A couple of days in Keiv got us all the knowledge we needed to understand the spa market. The problem with the Eastern European states is that spa is a new thing, for them the wellness component has been represented by Sanatoriums (Kur hotels) and beauty by salons. They are not quite sure how to define spas, it is medical like sanatoriums or beauty?
We went to big spa conference, with invited speakers from the US and big exhibition – and it was not exactly what we expected. Empty, no visitors very few exhibitors (who all felt they were losers) and about 15 people sitting listing to the long travelled and experienced speakers (see picture of exhibition). Tragic comic, as we say in Sweden.
Then we went around Kiev to the most famous spas, and well…. It was like travelling back to the 80’s in design and it was more salons than spas. Very colorful design (think bright pink and green) and plastic Jacuzzis. Ok spas are Hyatt and Intercontinental, but there are yet no great spas.
What they do have are fantastic clubs, very exclusive with great gyms, functional training, yoga, dance, treatments, restaurants, spa, hair and beauty salon. We went to train at Favorite Club, and it was excellent and you can become a member for about €2,000 up to €8,000 for the most expensive club (Grand Prix).
Kiev, however, is a stunningly beautiful city, with many cultural buildings and activities and it is a great city to visit. They are right now gearing up for the European championship in soccer and we will be gearing up to give Kiev some amazing spas!