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Innovative and Traditional Austria

By: Jonathan Selzer, PhD
Posted: August 23, 2010, from the September 2010 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.
The sauna at Quellenhotel & Spa in Bad Waltersdorf.

The sauna is an integral part of the spa experience throughout Austria, as evidenced here at Quellenhotel & Spa in Bad Waltersdorf.

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Austrians are an innovative people; not satisfied to simply enjoy their ancient thermal resources, they constantly strive for new and inventive techniques, resulting in spa experiences unique to Austria. The recurring theme is a synergistic blend of the old with the new: traditional procedures with modern technology.

Some of this modern technology includes the concept of bio-activated, or “revitalized” water, which sprang from the springs of Austria. Native son Johann Grander’s discovery of revitalized water, which instills life energy into water helping make it immune to external influences, was developed here and is offered in many spa relaxation rooms. Other inventions include Mavida Balance Hotel & Spa’s Blue Box, which stimulates mind and body using a unique combination of vibrations, color and sound therapies, and the floatarium—a room filled with saltwater that offers such benefits as loosening severe tension and having a soothing effect on the skin.

The modern spa

Austrian spas are reporting an increase of male guests seeking treatments, such as pedicures, manicures and facial masks. The modern spa guest is also looking for services that can be continued at home, including cosmetic, as well as nutritional and dietary supplement products. As is the case in the United States, retail sales have become a very important source of revenue for the Austrian spa.

One of the major distinctions of the Austrian spa is the personal guidance guests receive from highly trained professional personnel. Mavida Balance Hotel & Spa, for example, works with mental balance coaches who guide guests through the spa’s many offerings. Every visit begins with an exploratory interview with a mental balance coach.

Other important aspects in Austrian spas include saunas, relaxation rooms, herbal traditions, medical influences and environmental sustainability.