Your Mind Is What Matters
Weaving its way through every trend in 2014 is the simple, but compelling, act of mindful living: The idea that every action taken should be done with intention–and, in so doing so, clear the clutter in your mind caused by the over-stimulation of today’s supercharged world. This is the biggest movement the wellness industry has ever seen, and people from all walks of life are waking up to the fact that mindful living breeds a healthy mind.
Healthy Hotels 2.0
In 2013, we explored how, after a century of experiences synonymous with unhealthy excess, more hotels were on a new health kick and branding and re-branding around wellness. But the most powerful trends like “Healthy Hotels” are more than passing news and have become megatrends that fulfill profound human needs. In 2014, look for hotels to move from healthy as a marketing differentiator to deeper, more multi-faceted programming that stretches well beyond the “free stretch band.” The healthy hotel will ultimately become more inspired and comprehensive, moving from virtuous exception to part of the hospitality vernacular.
For some, even connecting the words “wired and wellness” is counterintuitive, especially as we are tethered to cell phones, computers and tablets every waking minute. This phenomenon has created a backlash of its own. But we are a society that is immensely connected and has become data crazed. Wired Wellness in all its iterations – from the ubiquitous fitness trackers to online booking and online classes to monumental leaps in mobile health – has a very significant role to play in keeping us healthy and even in lowering the spiraling costs of healthcare. 2014 marks a significant step ahead.
Hot Springs Heating Up
Bathing in hot springs may be the oldest “spa” experience in the world – dating further back than Roman times – but it is also incredibly on trend in 2014. There’s never been a hotter moment for thermal springs, with more and more people seeking out this affordable, social, beneficial and natural therapeutic spa experience. And, with hot springs existing in virtually every corner of the world, governments and developers alike have taken notice and are funding hundreds of new, exciting projects around the globe.
The desire to disconnect from the “weight” of the world and float beyond earth’s stress seems intuitive in our hyper-connected, burned-out lives. People have a deepening psychological and physical desire to escape from gravity’s relentless pull, and a distinct “suspending gravity” or “floating” trend is rising. We’re seeing more weightless stress – and mind-melting flotation tanks, chambers and pools at spas, and on the fitness front, a global craze for aerial and anti-gravity classes and yoga, along with new equipment like anti-gravity treadmills.
Fitness, like fashion, is an ever-changing font of what’s in and what’s out. In 2013, we looked at the exploding “label-conscious fitness” culture, and while name-brand fitness shows no sign of stopping, a new trend is on the rise, led by people who want real and sometimes quick results, as well as those who seriously train for competitions or want to establish their own personal best. For others, fitness has become a major ingredient in their social life. A key factor in this new “Ferocious Fitness” trend is FUN.
“Natural” Beauty Meets Social Media
With the growing popularity of social media and “selfies”, where people are expected to look their best 24/7 – often without the benefit of makeup and blowouts – we may finally be leaving the era of faux beauty. This new era focuses on the nude, the natural and a high-tech, low-risk beauty, where organic products, science and technology intersect to deliver minimal downtime results that are seemingly produced by nature. Beauty seekers are clearly finding ways to mend from too many chemical products.
Aromatherapy: Scent with Intent
The spa industry latched onto scent early on as an essential component of wellness and helped launch aromatherapy into the mainstream. But as aromatherapy plays a greater role in the treatment of pain, depression, insomnia and other physical and mental issues, spas have become motivated to reimagine their aromatherapy approach from the generically pleasant to the personalized and transformative. In 2014, there will be a growing effort to craft an aromatherapy of intention.
Wellness Retreats Rise… & Urbanize
After years of recession-stalled stasis, look for exciting movement on the destination spa front, where personalized, immersive wellness programming is the DNA, and life transformations are the goal. Look for all-new brands like the spectacular, just-opened VANA in India’s Himalayan foothills and further expansion from revered destination spa brands like Miraval (U.S.) and Lanserhof (Austria). A distinct sub-trend is also emerging: the urban-close wellness retreat.
Death & Spas: Thriving During Life’s Transitions
When we think of spas, three things usually come to mind: getting healthier, being pampered and looking our best. But as baby boomers – the group that has been the largest spa-going demographic for decades – start thinking seriously about aging and death, we’re seeing spas of all kinds help clients tackle life’s biggest transition. At the same time, spa offerings and influences are moving into hospitals and assisted living facilities and showing up in home designs that allow an aging population to live in a non-institutional setting.
Top 10 Surprising Spa & Wellness Destinations
When one thinks spa or wellness vacation, a few select destinations immediately come to mind: Italy, Thailand, Turks and Caicos… sound familiar? But savvy spa-goers and wellness seekers are pushing back against the “been there, done that” travel mentality, searching for more exotic destinations and indigenous experiences to stamp on their spa passports. In fact, they are spawning significant demand for new spa settings to explore that extend beyond the normal hotspots.
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