Please see this previously published article about Spa Tends for ILTM in their ILTM Spa Magazine.  

Americans are looking for a huge return on their limited spa time. Here is what they desire and expect from their spa resorts in 2014 and beyond to 2015.

Spas have not reinvented themselves, but rather perfected the offerings and concepts to match these trending desires.


Regionally Inspired Spa Treatments


The trend to utilize regionally inspired spa treatments is not only increasing, but being perfected. Previously, the treatment names were the only part  that was “regional.” Now, the bar has been raised to reflect the entire offering.

Spa patrons perceive these treatments as unique and custom-blended, just for their stay in that region, thus making it something that others cannot just run out to get at home. It’s regional couture.

At the Four Seasons Santa Fe in New Mexico, fresh, indigenous ingredients, such as blue corn, honey and adobe clay, are used to heal skin exposed to Santa Fe’s desert extremes. Multiple southwest spas use sage bundles as part of the spa ceremonies, including the “New Beginnings” ceremony at the La Posada de Santa Fe.



Spa Concepts — Smart Luxury

All U.S. spa guests are interested in being smart with their luxury dollars. They want to know that while they are on a spa vacation, they can also easily fit other experience-based activities into their vacation — such as a UNESCO site visit, a medical treatment or even a flight in a hot air balloon.

Driving forward this trend are the children of wellness-obsessed Baby Boomers: Gen X and Gen Y Millennials. This group has a developed taste for luxury, since their parents allowed them bits of posh play at an extremely young age. Princess and teen spa treatments have sprouted a generation that is smart about luxury, but with high expectations.

All generations (especially the Millennials) expect their destination spa to be smart concerning its environmental footprint and have programs in place to limit it. Their wish for an eco-conscious vacation leads them to resorts with Silver LEED Certification, such as The Sandpearl Spa in Clearwater Beach, Florida. By incorporating environmentally-efficient elements in design and construction, Sandpearl blends eco-consciousness with four-diamond services. Green-minded spa patrons want to be certain they are not throwing out all of their convictions while maintaining their Zen.


On the Horizon

On the horizon for U.S. spa trends in 2015 are speciality-based spa events and expanded spa boutiques.

Spa events are drawing new and old spa visitors. The Four Seasons Atlanta draws an early-morning crowd with rooftop yoga classes, followed by mini spa treatments and special offers.

Multiple day events (such as Spa Stiletto Girls) are extremely popular with Baby Boomers. These events gather people who appreciate the spa lifestyle in all parts of their life, from treatments to cuisine. The events allow a solo traveler to go on a spa holiday and not feel alone, or they allow for an easily pre-designed group spa vacation. Themes vary and topics can can range from medical discussions to shoes.

No one wants their spa time to end, so taking a bit of the spa lifestyle home is important. Spa boutiques are expanding their array of items that embrace the spa lifestyle.  Popular takeaways are OkaB sandals and Costa sunglasses. One of the most sought-after take-homes at Georgia’s Ritz-Carlton Reynolds Plantation spa boutique is the Farmhouse Fresh Watermelon-Basil Vodkatini Body Scrub. From personal experience, I know it is hard to resist licking it off your body after applying!

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