How Spas Are Implementing 5 Wellness Trends in 2024

Thermal bathing sessions are available where guests can soak, sweat, and recover in self-directed fashion.
Thermal bathing sessions are available where guests can soak, sweat, and recover in self-directed fashion.
Photo courtesy of Melinda Nagy - adobe stock

TLEE Spas + Wellness shared its perspective on what has shaped their inspiration and ideas throughout 2023, and several key drivers that will influence their wellness approach in 2024. 

“Our clients are recognizing the need to distill and personalize wellness offerings in accordance with their brand identity and project location,” said President and Founder of TLEE Spas + Wellness, Tracy Lee. “The past few years have seen exciting advancements in wellness technologies, encouraging spa and hospitality brands to lean into this emerging shift to leverage tech with human touch. In 2024 and beyond, we can expect to see thoughtful use of resources and technologies to accommodate guests’ desires for functional music and sound, self-directed experiences, nature and adventure-driven wellness, and conscious consumption.”

1. The Rise of Functional Music and Sound

Curating unique experiences that integrate the healing properties of music and sound has become an area of growing interest, particularly in spas where their intentional use can elicit different moods to bolster recovery, augment fitness goals, and help guests downshift to a more mindful state. At a forthcoming project in Las Vegas, conceived by TLEE Spas + Wellness, an entry portal conceived as a decompression space will leverage different forms of music and soundscapes to help guests shift gears into a broad spectrum of experiences. This will include wellness-inflected pool parties with DJ sets, live music performances, and the Sound Room – an immersive studio space for fitness classes, mind-body modalities, and social events that explores the boundaries of sound and music to distinguish spaces and encourage distinctive emotional and physical responses.

Given growing recognition of the diverse benefits of sound, TLEE anticipates a rise in fitness offerings infused and energized by live music. Implemented annually in Careyes, Mexico, Ondalinda offers a robust lineup of yoga and movement classes set to DJs and live guitar. As participants tune into diverse expressions of sound, they forge deeper connections to their minds, bodies, and practices, attesting to sound’s power to improve spirituality, cognition, and performance.

2. Spontaneous Wellness

The modern hospitality guest wants to access wellness at their own pace, without being hampered by the structure and time constraint of a scheduled appointment. Increasingly, however, chronic therapist labor shortages are precluding flexibility, forcing people to book treatments far in advance. Self-directed wellness offers an alternative, allowing guests to tap into wellness offerings as frequently as they like in inclusive, less formal settings.

At the Halehouse Spa at Stanly Ranch, Auberge Resorts Collection, hotel guests and locals can pursue unique goals via self-directed contrast bathing circuits. Inspired by Nordic bathhouse culture with a Northern California twist, the Springhouse Circuit at the heart of the spa blends attendant services with DIY components, featuring hot and cold experiences and bio-hacking venues to activate the body’s natural healing power. A forthcoming luxury hospitality brand rooted in nature and active adventure takes this inclusive wellness approach even further, with a communal indoor/outdoor bathhouse that is front and center to the guest experience. Available to all guests on property throughout their entire stay, a variety of therapeutic pools interspersed with steam and sauna pavilions create a dynamic setting for customized hydrotherapy and thermal bathing sessions, where guests can soak, sweat, and recover in self-directed fashion, or join guided gatherings led by sauna masters or ceremonial healers.

Related: 3 Wellness Travel Trends in 2024

3. Integration of Touch and Technology

Historically, the North American spa experience has principally been driven by therapist-driven services, but, in recent years, the industry has been undergoing a significant shift. The focus has transitioned from touch-based therapies, like massage and manual bodywork, towards a more integrated and tech-savvy approach that leverages the latest advancements in sports medicine and bio-harmonization to enhance therapeutic outcomes. 

At Grand Wailea, A Waldorf Astoria Resort, TLEE’s full redesign of the spa is engineered to put a modern Hawaiian spin on the property’s original European spa offering through diverse, self-directed experiences that blend tradition and technology. Pushing the boundaries of integration, the Little Nell in Aspen will offer pioneering services focused on three primary pathways attuned to the Aspen lifestyle: multidimensional treatments to repair and recover from active pursuits, replenish from the harsh environment and high altitude, and reset the mind/body connection. The Mountain Metamorphosis, for example, primes the body with a salt-infused infrared sauna, before releasing tension through deep tissue techniques amplified by percussion therapy, while promoting recovery and repair through LED red light and energized oxygen inhalation.

4. Adventure Wellness

Due to the pandemic and further influenced by our sedentary and over-scheduled lifestyles, the lure of outdoor adventure has hit a critical mass, and many hospitality and wellness brands are responding with programming that immerses guests in nature. Set to launch amidst three National Parks, the forthcoming hospitality brand offers opportunities to explore the wild with expert guides curated to individual interests and personal goals.

Diverse wellness offerings are sprinkled throughout property and extend into the wilderness beyond, including an extensive network of hiking trails, fresh-air fitness classes, and climbing courses nestled into the natural geology. For those who do not climb but want to challenge their emotional and physical limits, year-round contrast bathing is available at the outdoor Sauna Garden at The Lake House Canandaigua. By moving guests out of insulated environments, pre-conceived notions of comfort and into the natural world, they can push out of their comfort zone to fully stimulate their senses and unleash their innate vitality.

5. A Movement Towards Conscious Consumption and Sustainable Design

Wellness is no longer confined to its traditional domain – namely the physical and mental – as the collective consciousness and conversation has shifted towards environmental stewardship, careful consumption and sustainable design. Within this dynamic, operators have an opportunity to make an impact on both the environment and the bottom line by leveraging sustainable design and enlightened operational standards. TLEE Spas is spearheading this movement through elevated design solutions that reduce energy consumption and evolve guest experiences that promote sustainable consumption, while reducing operational burden and labor costs.

At Halehouse Spa at Stanly Ranch, TLEE announced the replacement of single-use plastics and disposable guest supplies. Looking forward, TLEE will re-think the ubiquitous towel display found in spa locker rooms to encourage mindful use of linens. 

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