These days, it’s not about looking good before a vacation, it’s about feeling good after one. We’ve finally moved past the notion of a healthy body being conflated to a slim physique and edged closer to a more holistic view, one that encompasses taking care of the body, mind and spirit as a modality for well-being. With this in mind, hotels are rethinking the customary spa offerings, enlisting the expertise of specialist practitioners and looking to technology to elevate their treatment menus.
Read on for six unique new wellness experiences from Forbes Travel Guide-rated hotels around the world.
Triple Detox Therapy in London
The long-awaited spa at Five-Star Claridge’s opened in autumn of last year. Designed by the famed Andre Fu, the vast 7,000-square-foot spa was inspired by Japan, with cherry blossom art, warm wooden paneling, ikebana floral arrangements and trickling water features. The subterranean haven includes a large heated swimming pool flanked by giant stone columns and framed by beds for relaxing after a dip. The spa also contains a steam room, a sauna and seven luxurious treatment rooms with private bathrooms.
Find modern treatments designed with high-performance lifestyles in mind alongside ancient Japanese healing rituals on the treatment menu. The spa boasts the U.K.’s only MLX i3Dome, a cutting-edge three-in-one body-detoxifying chamber, used in the 75-minute Body Detox & Sculpt treatment. Combining far infrared technology, plasma and light, the Gharieni MLX i3Dome can activate tissue metabolism and stimulate cellular communication and repair in just 30 minutes.
Following a session in the chamber, you are wrapped in a detoxifying fusion of cinnamon, white turmeric and ginger, and given a fire-and-ice korugi face massage to revive the skin. The combination of sculpting, lymphatic drainage techniques and cold sake towels lifts and contours the face. Meanwhile, ice-cold towels cool the body, before further sculpting and lymphatic drainage, removing excess fluid and smoothing the skin.
Flexible, Accessible Wellness in Las Vegas
Sin City may not be the first destination that comes to mind when you think of health and wellness, but Wynn Las Vegas hopes to change this. The Five-Star resort has launched Wynn Living Well, offering guests curated health and wellness experiences for all fitness levels, abilities and interests. With a work-hard, play-hard ethos, the program is designed with flexibility and fun in mind. Guests can train with world-class instructors, indulge in treatments, embark on exclusive fitness programs and nourish themselves with health-conscious fine dining.
Well-known fitness and wellness personality Amanda Kloots serves as the program’s ambassador, having created four accessible custom full-body workout videos which guests can follow in the privacy of their rooms. Three health and wellness pillars — renew, replenish and re-energize — provide the basis for the program. Renew combines traditional and innovative relaxation treatments, such as CBD massages and caviar-infused scalp treatments. Replenish focuses on nourishment to support physical, mental and spiritual wellness, through vitamin IV drip therapies, oxygen-infused facials and nutritious culinary offerings. Finally, re-energize features a comprehensive menu of fitness offerings, including SoulCycle classes, golf at the resort’s 6,722-yard championship course and one-on-one treatment sessions with a TB12 Body Coach, the fitness method co-founded by Tom Brady and his body coach Alex Guerrero.
Electronic Music Meditation in London
Akasha Spa at Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Hotel Café Royal has launched an Electronic Music Meditation class, the first of its kind in London. Akasha’s newest expert specialist, Belinda Matwali, a spiritual mentor, meditation guide and nutritionist, created the practice and leads the class. It’s an active meditation, which Matwali believes can help those who struggle with switching off or staying present during more traditional meditation. The four sections of the class guide you through an energizing, relaxing and healing journey of sound, movement and breathwork.
The first section begins with cathartic shaking to hypnotic techno beats, many produced by Matwali herself. You are then guided through breathing techniques to house music. The tempo eventually slows and the practice becomes gentler, with humming and spatial awareness exercises, before finally rounding off with a guided meditation while lying down to a soundscape of theta-brainwave-enhancing isochoric tones. Beginning in February, hotel guests and Akasha members will be able to book the class, held the third Friday of every month. One-on-one sessions with Matwali are also available.
A Well-Being Series in South Carolina
Set along the May River in South Carolina’s Lowcountry and surrounded by a nature reserve, bicycle trails and waterways, Montage Palmetto Bluff provides a tranquil escape. This year, the resort launches its inaugural Well Living program, which highlights a new well-being theme each month. The year-long series strengthens a holistic philosophy on well-being, one that encompasses mind, body, soul, nature and community. January’s theme centered around renewal, and February’s honors Black heritage and love, with an exciting lineup of art and culinary programming to display the rich tapestry of culture essential to the Lowcountry community.
The Well Living program speaks to the increasing interest in transformative, enriching travel experiences. To bolster the program, Montage Palmetto Bluff has called on notable experts to guide each month’s theme, including local artisans, chefs and writers. Upcoming themes for 2023 include honoring women, the earth, artists and Hispanic heritage.
Art Therapy in Marrakech
Royal Mansour Marrakech expanded its already impressive grounds by just under three acres. The new spaces include an herb and vegetable garden that will grow produce for the property’s restaurant and medicinal plants, such as rosemary, sage and lavender, which will be used in infusions and treatments at the 27,000-square-foot spa.
The expansion also includes a private dining experience elevated above the trees, but perhaps most intriguing is the new artist’s studio, Atelier d’Artiste. Found in a glass-paneled greenhouse, the creative hub will host a range of art-therapist-led well-being activities, including pottery, calligraphy, photography and embroidery. The two-hour creative workshops aim to relieve stress, reduce anxiety and encourage self-reflection through the act of learning a new skill. Each session opens with a guided meditation and is available for guests to enjoy privately, with a partner or with family.
Virtual Reality in Laguna Beach
In honor of Montage Laguna Beach’s 20th anniversary, the resort added a new realm to its spa offerings. Launching in February and exclusive to Five-Star Spa Montage, the Five Senses treatment uses virtual reality technology from Natura Bissé for a unique experience that helps the mind from wandering by anchoring guests in the moment.
By concentrating on audio and immersive visual elements, guests can focus on their breathing and other senses in the 150-minute treatment. Working in tandem with the VR element, the treatment also includes a foot cleanse, detox mask for hands and feet, full-body massage, anti-aging facial and dark chocolate treat to incorporate all of the senses and round out the blissful experience.