Designers know that lasting impact is best achieved when spaces are more timeless and less trendy. Spas too are eschewing complicated trends and instead embracing classic looks and treatments. While spas are becoming more experiential and immersive, Meg Prendergast, principal at Gettys, sees outlandish spa treatments diminishing. “Guests appreciate the art of hand-applied massages, physical touch and back-to-basic applications,” she said.
Prendergast also is seeing those lengthy spa menus trim back. She said guests are better educated on wellness issues and less concerned with exotic ingredients. “People are more interested in authenticity now,” she said. “Just five years ago spas were more about indulgence and having a mini-vacation in one area of a hotel, but now they are incorporating wellness into their design, which is a direction that is finding legs now.”
Using natural materials such as wood and stone, and providing natural light, creates a relaxing environment. The Four Seasons Seychelles is shown here.
Transparency also is coming to the spa, which was traditionally an area renowned for its mystery. Alfredo Carvajal, COO for WTS International, joked that the reception area is now in hindsight seen as the “deception” area, as guests, often spa "newbies," would often have no idea what to expect when they approached. “Seven out of 10 people will order a Swedish massage, and they won’t read a long menu,” Carvajal said. “If guests don’t know what is going on behind the spa’s doors they will be unwilling to step inside. But they will take a Swedish massage, because it’s simple to understand and you can’t go wrong with one.”