In an article earlier this year, we discussed SpaFinder’s top spa trends for 2012. In that post, we also offered our own insights about additional trends that we feel have the potential to grow in 2012. One of them is the development of lifestyle spas. At Spa Balance, we feel there is an increasing need for integrated wellness concepts and we see lifestyle spas answering that call. The following is an overview of this trendy business opportunity.
What is a lifestyle spa?
Before we move further into this trend, let’s start this article with our definition of the concept behind a lifestyle spa. In general terms, a lifestyle spa is one that has an integrated wellness concept. In other words, it is a place where people go to improve their lifestyles and enhance their quality of life through different packages, programmes, treatments and services that range from healthy eating, meditation, exercise, relaxation, flexibility and agility to treatments aimed at providing relief for specific conditions such as back pain.
The key element behind lifestyle spas is that these places not only focus on treatments and beauty, but go one step further with a more integrated and holistic approach. Now that we have a better idea of how we define a lifestyle spa, we will take a closer look at the kinds of services that can be provided by these centres.
A full menu based on the customer
Lifestyle spas offer a comprehensive approach, which is defined, first and foremost, by the needs of the customer and new demands from the market. These spas offer a combination of services that include traditional spa and beauty treatments, complementary therapies, and fitness programmes.
Thanks to this holistic approach, lifestyle spas provide customers with a full menu of services and programmes that fit all kinds of clients. For instance, the newly opened ESPA Life at the Corinthia Hotel in London offers various lifestyle programmes “covering everything from biological ageing, detox, sleep, weight-loss, pregnancy and general vitality”.
The Lanserhof, winner of the 2011 European Health and Spa Award, is another ‘lifestyle’ spa based in Austria that provides a full menu of services including medical treatments as well as beauty and nutritional programmes. In Spain, the Sha Wellness Clinic also offers a variety of services that combine traditional medicine with alternative therapies aimed at providing the patient with an improvement of his/her health and well-being.
Feeding the synergy between the spa, wellness and medical industries
Something that lifestyle spas share today is their attention to the scientific and medical evidence that supports their treatments. To this regard, Susan Harmsworth, CEO of ESPA International, says that her centre has taken “complementary medicine and backed the modalities with science”. Along those lines, the Lansehorf has developed the Lans Med Concept, which is a new model oriented towards the achievement of health goals and guarantees long-term, measurable success.
Lifestyle spas are capable of combining traditional medicine with alternative therapies due to their mixed staff model made of spa and wellness professionals and medical practitioners. In this sense, modern lifestyle spas are helping to develop new synergies between the spa industry and the medical and wellness sectors.
A holistic concept
One of the reasons we believe lifestyle spas can flourish this year, relies on the fact that these centres have been implementing a set of ideal practices to follow within the spa industry. Although some of the new lifestyle spas are still related to the idea of exclusivity and luxury that has defined our sector for years, their comprehensive approach is able to tackle the obstacles and seize the opportunities the spa industry confronts today.
Thanks to their holistic or integrated-wellness approach, which gravitates around their comprehensive menus, these spas are capable of addressing the needs of different kinds of clients and take advantage of the opportunities the market offers. Also, lifestyle spas are being implemented with a concept that goes in line with the synergy that the spa industry has been forging with the wellness and medical sectors in recent years.
Because of their comprehensive approach and the best practices that lifestyles spas are currently implementing, we feel this is a very interesting trend and business opportunity that can shape the future of the spa industry in the near future.