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Bringing Up Poland

By: Felicia Brown
Posted: December 31, 2009, from the January 2010 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.
The spa at the Hotel Malinowy Zdrój

At the spa at the Hotel Malinowy Zdrój in Solec Zdrój, Poland, spa clients can experience body treatments, wraps, facials and offerings that include natural mineral spring water and peat.

In 2008, I was invited to speak at the SPA Quality and Wellness Forum, held at the Hotel Magellan in Bronisławów, Poland, which is about 100 kilometers from Warsaw. It was an amazing opportunity to become a part of its emerging industry, as well as to get to know some of the wonderful, welcoming people. One traditional Polish saying I learned before my trip is, “A guest in the home is a god in the home,” and that is exactly how I was treated by various hosts during my stay.

It’s funny ... before I was invited to the conference, I’d never really thought about the spa industry in Poland. In fact, many fellow consultants and colleagues were surprised when I told them where I was going. Although the spa and wellness industry is fairly young in Poland and perhaps somewhat unheard of in the United States, it has quickly become an integral part of many hotels and resorts in this country. With a growth rate of approximately 50% in the last year, both new and old hotels alike are adding spa services and programs to their offerings.

Polish pioneers

“One of the first spas in Poland was the destination spa of Dr Irena Eris in Krynica Górska, Poland, which set a new trend here—combining relaxation with body and soul care,” says Mariola Bojarska-Ferenc, a Polish television host, author and speaker who gives lectures and classes at various spa hotels. “The Dr Eris SPA Hotel became one of the main pillars of this philosophy.”

Situated at the foot of the Jaworzyna Krynicka mountain peak, Dr Irena Eris SPA Hotel has views of beautiful forests and lush meadows dotted with grazing sheep. The hotel offers traditional Polish spa facilities—a swimming pool, sauna and whirlpool—and is home to the Dr Irena Eris Skin Care Institute, which provides skin care and body treatments, as well as consultations with dermatologists. And thanks to its customized approach to clients’ needs with services for weight loss, yoga classes, Nordic walking and a special program for expectant mothers, the hotel caters to guests from Poland and abroad.

Another pioneering Polish spa makes its home at the Hotel Malinowy Zdrój, which sits atop a hill and is surrounded by the quaint village and pastoral farmland of Solec Zdrój. Located in the beautiful, low-lying mountains of southern Poland, this spa hotel is just a little more than an hour away from Krakow. The name Malinowy Zdrój translates into “raspberry spring,” a reference to the area’s sulfur spring water, which is used as a part of the health spa’s healing treatments.