PB World: what’s next for wellness destinations?

As the global spa market begins to re-open, John T G Nielsen, general manger of Fivelements Retreat Bali, shares the experiences of reopening in Indonesia ahead of the online World Spa & Wellness Convention on September 8-10. 

Social distancing, reducing touch points and streamlined treatment menus are just some of the changes facing spa operators across the world, and this will be the focus of our upcoming webinar, Wellness destinations: navigating unchartered water, at 1pm (GMT+1) on Wednesday September 9.

Hosted by Jean-Guy de Gabriac, founder World Wellness Weekend and Tip Touch International, the webinar panel will also be joined by John Stewart, co-founder of Kamalaya Wellness Sanctuary & Holistic Spa, Thailand, Sonia Spring, director of marketing and PR at Clinique La Prairie Spa & Wellness Center, Switzerland and Andrew Gibson, chairman of Wellness Tourism Association. 

Ahead of the panel, Nielsen discusses some of challenges and opportunities that are facing the spa and wellness market.  

The ‘new normal’ 

“I believe clients have begun to look ahead and understand that the new normal world will be different,” says Nielson. “As a smaller boutique style retreat, I believe guests will look to a more personal and ‘safe’ haven style hotel where they can be served and not have to mingle around large pools.”

“Our new 11 pool suites offer guests a great safe and private option. I also believe clients are desperate to get out and we have been communicating via newsletters and we are getting emails from former guests.”

Touch-free communication

“Prior to the pandemic we entered into an agreement with the digital company Portier, who provides a wonderful digital solution where every guest receives on arrival receives a Samsung phone, which is their key to the holiday,” he says.

“The system has a number of benefits as our guests are interacting through the phone with our staff, and the system can translate in a number of languages. Every menu at Fivelements Retreat is available and guests can take the phone to Ubud and communicate with our team via Whatsapp. This also saves a few trees in printing folders and can have the bill sent to the guests.”

Streamlined treatment menus

“Due to local regulations, we had to cut down the menu by 50% to 60%,” says Nielson. “We have had to focus on healing treatments, including TRE, a yoga form, our wonderful river baths and any healing format that can be done using gloves.”

“As with any industry we need to adjust and be flexible and look at the opportunities within the wellness activities that we can provide,” he adds. “Our new boutique gym has become a real feature with us offering personal training sessions that are linked to core fitness that can increase flexibility and also using yoga to support the total workout.”  

As part of PB World (September 8-10) Professional Beauty are hosting the online World Spa & Wellness Convention with free sessions to share knowledge and insight amongst the global spa and wellness market. See the full World Spa & Wellness Programme and register now to attend your place at PB World.