel agents, hundreds of thousands of consumers, and the 20,000-plus spa, wellness, and beauty providers in the Spafinder Wellness 365 Network.

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