Luxury brands are hedging their health and wellness bets

A strong wellness angle is emerging in new hotels and resorts as well as refurbished projects, as hospitality companies continue to cater to travelers’ growing appetite for physical and mental care.

Capella Hotels & Resorts, for example, is working on its first dedicated wellness resort in South Korea, slated to open in 2024. Located near Songjeon Beach in Yangyang, Gangwon Province, Capella Yangyang will be the brand’s first luxury wellness resort, and the only luxury resort with direct beach access.

RAKxa Wellness & Medical Retreat is Bangkok’s first fully integrative wellness and medical retreat

Commenting on the choice of location, Monica Barter, Director of Wellness, Capella Hotels & Resorts, said XXL Asia“South Korea is highly regarded as a wellness destination. They are at the forefront of wellness and beauty programs, manufacture innovative products and are constantly innovating.

She added, “Choosing Yangyang was a strategic decision for the group and gives us a first-mover advantage to create a stunning beachfront destination just two hours from the nation’s capital, Seoul.”

In Thailand, the RAKxa Wellness & Medical Retreat opened in December 2020 as Bangkok’s first fully integrative wellness and medical retreat. It operates as a self-contained luxury property that offers the doctor-supervised programs and treatments at Bumrungrad International Hospital.

On the inspiration behind this property, Dusadee Tancharoen, Managing Director of RAKxa, shared, “During my travels, I discovered that wellness retreats were either very holistic or very medical, and I wanted to create one that can mix the two. (I believe) it’s best to balance both the holistic and the medical to achieve the optimal results for body and mind.

Capella and Rakxa indicated plans for more wellness-focused properties in the future.

Dusadee shared, “In 4Q2022, we plan to open another property under the RXV brand, targeting families and the younger generation. The property will be located near Bangkok and will provide an inclusive wellness experience accessible to all. We also have several new wellness models in the pipeline to bolster our reputation as a Thai wellness brand globally.

Meanwhile, Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas is currently rebranding Vana, a wellness retreat in Uttarakhand, India, to Six Senses Vana. Opening soon, stays range from a minimum of three nights to a month, and guests will be able to detoxify their body and mind through the practices of Ayurveda, yoga and Tibetan medicine, all of which have been incorporated into the latest complementary therapies.

Its CEO, Neil Jacobs, is confident that the luxury wellness market will “continue to grow” as “more and more people take more responsibility for their own wellbeing” in the current climate.

“Post-pandemic, our clients are telling our wellness experts more about their loneliness, sleep, stress, weight gain, and desire to detox both mentally, physically, and digitally. There is a greater awareness and a greater willingness to dive deep within, to reconnect, to rejuvenate, to contribute more, and to enjoy greater well-being in life. So our vision of reconnecting has never been more important,” he explained.

Capella has also seen an “increase in spa and wellness demand” and is currently working to evolve its existing Auriga Spa offering.

“Clients can expect an integrative approach to wellness with our signature treatments complemented by personalized nutrition plans, functional movements, mindfulness therapies, and life coaching sessions,” Barter explained.

For Dusadee, luxury wellness and personalization will be redefined in the near future, and it will be an “innovation game”.

She said: “Everything will be hyper-personalized to your DNA. We will see the adoption of more gadgets and devices to expand the wellness experience. We can also expect to see the revival of old techniques of healing (which will evolve) to keep pace in this rapidly changing world.

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