How Spas are Becoming Centers for Wellness

Courtesy Carillon Miami Wellness Resort

Unwind in the most idyllic, wellness-centric spas around the world.

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Luxury spas have come a long way since the days of popping in for an hour-long massage and a quick steam room sojourn. Many of the premiere, five-star spas now provide an entire wellness experience. And that very much includes wellness of the mind; in fact, some spas are focusing on emotional health and even offer counseling services. Beyond that, wellness resorts are also bringing healthy eating, wellness lectures, and healing practices from around the world to the forefront of their offerings. 

Courtesy Miraval Austin

To start with, the holistic wellness trend has become very prevalent in luxury spas, further encouraging them to become full-blown wellness centers. Of course, there are countless ways to approach “holistic” treatment, but many spas are committed to showing guests how to incorporate healing remedies into their own life. That could mean spas also offering clean eating seminars or private yoga as part of their programming. 

Miraval, which opened in January 2019 in Austin following the success of their flagship Arizona property, allows their central wellness theme to seep into every part of a guest’s experience. Alongside their Life in Balance spa, their property has a Body Mindfulness Center, Life in Balance culinary kitchen, and a serene Mindful Journey meditation space. Their daily programming, much of which is included, involves practices like crystal meditation, lectures on topics like effective stress management, and sourcing healthy meals from local markets. They also put a premium on communing with nature as a way to take their wellness offerings to the next level. In addition to the daily nature walks Miraval offers, they also do horseback riding as a gateway into mindfulness and outdoor therapy. 

James Baigrie/Courtesy Miraval Austin

As spas foray into the world of holistic wellness, a select few have also expanded to offer therapy services, like couples counseling. Carillon Miami, A Wellness Resort has clinics with a licensed marriage and sex therapist whose aim is to “give individuals and couples of any sexual preference the tools to learn how to love themselves unconditionally, receive love, and create fulfilling and joyful relationships that will last a lifetime,” according to their website. Dr. Carolina Pataky not only does one-on-one psychotherapy, but hosts luxury retreats (like her “Marriage Tune Up Weekends”) at Carillon Miami. 

Body wellness is also a big part of Carillon’s holistic offerings. While staying at the property, you can schedule a nutrition consultation. Furthermore, they have an entire non-traditional spa services menu, which incorporates healing practices from other countries, and new-age healing techniques like cryotherapy and infrared saunas.

Courtesy Courtesy Carillon Miami Wellness Resort

Those who are interested in exploring an eastern approach to wellness of the mind can easily find spas exploring meditation or zodiac inspiration. The Spa at Beverly Wilshire, A Four Seasons Hotel, an American Express Fine Hotel & Resort property, offers a Lunar 28 treatment, which is a skin treatment designed to follow the 28-day lunar cycle that each guest is physiologically and genetically aligned to. It’s a 28-day facial wellness program that focuses on improving your skin and outward energy. The Spa at the Palms is also integrating celestial movements into their treatments; They have an Oracle Reflecting & Chakra Balancing treatment that begins with a tarot reading, which subsequently leads the rest of the treatment.

In terms of other haute wellness experiences taking over the spa industry, spas abroad will infuse their treatments with local tradition, as a way to practice the healing rituals of their culture or showcase their best exports. At Casa Medina Bogotá, South American culture informs their exclusive Colombian healing services, including their body-slimming, locally sourced green coffee wrap. Similarly, Hoshino Karuizawa’s wellness programming takes advantage of their local hot springs as a way into meditation. The hot springs fill their spa baths, and guests can unwind in their their Meditation Bath for those working on overall focus.