CLIENTS booking a spa holiday now have more options than ever before – which unfortunately for agents means they could be looking for anything.
Does spa mean a week of pampering, full-on detox or a life-changing meditation experience? Or does the client want something else entirely?
It can be difficult to know where to start, so here are a few ideas.
Where?Hotel Vitarium, Slovenia
Why? The programme kicks off with a consultation from a resident physician, after which each client undergoes a range of laboratory tests, including blood and tissue.
The physician then prescribes an individually tailored diet and treatments. Massages, detox baths, cardio- training, cross-country walking, Pilates and yoga are some of the treatments available.
In addition to the full range of cleansing therapies, the hotel offers a total detox diet with fresh, organic food grown in its own gardens.
Who goes there? Those for whom a little pain is a price worth paying for a complete body detox. It’s not for clients looking for a luxury holiday.
Sample product:Thermalia has seven-night packages including flights, transfers, accommodation and all treatments from £679.
A less painful and cheaper detox experience is available at the Hotel Sava, also in Slovenia, which involves body massages and drinking lots of mineral-laden water to gently flush out the system. This package costs from £473 for seven nights.
Where?Six Senses Spa, Madinat Jumeirah Hotel, Dubai
Why? No fewer than 26 treatment rooms, each dedicated to a particular technique, are clustered on islands to ensure maximum privacy.
All those with balconies overlook private gardens and rooms can accommodate couples. Two outdoor treatment tents, set in the courtyard gardens, give a flavour of Arabia.
Treatments include every imaginable type of massage, mud wraps and thalassotherapy.
Among the more unusual options are light therapy, which takes place in a room with a domed ceiling on which the lights are displayed, and jet lag recovery, a rebalancing treatment that reduces swelling and stimulates the circulation.
Who goes there? Clients with no specific ailments who merely want to relax in beautiful surroundings and choose from a host of body and beauty treatments.
Sample product: Elegant Resorts has seven nights in a deluxe balcony room from £1,065 per person, twin-share, including flights, accommodation and breakfast.
Where? The Mayr Health Spa, southern Austria
Why? Located in the Carinthian mountains on the shores of Lake Worth, this is a spa that takes health very seriously.
Based on the ideas of Dr Franz Xavier Mayr, an Austrian physician who worked on the principle that the digestive system is central to biological health, every visit begins with a consultation with a doctor who puts together a personal diet and programme.
Activities and treatments to promote weight loss include special massages, hydrotherapy, cookery courses and health lectures. In the summer, guests can take bike rides, swim in the lake or take part in the extremely energetic Nordic walking.
There is also a golf course adjacent to the spa. Erna Low Body and Soul recommends a stay of at least one week, but preferably two or three.
Who goes there? Those wishing to lose weight or kick-start a healthier way of life, and clients who want a respite from stressful lives.
Sample product:Erna Low Body and Soul has a seven-night package from £1,235 per person twin-share.
It includes initial and final medical exams, two abdominal massages, four special 20-minute massages, three Hay Flower liver compresses, alkaline powder, Omega 3 supplements, one urine analysis, one laboratory test or abdomen ultrasound, FX Mayr Regeneration diet, mineral water, herbal teas, Kneipp therapy (hot and cold water treatments), group exercise and Nordic walking.
Where?The Spa at Elbow Beach, Bermuda
Why? Six private spa suites, each with an ocean view, oversized granite baths and pebble-lined steam showers, offer a range of holistic treatments and spa packages.
Guests struggling to decide can have a consultation and let the therapists recommend treatments.
One example spa package is the Essence of Bermuda, a four-hour-plus treatment that includes reflexology, an aromatherapy petal bath, full body sugar and honey scrub, aloe vera and honey wrap and body massage. The package includes a healthy lunch created by the spa chef.
Who goes there? At £450 for a day-long treatment package, this spa isn’t cheap, so it appeals to those with pots of money who are prepared to pay whatever it costs to feel good.
Sample product: Classic Collection Holidays has seven-night packages, including flights, bed-and-breakfast accommodation at Elbow Beach and private transfers from £1,122 per person. Spa treatments are extra.
Where?Chiva-Som, Hua Hin, Thailand
Why? There can be few more inspirational backdrops to a yoga holiday than the Chiva-Som, located on the beach resort of Hua Hin.
It offers several retreats, from weight management to detox and fitness, and its yoga retreat gives clients the opportunity to ‘go inward and focus on personal healing’.
Guests receive an individual health and wellness consultation in which they can discuss what they hope to get out of the retreat, and they will be treated to a daily massage.
They also have free use of the water therapy suite which includes a steam room, sauna and whirlpool bath, and they can participate in the spa’s daily fitness and leisure activity programme.
Who goes there? Actress Catherine Zeta-Jones who was rumoured to have checked in for a month to shed weight after giving birth.
Sample product: Carrier has a seven-night Yoga Retreat package, including flights, transfers, accommodation, three private yoga sessions, two yoga therapies and one Pranayama (breathing session) from £2,620 per person, twin-share on a full-board basis.
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