Propelled by the growing wellness trend worldwide, the spa business is booming. In the U.S. alone there are now more than 12,000 spas, up from 1,400 in 1990 and the industry there is worth over $11 billion targeting a range of clients as the market becomes increasingly sophisticated.According to a recent survey, 33 percent of leisure travelers say access to a spa is a primary consideration in making their travel plans. Spas and resorts used to be geared to the wealthy leisure class, now “wellness” services are provided to people across the board.
The growth of spa facilities and increased awareness worldwide has led to spa-inspired beauty products, as well as the opening and blossoming of groundbreaking spas and resorts. One such establishment is the Le Meridien Limassol in Cyprus, which has won the “World’s Leading Spa Resort,” trophy.
For two years on the row “World’s Leading Eco Resort & Spa has been won by the El Santuario, Valle de Bravo, which also picked up a shield for “Central & Latin America’s Leading Spa Resort.”
In Greece the Angelopoulos family have played a hand in repositioning Greece as a luxury travel destination, with the launch of Aldemar Hotels in 1997, which was recently rebranded as Aldemar Hotels and Spa. Aldemar Royal Mare Village & Thalasso, which recently has won Europe’s Leading Spa Resort.
Hotels across the globe from Fiji to San Francisco also realise that building a quality spa into their investment plans directly boosts the bottom line. In the industry a hotel resort is not considered complete without a fully equipped spa.
A plethora of magazines and Websites are now devoted to worldwide spas, with Websites including wellness options within their dynamic packaging. This enables online bookers to find a spa-focused vacation.
The luxury end of the market is becoming even more high-end. One resort that promises an exclusive experience is the Penny Hill Park Hotel, which won “England’s Leading Spa Resort,” this spa recently launched its Spa Nail Bar.
In August 2005, Tobago’s Le Grand Courlan Spa Resort, which has won “Caribbean’s Leading Spa Resort,” completed a $300,000 renovation of its 5,000 square foot spa. The 16-month refurbishment saw the addition of four luxury treatment rooms and two couples treatment rooms.
Officially opened in February this year, the Pezula Resort Hotel & Spa, is located on Knysna’s Eastern Head overlooking the lagoon and Indian Ocean coastline. The resort’s spa won “Africa’s Leading Spa Resort” and is designed to reflect the soul of Africa, offering a diverse range of treatments by skilled therapists.