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SpaFinder Releases 2011 Global Spa Trends to Watch Report With Exclusive Commentary From SpaFinder President Susie Ellis

Posted: December 3, 2010

page 11 of 12

Suddenly, a 9 PM closing time is the new spa norm, and “open late” now means midnight, 2 AM or all night. The trend is also towards earlier: For instance, most major Las Vegas spas (i.e., Canyon Ranch SpaClub, Qua Baths at Caesars Palace or Hard Rock’s Rock Spa) open at 5:30 AM or 6 AM, while the Spa at Mandarin Oriental, London, opens at 7 AM. This attracts both business people jump-starting their day and revelers calling it a night.

And the trend toward “express,” “sampler” or “mini-sized” treatments will continue to rise in 2011, pleasing time- and budget-crunched consumers. The explosion of airport spas worldwide plays into the “express” trend neatly, as does the decline of elaborate rituals at many spas, to get right to the heart of the matter: the therapeutic treatment.

The quest for efficiencies is also reflected in new directions in facility design, with locker rooms on the decline and even check-in counters being rethought.

Finally, the pursuit of stress-free spa efficiencies will mean more spa-goers embracing 24/7 online appointment booking, and mobile apps helping them find and book spas on the fly. It’s all about letting spa-goers have it their way.

10. Surprising Special Events

Increasingly, spas are developing distinctive specialty programs to draw patrons seeking a unique group experience. While destination spas have been offering yoga and healthy cooking weeks for years, retreats now span everything from a high-flying “Trapeze Experience” to a creative jewelry-making class to the more sober and grounded gathering for survivors of loss. Celebrity authors and artists may headline these programmed stays, like the recent “Dine and Dive Week” in the Maldives headed up by Jacques Cousteau’s son, Fabien. We expect this trend to flourish in the coming year, as spas and resort destinations find creative new ways to prove that unique is indeed spa chic for the savvy consumer.