Spa trends, challenges and news at SpaTec Europe 2014

About a week ago I had the pleasure to attend the Spa Tec Europe event in Rhodes, Greece. This events brings buyers and supplier together for short one-to one meetings to discuss new opportunities, share ideas and spot trends in the spa, wellness and beauty market. Below a picture from Sheraton Rhodes that hosted the event (from my balcony.)


An interesting discussions on future challenges in the industry was brought up; does a spa really need to cater the guest for everything nowadays? In UK we see an increasing habit in doing nails, waxing and other quick result oriented treatments only in a local salon or at the high street, and many customers actually schedule to do it before their spa visit. Increasing beauty competition in department stores, ‘real value for money’ treatments around the corner and specialized technicians are making it harder for spas to keep up their quality in comparison to price. And unfortunately, the less treatments your therapists do of a specific kind (ex. waxing) the less they perform and they might end up lacking professional skills. To offer lower quality to a higher price is not a winner. As the trend of niched concepts is continuing to grow, which encourage us not to be everything to everyone, maybe we need to listen more carefully and pay attention to this. It is hard to keep the quality if you need all your staff to be able to perform everything on your menu. Especially if it is long.

But, in the meantime there is a huge growing demand for hair treatments, both for scalp, hair, lashes and brows. Not to mention everything that has to do with nails, quick fixes like spray tan and shorter express facial treatments. We are also starting to talk about something called “Pre-tox” were we make ourselves beautiful before we go on vacation, and only enjoy the relaxing treatments at the destination.  Product brands are launching beauty machines as never before, or they make specialized protocols in how to use their products with other suppliers machines so they are ready to be implemented (like Hydro Peptide for Hydra Facial, a brilliant idea.) Here we have a great opportunity to fill the slots in the appointment schedule, with express treatments which may not be our favorite thing to sell in spas. As Annika (our MD) use to say; “I do not undress for less than 90 min on the table” which I believe many of us would agree on. But here you have the chance to sell a result oriented facial that works specifically on a target area, your puffy eyes for instance. You actually get a result in 20 min, and you can charge for it, with pride. That is interesting.

I met a lot of inspiring people in Rhodes and want to share some of the innovative suppliers and that I met:


Icelab – Whole Body Cryotherapy at minus -110 degrees
You enter a chamber on 3 different rooms were the temperature drops from Celsius -10, -60 to -110 degrees. It is described to be the perfect start of the spa journey, to clear your mind and “chock” your body into relaxation and healing. Cannot be compared to the effects of scold plunges/ that often are at least around +8-12 degrees. Developed for sportsmen from the beginning, to increase circulation, enhance speed, strength and power performance as well as treating injuries.

 Coola Organic Suncare founded by eco-entrepreneur Chris Birchby is well known in the US and now entering the European market. Together with Living Earth Crafts they have designed a smart retail trolley called “Coola Cart” which helps you sell the right product to the right client, at the right time. They describe it as an opportunity to connect retail across properties, bringing together spa, pool, gift, sport facilities and even make them available in the in-room mini bar. Cool(a) concept!


Local heritage is still a winning concept represented by Scottish skincare brand Ishga, which offers pure organic seaweed products as well as LI’TYA, that origins from Australia using old aboriginal recipes. Overall, we feel the combination of an organic product range with an active scientifically range is probably what spas are heading towards. Good combination? Probably, yes.


Of course also have to mention Sammy Gharieni with his anti-gravity quartz massage table (now with a specific massage protocol) and his custom made trolleys that easily can be fitted into the room decor, inbuilt hot cabby and diffuser. Always new innovations and always something interesting to offer! Also very excited about Resort Suites (software) new launch of health assessment Ipad app, where the customer can update previous assessments and ‘copy their own answers’ from last visit to save time. This is a company that offers all essentials but also follows the
technologies and uses them in the best way, check out their membership app as well as all other online features.


iphoneNotably, suppliers nowadays need to be able to meet the specific requirements of the client and buyers and everyone is ready to customize, what differs is the quality when leaving the standard, the support and of course, the price tag.

Thank you SpaTec team for this time!




4 thoughts on “Spa trends, challenges and news at SpaTec Europe 2014

  1. hi,
    I was wondering if you now where can i find Icelab room. i think that i would like it very much am here is the first time i heard about it. i will wait you response.
    Have a nice day.


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