Breathe in, breathe out – and relax.
Dee Mytton of Villa Kubu in Bali says that there are three types of tourists that travel to Bali.
- Tourists who just want to have fun – people who just want to let their hair down in a new place;
- Cultural tourists – people who are really into the culture and anthropology of the place;
- **Tourists who go to Heal **– people needing to heal the mind, soul and / or body.
These tourist classifications are just as valid right across the region. If you open a hotel’s website or travel brochure, you are usually hit with imagery and stories that appeal to the first and second types of tourist that Dee mentioned. There is a trend now to really target the tourists of the ‘third kind’ – and what a demographic they are.
Medical and ‘health’ focused tourism has come a long way over the past fifteen years. In the past when you think of a ‘health retreat’, you might have thought of an uncomfortable week or more of juices and colonics, perhaps with a dash of yoga if you were up to it.
Hotelintel.co has been investigating the latest trends in healthfull tourism in Southeast Asia and we would like to share with you some of the trends that we have found and hotel business models that are allowing hotels to tap into longer lasting, meaningful relationships with guests that can generate RevPAR way beyond what the properties were doing before implementing their healthful programmes.
The 3 models that we will look at are:
**The Body, Mind and Soul‘buffet’ **– Maikhao Dream Resort, Na Tai Phuket, Thailand;
Surgery Partnership + Body, Mind and Soul Villa Escape – Villa Kubu, Bali, Indonesia;
Exclusively Healing Focused Property – Absolute Sanctuary, Koh Samui, Thailand.
**The Body, Mind and Soul ‘Buffet’ **
I know this won’t go down well with some demographics, but I confess – I love my steak. The initial thought of doing a ‘juice cleanse’ sounds as enticing as a poke in the eye with a pitch fork. At Maikhao Dream Resort and Spa, Zhanel Tyurina and her team have spent years developing a programme that not only provides sustenance for your mind, body and soul while you are there, but also incorporates a very comprehensive educational component to the programme that will have everyone going back home with the knowledge and skills that they need to make really long lasting changes to their lifestyle.
When you arrive, a qualified nutritionist rocks up to your door, scales and blood pressure equipment in hand and conducts an extensive interview with you to find out what is going to work best for you. There are programmes offered ranging from juice only to their ‘Keep it Separate’ programme that helps get your system in order through the separation of protein and carbs throughout the day. The juices there have very high vegetable content, as do their soups which I found to be fantastic as you never felt those sugar spikes that I have felt in the past when doing a juice cleanse.
Each person has their own diary printed up for them along with a personalised timetable which includes daily stretching, yoga, meditation, tuition, food and daily spa treatments designed to fit with your programme. All the team are briefed on each guest’s needs, as it’s important to ensure consistency throughout the programme.
We were very impressed and didn’t want to leave.
The pricing model is a flat rate for ‘x’ amount of days that includes everything. The programmes usually run between five and 21 days.
Surgery Partnership + Body, Mind and Soul Villa Escape
Dee Mytton is the founder and owner of the Villa Kubu Hotel and Spa in Bali, Indonesia and is passionate for things ‘healing’. Dee was once in the frenetic financial services world, based in Jakarta. The air and water were terrible and as circumstances happen, Dee ended up making the decision to pull herself out of a lifestyle that killed the body and soul and moved to Bali where where air was clean, and the ‘spirit’ and culture of the place healed her.
Based in the idea of all of us needing clean air, water and food, Dee set out to create a property that had only the freshest GMO free food, water and clean air. Initially providing juicing and cleansing programmes, Villa Kubu has now teamed up with ARC Dental Clinic in Bali and is providing medical / dental tourism packages to guests. Each of the villas has been designed so that guests would want to stay there during their recovery time and not only feel ‘incognito’ as their swelling goes down or wait for the full complement of teeth to be implanted, but can also bring their mind, soul and overall nutrition into line as well.
The dental packages all include the room rate allowing interesting RevPAR possibilities especially when coupled with softer cost in-house services including spa treatments and meal selections. Packages generally range from 3-10 nights.
Exclusively Healing Focused Property
Absolute Yoga is one of the most renowned Yoga franchise in Thailand. The owners of Absolute believed that they had such a good product and brand in the market that they built the Absolute Sanctuary on the popular Thai island of Koh Samui.
The Absolute Sanctuary’s core purpose is to be a facility for healing and development of the mind, soul and body.
The property is beautifully landscaped and provides just the right environment for guests to achieve their goals. There are guest rooms, 2 yoga studios, Pilates studio, 5 colonics studios and around the clock health experts. Guests can choose from a buffet of programmes. There is a large emphasis on ‘cleansing’ through juice and colonics, as well as yoga. Several times a year, the Sanctuary hosts a 1 month international yoga accreditation seminar where guests pay a combination of tuition and accommodation flat rates and live at the sanctuary for a month as they undergo the intensive daily regimes that will see them become internationally accredited yoga instructors.
While these are only a few segments of the wellness hospitality sector, I hope we’ve been able to provide you with some new ideas that might help you raise your RevPAR and start building a loyal market from a brand new demographic – tourists of the ‘Third Kind’.