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Archive for January, 2012

Letter From the Editor

Shari_Rosenberg_SpaFinderHappy 2012!  Fresh starts, resolutions and getting healthy.  For many of us, a new year inspires an appetite for health, giving way to a season of spa and wellness. As you can see, this newsletter, as well as, has a fresh look to start the New Year. The Club Spa blog, one of the most popular spa and wellness blogs, will also debut a new look later this month.  Here are a few ideas that we hope will make this year a standout for you.

Mark Your Calendars

Wellness Week™ kicks off March 19-25, 2012.  The nationwide movement is dedicated to providing consumers an affordable way to discover and experience the wellness lifestyle. This year, SpaFinder has joined forces with celebrated actress and leading wellness advocate, Mariel Hemingway, as the national spokesperson for Wellness Week.

Our multimedia editorial is a key component in building awareness about the importance of a healthy lifestyle – and sending new business to participating spas and wellness businesses. This original content will focus on these six inspiring topics:

  • The De-Stress Guide
  • H20 Healthy
  • Zen in Zzzz’s
  • The NEW Fitness
  • Glorious Food
  • What Heals You

Plus, we have a social media campaign in store that includes contests, giveaways, original content, tips and tweet-chats with wellness experts. Let us know if you’re interested in providing prizes for social media contests leading up to and throughout Wellness Week. We also encourage you to share our wellness content on your own social media channels, blog and website.  If you aren’t already, please follow us on Twitter at @SpaFinder and use the tag #WellnessWeek for all related tweets.  We promise to follow you back!

I invite you to be part of the conversation with our wellness-seeking audience for Wellness Week and all year long by sending us your news as it relates to beauty, fitness, products, recipes, special deals, travel, trends, treatments, wellness tips, etc.

For more information on joining Wellness Week, contact Lea Crawford at (646)695-0584 or

A Tasty Opportunity

It’s no surprise that healthy spa cuisine strikes a chord with readers.  Last year we launched a new monthly email, Spa Recipes, which has been a big hit! Each month we showcase a delicious, wholesome spa recipe from one of our partners.  As part of this year’s expansion of Wellness Week, SpaFinder will be making healthy spa menus visible to the national audience.

I encourage you to send Amy Sung, our food and wellness editor, your distinctive healthy spa recipes (preferably with nutritional information), the stories surrounding them and even bios of your exceptional chefs.

In this start of a New Year, I look forward to working with you in the months ahead and urge you to take full advantage of the many editorial opportunities SpaFinder offers.  Please feel free to contact me anytime at

Be well,

Shari Rosenberg

Senior Editor

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Guerlain Spa Hosts SpaFinder 2012 Trends Press Event

Last week, journalists and press from major national magazines, newspapers and websites gathered at the elegantly beautiful Guerlain Spa at the Waldorf = Astoria in New York City to attend a very special event focused on presenting the SpaFinder 2012 Global Spa Trends Report.
Photos by Amy SungAfter champagne and hors d’oeurves, guests were welcomed to the spa’s relaxation area, which was transformed into a dining hall complete with centerpieces of rich red roses and Waldorf Astoria-engraved silverware. As a three course menu by Chef David Garcelon, director of culinary for the Waldorf = Astoria, was enjoyed, SpaFinder President Susie Ellis presented SpaFinder’s 2012 trends.

Five of the trends were brought to life through leaders in the industry sharing a taste of their specialty and knowledge and emphasizing the importance of these trends:

Photo by Amy SungFirst came a closer look at the Spa, Wine & Dine Packages and Glambition trends with Richard Dusseau, president of Trilogy Spa Ventures, the company that operates Guerlain. Dusseau explained to the group that Guerlain embodies the superlative luxury spa experience through its anticipation of guests’ needs, impeccable service and attention to detail. In creating a new service platform, the luxury spa represents Parisian culture and the cosmopolitan lifestyle, Dusseau said. From floral artistry and handwritten welcome notes to handmade chocolates and rotating food selections, Guerlain returns glamour back to the spa experience.

Photo by Amy SungNext, the trend of Good Vibrations (Sound, Music, Light and Color Therapies) was brought to life by Shannon Stringert, spa operations manager, Qua Baths & Spa, Las Vegas, and the spa’s Master Artisan, a double-certified esthetician and massage therapist, Lori Cloutier. Together, they presented the unique Aura-Soma concept offered at Qua Baths & Spas that incorporates color, light and vibration therapy. With “aura,” meaning light, and “soma,” meaning body, this treatment incorporates colors, massage, interpretation, light and acupuncture meridians to create a multi-sensory experience, connecting the mind, body and spirit.

Photo by Amy SungYamuna Zake then spoke to the Healthy Feet trend.  As a master body therapist, creator of the YAMUNA® Body Rolling fitness and therapy system, the YAMUNA® Body Logic hands-on therapy and YAMUNA® Foot Fitness, Zake spoke on the importance of foot education, saying “one third of the bones in our body are in our feet and without them, you can’t get anywhere.” With her development of the three related practices above, injury prevention, healing and wellness education is taught to last a lifetime. For more than 25 years, Yamuna has relieved all kinds of pain for thousands of people, teaching them how to achieve healthy, fully functioning bodies with minimal effort.

Photo by Amy SungLast but not least, the enthusiastic co-recipient of SpaFinder’s 2011 Visionary Award, Dr. Daniel Friedland, spoke about The Science of Spa trend and, the world’s first website to consolidate the validation for spa and wellness approaches.  As a highly respected educator and the president of SuperSmartHealth, which delivers wellness programs to organizations like the U.S. Army and Navy, Dr. Friedland emphasized how the creation of is a real game changer in the industry; the site makes spa not just about relaxation, but about revitalization, enabling people to live their lives as their best self.  His book Evidence-Based Medicine:  A Framework for Clinical Practice, is one of the first to apply medical literature searches to patient care.

More photos from the event (click to enlarge):

All photos by Amy Sung

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Makeover Your Spa with SpaFinder’s 2012 Top Trends

Courtesy of Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas

The New Year encourages a fresh start, which means the perfect opportunity to spruce up your spa. Updates or renovations, whether large or small, whether you have a big or small budget, are crucial to remaining competitive — and individualized — in the spa industry (and with 1,500 spas opening in the U.S. alone each year, it’s imperative). The SpaFinder 2012 Spa Trend Report: Top 10 Global Spa Trends Forecast is a guide to ideas you can utilize to give your spa a makeover this year.

As SpaFinder President Susie Ellis said in the SpaFinder Spa Trend Report, the industry is exiting recession mode and is beginning “a new era of pushing the envelope with fresh, new ideas that deliver more wows, more fun and quite serious wellness innovation…there seems to be something really new in the air — and we like what we are seeing!” While she was speaking on the new top 10 trends, we think her thoughts can pertain to new renovations for your spa as well.

If you think it’s time to renovate, consider the following ideas, taken from the 2012 Spa Trend Report (which is known to forecast the trends and ideas that will reshape spa and wellness this year) to keep your spa competitive.

If you’re ready for a big change…

Courtesy of Atomic Spa Suisse

Go for the wow factor: Big wows or small wows, have your spa serve up some surprises to please seasoned spa-goers who are searching for “aha” experiences. Ponder these wows for most any budget in your renovation process – from the bold “bubble design” of Milan’s Atomic Spa Suisse (LED-illuminated mirror bubbles rise to the top of treatment rooms, baths and the sauna)to the smaller wows such as Hilton’s eforea spas emphasizing Vichy showers or the Salt Yoga Studio (Thailand) highlighting its wall of Himalayan salt.

Play the hot-cold game: The trends report forecasts that spas will step out into the cold and there will be more icy therapies and cold design experiences (which promote the reduction of pain and inflammation and the release of endorphins) in 2012.

Courtesy of Caesars Palace, Las Vegas

Consider adding ice/snow rooms, or “igloos” as an alternative to classic cold “plunges.” This February, leading spa designer Thermarium will launch the first-ever “snow shower”: With the touch of a digital touchscreen, spa-goers can choose between “light snowfall,” “moderate snowfall” or “blizzard.”

Pick up the good vibrations: Sound, music, color and light are becoming the main event — unleash this new wave and update your spa with the plethora of equipment and facilities that are now readily available. These include MUUSA, new software innovation that creates real-time treatment music directly generated by the therapist’s hand movements and the client’s bodily responses; rocking gravitational beds with chromo-therapy, found at Spaciomm at Hotel Omm (Spain); high-tech saunas, steam capsules, lounge chairs, massage tables, tubs and experiential “pods” that interweave light, color, sound and music/rhythm together; the award-winning AlphaSphere by sha.; and futuristic-type spa tables with “vibromotors,” “musical massage” and “oscillating waves” combining music and chromo-therapy from the likes of spa designers Gharieni, Klafs, Schletterer or Thermarium.

Spa as a family: Allow families to get their spa-on together, by designating areas where whole families can spa together or where kids can indulge in their own whimsical, child-friendly treatments, fitness classes and more.

Courtesy of Keylime Cove

Take a note from kid spas such as Keylime Cove (U.S.) or the Scoops Kids Spas at Great Wolf (North America).

Put your best feet forward: Unique specialty pedicures, treatments and foot spas are on the rise, as more people seek comfort for the most utilized part of the body — which means you may want to update mani/pedi chairs/stations or renovate to provide private, designated areas for treatments like reflexology.

…or if you like easy-breezing ideas that won’t break the budget

A little polish: It sounds like a no-brainer, but repainting your spa interiors can provide a glam, updated look. If you want to save a few bucks, have an after-hours painting party with your spa therapists, estheticians, etc.

It’s the little wows: Adding a few extras in the relaxation room, from new snacks and beverages to warm towels and warm neck pillows, let guests know you’re engaged with their needs and gives them a wow to talk about when they leave.

Give your menu a makeover: Your spa interiors may not be the only thing that needs updating – your spa menu might as well. Review SpaFinder’s hot spa trends of 2012 and update your menu accordingly to accommodate more seasoned spa-goers. Also, take a moment to possibly delete the services that are not so popular with guests.

Courtesy of Pritikin

Try wellness: With the industry moving into more “wellness,” it’s also important to update to accommodate guests looking for not just a spa but a wellness experience. If your spa includes a fitness center, see if your exercise equipment needs updating — and possibly add some additional exercise classes to your schedule as well.

Plus, seen and heard in the spa renovation world: A majority of the roughly 935 hotels that open (in the U.S.) annually now include a spa in their design blueprints, and many already established properties will end up renovating to include some type of spa or wellness facility to accommodate guests. Recent large-scale makeovers include the Rosewood Hotel Georgia, the historic hotel in Vancouver, which opened its doors in July 2011 following a dramatic restoration; the revival included Sense, A Rosewood Spa®, which debuted last October. Playa Del Carmen’s Acanto Boutique Hotel, a member of the Great Hotels of the World collection, recently completed a $5-million makeover that included a spa.  In addition, the Trump International Hotel & Tower Toronto® is set to open later this month with the new Quartz Crystal Spa, a 15,000-square-foot bi-level facility with a personal spa concierge. January will also see the launch of the new 5,200-square-foot ZoiA Spa at the Hyatt Regency Aruba Resort Casino & Spa.

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Executive Changes in the Industry

Lowes Hotel & Spa, New York, taps Paul W. Whetsell as new president and chief executive officer. Whetsell founded the original CapStar Hotel Company in 1987 and has recently served as a board member at Virgin Hotels. Whetsell succeeds Jack Adler, who is retiring from the hotel owner/operator.

Steiner Leisure Limited has appointed Glenn Fusfield as president and chief operating officer of its Onboard Spa Company arm. Fusfield joined the company in 2000 and was previously executive vice president since April 2007.

Trump Hotel Collection has chosen Andreas Oberoi to be general manager of Trump SoHo New York. Oberoi recently served as general manager of hotel and residences at the St. Regis Bangkok and spent the last 10 years managing hotels for St. Regis and The Luxury Collection.

Enchantment Group has appointed Victoria Strubbe as leisure sales manager. Prior to her new position Strubbe was the leisure and business travel sales manager of the Arizona Biltmore in Pheonix .

Castle Resorts & Hotels named Robin Graf as its new vice president of operations. Graf has over 20 years of senior level hospitality management experience and was last the general manager of the Kauai Beach Resort.

Starwood announced its new hotel manager at Royal Orchid Sheraton Hotel & Towers, Vikram Mujumdar. Mujumdar has over 20 years of hospitality industry experience and was previously the hotel manager of Sheraton Grande Laguna Phuket.

Taj Hotels has hired Brian Jones director of sales and marketing for The Pierre, A Taj Hotel on New York’s Central Park. Jones has 23 years of hotel sales and marketing experience, previously holding senior sales positions with Morgans Hotel Group, Le Meridien Hotels and Resorts and the Loews Hotels Corporation.

Eden Roc at Cap Cana, a member of The Leading Hotels of the World set to open February 2012, has named Daniele Trombacco as the director of sales and marketing. Trombacco comes to Eden Roc from The Waldorf Astoria in Rome.

Ananda Spa in the Himalayas announced its appointment of Luis Guillermo Molina Guisado as spa manager. Formally the spa manager at The Sanctuary Spa at Mount Wolseley Hotel in Ireland, Guisado has more than 14 years of spa industry experience.

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Spa Industry News Briefs

Canyon Ranch Hotel & Spa Joins The Leading Hotels of the World

Canyon Ranch Hotel & Spa, Miami Beach, Florida, has announced its induction as a new member of The Leading Hotels of the World, the largest luxury hospitality organization in the world. In order to be considered for such an honor Canyon Ranch had to meet the highest standards of service, cuisine, accommodations and more.

Shangri-La Hotel and Spa to Reopen as a Health Spa in Bonita Springs

The historic Shangri-La Hotel and Spa, Bonita Springs, Florida, will reopen its doors in April since closing them to the public in 1998. While the building and its subsequent 8-acres were originally bought in order to preserve the property, its owners have worked diligently in order to open again as a fully operational hotel, spa and organic restaurant on the now, near 15-acre property.

GETTYS Hospitality Design Firm Announces Design Completion for the Westin Abu Dhabi Resort & Spa

Leading global hospitality design firm, GETTYS, has completed the interior design for the new Westin Hotel Golf Resort and Spa, Abu Dhabi. The five-star luxury resort features a two-story lobby and 172 guest rooms and suites. “We always aim to exceed our owners’ and guests’ expectations,” said Meg Prendergast, principal at GETTYS. “Through our collaboration…we’ve established a breathtaking, luxurious sanctuary for global travelers to experience and enjoy.”

Rezidor Hotel Group to Open Hotel Missoni Mauritius with a 9,688-Square-Foot Spa

Hotel Missoni, the luxury lifestyle brand of the Rezidor Hotel group, will open in Mauritius in 2014. The hotel will house 80 luxury suites, which will feature the iconic Missoni patterns and fabrics. “Combining Missoni’s iconic design with the local culture influenced by Europe, Africa and Asia, the hotel will be truly unique in Mauritius,” said Kurt Ritter, president and chief executive officer of Rezidor.

Starwood Opens St. Regis Hotel in Shenzhen

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide has opened the fourth St. Regis in Asia in the past six months with the launch of the Shenzhen, China, location. The hotel features 297 bedrooms housed on the top 28 floors of the 100-story Kingkey 100 landmark building. Inside is the Iridium Spa, which has eight treatment rooms, including two large couple’s suites, a Vichy shower suite and a 28-meter indoor infinity pool offering views of the city.

Quartz Crystal Spa to Open at Trump Toronto

Talon International Development will open the 15,000-square-foot Quartz Crystal Spa at the Trump International Hotel & Tower Toronto on January 31, 2012. Located on the 31st floor, the spa will feature 10 treatment rooms, two couple’s suites, infrared saunas, an indoor heated salt-water infinity pool, a movement studio and a health club.

Four Seasons Disney Hotel Orlando Begins Construction

Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts has begun construction on its luxury resort at Walt Disney Resort in Orlando, Florida. The 444-room resort is scheduled to open in 2014, and will house a 14,000-square-foot spa, along with a fitness center, three pools and a lazy river, several dining options, an event space and meeting center.

107-Room Glenwood Hot Springs Lodge in Colorado Unveils $2-Million Renovation

Glenwood Hot Springs Lodge, Glenwood Springs, Colorado, has unveiled its $2-million renovation. The lodge has given 107 rooms a complete floor-to-ceiling makeover during its two-phase project, which finished December 24, 2011. Each room has been given a spa-like treatment from the colors to the linens. “The rooms were designed to echo the serene environment of the Spa of the Rockies,” said Jeremy Gilley, director of sales and revenue, Glenwood Hot Springs and Spa.

Other Industry Headlines

Canyon Ranch Hotel & Spa in Miami Beach Joins The Leading Hotels of the World

Sheraton Reserva do Paiva Hotel and Convention Center Plan to Open Early 2014 and Boast a Spa

Tides Riviera Maya on Mexico’s Yucatan Completes Major Renovation and Rebrands as Viceroy Riviera Maya

First Hilton Hotels & Resorts Property, Riyadh King Fahd Road, to Open in 2014 with a spa

SpaHalekulani Introduces Eco-Friendly Waterless Pedicure and Manicure

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