TRENDS IN THE SPA AND WELLNESS INDUSTRY
“There is no trend which is a benchmark. It is all about an individual solution for the particular project which is based on a complex combination of everything that creates a sense of harmony between spirit and body. This includes choosing the appropriate materials, lighting, equipment, furnishing and even scents.” The expert in Spa and Wellness planning and equipment DENITSA KIRKOVA shares her experience in the field.
Mrs. Kirkova, you are a consultant of international projects with great experience in the spa area. Tell us more about global trends in the spa industry?
Several interesting topics were discussed during the last professional meetings of the Global Wellness Summit. A leading trend in the quest for ideal functionality and worldview is the influence of the authentic natural and local elements on the design, equipment and treatments in spa centers. The spa tourism uses the advantages of the destination ever more often.
Rediscovering the sauna takes the leading place among the main trends. The sauna is nowadays used not only for positive influence on our health and well-being but also as a place where we can have pleasant time and even experience special performances. An example of that are the infusions and interesting rituals done in Western Europe that make the stay in the sauna memorable.
I have to mention the fast growing “Quiet Spa” trend - more zones for deep relaxation, where visitors can isolate themselves to reach their own level of meditation, with no mobile devices and conversations between the clients.
Тhe experts in the field notice also the reverse trend which starts to stand out, the “Social Spa”. Overwhelmed with too much work and due to an intensive lifestyle, we have started losing the social connection among us. We have less and less real friends and many “virtual” ones. We believe the spa center could turn into a place much similar to the Roman Thermae known from ancient times as facilities for health improvement as well as social activities.
Art and creativity are another accent in the spa industry. They take a central place in the spa and wellness center planning. An interesting, and, most importantly, a successful concept that can be applied to spa projects is the allocation of spaces where people could develop their own creativity.
There is also the trend for creating home spa spaces. We have dynamic everyday life with great rush and limited free time and that is why we are looking for an easier way to relax and detox our bodies, to organize our lives according to today’s health tendencies and in the comfort of our own homes.
Which are the most common mistakes when it comes to spa zone planning and what advice would you give on how to choose equipment when it comes to technology?
As my experience has shown, the most common mistake is not consulting the particular project with an expert in conceptual planning of spa centers. This is leading to the main problems with dysfunctional space allocation, mixing up of people flow, passage-like layout with small common areas and wrong choice of types and number of facilities.
Moreover, in order to create a profitable spa center, a detailed and in-depth profile analysis of the preferences, culture, behavior and values of the target group is needed. The hotel capacity and the area characteristics should also be taken into consideration. It is essential to perform an in-depth feasibility study in the initial stages of planning the spa and wellness center. Such a study would lead to the successful development of: a specific project and budget, correct planning of functional layout and design, detailed specification of the technical parameters, the choice of the right equipment.
The selection of manufacturers of this high-tech equipment needs to be made very carefully, taking in consideration that the products should be certified in accordance with the European quality and safety requirements.
Leading manufacturers in the spa industry have developed special technology to prevent the issue of mold and condensation. The proper sauna or steam bath should be a thermal and vapor insulated cabin, installed at a particular distance from walls, to provide natural circulation of air between the walls and the cabin. A constant fresh air circulation in the cabin without heat loss is mandatory in order to feel the beneficial influence on our bodies and detox ourselves without inhaling the released toxins. The smart choice of materials (flooring, tiling, coatings) is also important because they should be both hygienic and resistant to moisture and the aggressive environment.
When choosing the right equipment for your project I recommend to pay attention to the experience and reference projects of the manufacturer and the warranty of the product. Follow the advice of spa experts to turn your idea into a successful spa.