Resort Wellness Encounters

By Diana Mestre Founder, Mestre & Mestre Spa & Wellness Consulting | June 23, 2019

One of the biggest challenges facing any hotel that offers spa services is to attract guests to their facilities to enjoy a wellness experience, and particularly those people who do not usually seek a spa. Aiming to become more relevant to the consumers, hotels, and resorts are moving from functional platforms to experiential platforms, elevating the brand appreciation by offering avenues that connect in a deeper level with their guests.

It is this challenge that emerges as the source of inspiration to create a new way of understanding the role of wellness experiences in resorts & spas and how they will communicate a new vision of well-being that becomes a universal language for all guests.

To achieve a shared vision of wellness we must start by defining what is wellness. Well-being goes beyond a physical routine and a balanced diet. The wellness spectrum includes seven factors: (1) physical, (2) emotional, (3) spiritual, (4) intellectual, (5) occupational, (6) social and (7) environmental. How a resort addresses each factor is the key to creating unique wellness programs that can help guests connect with the feeling of well-being. By disconnecting from daily stress, obligations and the complications of our modern life, and reconnecting with nature and the art of living in the here and now may allow guests to rediscover a sense of awe, joy, fulfillment, peace, harmony, freedom, clarity, reverence and love for life.

Well-being begins at the moment we connect with nature, the land, its roots, its traditions, its colors, aromas and flavors, and encounter authentic and helpful staff always willing to share local stories that celebrate guests.

"Travelers are specifically looking for experiences that will change their perspective of the world". - Meghan Carty, Research Analyst at Skift

Grand Velas Resorts, Mexico

Resort Wellness Encounters is a program based on the Wellness Without Walls concept by Adria Lake founder of AW Lake Designs. The art of implementing spaces and moments that adds a new dimension to the overall resort experience will allow the hospitality Industry to respond to the fundamental value of ¨Redefining Wellness¨. Careful planning must be done to create transformative experiences in the 7 dimensions of well-being through 5 spaces that must be integrated, respected and promoted by resorts.

  1. Communal Wellness Spaces & activities.
  2. Introspecting Spaces.
  3. Sensory Spaces and moments.
  4. Unexpected gourmet moments.
  5. My personal Space with wellness options.

According to the Global Wellness Tourism Report 2018, 89% of wellness travelers are secondary wellness travelers, defined as a traveler who seeks to maintain wellness while traveling or who participates in wellness experiences while taking any type of trip for leisure or business.

Resort Wellness Encounters emerges from the need to create a new disruptive model that brings and delivers wellness options to the guest in a personalized format without imposing a dogma, program, diet, choice or a particular lifestyle. As described by Adria Lake, the spa membrane breaks and sprinkles the entire resort with wellness experiences, integrating wellness experiences in places like the lobby, the rooms, the restaurant, the gardens. Leaving behind the conventional linear, operative and rigid hospitality model allowing guests to become genuine explorers of wellness experiences that intrigue and allow them to have magical and unexpected moments.

For this purpose, the five space-moments of "well-being" are designed to meet different needs and, at the same time, are relevant and are not necessarily aimed at Spa fans. This, without a doubt, transcends what we know today as "Spa".

1. Communal Wellness Spaces and Activities

Open and fun spaces where guests can meet and interact in wellness communal activities. Interaction between people is a necessary ingredient to achieve well-being and when combined with a new activity that enhances guest´s experiences by bringing deeper meaning in the transformative search of a better and healthier lifestyle. Participating in a meditation class, enjoying a yoga class in the garden, walking meditation along the ocean shore, are the type of experiences and moments that redefine well-being.

Learning some meaningful words from the local language, dancing to the local sounds of the region, participating in painting workshops, pottery, bakery, and various handicrafts connect guests with their creative power and sense of accomplishment. The feeling of creating a dream catcher, learning how to bake a loaf of bread with the resort's chef, participating in the ancient cacao ritual with a shaman or shaping a clay mug, becomes deeply therapeutic.

2. Introspective Spaces

Spaces design for deep introspection, connection with nature and with oneself. Any resort can provide meditation nests hanging from a tree in the middle of a garden, bed loungers facing the ocean or the forest to read and reflect. An easel, a canvas, watercolors, and brushes can bring a great moment of inspiration. Spaces designed for silent contemplation located in a breathtaking area of the resort can provide a self-discovery moment that may have infinite value for the guest.

A simple element like hearing the healing sounds of wind chimes in the middle of the jungle, desert or garden becomes an intriguing space that provides healing vibrations. Reading spots, healing sounds, painting areas, labyrinth walks, meditation pods, distributed throughout the resort property brings a special encounter with wellness to all guest that chooses to explore a new dimension of well-being. Revealing the intention of these silent spaces requires a clear message with the appropriate indications and signs that communicate the objective of these spaces created for the self-reflection and discovery of the guest.

"People are seeking an extension of their journey toward conscious living when they travel". - Marcy Zaroff. Founder & CEO, MetaWear

3. Sensory Spaces

Spas are, by definition, the protagonists in sensory art; a dance of aromas, sounds, flavors, and architecture of the senses, brings authentic wellness experiences. Well-being is by nature a journey; a story of physical, mental, emotional and spiritual exploration. The conceptual development in the process of the creation of the spa is fundamental to achieve the connection with the guests from the moment of their arrival until the moment of departure. Sensory moments are not unique to the spa; a resort can create sensory moments upon arrival with signature aromatic breezes during the check-in process.

Offering a sensory moment when the guest arrives from the stress of travel and giving them a choice of connecting with the healing hands of a body artisan or therapist with 3 minutes of acupressure in head, neck, and shoulders, marks the beginning of a wellness journey.

Sensory Healing Moments can occur during a group conference, during a wellness meeting at the main resort pool or in the privacy of a resort room, in a balcony or terrace during a beautiful sunset. Creating unexpected sensory moments requires imagination, attention to detail and preparation. As non-spa goers experience these sensory moments they will have a greater aperture to explore the full experience of the spa.

The old model of spas viewed as an amenity or remote place where you can get massages and facials is obsolete. Spas today tell authentic stories, reflect a deep respect for the history of the place, honor the culture and communicate in their treatments, embodied by the wisdom of ancestral traditions. In the middle of the dynamic and demanding evolution of our modern life, the spa is a temple of relaxation, an oasis of physical, mental and spiritual renewal, an opportunity to connect with nature and with our own healing power.

4. Unexpected Gourmet Moments

When hospitality is able to capture the guest´s attention and sense of awe by providing unexpected moments filled with delicious surprises, the resort becomes imprinted in the memory of their guest. When a resort puts in place personalized free gourmet experiences delivered by experts in hospitality in unexpected moment guests feel delighted. Refreshing frozen popsicles of frozen fruit bites, a healthy shot or lemonade, and chia, or a mango and maracuja shot offered at the pool terraces or lobby will awaken guest´s appreciation, and also can be part of a promotion strategy to present new delicatessens or recipes from a specialty restaurant.

Imagine a wellness experience planer approaching the guest with a new drink of fruit flavors while resting in a hammock or laying by the pool, can be delightfully surprising. A small gourmet plate with chocolate truffles or energy superfood bites that expectantly appear in the guest's room along with an invitation to try a new dish in the gourmet restaurant certainly will be noticed or celebrating a guest birthday or anniversary with a gourmet cake and candle. These experiences respond to the feeling of admiration that creates memorable moments.

5. My Personal Space with Wellness Options

Nothing can be as personal as a guest´s suite or resort room, where they can find a series of wellness options that are customized according to their needs and desires with selections of wellness rituals that are simple to implement and may be included or presented as an upgrade.

  • Fit Box

A box or basket with yoga mats, rubber band, body balls, dumbbells, jump ropes, and exercise guide, in conjunction with the list of activities and programs at the Fitness center.

  • Wellness Channel

A predetermined selection with exercise programs, meditation, and simple wellness tips plus the spa videos of various signature and locally based treatments.

  • Healthy Minibar

A water menu with alkaline water, mineral water, coconut water, vitamin water, and a choice of healthy snacks like nuts, dry fruit, granola bar or protein bars.

  • Morning Juicing

This ritual would include a morning suite service natural juice with different objectives such as detoxification, energization, sports, anti-aging, etc. A variety of juices that the Chef prepares for the guest as part of their wellness plan.

  • Sleep Ritual

The guest selects the Sleep Kit that contains a mask, earplugs, essential oil for sleeping, an EMF blocker, a cell phone storage bag, and bath salts, various sleep technologies like Nikken can be added to the sleep ritual program.

  • Healthy Pillows

Adding a selection of herbal, ergonomic feather or firm pillows to complement the sleep ritual options.

  • Aromatherapy Options

Adding a selection of therapeutic grade aromatherapy oils like lavender, rosemary, cedar or basil with an electrical diffuser offered on turndown service.

  • Meditation Rituals

They are provided with a guide of simple steps to learn to meditate with the MUSE (personalized meditation system) or a simple guide or a book on how to meditate.

  • Gratitude Ritual

A local stone with a message placed on the side bed table with an intention guide card where guest can imprint their gratitude for the experiences and meaningful moments at the end of their stay they can take this stone as a gift.

  • Beauty Ritual

Mini Beauty Kit and a guide on how to care for the skin featuring the regional or local skin care line that supports the local communities.

  • Spa Rituals

From the water journey or guided water ceremonies to unique signature treatments that can be offered in the comfort of the resort suite or at the spa.

There is an infinite number of Resort Wellness Encounters that open a new dimension of well-being. This allows guests the opportunity to choose from a variety of experiences such as gourmet healthy options on the restaurant or room service men. Exercise gear in the hotel room, interactive communal wellness activities where guest shares experiences with other guests in the botanical herbal blending bar.

Exchanging new meditation techniques, walking with locals guides and storytellers that bring alive the local culture of the land, excursions to the organic markets with the resort´s chef. Personal encounters with silent spaces that allow guests to discover their creativity on a painting canvas or enjoying a moment of introspection in a meditation nest, or a shamanic cleansing ritual with copal at the spa. All of these and many more creative options are needed to enrich the overall experiences of the guest that raises brand recognition and loyalty.

Grand Velas Resorts in Mexico (www.grandvelas.com) is embracing and implementing Resort Wellness Encounters by offering to their guests a unique program under their wellnessing concept with the intent to add a new dimension to their gourmet and luxurious resort experiences.

Ms. Mestre Diana F. Mestre is a respected leader and visionary in the wellness industry. Ms. Mestre offers more than 35 years of experience in the development of Spa and Wellness projects, integrating wellness design, and spa programs through her company Mestre & Mestre Spa & Wellness Consulting. Her portfolio of wellness healing spaces includes 60 world class Spas with prestigious hospitality companies such as: Auberge, Velas Resorts, Palace Resorts, Le Blanc, Ritz Carlton, 1 Hotels Los Cabos, Chable La Paz, Hyatt Ziva-Zilara, J.W. Marriott & Westin Monterrey and Hard Rock. Several of her Spa projects have been recognized by Virtuoso, Forbes, Five Diamond, World Luxury Spas and Conde Nast Johannessen and received the World Spa & Wellness Award "Resort Spa of the Year North & South America 2019 for Grand Velas Riviera Maya". Diana Mestre can be contacted at 155-179-82567 or info@mestre-spa-mestre.com Please visit http://www.mestre-spa-mestre.com for more information. Extended Biography

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This Agreement shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of California notwithstanding any conflict of laws provisions. You and HotelExecutive agree that the venue for all legal disputes, controversies, actions of any kind arising under or related to this Agreement shall be San Francisco, California. You and HotelExecutive further agree that in case of any litigation regarding this Agreement, you irrevocably and unconditionally (i) consent to submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the state and federal courts in the County of San Francisco, California for any litigation or dispute arising out of or relating to this Agreement, (ii) agree not to commence any litigation arising out of or relating to this Agreement except in the California Courts, (iii) agree not to plead or claim that such litigation brought therein has been brought in an inconvenient forum, and (iv) agree the California Courts represent the exclusive jurisdiction for all litigation relating to this Agreement.

11. MEMBERSHIP FEES

Hotel Business Review Subscriptions

If you choose to purchase a subscription, member subscription payments can be made in U.S. Dollars, as well as a variety of international currencies. Membership terms are Annual Recurring, and Monthly Recurring. The Annual Recurring subscription is an annual commitment and subscribers will be charged each consecutive billing cycle. Annual Recurring subscriptions can be cancelled after the first billing cycle and within 30-days of the billing date for a full refund. Monthly Recurring subscriptions are ongoing and subscribers will be charged each consecutive monthly billing cycle. Monthly Recurring subscriptions can be cancelled after the first month and within 7 days of the monthly billing cycle for a full refund.

12. PAYMENT AUTHORIZATION

Payment for the services provided to you in, at, through or in association with HotelExecutive may be made by automatic credit card, debit card, direct debit, bankwire or Paypal and other approved payment means offered in, at, through or in association with HotelExecutive, and you hereby authorize HotelExecutive and its agents to transact such payments on your behalf.

You hereby authorize HotelExecutive's Internet Payment Service Provider to charge your credit card to pay for your membership to HotelExecutive. You further authorize HotelExecutive's Internet Payment Service Provider to charge your credit card for any and all purchases of products, services in association with HotelExecutive. You agree to be personally liable for all charges incurred by you in association with your access or other use of any content provided by HotelExecutive or any third party in association with HotelExecutive. You acknowledge and agree that your liability for all such charges shall continue after termination of your access or any type of membership arrangement with HotelExecutive.

In the event that you have chosen to have your membership automatically rebilled, unless and until you notify HotelExecutive that you wish to cancel or terminate your membership to HotelExecutive, you hereby agree and authorize HotelExecutive's Internet Payment Service Provider to automatically renew your membership to HotelExecutive on a continuing basis and to charge your credit card (or other payment means you have selected) to pay for the ongoing cost of your membership. You hereby further authorize HotelExecutive's Internet Payment Service Provider to charge your credit card (or other approved payment means you have selected) for any and all purchases of products, services and entertainment provided to in, at, through or in association with HotelExecutive.

13. PRIVACY POLICY

The following is the Privacy Policy for HotelExecutive

We can be reached via telephone, email, or online at our contact page. When you visit our site we do not log any information regarding your domain or email address. Information Sharing: We do not share user information with any third parties other than via press release distribution as described below.

Hotel Newswire is a newswire service that distributes press releases on behalf of our users. If you decide to submit a press release for distribution through our system we will transmit your entire press release including any personal information therein contained to our media contacts and online distribution points including search engines. This is the only redistribution of your information that we engage in. Your submission of press releases through our system indicates consent with this policy. The information we collect during your registration process is used to notify users about updates to our service and inform users of any special events hosted by Hotel Newswire. This information is not shared with other organizations for commercial or non-commercial purposes.

Cookies: Our system requires the use of cookies to enable the user to log back into our website to access information from the newswire, without having to log in each time using the required username and password.

If you do not want to receive email from us in the future, please let us know by following instructions included in our communication with you. Users who supply us with telephone numbers online may receive telephone contact from us regarding their account, or informing them of new products and services available on the HotelExecutive website. If you do not wish to receive such telephone calls, please edit your account and remove your phone number from your account profile. This can be done from your user account menu.

Ad Servers: We do not partner with or have any relationship with any ad server companies. From time to time, we may use customer information for new uses not previously disclosed in our privacy notice. If our information practices change at any time, we will post the policy changes to our website to notify you of these changes and provide you with the ability to opt out of these new uses. If you are concerned about how your information is used, you should check back at our website periodically.

Upon request we provide site visitors with access to all information (including proprietary information) that we maintain about them. Users can access this information by logging in to their account.

Security: We always use industry-standard encryption technologies while transferring and receiving user data exchanged with our site. We have appropriate security measures in place in our physical facilities to protect against the loss, misuse, or alteration of information that we have collected from you on our site. We do not store credit card information in our systems.

If you feel that this site is not following its stated information policy, you may contact us.

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Coming up in August 2019...

Food & Beverage: Millennial Chefs Lead the Way

Led by Millennial chefs, hotels continue to foster sustainability, sourcing and wellness within their dining rooms and banquet spaces, and by all measures, this is responsible for an increase in their revenues. In many hotels, the food & beverage division contributes 50 per cent or more to hotel sales and they are currently experiencing double-digit growth. As a result, hotel owners are allocating an increasing amount of square footage for F&B operations. The biggest area of investment is in catering, which is thriving due to weddings, social events and business conferences. Hotels are also investing in on-site market or convenience stores that offer fresh/refrigerated foods, and buffet concepts also continue to expand. Other popular food trends include a rise of fermented offerings such as kombucha, kimchi, sauerkraut, tempeh, kefir and pickles - all to produce the least processed food possible, and to boost probiotics to improve the immune system. Tea is also enjoying something of a renaissance. More people are thinking of tea with the same reverence as coffee due to its many varieties, applications and benefits. Craft tea blending, nitro tea on tap and even tea cocktails are beginning to appear on some hotel menus. Another trend concerns creating a unique, individualized and memorable experience for guests. This could be a small consumable item that is specific to a property or event, such as house-made snack mixes, gourmet popcorn, macaroons, or jars of house-made jams, chutneys, and mustards -all produced and customized in house. One staple that is in decline is the in-room minibar which seems to have fallen out of favor. The August issue of the Hotel Business Review will document the trends and challenges in the food and beverage sector, and report on what some leading hotels are doing to enhance this area of their business.