UK Spa Trends 2011
1. Ice Treatments or Cryotherapy
This may sound unpleasant, particularly when we’re due for one of the coldest winters in decades, but the use of extreme cold can reduce inflammation and pain whilst increasing circulation, eliminate toxins and boost the immune system. It can also be an exhilarating, endorphin pumping experience. Try Champneys new Ice Chamber which is cooled down to a bracing -135˚C, Anne Semonin’s Eye Express Radiance Ice Cubes or you can wait to try the NEW Glacial Shell massage launching at spas nationwide from March 2011.
2. Group Buying Deals
Since Wahanda, the online community for spa and wellness, launched the UK’s first daily group buying deal with its MobDeal in January 2010, there has been a flurry of activity from other companies keen to jump on one of the internet’s hottest success stories. From the arrival of US giant, Groupon to the newer groupola and kgb, collective buying offers the consumer huge savings on standard spa treatments and packages. Watch out! As these companies get to know you better they will be personalising the deals to you, making them even harder to resist…
3. Eco Spa Chic
Eco has never been more luxurious or more accessible in the UK. Following the opening of the UK’s first stylish eco spa, Titanic Spa in 2006, spa operators have risen to the challenge to minimise their negative impact on the environment to show that great design and luxury can go hand in hand with sustainability. In 2010 we saw the opening of eco luxury spas at Cornwall’s Scarlet Hotel, The Dorchester and Coworth Park with other premium hotel operators soon to follow in 2011.
4. Afternoon Spa-Tea
Can I offer you a spa treatment with your tea madam? Spas have caught onto the fact that combining a treatment with afternoon tea is a winning combination for their guests and it’s becoming one of the most popular spa packages, particularly when visiting with a friend or more. The 5 star Bythswood Square spa in Glasgow offers an ‘Afternoon of Indulgence’ including an hour’s treatment, use of the spa’s extensive thermal experiences and sumptuous high tea.
5. Rise of the Hammam
As demand for authentic spa treatments from around the world grows, spa operators have been installing the Hammam which is traditionally used in Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The Hammam is a hot room usually with a marble block in the centre where you experience deep cleansing and purification of the body. The treatment starts with a vigorous all-over body scrub, followed by a fluffy soaping and often completed with a full body massage. You will feel like a King or Queen having your personal therapist wash you down, it’s one of the ultimate spa experiences and the effects last for weeks. Check out the Ancient Oriental Hammam treatment at the new Antara Spa at The Chelsea Club.
6. Michelin Spa Menus
Once an after thought, spa cuisine has risen in importance as good food becomes part of the spa experience to feed mind, body and soul. Center Parc’s Aqua Sana started with their Aldo Zilli cafe followed by five star hotels such as the walled garden spa at Lucknam Park in Wiltshire with its one AA Rosette Spa Brasserie and menus designed by Michelin chef Hywel Jones. Elsewhere new spas have set out to impress with their priority on natural and locally sourced food. Setting an example is the new country house hotel Lime Wood in the New Forest with its Herb House Spa including a magnificent herb and own smoke house.
7. Spa Split Personality
The emergence of the spa guest who buys organic but wants the non surgical quick fix. Following the back lash on Botox, spas have seen an increased demand for more results based beauty treatments. This has resulted in the introduction of more programme treatments. However, organic products and treatments are still on the rise but it’s now ok to be both customers – doing a bit for the planet and for ourselves.
8. Quick Fix Bootcamps
Spa breaks have developed beyond relaxation and pampering to treat specific lifestyle concerns. Whereas once you would have had to travel far afield for some basic mind and body training, we are now seeing the rise of the UK bootcamp, often led by celebrity experts such as Amanda Hamilton. Most popular are those for weight loss and detox.
9. Spa Shopping
Often paying in advance for your spa days and breaks means that doing a spot of shopping at the end of your spa experience either as a treat for yourself or as a gift, is becoming increasingly popular and an important part of the spa ‘journey’. Many spas such as Thermae Bath Spa have been developing their shops including the use of sound, to help make the shopping experience contrast to the relaxation element of the spa experience. Several spas have also been working on the online shopping content of their websites so the good news is that in 2011 in between our spa visits we will have more opportunity to shop for our favourite spa products online.
10. Giving the gift of time
Many of us at some point or another want the world to slow down and to take time out for ourselves but often we need to be encouraged to do so. The majority of people buying spa gift vouchers now do so because it gives that special someone a few precious hours to themselves. The Sanctuary has cleverly introduced their ‘Gift of Time’ vouchers for two or three hours.