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I’m actually writing this month’s column from the beautiful Monte Carlo, Monaco, while attending The Monaco Spa Symposium, being held at Grimaldi Forum in Monte Carlo. In January, I gladly traded in Chicago’s sub-zero weather and snow for Monaco’s balmy 60-degree sweater-wearing weather to hear the international perspective about what is happening on the business side in the spa industry.
I had wanted to attend this event for some time now, and am grateful to have had this chance. The lineup of speakers was phenomenal; the symposium featured three full days of conferences and Ask the Expert panel discussions, molded around a constantly evolving industry that needs—now more than ever—a set of benchmarks to follow. Topics were grouped by the senses. Touch the New Wellness on January 18 featured the hospitality industry, and the spa and wellness sector, as well as the new spa trends and concepts in design and architecture. On January 19, Look at the Success Factors examined spa success factors from a high-end point of view, and offered a spa cuisine workshop, how to track investors, holistic therapies, no-nonsense treatments, and how trends and different cultures affect the architectural layout of the spa. Business was the focus on January 20, as attendees stopped to Smell the Business Scent, which covered topics such as design in vogue, and health and wellness. And, how completely true the event’s statement: “The Monaco Spa Symposium aims at being the best way to achieve and satisfy the sixth sense: The Business Sense.”
Spa architecture and design also is in the forefront this year in the industry. Be sure to keep your eye on Face & Body 2008’s
Web site for some exciting announcements about what we’ll be doing with this timely topic in San Francisco this August 16–18! (To learn more about upcoming industry events, view our Calendar of Events.)
Spa as a lifestyle
While flying to Monaco via France and thumbing through a copy of British Airways’ High Life magazine, I was intrigued with the January issue’s coverage of Chiva-Som in Hua Hin, Thailand, followed by a feature covering The California Health & Longevity Institute. Living a healthy spa lifestyle is becoming second nature for so many now, both in the States and abroad. This also was surmised at the Monaco Spa Symposium by Andrew Gibson, group director of spa, Mandarin Oriental Group, Hong Kong. In his presentation, he talked about the evolution of the spa during the past 20 years, and where he feels it is going. What can you do to give clients the highest quality that you can provide? For starters, says Gibson, you can “keep it simple and provide the highest quality that you can do.” As for what the future holds, he’s predicting lifestyle spas. I know I am anxious to see the new lifestyle spas that currently are being built in the Chicago area, as well as watch consumer reactions to these new facilities. Other future spa concepts that he’s keeping his eye on include day spa chains, and medical spas becoming even more sophisticated and reaching a five-star level.
Until Next Time,
Editor in Chief
Skin Inc. magazine