Top 5 trends influencing European spas revealed

Forest Bathing, SPAcations, heat and mud, children's spas, and precious stones are set to be amongst the top trends in Spa this year.

According to research, Northern European spa trends will embrace the overall restorative nature of wellbeing, driving the spa market in 2019.

Kęstutis Ramanauskas, Director of Health Resort in Druskininkai, Lithuanian, comments:

“We often hear from our guests that their Spa hotel choice depends on the proximity to a forest and the type of natural treatments it can offer. We believe that in 2019 this trend will keep evolving and people will crave nature as a source of wellbeing, both in their surroundings and their treatments.”

According to the Spa and wellness experts of Druskininkai, five main trends they expect to see growing in popularity in 2019 are:

1. Going on a long SPAcation

woman skiing on spacation spa holiday

The new trend is to holiday at a Spa Hotel and enjoy daily treatments. SPAcation can include active leisure, health-promoting exercise packages and authentic dining experiences.

For example, The Aman Spa at Aman Le Melezin in the French Alps offers exclusive packages of ski passes, pre-ski yoga sessions, dinners, and Spa treatments. Alternatively, Hotel Kalevala in Finland has a selection of packages consisting of massages, saunas and baths combined with snowmobile safari trips and other exciting activities.

2. Forest Bathing

Forest Bathing on spa holiday

Shinrin-Yoku is the Japanese practice of Forest Bathing which opens up the mysterious power of woodland for therapy and healing. This therapy, which includes taking long walks in the forest, is expected to become popular around the world in 2019, as people take a more proactive and holistic approach towards their health. 

Forest Bathing is proven to reduce the levels of cortisol, alleviate depression, relieve stress and have a positive effect on blood pressure. 

Japanese Forest Bathers often go to Chubu-Sangaku National Park to immerse themselves in nature completely or combine it with leisure in one of the park's ski resorts and hot spring centres.

3. Spa for children

children with family on spa visit in jacuzzi

Over recent years, children have been following the example of their parents and embracing Spas, and this is not going to stop. According to the International Spa Association, more than half of the almost 14,000 Spas in the USA offer packages for families, teens or children, and Europe is following close in their footsteps. 

Children-friendly areas are taking over Spa centres, from specialised child-friendly saunas to salt therapy. Even beauty treatments can be adapted to children's needs. For example, in Austria, Grand Resort Bad Ragaz is home to a Spa area where adults can share wellness and beauty procedures with children. The children's Spa menu includes honey and chocolate massages, manicure and a ‘happy feet' procedure. At TAOR-Karpaty, a Ukrainian hotel and wellness complex, inhalations, salt cave sessions, apitherapy, facial masks and fruit baths are short duration treatments included in Spa programmes for children.

4. Heat and mud are popular again

Woman having mud treatment in spa

Relaxing Hammam beds, mud therapy and saunas have been around for hundreds of years, and yet are becoming increasingly popular as people re-discover their health benefits. Innovative Spa centres are turning these procedures into luxurious and unique experiences by supplementing them with locally-grown herbs, essential oils and top-quality cosmetics. 

5. Precious metals and stones used in treatments

Woman having gemstone facial with jade facial roller

Healing qualities of precious metals and stones such as silver, gold, pearls and amber are being re-discovered, and will be increasingly used for health and beauty treatments.  

Silver ion baths are said to improve wellbeing and skin tone. They also relax the body and mind, reduce fatigue and restore energy balance. 

Amber releases amber acid into the environment when the right temperature is reached, affecting the nervous system and relieving stress. Gold keeps skin radiant and can even treat various skin diseases and infections due to its antibacterial qualities. 

At Turkish resorts such as Aqua Fantasy in Izmir, visitors can try massages with gold powder and essential oils. Amber, often called Lithuanian gold, is widely used for wellness routines in Eastern Europe, and at Grand Spa Lietuva, guests are invited to try amber massages, applications and scrubs. After the rejuvenating procedures they can even try amber tea, a drink that fills the body with warm powers of this precious stone.