Les Mills International
Les Mills International
Les Mills International


Time to get playful

This period of great seriousness is depriving many people of the mental and physical health benefits of play, creativity and self-expression – something spas are ideally placed to deliver

Although many have drawn on their resilience to find light in the darkness, there’s no denying it’s been a serious, worrying, stressful and sometimes tragic time for the majority since 11 March 2020 – the day the World Health Organization declared the most serious global pandemic of the modern age.

As we approach the second anniversary, I’ve been reflecting on the bigger picture and talking to industry contacts, family and friends to try to establish what we’ve lost, what we’ve gained and where we’re heading.

What I’ve found is that for many, life is lacking sparkle and has become more limited, more routine and a little grey. It seems we’re missing playfulness, impulsiveness, spontaneity and the opportunity for the creative self-expression that, in part, defines who we are.

Most admit these are first world problems and are grateful to have weathered the storm so far, but it’s clear that the sparks of joy that can make life more meaningful and experiences more memorable, have been in short supply.

As we limp wearily towards the end of the pandemic, with experts predicting two more winters of disruption before things start to stablise in 2024, there will be a huge appetite among consumers for playful, joyful experiences.

As a result, we’re predicting that play and playfulness will become a major growth area for the spa and wellness industry and in our next Spa Business Foresight report – due out in 2022 – this will be our number one trend.

For children, play is an essential part of development and for adults, it allows the recapturing of that spirit, with huge benefits for mental and physical health.

Right on cue, wellness community Serenbe, which is always so skilful at capturing the Zeitgeist, has announced its next development will be based on play, creating opportunities for spontaneous fun through its masterplanning, architecture and programming.

In this issue of Spa Business, our editors have travelled the world to bring you insights into life-changing experiences and it’s notable that the most vivid involve uninhibited playfulness – whether it’s Andrew Gibson howling at the moon in Norway or Jane Kitchen playing with mud in Iceland. It’s clear that if you’re not already incorporating playfulness into your operation, it’s time to get creative and find ways to do so.

Liz Terry, Spa Business editorial director
[email protected]
company profile
Company profile: Willmott Dixon
Willmott Dixon delivers the social infrastructure that people depend on in their daily lives. We partner with our customers to focus on the services they want to provide, not just the building we construct, and we are committed to achieving a higher social purpose through our work.
Try cladmag for free!
Sign up with CLAD to receive our regular ezine, instant news alerts, free digital subscriptions to CLADweek, CLADmag and CLADbook and to request a free sample of the next issue of CLADmag.
sign up
Marianne Shillingford
"The technology involved in paint is extraordinary"

Used cleverly, colour has the power to influence how people use the spaces they inhabit, says the creative director of Dulux

Last word: Tina Norden
Tina Norden
"We have created an approach which is playful, provocative but also functional"

Conran and Partners’ Tina Norden on playing with colour at Prague’s newly redesigned Hotel Maximilian

Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
To advertise in our catalogue gallery: call +44(0)1462 431385
Interview: Blurred lines
Scott Lee became president of SB Architects in 2000. Tracy Lee founded TLee Spas in 2015
"We design to connect the guest to the place, positioning people at the centre of the design"

Architect Scott Lee and spa consultant Tracey Lee on marrying the worlds of design and wellness in a series of interesting projects

The eighth floor Suite Terrace is inspired by ‘Californian cool’
"We tried to take over in a friendly way"

The Standard’s first London hotel is bold, fun and full of surprising touches

There is a pool and spa complex on the ground floor
Martin Jochman founded JADE+QA in 2013. He formerly worked for Atkins
"We didn’t want to put in any gimmicks. We wanted to create a building that’s inherently sustainable through passive sustainability"

When Martin Jochman set out to transform an old quarry into a luxury hotel, he faced some serious challenges

Thomas Woltz
"I am very proud of stewarding the largest public space to be built in Manhattan in a century"

The Wall Street Journal’s Design Innovator of the Year on designing the gardens at Hudson Yards and looking to the Native Americans for ideas on how to create a resilient future

Spa and wellness specialist Alberto Apostoli was responsible for the interiors
"Wellness embraces the entire holiday experience"

The design of the newly-opened Lefay Resort and Spa Dolomitti in Italy aims to celebrate and protect its spectacular surroundings

cladkit product news
LianTronics’ glasses-free 3D Star Trek LED screen attracts attention
Magali Robathan
LianTronics’ giant curved LED wall with stunning glasses-less 3D spaceship display effect has attracted many on the street of Chengdu, ...
Fabio Alemanno Design uses elegant semi-precious stones to create memorable spa experiences
Alemanno believes the stones are well-placed in the spa environment thanks to their capacity to positively support physical and mental health
Megan Whitby
Fabio Alemanno Design has expanded its collection with semi-precious stones to enhance spas, wellness facilities, hotels and private residences. The ...
Eden project uses drones to spell out climate change warning
Magali Robathan
Almost 300 drones were used to signal an environmental message above the Eden Project’s biomes, during the UN Climate Change ...
cladkit product news
Móz Designs columns anchor the world’s largest indoor aquarium
The design of the columns was inspired by the sea
Magali Robathan
After a two-year renovation, Oakland-based metal experts Móz Designs have unveiled their inclusion in Georgia Aquarium’s new shark gallery. Located ...
Cosm unveils Experience Centre with ‘one of a kind’ LED dome
The new Experience Centre houses a 20m LED dome
Magali Robathan
Cosm, a global technology company that builds end-to-end solutions for immersive experiences, has unveiled its Experience Centre which houses a ...
Alberto Apostoli and Newform collaborate to launch the A.Zeta showerhead
The showerhead offers two modes; rainfall or waterfall
Megan Whitby
Italian architect Alberto Apostoli has renewed his partnership with Newform – an Italian wellness company – and designed A.Zeta. A.Zeta ...
cladkit product news
Christie laser projectors power new Five Senses Bubble dome theatre
The dome aims to integrate technology with arts and culture
Magali Robathan
Christie® GS Series 1DLP® laser projectors are delivering vivid and lifelike visuals in a new dome theatre located in Xiong’an ...
Diamond balloon concept merges tourist attraction with advertising billboard
Magali Robathan
A group of Dutch engineers have presented a new attractions concept that combines a flying observation cabin with LED digital ...
Jaffe Holden helps bring Academy Museum of Motion Pictures alive
Jaffe Holden provided architectural acoustics for the Academy Museum
Magali Robathan
Acoustical consulting firm Jaffe Holden provided architectural acoustics and audio/video design services for the recently opened Academy Museum of Motion ...
Les Mills International
Les Mills International