Spa Programmes

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We highlight some of the latest treatments, services, initiatives and programmes spas are offering


Aroma retreat on Croatia’s Island of Vitality
Bellevue Spa Clinic,Hotel Bellevue, Losinj, Croatia, 4 days
€520 (US$583, £470), excluding accommodation and food

A hands-on Aromatherapy Workshop Retreat is being offered by Hotel Bellevue on Losinj, Croatia – a locale also known as the Island of Vitality due to its Mediterranean microclimate and abundant untouched nature (see SB15/3 p76).

Guests explore local pine forests to identify and pick a selection of organic herbs, learning about their aroma and natural healing properties. Then, at the Bellevue Spa Clinic, they learn how to prepare the ingredients and extract essential oils to create their own face creams, body scrubs, face masks and lip care products to take home. They’ll also enjoy an aromatherapy massage and a facial using the handmade aromatic blends.

Cooking classes and walking, hiking and yoga are also included, as well as a visit to Losinj’s Garden of Fine Scents, a nursery of the island’s medicinal herbs.

Participants learn how to extract essential oils to create their own products
Six Senses embraces energy medicine
Six Senses in Turkey, Portugal and Cambodia, 7 nights
Prices start at US$9,320 (€8,298, £7,489)
Anna Bjurstam believes energy medicine is “the next wave of wellness”

Six Senses latest programme – Grow a New Body – promises to go beyond just physical and mental wellbeing to focus on less visible fields such as sacred energy and reconnection.

Four shaman/energy medicine sessions are included in the in-depth seven night retreat, along with seven bodywork sessions, vitamin infusions, neuro-nutrients and supplements, oxygen altitude training and LED sessions for mitochondrial stimulation. There’s also Six Senses’ wellness screening, mind-body classes and carefully thought-out food menus.

Grow a New Body has been created in cooperation with Dr Alberto Villoldo, an anthropologist who’s studied shamanic practices of the Amazon and the Andes for over 25 years.

Anna Bjurstam, VP of spas and wellness at Six Senses, believes energy medicine is the “next wave of wellness” in the industry. “The step into sacred energy medicine will enable our guests to embrace what can and cannot be seen, connect with the field of magnetic energy to clear toxic emotions, and ultimately switch on longevity genes to live healthier, longer,” she says.

Pursuit of happiness at Borgo Egnazia
Vair Spa, Borgo Egnazia, Italy, 3 nights
€1,850 (US$2,076, £1,670)
Fun is a key element

The revamped Vair Spa at Borgo Egnazia, Italy, has delved into the science of happiness for a new break which aims to increase people’s mood and balance their hormones.

The Happiness Break begins with a powerful olfactory test where trained staff use bespoke scents to gain insight into guests’ current state of wellbeing and plan the rest of programme. Fun is a key element and sessions with a maestro della risata, or ‘laughter teacher’, play a big role. Community and social interaction also underpins everything – from group fitness classes to activities exploring the local culture.

Meanwhile foods to promote a healthy gut, and hopefully reduce levels of depression, will also be offered alongside selected spa treatments which work on relaxation and mindfulness.

Fun is a key element and there are sessions with a laughter teacher
Travellers ‘spa on arrival’ at London hotel
Agua London, Sea Containers, London, UK
£40-£55 (US$50-US$68, €44-€61)
Visitors can access the spa and healthy snacks before check-in

Agua London, the Tom Dixon-designed spa at the Sea Containers hotel in London, UK, has created a package for travellers arriving early and before check-in times.

Spa on Arrival, available everyday between 8am and 12 noon, will enable guests to destress from their travels in calm surroundings. There’s a choice of three mini treatments which can be self-administered. The Jet Lag Rescue, for example, includes an essential oil to fight jet lag, stuffiness and congestion, a mud mask which can be applied in the eucalyptus steamroom, and a herbal tea. Guests get access to the locker rooms, with complimentary robes, slippers and towels, as well as the relaxation room complete with beds and duvets.

Sophie Benge rolls out menopause retreat
Goodnestone Park, Kent, UK, 3 days
Single occupancy starts at £1,250 (US$1,559, €1,386) and includes accommodation and meals
Sophie Benge

Spa writer and consultant Sophie Benge is rolling out an Ageing Gracefully retreat for women over 40 who are facing the menopause.

“I believe there’s a good market to support women to live life more joyfully during this changing phase,” Benge says. “I’ve brought together five loving and expert women, each with different specialisms, to help navigate the biological emotional ups and downs… You can shift your thinking, banish mood swings and boost self-compassion and sexual magnetism.”

The idea is to help women understand their body, health and hormones and their relationship with life with a range of complementary therapies – from movement classes, sound sessions and outdoor activities to energy-focused nutrition advice. Face and body treatments are available at an extra cost.

The next retreat will be held in November and Benge is in talks with other UK and international operators, about further workshops and retreats.

Blum Center introduces neuro-enhancement programmes
Blum Center for Health, New York state, US
Duration of initial analysis: 90 minutes
US$795 (€707, £635)
Field co-founder Devon White

New York’s functional medical facility, the Blum Center, is now offering brain optimisation treatments – a modality which is ripe for integration into spa and wellness centres.

The treatments are offered by Field, a US-based company which specialises in FDA-approved, non-invasive neuromodulation methods – from magnetic stimulation and sound or visual signals to breathing and heart rate variability training – to help with stress reduction, improved executive functioning, greater creativity and more.

A initial session begins with an in-depth analysis of the client’s brain using multiple EEG tests. These are outlined in a Know Yourself Better Report which details what the brain firing patterns mean for each person and suggests pathways to achieving a person’s goals. Field then offers extra neuromodulation sessions at a starting cost of US$300 (€267, £240).

Field co-founder and CEO Devon White says: “Field shows our brain’s activity determines almost everything about what we do and how we feel… By taking advantage of neuroplasticity – our brain’s ability to change, we have the power to update our beliefs, emotional states, attitudes and behaviours.”

Field is currently going through its second round of investment and White says “you can expect to see more dynamic collaborations and new unique Field Wellness Centres coming to market very soon”.

Brain optimisation is a modality which is ripe for integration in spas
Mandarin offering three-month skincare programme
The Spa at Mandarin Oriental, Boston, US
3 months
US$9,000 (€8,017, £7,243)

The spa at Mandarin Oriental in Boston, US, has introduced a three-month, US$9,000 Haute Couture skincare programme developed by Biologique Recherche – a French brand that’s known for its hyper-personalised and clinical approach to beauty.

Once a month, clients will visit a dedicated spa therapist for a thorough skin assessment. The spa team, in conjunction with the Biologique Recherche medical team in France, analyse the results and provide real-time recommendations. Clients also receive personally formulated creams which are used in a monthly, customised 90-minute facial and as part of an at-home regimen.

Haute Couture skincare has been created by Biologique Recherche
Jean-Guy de Gabriac creates Lemi massage
On Lemi Spa Dreams tables worldwide
50-55 minutes
Jean-Guy de Gabriac

Industry consultant and trainer Jean-Guy de Gabriac has developed a new massage treatment for Lemi to commemorate the Italian equipment manufacturer’s 30th anniversary.

Inspired by the sea, Ocean Dream Massage is designed to be performed on Lemi’s Spa Dreams table, which features heated water cushions that make users feel weightless.

While the cushions and movement of the water heat and relax and muscles from beneath, the therapist works the muscles with long and short strokes in a continuous, flowing motion.

De Gabriac, who’s been designing signature massages for cosmetic brands and hotel groups since 2004, says Lemi gave him carte blanche for his latest creation.

Water and heat from the bed enhance the relaxing massage
Raw rejuvenation in Mauritius
Salt of Palmer, Mauritius
8 days
£3,022 (US$3,750, €3,344) per person for single occupancy
Daily raw food workshops and meals are offered along with wellness activities

Salt, a new sister brand of Lux Resorts, is to offer a raw-food based retreat this October at its Salt of Palmer boutique hotel in Mauritius. Held over eight days, Raw Rejuvenation promises a ‘deep dive’ into the world of raw gastronomy, with daily raw food workshops based on the abundance of fresh local produce. Plant-based meals, grounding yoga sessions, hikes on the verdant southern tip of the island and salt-based spa treatments are available too.

The retreat is one of three wellness programmes launched by Salt. The other two focus on self-care and wellness discovery, and body mind alignment.

Elsewhere, on the spa food front, Grayshott Health Spa, UK has recently launched a Regime Gastronomy cookery school; Mexico’s Grand Velas Resorts are offering edible spa treatments such as a guacamole massage; and the MarBella Nido Suite Hotel & Villas in Corfu has unveiled a Food As Medicine menu.

Dream interpretations at Miraval
Miraval Life in Balance Spa, Monarch Beach, California, US
60 minutes
US$250 (€223, £201)
Bjorklund is a renowned dream expert

Miraval Life in Balance Spa at Monarch Beach Resort, US, is taking sleep health a step further by offering guests a deep dive into their dreams.

Private sessions are available on request with Anna Karin Bjorklund, a renowned dream interpreter and author, who will give them insight into the meaning of their dreams and how they tie back to themes in their everyday life. Miraval says: “Your dreams play a vital part of your life, and embracing them can help you develop a deeper sense of connection, fulfilment and happiness, and even bring about physical healing”.

Stock-Asso/shutterstock.com
Mindful Macrame at Grand Velas Riviera Maya
Se Spa, Grand Velas Riviera Maya, Mexico
60 minutes
US$48 (€43, £39)

Se Spa at Grand Velas Riviera Maya, Mexico has launched a weekly workshop focused on the art of macramé. The 60-minute knotting session will teach guests how to make a wall hanger and is also intended to instil a sense of “inner wellness and peace”. While crafting, they’ll be served a blue spirulina lemonade designed to help improve digestion and remove toxins.

The class is part of a range of Spa Atelier workshops inspired by local Mexican culture.

The traditional knotting activity is an interesting way for guests to relax
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