Partner-focused pampering is nothing new. The International SPA Association (ISPA) reports that couples massage is available in 93% of resort and hotel spas, and in 62% of day spas. What’s changing is demand. Spas are reporting growth in both the number of couples visiting and an uptick in demand for services aimed at reconnecting and strengthening the duo’s relationship.
“Over the past few years we’ve seen an increase in couples visiting, and even more so in the past few months,” says Kayla Fournerat, spa director at Miraval Austin, a 220-acre hill-country resort and spa just outside of Austin, Texas. “Couples are looking for ways to reconnect and refocus on one another. It really speaks to a larger desire for peace and balance during these difficult times.” Fournerat estimates that about 50% of the spa’s guests are couples.
What Couples Want
Just as spas are moving toward holistic wellness, couples want more than side-by-side massages and soaking tubs built for two. “Many of our guests are making their well-being a priority, and they’re requesting a wider range of treatments and activities,” says Monika Jalovec, spa director at The Spa at Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur, California. “Couples now want more spiritual exploration, relaxation techniques and self-care tools, such as astrology, shaman sessions, meditation, aromatherapy, sound therapy and energy balancing.”
No longer just booking to celebrate babymoons and special occasions, couples come to the spa for a myriad of reasons. “The beginning step is not always from a good place and can include loss, transition and frustration,” notes Jim Root, general manager of Mii amo, a destination spa in Sedona, Arizona, where couples offerings include treatments like Compassionate Communications (120 min./$350), Living with Change (120 min./ $350) and Aura-Soma Relationship Reading (90 min./$395). That said, Root does see unifying factors among visiting couples: “There is generally a shared desire to better understand, better appreciate and better connect with each other.”
Likewise, practitioners can extend well past massage therapists and bodywork pros to include mindfulness facilitators who bring a unique spiritual or energetic perspective—but just as important as what they do is what they don’t do. “A journey at Mii amo is a very personal, individual and inward-looking experience that is often shared with a partner. That’s why we’re there to co-create and not judge or fix,” adds Root.
Allison Young is a freelance writer based in Phoenix.