As travel slowly opens up worldwide and more people are getting vaccinated, the spa industry is looking to create unique luxury experiences to entice guests. New resorts are slowly launching after pandemic delays, and while spas are usually the last thing to open, soon, there will be a lot more creative options for spa lovers like myself. According to Rona Berg, editorial director of Organic Spa Media, the industry is dramatically changing its mindset on offering luxury experiences while remaining safe.
“There are some eagerly anticipated new spa openings in 2021 after many hit the pause button over the last year. Spas are ramping up programs with inherent social distancing like reflexology, treatments outdoors in tents. More people are traveling with extended family and friends, and spas are shifting to accommodate those groups, with wellness programs for the entire family, even children.”
“Some spas are introducing Mental Wellness programs, targeted toward helping to ease the mental stress that has accumulated over the past year,” she continues. “Nature Immersions have been increasingly popular, and now, even more so. Escaping outside yourself, through immersion in nature, historical and cultural sites, and visits to exciting cities with rich itineraries can certainly be exhilarating. Testing your physical limits—hiking, biking, diving, surfing, along with other athletic pursuits—makes you feel alive. Others are focusing on Transformative Experiences that lead to traveling inward or programs that help guests Reset themselves.”
And now, the World Spa Awards, created to reward excellence in the spa and wellness sector, has unveiled its nominees for 2021. Nominees cover the entire spa industry ranging from hotel spas, wellness retreats, spa destinations, and detox programs to aromatherapy brands and wellness apps. Winners will be unveiled in a ceremony in October in Dubai.
Last year’s winners included two Italian properties; Lake Como’s Mandarin Oriental Spa, Dolomite’s Lefay Resort & Spa, and the Royal Heritage Ritual treatment at Intercontinental Bali.
Among my favorite categories are the often outrageous spa treatments, including many of the nominations for the world’s Best Spa Signature Treatments for 2021.
A Day of Gold ($1,150)
Enjoy the spa’s luxurious gold Hammam and indulge in a Signature Palace Massage. Then enjoy a light lunch before your decadent 24-Carat Gold Radiance Facial. The finishing touch to the experience includes a Bastien Pedicure.
Sculptural Young Face Lifting Massage ($110)
Utilizing a unique natural version of botox developed by Yakov Gershkovich. The massage is an alternative to surgical invasive lifting procedures. The treatment strengthens and relaxes the basic facial muscles.
Royal Saffron ($612.00)
An extravagant ritual reserved for royalty using blends of 24k gold, saffron, and mogra, the Queen of Jasmines sourced directly from artisan growers and distillers to assist with cellular regeneration, pigmentation, and rejuvenation.
Signature Spa Suite Journeys ($260)
The Signature Spa Suite features Burj Khalifa and Downtown Dubai’s views and offers a massage bath and horizontal shower waterfall massage to accompany the specialized treatments.
Black Pearl 24k Golden Splendour ($700)
Following a full-body exfoliation, your body is wrapped in 24-carat gold, massaged with gold body oil, body butter, and given a pectin face mask. The 24-carat gold treatment is used to minimize signs of aging for the face and body.
Royal Heritage Ritual
Recreating the traditional Royal Wedding, this 3-hour experience includes a Bali Ocean Serenity, or Muscle Tension Release Massage, a lulur body scrub, a restoring Refresher Facial, and Foot Massage. Ending in a royal heritage milk bath infused with fresh flowers.
Yin Transformation Ritual ($170)
A custom-built water-filled massage couch with anti-gravity is used for this specialized wavebalance® massage, performed with warm oil.
Caviar Journey ($750)
This 3-hour ritual draws on the anti-aging properties of caviar extract to revitalize the skin. The treatment starts with an exfoliation, followed by a magnesium massage, and concludes with a lavender bath with champagne and caviar.
Starlight Ocean Massage ($280)
The perfect escape from civilization under the Maldivian stars, the resort’s exclusive outdoor Spa Pavilion offers up a 90-minute rhythmic massage and luxurious collagen eye mask.
Golden Quartz Treatment ($200)
This hot sand therapy treatment on Gharieni’s MLX Quartz bed is combined with the sound of singing bowls. The treatment includes various massage techniques alternated with small heated crystal bags to take guests to a deeper level of relaxation while the warm quartz cradles the body.
The Source at the Spa by ESPA ($300)
This signature service includes a foot ritual using local honey, Body exfoliation, Full body and facial massage using warm herbal infusions containing Scottish Lavender, and finishing with a Scalp Massage.
The Saxon Spa’s unique Signature Sound Therapy includes sound vibrations of gongs, cymbals, Tibetan singing bowls, and bells to balance and restore the body’s natural energy. Performed on a heated water bed, this treatment is combined to enhance the rebalancing of your energy flow.
The Maasai Ritual ($350)
This traditional Maasai experience includes a 2-hour ceremony with foot ritual massage, Singo body scrub, and African facial, all taking place in traditional outdoor tents.
This 90-minute treatment begins with an herbal foot bath, followed by a full-body massage with stretching and gold plates on the chakra points to enhance energy flow and ending with a pressure point facial.
After the extensive pandemic delays, many new resorts have launched, and here are the nominations for the 21 World’s Best New Hotel & Resort Spas for 2021: