The Top 10 Spa & Wellness Trends of 2016 according to Spafinder Wellness 365

Spafinder Wellness 365 is one of the world’s largest media and marketing companies for the wellness industry and therefore a big spa and wellness authority. Each year it predicts the top ten trends, which will shape the wellness, hospitality, travel and spa industry. In its 13th annual Global Spa & Wellness Trends Forecast for 2016 we can see an interesting mix of trends, from wellness for kids to grownup workplace wellness. The trends reflect people’s ongoing wish to bring more health and wellness into their everyday life so they are tailored to the modern day needs. Amongst others, one of the top 10 trends is breaking taboos and focusing on healthy sexuality. In my opinion, some of the trends are a bit fare fetched and do not really have a bright future in the spa industry, but I will let you be the judge of that.  Here come the top 10 trends by Spafinder Wellness 365:

1. Temazcal [temas’kal]

Temazcal an ancient Mexican ritual, roughly translated to ‘house of steam’ is much more than just a simple and primitive sauna. This ritual dates back to Mayan and Aztec cultures and can be called a ritual, but also a treatment. From the traditional healing ritual for the indigenous people, this trend has developed into an elaborate ritual in which trained healer or shaman uses heat, steam, herbs and chanting to reconnect the guests with their physical and spiritual world. Guests who experience this ancient Mexican practice mostly describe the effect of it as a feeling of being reborn. The Temazcal is one of the trends, which explores ancient healing methods and is the latest craze for the travelers looking for authentic native wellness treatments.    

Leading the trend are El Dorado Royale, the Rosewood Mayakoba, and The Viceroy—just a few of the luxury resorts dotting the coast of the Maya Riviera (Mexico) that offer authentic temazcal sessions.

Temazcal - Hotel Carrizal Veracruz


2. On-Demand: Uber-izing Spa & Wellness

In the smartphone era, apps have become our daily companion in life, but because of our busy lifestyle, we are also more time conscious, so on-demand services have become very much important. As apps and on-demand services are revolutionizing different kinds of industries, the beauty and wellness industry is no exception. Thinking of an after-hours massage at home or a quick manicure during lunch break at the office? Now there is an app for that. All these new on-demand options and services give the consumer more flexibility, less waiting time and more convenience.

The leaders of this trend are Zeel the on-demand massage service leader in the U.S. and Urban Massage in the UK.

Zeel-Massage on demand


3. Parenting Well: Serious Spa & Wellness for Kids

In times where poor diets, constant stress, and hours hunched over glowing screens are taking their toll on kids, empowered parents are turning to the same spa and wellness therapies and techniques they use to improve their own lives in order to better their children’s. This trend focuses on mindfulness and meditation in schools, yoga classes for kids, massage for toddlers, wellness-centric family vacations, or an emphasis on healthy, local, organic eating. More and more parents reveal themselves willing to dedicate considerable time, attention, and, yes, money toward this niche trend that promises to be one of the industry’s most significant areas of growth. 

Leading the trend: The David Lynch Foundation’s Quiet Time meditation program and family-friendly and wellness-centric Six Senses resort in Laamu Atoll of the Maldives.

Wellness for children


4. Healthy Cruising: The Ship of Excess Has Set Sail

Today’s “floating hotels” are providing some of the largest, most impressive, comprehensive spa and wellness facilities available in the world.These ‘healthy cruises’ allow travelers to de-stress and keep healthy while onboard and even once they dock. Amongst other things, guests on these floating retreats can experience everything from yoga sessions on deck to medical beauty treatments while on high seas and enjoy indigenous wellness and adventure activities while docked. 

Leading the trend are Raison d’Etre’sLivNordic and Canyon Ranch SpaClub aboard the Seven Seas Explorer.

Healthy cruising -


5. Sexual Wellbeing: Taboo No More

According to Spafinder Wellness 365, we’ve lived in a world where sex is all about sensationalism and shame–but that is changing. Sophisticated sexual wellbeing and literacy programming at wellness retreats, spas, hospitals and fitness studios are part of this interesting trend and are being introduced to the public. Everything from newhigh-tech sex fitness trackers and “toys,” to some out there touch therapies, to sex-forward hotels. 

Leading the trend: The new WOMANOLOGY+ RESTORE HIM clinics at Southern California’s Hoag Memorial Hospitals and Shh Retreats, held in an European estate house, where women take a no-holds-barred dive into every aspect of sexual happiness.



6. Skin Care Gets Seoul-ful: The Korean Beauty Explosion 2.0

South Korean beauty was an emerging trend in 2015, but that was just the beginning of the hype around the meticulous skin rituals and innovative products. This trend is actually not that surprising considering that leading Korean companies launch 20 to 30 products per month, while Western brands release 10 to 30 per year. Whether it’s full-service spas, a seemingly limitless variety of facemasks, amazingly soft Konjac sponges or 10-step skin-care routines, Korean beauty, for women and men, is much more than just a fad. It seems like we can look for South Korea to become the global leader of affordable, innovative, and well-marketed products. Korean-inspired spas, which combine spa and beauty with fun for the whole family, are also in the pipeline. 

Leading the trend: Peach & Lilly, a South Korean beauty product distributor, and Korean mega-spa chain, Spa Castle, U.S.

Seul - Korean cosmetics


7. Surf’s Up! The New Wave of Wellness

If you are thinking “surfing and wellness, how does that go together?”, good question, but at Spafinder Wellness 365 they have the answer. Surfing along with spin-offs like stand-up paddleboarding is fast becoming one of the world’s hottest wellness travel trends and additionally also one of the hottest fitness trends. Moreover, surfing is becoming more and more a sport loved by women and entire families. It’s rapidly expanding and we’re seeing a wide range of offerings: the cool surf and wellness retreats, where spa and wellness offerings are blended with surfing classes, an explosion of all-female surf retreats, and a new wave of surf-simulating fitness classes and wave-simulating surfing parks. 

Leading the trend: Hotel Komune Bali, which marries "destination spa" levels of wellness with surfing and paddle boarding lessons at a famed wave break, and SurfSet Fitness, which has expanded to 250 studios in 20 countries.

Surf's Up


8. The Adrenaline & Zen Cocktail: Resetting the Mind & Body

Extreme adventure travel is getting more and more popular, and we’re seeing a dizzying adventure and adrenaline activities topped off with “après-adrenaline” relaxation at spas, resorts and wellness retreats. There is also a medical explanation why this seemingly paradoxical contrast therapy is addictive: adrenaline rushes followed by “Zen” relaxation uniquely reset and quiet the brain, and result in the most blissful relaxation. The new adrenaline and relaxation combinations are less a paradox than a destination… and more destinations are serving up this mind-body cocktail. 

Leading the trend are Costa Rica’s Rio Perdido, with a balance of extreme adventure and hot springs relaxation, or the new CREACTIVE By Cirque du Soleil program at spa resort Club Med Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.

Adrenaline-park -Salamander-Resort


9. Well-Fests: Festivals Shift from Wasted to Wellness

Wellness festivals, modeled after multi-day music festivals like Coachella, put health and wellness center stage and are cropping up all over the globe, celebrating health and wellbeing while still embracing the spirit that makes music festivals so popular. The Wanderlust Festival, an “all-out celebration of mindful living”, is a heavyweight of the wellness circuit, having expanded from a single event in Squaw Valley in 2009 to a whole suite of festivals scattered across the world. A day at wellness festival offers from a healthy meal and cold-pressed juice, snacks, and many other wellness-related products, lectures on healthy living, guided nature hikes, yoga classes to feverish concerts of music from around the world. On the other hand, music festivals are getting on the wellness bandwagon, offering spa treatments, yoga classes and organic food.

Leading the trend are The Wanderlust Festival in US, Canada, Chile, Australia and New Zealand, the UK’s Innocent Unplugged, which bans technology and offers only pedal bikes and a giant people-powered hamster wheel to provide power or the Global Wellness Day.

Well-Festivals - Popoln Dan


10. Workplace Wellness Grows Up

At Spafinder Wellness 365 they are predicting that we are moving into a “culture of wellness” and, at more advanced companies, a “culture of purpose“. The idea of wellness in the workplace has been around since the ‘70s, but it remains a luxury for most global workers. Forward-thinking companies understand that a culture of wellness has a positive impact upon their workers and productivity and they are beginning to see positive results: healthier and happier workers, lower healthcare costs, higher productivity and less absenteeism. So in the next five years, we can expect to see more spa and wellness integrated into the workplace in unique ways, such as free yoga and meditation classes, financial counseling and mandatory vacations. 

Leading the trend: Workplace wellness at Google, Apple and Virgin Group Ltd.

Healthy lunch meeting

To read the complete version of The 2016 Spa & Wellness Trends Forecast, visit

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *