On trend

As 2015 begins, we pick the brains of some of the leading spa and wellness brands and industry experts, to get their input on the trends set to shape the industry this year. From results-focus and express treatments, to wellness communities, customisation and late night spa treatments, it’s all on the agenda in 2015

“In 2015, an even greater focus will be placed on the customer’s health and state of mind. Spa is about treating the skin, body and mind. The food and activities on offer, as well as the environment, play a huge role in the overall experience and results. Another key trend is consumers’ increasingly savvy approach to skincare. Understandably, customers want to know that their money is well spent and that the products they buy will work. Clinical trials are vital, and promoting the subsequent results effectively, is becoming increasing important to succeeding. 
Fiona Brackenbury, director of training and education, Decléor UK 

“I believe we will see a huge rise in the demand for express and “mini” treatments, helping stressed-out clients with faster, quick fix options. I am also finding that a lot of locations are now offering simpler menus, with a decline in elaborate rituals, thus enabling the therapist to get right to the heart of the matter: the treatment experience.” 
Graham Clarke, UK country manager, Sothys 

"We believe that clinical trials and being able to support your claims is a big trend to look out for. We believe consumers are going to demand it, and that media should demand it, and we will be doing a lot more of it" 
Séan Harrington, managing director, Elemis 

 “In 2015, the customer will expect innovation, results, bespoke experiences and the opportunity to participate in social spa. Engaging with the customer and providing exciting new products and treatments with true integrity is key. We believe clients will expect ultimate skin health and results, and will be interested in natural ingredients and technologies that deliver proven results. Time is a key influencer when it comes to treatment bookings, so treatments will need to deliver a full guest experience, in minimal time.” 
Tracy Brasenell, national sales manager, Caudalie UK


“The focus for 2015 will be on treatments that work to improve the wellness of mind and body, which are both often over-stimulated in today’s supercharged work and technology-filled world. By allowing our mind and body to reboot we are able to encourage relaxation and sleep to improve the appearance and quality of skin.”
Marie Schmid, head of treatment development, Clarins UK 

“We will see customers and clients focus on ingredients and results in 2015. With so much competition in the skincare market, brands need to be able to back up claims with solid facts and figures. Customer expectations are higher than ever before and they want the science behind the product to back up the results. Consumers are becoming savvier and asking more focussed questions. How much is a wrinkle being filled? By how much is a fat cell being broken down? Are hydration levels being improved? Is pigmentation being reduced? What do the active ingredient really do? To attract and keep the customer satisfied we need to grab their attention and hold on to it with precise information, delivered in simple and honest terms.” 
Nicola Simmons, UK sales and training manager, Phytomer 

“The key trend we are seeing for 2015 is the greater importance of green chemistry. Natural products are gaining a huge following, with spas creating natural, eco-friendly surroundings, product selections and treatments. Body treatments are also on the rise, with a greater priority on results, along with relaxation. Managing down time and sleep promotion are key treatment trends. We are seeing particular demand for the use of seaweed, largely due to its detoxifying and recuperative effects.”
Mark Walton, founder of Voya 
“2015 is going to be most exciting. In the UK, we will see spas and [salons] pick up the slack from the changes in the national health service. We will also see a surge in cryogenic removal of moles and age spots. Peels and advanced lasers are also coming into their own more and more as every day treatments in spas and salons.” 
Deborah Mitchell, founder, Heaven by Deborah Mitchell 

“At Totally UK, we see three trends for 2015: 1) Combining the height of relaxation with sublime rituals and extraordinary results. Relaxation is not always enough, clients also want visual results; they want to be wowed 2) Add-ons: These are needed to extend treatment time and maximise profits. Ten-to-thirty minute add-ons work well and are widely taken up within spas: 3) Bespoke signature rituals: These are becoming widely requested, with each spa wanting to stand out and offer something unique.” 
Carole Jones, director of Totally UK, distributor of Germaine de Capuccini, Universal Contour Wrap ad Rica in the UK 

“We predict a focus on body treatments in 2015, particularly cellulite treatments. Spas will also be looking to educate and become lifestyle coaches for their clients – advising on a deeper level on diet, exercise and lifestyle changes. We also see [a continued focus] on anti-ageing and [a continuation of the trend] of more and more men becoming spa-goers.” 
Amy Heeralall, marketing manager, Comfort Zone UK 

“Shorter treatments for guests with fast-paced lives [will] take a priority over more luxurious treatments in 2015. And masks are predicted to be the next big thing in the beauty market this year.” 
Kendra Flockhart, education executive, Darphin 

"There is a real trend for both hands-on and machine facials. I am sure [botulinum toxin] and fillers are here to stay, but people are really seeing the benefits of using machine facials to both deep cleanse the skin and lift the facial muscles, as they really can have the most fantastic results. Hands-on massage with good quality products can have brilliant results too, and give the skin the radiance that people are looking for."
Geraldine Howard, co-founder, Aromatherapy Associates 

“Express treatments are here to stay, because of economy of money and time. Clients are looking for maximum results in minimum time, and for homecare packages that have been designed for their specific skin needs. Look out for melanin inhibitors such as daisy and biomimetic peptides which act on multiple pathways of melanin formation, and encapsulated vitamin C and sophora extracts that significantly lighten problem areas.” 
Noella Gabriel, director of product and treatment development, Elemis 

“A trend we see really taking off in 2015 are twilight spa escapes. With wellness trends like juicing, mindfulness and meditation becoming more mainstream, taking care of yourself is more popular than ever. Evening spa experiences allow people who don’t have time for a full day of relaxation to incorporate spa escapes into their busy schedule and more and more spas are offering evening alternatives. Already growing in popularity, particularly in urban areas, we expect to see more evening options in 2015.”
Lopo Champalimaud, chief executive and co-founder, Wahanda 

thalgo machine

Above: Image courtesy of Thalgo

“We believe machines will become a more important part of the beauty offering in 2015. People traditionally go to spas for relaxation but in addition, they are increasingly looking to have face and body treatments that are shorter but give visible results: treatments that they may traditionally have had in salons.” 
Judith Emslie, marketing manager, Thalgo UK

“For us, the most obvious trend is [design]. You are starting to have two very different experiences, depending on whether it’s a day spa or a hotel spa. With millions invested in hotel spas, in order to have unique architecture, the price of treatments has increased. Hotel spas have become an experience. Day spas cannot quite compete with this wow effect when it comes to design, so they focus more on the wow effect of the treatments.” 
Bertrand Thiery, chief executive and co-founder, Thémaé Paris

“In 2015 and beyond, the continued growth of the US$494 billion (£324bn) wellness travel market will prove to be one of the most significant trends to impact our industry in decades. From travel to spa to fitness to beauty, 2015 will be a year when we re-think who we are as an industry and how, by casting off old perceptions, we can better serve the people who look to us to help them lead healthier, happier lives 365 days a year.”  
Mia Kyricos, chief brand officer, Spafinder Wellness 

“One of the trends we are seeing for 2015 is customisation. Permitting the spa-goer to customise their time at your spa will allow them to walk away with a truly unique experience. For example, the spa-goer can [just] book time at the spa, allowing the therapist to determine the type of facial or massage they need once they have had a chance to evaluate the spa-goer’s concern. Or they can book an express treatment, if they are pressed for time. Customisation is about allowing the spa-goers to drive the choices available to them.” 
Lynne McNees, president of the International Spa Association 

“At Goco, we predict an increasing interest in wellness communities, an extension of a trend we saw last year. These communities combine temporary accommodation with residential offerings for wellness-conscious guests and are located near cities. [Amenities] at these wellness retreats might include an organic farm, a cooking school, an amphitheatre for entertainment and educational events, a training academy and a working village of artists and craftsmen.” 
Ingo Schweder, chief executive, Goco Hospitality

“Sleep treatments and counselling combined with workshops and exercise programmes to alleviate sleep disorders will develop within spas, as people become aware of how a lack of sleep can affect the body and your daily performance. Spas will also continue to develop specialised treatments and products focused on performance and stress reduction. As stress levels continue to rise, specialised recuperation and reconnection half-day programmes in private spa suites will be developed. We will also see a gradual increase of visiting consultants and celebrity trainers to spas, to educate guests on subjects such as nutrition, meditation, fitness and stress reduction.”
Andrea Gong, head of group spa operations, Mandarin Oriental 

“2015 will be a year of focusing on mental strength. As our world becomes faster, more challenging and more complex, it is essential to have balance to cope with the pressure and stress of daily life. People who devote their energy to their families and businesses all year are seeking places to regain strength, focus and health. These days we focus a lot on fitness, but that has no value without mental strength. Only mental strength and emotional balance enables us to make the right decisions. It’s time to offer various ways to train these mental and emotional abilities in a calm and peaceful environment.”
Hans-Peter Veit, spa manager, Brenners Park-Hotel & Spa   

“Flotation tanks. Forget about flotation tanks that look like coffins and instead imagine yourself in weightless warm water saturated with Epsom salt, enjoying underwater music and watching awesome videos. Flotation tanks help alleviate tension and sleep deprivation, aid jetlag recovery and stimulate creativity by connecting the two sides of the brain. Lefay Resort & Spa Lago di Garda in Italy, Toskana Therme in Germany and R-Revolution Santé in France are just some of the wellness locations that offer this service.” 
Jean-Guy de Gabriac, chief executive and founder, Tip Touch International

flotation tank

Above: Image courtesy of Ocean Floatrooms

“One of the key trends I think we will see is a spa focus on wellness and recovery. We are all having to work harder for longer and it’s difficult to take time off work.  So spa trips that allow you to recharge and relax will help people cope with demanding work lives. People need to take their health into their own hands. Recovery packages for people who have been unwell and want to feel better is a huge potential for spas.”
Daphne Metland, founder and director of the Good Spa Guide

“I think we will see more of: focussed wellness solutions, spas will respond to guests’ needs with personalised wellness programmes that encompass the core elements of fitness, nutrition, skin and rest; spa expertise, spas providing wellness experts who can respond to lifestyle needs and issues, such as cancer; mind matters, an increased recognition of the brain’s influence on longevity, skin health and a positive lifestyle; wellness technology, there is still so much more to come and; truly signature experiences, seasoned spa-goers are looking for new and unique treatments and rituals with a sense of place, identity and originality.” 
Colin Farndon, spa director, Armathwaite Hall Country House Hotel and Spa

“Until 2014, less than 10% of all spa bookings were made online, but this will surge, potentially doubling in 2015. This instant access to reviews, pricing and availability will suit the savvy customer and the savvy spa owner. It will be critical to balance price and quality, yielding treatments, hotel breaks and packages across the week.  Wider participation in spa will be the ultimate goal.” 
Charlie Thompson, group spa projects and support at Q Hotels and chairman of the UK Spa Association 

voya shot

Above: Image courtesy of Voya

“Financial accountability. We’re under greater pressure to deliver results and make prudent investments. With more sophisticated metrics, benchmarks and case studies to draw from today, our industry’s next phase is being driven by business minds, not just healers and practitioners. The last six years have been a time of consolidation and contraction where there have been a few new trends, but more of a rehash of old ones – which needed rehashing. That said, amazing scientific and technological advances, from neuroscience to wearable tech, happening on the periphery of the spa industry, will impact how we define and deliver wellness in the future.” 
Jeff Matthews, president, Steiner Spa Consulting and chief operating officer, Mandara Spa

“2015 will see a further growth in wellness tourism. Wellness facilities will play a more prominent role as demand and awareness increases. We will also see more medical testing such as biological age tests to find out how well we are ageing and a focus on food allergy/ intolerance testing to enable guests to work on internal, as well as external, wellness. Focus will be on technology and integrating the new without taking away the core aspects of spa and wellness. Tailormade programmes will ensure a personal approach, offering guests a remarkable experience suited to their individual needs.“
Neil Hewerdine, vice presidents, spa services, Atlantis The Palm, Dubai