Wellness tourism has become an increasing trend for travelers looking for transformation journeys. However, beyond the wellness concept experienced at these places, this kind of trip flourishes within luxurious resorts where spaces for meditation and relaxation coexist with training areas, leisure amenities, and even medical facilities.
Wellness tourism is a non-stop growing trend. According to the Global Wellness Institute, in 2017, it experienced a 6.5% annual growth – twice the growth of general tourism, with 3.2% –which has led the industry to reach a 639 million-dollar value. And the expectations continue to grow, it is expected for the value to reach 919 billion dollars and a 7.5% annual growth by 2022.
Last year, 830 million trips of this kind were made across the world, so increasingly more hotels and resorts are transforming to add wellness spaces to their amenities. Wellness tourism in itself consists of taking trips that help improve health through physical, psychological, or emotional activities. Health is the main force driving travelers to improve their lifestyle, whether temporarily while enjoying a wellness vacation, or as the starting point of a transformation leading to a healthier lifestyle.
Oasis of peace
Even though there are increasingly more resorts and hotels that include wellness programs among their services, like mindful eating sessions, meditation rooms, healthy menus, and health coaches, there are some places specifically created for wellness vacations. These spaces aim to provide visitors with harmony and tranquility starting with their architectural concept. Contact with nature is a key part of the design: from open and wide spaces for practicing outdoor activities, to rooms or spa cabins, which allow to enjoy the natural beauty of the surroundings. Training centers are more than simple gyms; these places are some of the main attractions, since it is not enough for them to be fully equipped, but they also offer spaces for physical therapy, personalized training areas, cabins for medical consultation, and nutrition offices.
It is important to highlight that the resorts focused on wellness are aware that, even though travelers are health-driven, they are still on vacation. Unlike medical tourism, wellness tourism goes beyond consultations with specialists and diet plans, these resorts offer leisure tourist attractions, like dazzling swimming pools, tours to nearby places, luxurious restaurants, suites with exquisite design, and full spas.
Nestled in the Santa Catalina Mountains, in Tucson (Arizone), Canyon Ranch is the resort boasting 30 years of history, inspires travelers through a healthy lifestyle plan, combining spa vacations with exercise, nutrition, thought control and relaxing programs.
The views of the mountains create a quiet energy environment, which is healing as well. Also, the design seeks to eliminate noise pollution and replace it with sounds of nature, a commonly used practice in ecotherapy. By the hand of this environment, the interior design mixes local art pieces and a decoration in a color palette that is representative of the southern part of the United States, while providing comfort to visitors.
The rooms have been designed with an ambiance to support wellness, reason why soft beds come with a menu of over 20 different kinds of pillows, a sound system emulating nature, sound amplifiers for people with hearing issues, and a terrace to experience the natural environment. By the hand of a holiday experience, they offer three outdoor swimming pools, a 12,000 square feet water center with Watsu and indoor pool, used to provide therapeutic sessions.
This resort in the Caribbean completely transformed the “all inclusive” concept. Beyond the room, drinks, and food, this place includes programs aimed at fitness, relaxation and sports, lessons, professional instructors, nutritionist, and personal trainer. In Body Holiday, Santa Lucía, all activities are focused on comprehensive transformation vacations, without neglecting the fun of a trip to the island’s beautiful beaches. In this way, the estate includes spaces for practicing mindfulness activities in noise- and distraction-free areas, both in and outdoors, a wellness center where beauty and rejuvenation treatments are offered, and fully equipped doctor’s offices where each guest is assessed and diagnosed both through Eastern medicine, like Ayurveda, and Western medicine, through measuring hormonal levels, stress levels, blood circulation, and nutrition.
Of course, there are also other spaces within the property that are unlikely to be found together, but which have managed to coexist in harmony, like an Ayurvedic temple, an organic orchard, wine storage room, piano bar, numerous restaurants, and a beach club.
This place, located in the Indian area of the Himalayas is a true relaxing shelter built by the mountainside, in a 100-acre renovated space, which used to be the palace belonging to a Maharaja; it is Ananda in the Himalayas.
The sense of peace and serenity can be felt from the views of the mountains and the Ganges River, which people seek after these vacations. It is no coincidence that the spa is one of the largest, with 25,000 square feet. In treatments offered here, traditional Indian practices, like Ayurveda, yoga, and Vedanta, are combined with international ones, like weight control and detox.
The resort is still luxurious, since room design includes exclusive amenities like private pools in the best suites, while respecting traditional architecture. Integration with nature is key in this kind of resorts and this one is no exception, the swimming pool is surrounded by jungle vegetation, while the restaurant is located on a platform among trees.
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