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It’s here! The Wellness App Launches at Miami Media Event

Spafinder Wellness 365’s new mobile platform, “The Wellness App,” officially launched to rave reviews at a recent media event in Miami. The app brings together the fragmented landscape of wellness providers and, for the first time, gives users the ability to find, book and pay, plus earn rewards, all from their mobile phones. The Wellness App is especially attractive to employers who have workplace wellness programs or offer incentive and rewards that promote healthy lifestyles. Click here for the full press release has all the details!

Incentive Magazine, a leading source of news for the world of gift cards, merchandise, and travel awards, reported on Spafinder Wellness’ new Wellness App, noting that, “While this new offering makes it easier than ever for recipients to use the Wellness 365 card…the biggest draw for users remains the selection it provides.” According to Spafinder Wellness, Inc.’s VP, Corporate Sales, Christi Schaulfer, “More choice means more engagement. The goals are still fitness and wellness, but users get to decide how they want to do that, whether it’s a wellness class, a massage to reduce stress levels, or maybe kickboxing lessons.”


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The WTM Wellness Lounge Returns

We are thrilled to announce that the 2016 World Travel Market London will once again see us sponsoring the WTM Wellness Lounge. This one-day showcase, November 9, is an excellent way to connect and network with top wellness professionals.

This exclusive platform allows travel buyers and wellness suppliers to meet and conduct business in the comfort of a dedicated lounge; there are also a bevy of networking events available to help attendees generate new business connections.

  • Connect with wellness exhibitors and arrange meetings in this exclusive wellness lounge.
  • Be there for the launch of Wellness Speed Networking in the WTM Wellness Lounge.
  • Plus, you’ll be invited to the 2016 Wellness Travel Awards reception, hosted by Spafinder Wellness 365.

Learn more about the WTM Wellness Lounge.


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Keep the Connections Coming: Network at Arabian Travel Market

business meeting

Capitalizing on its success of the dedicated wellness lounge at the recent WTM London, Spafinder Wellness 365™ is committed once again to providing spa and wellness suppliers with a place to network and connect: The company is in collaboration with the Arabian Travel Market (ATM), April 26-27, 2016, to deliver a hub for spa and wellness travel professionals.

The spa and wellness lounge is your exclusive platform to network and conduct business with other spa and wellness travel professionals in the comfort of a dedicated space. The lounge will provide maximum exposure for spa and wellness international suppliers to connect with Middle Eastern buyers.

Package includes:

  • Up to 30 pre-scheduled appointments with high-calibre Middle Eastern buyers
  • Dedicated private pod in the ATM Wellness & Spa Lounge with logo graphic, table and chairs, lighting, power, and WiFi
  • Exhibitor badge and online Exhibitor Directory Listing
  • Promotion in the ATM Catalogue and ATM Route Planner

Contact Jean Carabeo, sales coordinator, at and +971 4 364 2811, or find out more.



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Join Us at the 2012 ISPA Conference & Expo

This year’s ISPA Conference & Expo is taking place October 15-17 at the Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center, Kissimmee, Florida. As always, SpaFinder® Wellness is delighted to be part of this amazing event and cannot wait to visit with our industry partners.

We are also thrilled to join ISPA in honoring our very own, Susie Ellis, who has been bestowed with the 2012 ISPA Visionary Award! We caught up with Susie, who shared her sentiments on being this year’s winner:

“I am deeply honored to be among past recipients of the ISPA Visionary Award that include Deborah Szekely, who has been a special mentor to me during the four decades I have been privileged to be part of our incredible industry,” Susie says. “ISPA is a very important organization, recognized around the world, that brings great value to its members. This accolade makes me reflect on the profound changes in the size and perception of the world of spa that I have witnessed and for which I am proud to have been an advocate.  My passion is to help spas embrace their identity as wellness providers, and, through organizations like ISPA and the Global Spa & Wellness Summit, bring unity and a spirit of collaboration so together we can do an even better job of helping people find their path to a healthier lifestyle. I only wish I had another four decades to be part of this vibrant, exciting and valuable industry!”

Join us at booths 1128 and 1130, where we will be sharing the latest and greatest SpaFinder Wellness news: announcing the winners of our 2012 Readers’ Choice Awards and more!

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2012 GSWS in Aspen Incites Innovation through Imagination from around the World

Global Spa and Wellness Summit 2012

The 2012 Global Spa and Wellness Summit wrapped up last week with a bang. Industry leaders gathered for four glorious days in beautiful Aspen, Colorado, at the world-renowned Aspen Institute to share ideas, reconnect with old friends, forge new connections and, most of all, learn new ways to innovate within the industry through the boundless limits of imagination.

As the spa and wellness industry come together as one throughout the world, this year’s Summit, which revolved around the theme of “Innovation through Imagination,” addressed the GSWS 2012need to work together to create change, not only in the industry on a global level, but also for the good of the earth and the people. Sessions covered topics ranging from wellness gaming, the importance of health coaching and how to make technology work for you to the world’s water crisis and how hotels and spas can get involved and the globally growing obesity epidemic and national health care issues.

Between thought-provoking discussions, engaging panels, delicious food and fun-filled nights, the feedback we’ve received from attendees has been tremendous. Many have commented on the top-notch speakers who presented at the Summit (which included the likes of innovation guru John Kao; Miraval CEO Philippe Bourguignon; the 17th U.S. Surgeon General and CEO of Canyon Ranch Health Dr. Richard Carmona; spa pioneer and founder of Rancho La Puerta Deborah Szekely; former president of Costa Rica Jose Maria Figueres-Olsen; Google’s Head of Industry and Retail Ted Souder; Six Senses Hotels and Spas CEO Sonu Shivdasani; Academy-Award nominee Mariel Hemingway, and many more!) and stated that this year’s event was indeed a meeting of leaders from around the world who are open to innovation through imagination and discussion of serious global issues.

The 2012 GSWS was truly an event full of ideas, and there was a plethora of information and to-do’s to take away from it. Until next year (2013 GSWS: INDIA!), here’s to inspiration, innovation and imagination, and the courage to realize your ideas and implement them to better our industry!

GSWS 2012
Read about all of the GSWS 2012 sessions here – more will be uploaded shortly! See below for specific posts.

2012 Global Spa & Wellness Summit Kicks Off with Cocktail Reception at the St. Regis Aspen Resort

Keynote speaker, Philippe Bourguignon ponders whether we should try to understand the world? Or re-imagine it?

Colorado Governor, John Hickenlooper, Addresses GSWS

Ted Souder Gives Tips on How to Make Technology Work for You

Shelley Berc and Alejandro Fogel Present an Experiential Session on Jump Starting Your Creativity

Jose Maria Figueres-Olsen: Global Business at the Forefront of the Low Carbon Economy

Dr. Richard Carmona Speaks on the Pursuit of Global Health & Wellness: The Value Proposition of the Future

Student Challenge, Part 1: Cornell & Univ. of Houston Present Two New Spa Concepts

Student Challenge Part 2: Penn State & University of Denver Present Two Innovative Spas

Sanus Per Aquam…for All: Imagination Is for the Voice of the Daring

A Chat with Mariel Hemingway & Susie Ellis

Aspen Health Innovation Project Panel: What Would Most Transform Health Care? And How Does Spa/Wellness Best Fit In?

Dr. Elissa Epel on Telomeres, the Next Wellness Frontier

Innovation Guru John Kao Jams at Summit – Using Jazz, He Not Only Demystified Innovation – He Showed How to Practically Get it Done

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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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Recap: Global Spa Summit 2011

By, Lisa M. Starr, Guest Editor

I’ve been in the spa industry for over 30 years, and for most of that time, we never had to consider what was happening with spas in other countries.  But one of the wonderful developments in the new global economy is that spa brands stretch across borders, and clients do too!  This is one of the reasons that the Global Spa Summit has become such an important annual event; 250 leaders and visionaries in spa and wellness from around the world meet for three days to discuss both the challenges and opportunities currently facing the spa industry.  While there are different regulations and culture issues that will continue to affect the way service is delivered from one country to another, it is certainly helpful if we all share the same visions and dreams about what our industry can become, and our role in society today.


The 5th annual Summit was held last month in Bali, Indonesia, and there were several major themes that emerged.  I think the most meaningful and important trend is the continued merging of spas and wellness, as evidenced by the numbers of physicians and medical professionals who were present.  If spas want to continue to grow their clientele, we have to reach them on a deeper level; receiving a facial or massage is certainly enjoyable, but providing the education platform for clients to try new approaches and make changes in their habits and lifestyle that will have a lasting effect on their health and wellbeing, both physical and mental, is really where the industry is going.  One of the main forces behind this movement are the out-of-control costs of healthcare, especially in the US, and if spas can influence people to make subtle but effective changes in their personal care, and become more of a tool for overall wellbeing, that will have a positive effect for the economy as well as the clients.  A team of physicians, led by SpaFinder President Susie Ellis, spent the last year developing an evidence-based medicine portal which was unveiled at the Summit,  This will be a wonderful tool that will facilitate the sharing of studies and data among spas, physicians and clients who want to learn more about the lasting benefits of spa treatments.

Fortunately for us, the world is only becoming more stress-filled, as the confluence of technologies and global business models leave little down-time.  Especially for the younger generations, peer pressure and social circles drive many activities, and spas need to ensure they are providing environments that support social components of a spa visit.

Spa franchising is also a growing force, not just in the US, and there is a lot of opportunity here for strong brands with clearly defined infrastructure to grow into multi-unit chains.  But, in spite of all of the technological innovations, spas remain a place where people touch people, and we have a meaningful role to play in the lives of our current and future consumers.  If you’d like to read daily reports from the Summit presentations and breakouts, please visit my blog.

Lisa M. Starr, Community Ambassador GramercyOne; Senior Consultant Wynne Business


Universal CompaniesNatura Bisse

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Taste of New York Showcases NYC’s Finest Spas and Brings Industry Together

SpaFinder’s Taste of New York Spas event, held on August 18th, 2010, was a huge success! Almost 300 industry executives joined together at SpaFinder’s New York City offices in the Flatiron District to snack on hors d’oeuvres, sip on cocktails, solidify relationships, make new friends, and enjoy a taste of what some of New York’s finest spas have to offer.

Spa Merge

Featuring seven prestigious spas in the New York City area, various signature treatments were highlighted and sampled:

Caudalie Vinotherapie Spa at The Plaza demoed its Crushed Cabernet Scrub, a warm mixture of grape seeds, honey, brown sugar and organic grape seed oil, on the hands of many lucky guests. To top it off, Caudalie’s sommelier of the Paradox French Wine Lounge gave wine tastings of Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte from its family vineyard in Bordeaux.

The Spa at Trump Soho

The Spa at Mandarin Oriental debuted and sampled its brand new “Himalayan Salt, Sea & Chakra Therapy,” an exclusively designed purification, balancing and sequential healing treatment that taps into the powerful wellness benefits of elements from the earth, sea and air.

Clarins Skin Spa gave attendees a taste of Clarins’ Power of Touch where ten minutes of blissful touch, with a skin radiance ritual hand facial or a tension-releasing back massage pampered guests.

Spa Merge presented two treatments combining science and nature. The science treatment involved a sample of the “Ultimate Merge Facial,” which included a two-layer intense exfoliation process incorporating a custom peel followed by macro- or orbital-dermabrasion and micro-current lifting to stimulate and strengthen facial muscles. The nature aspect gave guests a demo of the spa’s “Organic Massage” with either a mini foot scrub, scalp massage or neck and shoulder massage.

The Spa at the Surrey treated guests to two aroma-based experiences with Darphin and Li’tya product lines. The Darphin experience showcased expertly blended essential oils and the Li’tya experience incorporated the Wulima Yulu (Journey of Aroma) and a Smoking ceremony.


The Spa at Trump Soho, which just opened in mid-August, debuted its henna application services and threading, an ancient hair removal technique to give clean brow lines and definition. The new spa features a Middle Eastern theme to complement the first Hammam on the east coast.

YeloSpa offered two unique mini-services: Its “AlphaLounger” gave guests a taste of the three-dimensional experience consisting of sound, light and movement that connects a unique quality of deep relaxation with an inspiring and energizing effect. It also offered Yelo Reflexology Sessions, a zero-gravity experience, which included a ten-minute hand or foot reflexology session from the spa’s highly-trained and certified massage therapists.

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The 2010 IECSC Show


By Milana Knowles

Many of you attended the International Esthetics, Cosmetics & Spa Conference (IECSC) in New York this month, and I wonder if your impressions were the same as mine. I always go to trade shows with great enthusiasm and hope to find that hot new thing that will make waves in the spa industry. More often than not, I am disappointed that it seems to be same old, same old, for the most part. I see the same companies, same approach; same tired sales people who look as if they’d love to be somewhere else. Sometimes this mediocrity allows for a few new beauty/product lines to stand out, and I am happy to have found a few that did just that. Innovative new products, new spin on a concept, great new idea…


Retail, being so crucial to a spa’s profitability, is a component of your business that should not be taken lightly. It has to work with your business model and suit your clients and your general audience. There are some products, though, that are so universal that every spa should consider carrying:

BeingTRUE (Michael Hawley, CEO)

I met Michael at the Spa Exec event. I am a huge proponent of mineral makeup. It makes sense that spas carry makeup that is actually good for your skin. BeingTRUE embodies the best in current technology and ancient remedies. Experiential and efficacious, this targeted skin care and makeup addresses all skin types and conditions with therapeutic essential oils. Demanding more than makeup, these cosmetics with treatment-based color meet the ever-changing needs of today’s woman, from 16 to 60.

Pure Inventions (Johanna E. Cerligione, Director of Operations)

Pure Inventions is the true pioneer of nutritional, liquid supplements in the beauty industry and a trendsetter in the healthy lifestyle industry. The main goal was to achieve wellness of the whole person in a way that is convenient and easy to incorporate into a hectic lifestyle. This is the product you can serve in your relaxation room and one that every client should and will take home after a treatment.

All of the lines (Green Tea Extracts, Antioxidant Fruit Extracts, Pure Antioxidant Cocoa) in the Pure Inventions collection are delicious, all natural, fully standardized, and gluten-free and have no calories, caffeine, artificial sweeteners, preservatives, or alcohol. The delivery system (60 servings in a 2-ounce glass bottle) is eco-friendly and convenient. Just add to your favorite water for high-antioxidant hydration, and what is even better, they taste delicious.

NUTRICOSMETICS (Supplements That Nourish Your Skin)
GliSODin Skin Nutrients (Paula Simpson, Executive Director)

GliSODin Skin Nutrients is a professional nutricosmetic line dedicated to supplement your beauty regimen. The products are specially formulated by dermatologists and nutritionists to provide powerful antioxidants and bioactive nutraceuticals that promote enhanced and longer lasting results from your medical aesthetic treatments and beauty and wellness programs. Only the finest ingredients are selected for the products, to guarantee strong and positive results for beautiful, healthy skin.  Who knew that you could look better by taking a supplement?


I also attended some educational courses and found some speakers who have something valuable to say. Craig Ure from, in one very dynamic presentation in a room full of med spa owners, talked about using Google, video, blogs, and their own websites to successfully capture a wider share of the marketplace.

Another presentation worth mentioning was by Sarah Boumphrey from Euromonitor International, who offered research and statistics on the current state of the international economy, the future of luxury, as well as recession recovery dynamics in the marketplace.

Thanks to Nancy Griffin the founder of Spa Exec, who brought Sarah all the way to New York,  we learned valuable statistics on the current economic recovery:

The good news: A fragile economic recovery is under way.

The bad news: Consumers see their home as their entertainment hub, and a newly developed discount culture is developing thrift into a consumer habit.

The good news: Recession-wary consumers will look to escape not only at home, but away from home, and consumers are clearer on the empowering link between health and wellness and a happier, fuller life. Even the home as entertainment hub could be good news for day spas, as many consumers are turning to day escapes.

The bad news: The travel sector is recovering at a much slower pace than other aspects of the economy.

The great news: Value is no longer associated with just discounting; consumers are looking for value. Many companies are going back to basics, and value is equated with the quality of services offered. The success of any business will rest on its ability to offer products considered worthy of the investment.

What are your thoughts on trade shows? Email

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Spa Community Joins Together to Give “Hands On” Support to Haiti

haitiblogThe spa and wellness community came together on Friday, February 12, to help the Haitian earthquake relief through Healing Arts for Haiti in NYC. Attendees enjoyed spa services from 10 minute massages for $10 to mini-manis and makeovers to express acupuncture and sample beauty products (up to 75% off retail). Every dollar raised was donated to UNICEF, directly helping relief efforts in Haiti.  Live music, entertainment, fabulous raffles were also part of the charitable festivity.    

The concept originated from Oasis Day Spa co-owner Bruce Schoenberg.  He told Day Spa Magazine that, “It’s also important for our industry to get involved. We’re in the wellness and healing business. It’s our duty to give back.”

Click here to see photos from the event or visit:

To make a donation to UNICEF now, click here.

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