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SpaFinder Announces Spa Trend Predictions for 2008

Posted: December 5, 2007

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Hydro and Thermal Super-Experiences – The European tradition of alternating hydro/thermal experiences is catching on worldwide and being interpreted in new and often spectacular ways. Witness the new Banyan Tree Spa Bahrain, purporting to be the Middle East’s largest spa (for now) and one of the world’s most extensive hydrothermal gardens. There the spa adventures include a rain mist shower, samarium, monsoon shower experience (“Summer Storm” or “Arctic Winter”), grotto steam, affusion shower, ice igloo, pelotherapy chamber, bucket drench shower, sole therapy, tropical shower experience (“Caribbean Rain,” “Spring Rain” or “Polar Rain”), an herbal ceramic sauna, brine cavern (steam and salt), and a huge hydrotheramal garden vitality pool with numerous aqua jet seats, bubble air beds and water geysers.

Urban Spa Explorer – Increasingly, young urbanites are taking a “rough guide” approach to spa-going, moving beyond high-end spas to explore the vibrant melting pot of (largely immigrant-run) spas – from Russian and Korean baths to Thai massage parlors – that are popping up in many American and European cities.

Although these businesses may seem off limits to some, the best of them offer authentic indigenous treatments, expert therapists, low prices and clean facilities. As they’re discovered by trend-setters, they’ll become more popular, larger, more beautiful, etc. – in other words, part of the “official” spa industry. In 2008 and beyond, this process will add a new dimension to the industry’s growth.

Plug-in or Unplug: It’s up to You – Is it more relaxing to go to a spa and stay plugged in or to unplug and get away from it all? From a spa’s point of view, should clients be allowed to be on their Blackberrys during a foot reflexology session, or should they ban connection devices from their relaxation room? Both are subjective calls, so it’s fitting that the trend will be toward a bespoke solution for customers – another way to customize the spa experience.

So the next time you’re at a spa, don’t be surprised if the customary questions like “male or female?” and “lavender or ginger?” are followed by a new option: “plugged or unplugged?