Luxury brands hedge their bets on health and wellness

A strong wellness angle is showing up in new hotels and resorts as well as revamped projects, as hotel companies continue to respond to the growing appetite among travellers for physical and mental care.

Capella Hotels & Resorts, for instance, is working on its first wellness dedicated resort in South Korea, scheduled 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 country’s only luxury resort with direct access to the beach.

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

Commenting on the location choice, Monica Barter, corporate director of wellness, Capella Hotels & Resorts, told TTG Asia: “South Korea is highly regarded as a wellness destination. They are at the forefront of wellness and beauty programmes, producing trailblazing products, and are constantly innovating.”

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

Over in Thailand, the RAKxa Wellness & Medical Retreat opened its doors in December 2020 as Bangkok’s first fully integrative wellness and medical retreat. It operates as a standalone luxury property that offers Bumrungrad International Hospital’s doctor-supervised programmes and treatments.

On the inspiration behind this property, Dusadee Tancharoen, managing director of RAKxa, shared: “During my travels, I found that wellness retreats were either very holistic or very medical, and wanted to create one that could blend the two together. (I believe that) it is best to balance both the holistic and medical to obtain the optimum results for one’s body and mind.”

Both 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 brand RXV, targeting families and the younger generation. The property will be located near Bangkok, and offer an inclusive and accessible wellness experience for everyone. We also have several new wellness models in the pipeline to enhance our reputation as a Thai wellness brand globally.”

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

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

“Post-pandemic, our guests are telling our wellness experts more about their loneliness, sleep, stress, weight gain, and their wish to detox both mentally, physically, and digitally. There is greater consciousness and willingness to dive deep into oneself, reconnect, regenerate, contribute more, and enjoy greater wellness in life. So, our vision of reconnecting has never been more important,” he elaborated.

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

“Guests can look forward to an integrative wellness approach with our signature treatments complemented by customised nutritional plans, functional movement, mindfulness therapies, and life-coaching sessions,” Barter shared.

For Dusadee, luxury wellness and personalisation will be redefined in the near future, and it will be a “game of innovation”.

She said: “Everything will be hyper-personalised 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 healing techniques (that will) evolve to keep up in this fast-changing world.”

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