SpaFinder, Inc. has named its Readers Choice Award winners for 2009, as well as identified some spa industry trends happening worldwide.
SpaFinder, Inc., a global spa and wellness resource, has revealed the winners of its 2009 Readers' Choice Awards, honoring spa-goers' favorite spas across the world, by continent and country/region, as well as their top picks in 27 diverse categories.
In addition to regions/categories traditionally recognized by the awards, new destinations were added in '09, including Argentina, mainland China, Scandinavia, Spain and South Africa, along with timely new categories such as 'Best for Environmental Practices.'
Several macro trends emerge: an exceptional showing for spas with an explicit wellness/health/fitness focus, a striking performance by globally branded spas (such as ESPA, Fairmont Willow Stream, Four Seasons, Mandarin Oriental and Spa Chakra), along with an uptick in honors for spas with a water/hydrothermal focus, perhaps reflecting a renewed consumer enthusiasm for spa's ancient roots.
The 2009 awards are based on votes submitted worldwide at SpaFinder's global consumer Web sites and by readers of SpaFinder publications. Voters were asked to cast ballots only for stay spas they've personally visited within the past three years.
2009 Crystal Award Winners—Favorite Spas by Continent
The Crystal Award, a coveted Readers' Choice honor, recognizes the most extraordinary spa on each (habitable) continent. This year's standard-bearers are:
- Africa: Pezula Resort Hotel & Spa (Knysna, South Africa)
- Asia: Kamalaya Koh Samui Wellness Sanctuary and Holistic Spa (Suratthani, Thailand)
- Australia: Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat (Queensland, Australia)
- Europe: Mandarin Oriental, Prague (Prague, Czech Republic)
- North America: Canyon Ranch Tucson (Arizona, USA)
- South America: Kurotel Longevity Center and Spa (Gramado, Brazil)
2009 Country/Region Winners
Awards were given for the top spa in each of 33 countries and regions, from traditional destinations such as Thailand or the Caribbean to emerging markets in Asia or South America. In addition to the Crystal Award continent winners named above (who also took top honors in their country/region), here's the list of global favorites:
- Argentina: Four Seasons Hotel Buenos Aires
- Austria: Interalpen-Hotel Tyrol
- Canada: Ste. Anne's Country Inn and Spa
- Caribbean: The BodyHoliday at LeSport
- Central America: Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo
- China (Hong Kong): The Peninsula Hong Kong
- China (Mainland): Chi, the Spa at Pudong Shangri-La
- France: Guerlain Spa at Trianon Palace Versailles
- Germany: Brenner's Park Hotel & Spa
- Greece: GB Spa at Hotel Grande Bretagne
- India: Ananda in the Himalayas
- Indonesia: COMO Shambhala Estate
- Ireland: Sámas, the Deluxe Destination Spa at Park Hotel Kenmare
- Italy: Terme di Saturnia Spa & Golf Resort
- Japan: Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo
- Malaysia: Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa
- Maldives: One & Only Maldives at Reethi Rah
- Mexico: Rancho La Puerta
- Middle East: Spa Chakra at the Alfardan Towers
- Philippines: Mandala Spa & Villas
- Russia: The Ritz-Carlton, Moscow
- Scandinavia: Vann Spa Hotel and Conference Center
- Singapore: Willow Stream Spa at Fairmont Singapore
- South Pacific Islands: The InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa
- Spain: SHA Wellness Clinic
- Switzerland: ESPA at the VICTORIA-JUNGFRAU Grand Hotel & Spa
- United Kingdom: Chewton Glen
2009 Category Award Winners
To help consumers identify the best spas for their specific goals, SpaFinder readers also named their picks for the best spas across 27 categories: from 'Best for Affordability' to 'Best for Men' to 'Best Medical Program.'
A complete list of Readers' Choice Award winners will be featured in SpaFinder's 2010 Global Spa and Wellness Directory and can also be accessed at: http://www.spafinder.com/spaguide/readerschoice/2009.jsp.