'That image' of a couple in a treatment room with stones on their backs or rose petals in a bathtub has to change

The Health and Wellness industry is changing. It was only a few years ago where Health and Wellness in hotels was referred to as just 'The Spa' where you would be offered a nice list of 'massage options'. Then it shifted into a more holistic gear where a range of non-massage options would complement the treatments. Now hotels are doubling down moving Health and Wellness into real medical territory.

"People look towards more tangible and effective wellness experiences, a bilateral integration of wellness and medicine is under way", said Ingo Schweder, CEO of GOCO hospitality.

Given this medical approach wellness is proving popular and is in demand, what should we do to attract spa users who have a love for real, tangible science?

It starts with an Image

Zoe Wall, Group Director of Spas Asia, MSpa says that it all starts with how we do our marketing. She jibes that 'that image' of a couple in a treatment room with stones on their backs or rose petals in a bathtub has to change - it needs to be reinvented.

"Hoteliers need to get on-board with hotel marketing," she added.

It all Starts with Diagnosis

Part of the shift towards science based wellness, means that spas need to adopt a scientific approach. "Genuine problems should be identified, and so the diagnosis stage for guests is crucial," says Zoe.

She continues, "Technology now plays an important role in wellness. With just a bit of your saliva, we can see the age of your organs and we can tell you where you're going right and wrong about your lifestyle. These kids of diagnoses wouldn't have been possible just a few years ago."

Ingo added during an interview with Hotelintel.co, "Technology has enabled new processes of diagnosis."

If you're a hotel providing wellness solutions, it is wise to invest well in technology and qualified personnel who can help provide accurate diagnoses for guests.

Wellness Needs Experts and Skilled Personnel

When it comes to aesthetic beauty treatments, I have personally had my fair share of bad experiences. Luckily, the 'botched' issues that I experienced were able to be fixed by my trusted dermatologist. As a result of this experience I have promised myself not to let anyone who isn't a doctor that I trust, lay their hands (or needles) on my face again.

"When it comes to beauty and your face, you need a degree of trust" says Zoe. "This is why you need skilled personnel who are experts in their field"

And oh boy, do I agree with her!

The Role of Food in Wellness

You are what you eat still holds true. Food is medicine. But having healthy food doesn't mean that it doesn't have to be tasty. The Wellness Industry is moving distinctly towards whole foods - real food that is cooked in a healthy way.

But if you want to take it a step further, Soneva's Sonu Shivdasani mentioned in a recent Hotelintel.co interview that he believes that food will be a big part of the Wellness Industry moving forward. He too has launched a full plant-based restaurant at Soneva Jani.

Mental Health

While people are less reluctant to be looking for mental health solutions from their Hotel Wellness provider, and indeed hotels aren't yet staffing shrinks for guests, a move into promoting positive mental health is on its way. The Wellness and Spa Industry will start seeing more and more meditation classes and breath work classes. "I'm a huge fan of Wim Holf" said Zoe.

Don't Forget Tradition

Both Ingo and Zoe mentioned that despite the shift towards science based medicine, there are still people who want their Spa and Wellness experience the 'old way', which mainly focused on 'relaxation'. Given that, there should still be traditional elements: massage and scrubs along with other holistic approaches including ancient Chinese and Indian remedies.

Ingo mentioned in regard to the future, "I see the future of wellness moving further into the mainstream, offering a refreshingly robust and adaptable approach towards preventative wellness, incorporating a wide range of disciplines and techniques that provide the best results on a more personal level."

Another fun fact from  Horwath HTL Health & Wellness shows that wellness resorts have 35% to 450% higher RevPAR compared to traditional resorts with similar facility standards and service level. Maybe it's time to get onboard now?