by Alex Palmer | December 01, 2015
Spa treatments are getting more personal and locally oriented -- and incentive groups are taking advantage. In the latest annual forecast from Spafinder, the service reported that among the 10 trends it expects to see in the coming year are "hyper-personalized" treatments. Rather than a one-size-fits-all approach, visitors to the spa are looking for treatments tailored to their specific needs and health concerns.

For example, BodyHoliday in Castries, Saint Lucia, recently introduced its BodyScience program, which incorporates DNA testing, heart mapping, and in-depth consultation with an Ayurvedic doctor to create an extensive health and diet program customized to that individual.  

"In our 12 years of trend-tracking, we have never seen spa/wellness concepts go so deep and global, be so meaningful and move in so many surprising, provocative directions," said Spafinder Wellness, Inc.'s chief brand officer, Mia Kyricos, when she announced the research. She helped steer the research team, along with Susie Ellis, president of Spafinder.

Hotels and spa resorts catering to incentive groups have been seeing similar interest in the "deep and global" offerings. Beyond speaking to an individual's health needs, treatments are also emphasizing the local environment of the property.

"More so than ever before, incentive planners are looking to give their attendees unique and genuine experiences that are true to the destination in which they are visiting," says Federico Spada, general manager of Mukul Beach, Golf & Spa, who also oversees group sales.

His property, located on the scenic coast of Nicaragua, incorporates such natural resources as volcanic clay, with its detoxing properties, for the resort's signature Volcanic Clay Mask. Or "Forecidas," a scented spiritual bathing experience in a tub filled with flower-infused water that has been heated by the sun in Flor de Caña rum-barrels.

He adds that the property is also finding that "more families of meeting attendees will join them at the end of the attendee's work visit so that the whole family may capitalize on the genuine experiences one may be able to experience in an exotic location like Mukul." For this very reason, the resort offers to cater to more of a "bleisure," or business-leisure experience, that is more family-friendly.

"Over the past several years a comprehensive spa and fitness offering has become as important to incentive group as a beach or golf course," says Suzanne Wenz, spokesperson for Fairmont Southampton, in Bermuda, whose Willow Stream Spa is one of the country's most popular spots for incentive groups. "Health and wellness is something that travelers seek in their personal lives and something that they desire when traveling as well."