22 Oct 2018 Spa Business Handbook

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Spa Business Handbook - Development Pipeline

Future view

Development Pipeline

Helen Andrews highlights some of the key spa projects under construction around the world

Helen Andrews

Moulay Yacoub Thermal Station

Morocco, Africa
Phase one opening: Q2 2015
Phase two opening: Q4 2017

Sothermy, a subsidiary of the Moroccan financial institution CDG, is spending US$30m (€24m, £19m) on redeveloping a traditional thermal bathing complex in Moulay Yacoub, Morocco, which is used by more than million people a year.
Sothermy already manages a number of thermal facilities across the province.

First to reopen, in June 2015, will be the refreshed public bathing facility. More than US$9m (€7m, £5.6m) has been spent on upgrading its 44 baths and adding three more large thermal pools.

After that, work will start on the health spa and a new-build 100-bed hotel which will sit behind it. Up to US$12m will be invested in the health spa which, once complete, will feature 68 treatment rooms and a new medical zone for respiratory and rheumatology therapies.

Sothermy will run the public bathing centre, but the 100-bed hotel and spa will be operated by French firm Vichy Spa International. The second phase of construction will be complete by late 2017.



A new-build hotel, to be managed by Vichy Spa International, will be added to the thermal spa

A new-build hotel, to be managed by Vichy Spa International, will be added to the thermal spa
Six Senses Zil Pasyon

Félicité, Seychelles
Opening: Q3 2015

Located on the island of Félicité in the Seychelles, the Six Senses Zil Pasyon resort is scheduled to open in July 2015 with a spa and a yoga pavilion on the granite boulders that punctuate the shoreline.

Designed by Richard Hywel Evans of Studio RHE, the resort will have 30 villas and 17 residences. Six Senses will oversee the interior design of the resort.

The 526sq m (5,660sq ft) Six Senses Spa will comprise five treatment villas with varying facilities, which guests will be able to relax in after their therapies. The Cave Villa will have a swing daybed, steamroom and outdoor experience shower, while the Hanging Villa will include an outdoor bucket shower and rock pool. The Ocean Villa will situated be on the rocks overlooking the sea.

Communal wet areas and a beauty salon are planned for the reception building. Externally, a herb garden is planned, in addition to an outdoor pool, sun deck and chill out area.



Six Senses, known for its holistic wellness spas, is to double in size in the next three years
Lake Turkana city development

Lamu Island, Kenya
Opening: 2030

Lamu Island on the north coast of Kenya is set to undergo a drastic transformation costing KES2.3tn (US$25bn, €19.9bn, £15.6bn), featuring three resort cities – one of which will be devoted to wellness tourism, capitalising on the area’s natural alkaline water hot springs.

The purpose of the mixed-use development – billed as the largest infrastructure project in the history of East Africa – is to keep up with the population and economic boom in the region, while supporting a tourist influx. The government is predicting more than one million people – the majority being Kenyan – will migrate to the new area over the next 20 years.

The KES3.7bn (US$42m, €33.6m, £26.4m) Lake Turkana city development, the wellness city, is one of three resorts. It will include various health offering centred around the alkaline-rich hot springs which are said to aid skin problems.



The wellness city has natural hot springs
Shangri-La Le Touessrok Resort & Spa

Opening: Q4 2015

Le Touessrok Resort & Spa in Mauritius will close for renovations on in April before relaunching as a Shangri-La-managed property in November.

The work will see the property’s existing Givenchy Spa replaced by a signature Shangri-La wellness offering, although a spokesperson for the company would not confirm that it would be a Chi, The Spa facility. All 200 sea-facing guestrooms and villas will also be revamped.

Shangri-La’s holding company Shangri-La Asia originally signed the agreement with Sun Resorts – Le Touessrok’s primary stakeholder – in June 2014. Shangri-La Le Touessrok Resort & Spa will be the second property in the brand’s growing portfolio in the Indian Ocean, joining Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort & Spa, Maldives and preceding the 2016 debut of Shangri-La’s Hambantota Resort & Spa in Sri Lanka.



The 200-bed resort will be the second Shangri-La property in the Indian Ocean

The existing Givenchy spa will be rebranded
Kuriftu Resort & Spa

Moucha Island, Djibouti
Opening: 2016

Boston Partners, the company behind Ethiopia’s Kuriftu-branded resorts, is to construct a new resort on Moucha Island off the coast of Djibouti in an attempt to establish the brand in east Africa.

It signed a 50-year lease agreement for 50 hectares (123 acres) of land on the coral island in late 2013 and has hired Eyasu Siraj, a consulting architect, to design the US$7m (€6m, £4.6m) resort. When it opens in 2016, it will feature a 150-bed hotel, in addition to a full spa service and two pools.

Boston Partners was founded by hair stylist turned entrepreneur Tadiwos Belete who previously owned two upmarket hair salons in Boston, Massachusetts. He returned to his homeland of Ethiopia after 23 years in America and set up a successful day spa in Addis Ababa before going into the resort business.

With six Kuriftu resorts in Ethiopia, Belete wants to expand across Africa and he secured US$50m from the US-based Fairfax Africa Fund in August 2012 to pursue this goal. Properties in Kenya and Tanzania may follow the Djibouti opening.



The African hotel and spa chain has been created by entrepreneur Tadiwos Belete
Uzuri Hotel Resort

Opening: Q1 2016

Massage cabanas, yoga and meditation spaces designed in a traditional African style with coral stone and coconut thatched roofs form part of the Uzuri resort that’s being built in Zanzibar, east Africa.

Czech developer RSJ Private Equity has selected international architecture and interior design practice Jestico + Whiles to design the sustainable, village-style resort that will include 65 cabanas and villas. When its unveiled in early 2016, it will also feature a garden with indigenous and rare fragrant spices for use in restaurants and a bespoke cosmetics range.

Famous projects by Jestico + Whiles include the Yas Hotel in Abu Dhabi and the practice is currently is working on other hotels in Africa in countries such as Sierra Leone, Nigeria and Senegal.



Jestico + Whiles will lead the design
The Reho Spa Recreation Resort

Opening: Q4 2015

The Reho Spa Recreation Resort, with natural hot springs, will reopen in late 2015 now that owners Namibia Wildlife Resorts have signed a 12-year lease over to Rehoboth Community Trust. The resort features an indoor thermal bath, large swimming pool and conference facilities and is situated 90km south of Windhoek.

It’s been closed since early 2011 after a deal with private investors collapsed. But now the local trust is expecting to spend close to NA$10m (US$853,000, €717,000, £561,000) on the upgrade.


Naked Castle

Opening: 2015

Chinese hospitality brand Naked Retreats is embarking on expansion beyond its flagship resort, Naked Stables, to capture more of the local market.

The Naked philosophy, developed by South African entrepreneur Grant Horsfield and Hong-Kong-born architect Delphine Yip, is to offer a retreat from urban lifestyles to enable people to return to nature and regain balance.

The first project will focus on the expansion of the original Naked Home Village outside Shanghai. It will reopen as Naked Castle later this year with 80 rooms and its own Naked Leaf Spa. Having discovered the ruins of a castle on-site, Naked will tap into the glamour of 1920s Shanghai to revive the structure, in addition to self-contained villas.

Yip-Horsfield says: “Naked aims to be a leading brand for sustainable luxury hotels in China. We want to bring pioneering techniques to the design, construction and operational aspects of the country’s hospitality industry.”

Three other sites earmarked for development and all will include a branded Naked Leaf Spa. Naked Water, in the historic Jiangsu Province in 2016; Naked Spring, a lakeside property in Shaoxing Zhejiang Province in 2017; and Naked Hill, a country retreat in Yiwu also in 2017.

The properties will be designed, built and run by Naked’s 60-strong operational team in Shanghai.



Naked Leaf resorts enable Chinese urbanites to ‘return to nature and regain balance’
Leela Buddhist Trail

Opening: 2018

Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts and developers Summit Group of Nepal are to collaborate on four hotels across Nepal as part of a major rollout.
The five-star Leela Kathmandu hotel and spa – to be designed by John Gerondolis of Smallwood, Reynolds, Stewart, Stewart & Associates of Atlanta, USA – will be the first to open in three years time. It will be followed by a hotel in Lumbini, the birthplace of the Buddha, plus another in Pokhara after that.

The main goal is to create a Buddhist Trail from Nepal to Leela’s other properties in Bodhgaya, Nalanda and Varanasi in India. Leela has eight properties in India in total, all of which have spas including five ESPA facilities.

Under the Nepal deal, Summit will develop the sites, while Leela is set to market and manage them.



Leela already has eight properties in India, including five with ESPA spas
Changbai Mountain International Hot Spring Resort

Opening: 2015

A hydrothermal kids spa is just one of the elements planned at the 6,200sq m (67,000sq ft) wellness facility at the Changbai Mountain International Hot Spring Resort in China.

The AW Lake-designed spa will be divided into five zones with natural spring water of varying temperatures. Areas includes a Forest zone with healing herbal pools and a Mountain zone with therapeutic hot stone baths. There will also be five express treatment rooms and a wet area with Korean scrub stations.

AW Lake also conducted the feasibility of the spa and consultancy owner Adria Lake says: “In the first year, the hot spring expects 168,570 guests – inclusive of in-house hotel guests and walk-in visitors.”

The 300-bed InterContinental resort will operate under the Crowne Plaza brand and is located in China’s largest nature reserve near the Korean border.



A 6,200sq m wellness facility is planned
Aqua Boracay by YOO

Boracay, Philippines
Opening: Q4 2015

Renown designer Philippe Starck is making his mark in the spa arena once more with the new Aqua Boracay by YOO resort that’s due to welcome visitors by the end of the year.

Set in 4 acres (1.6 hectares) of lush, tropical gardens, the 168-bed beachfront property on the Filipino island of Boracay, is the first YOO-branded property in the Pacific. YOO is the international development and branding company led by Starck and property entrepreneur John Hitchcox.

Its 300sq m (3,229sq ft) spa will be complemented by a yoga studio, health club, a sea-facing lagoon and another rectangular pool.

“Aqua Boracay by YOO embodies our philosophy that design enhances the wellbeing and comfort of guests and is not an end in itself,” says Mark Davidson, who’s the design director at YOO Studio.

Other well-known spas which have been created by Starck include those at Le Royal Monceau Raffles Paris and the Viceroy Miami.


A Strack-designed spa will feature
Canyon Ranch Bintan

Bintan, Indonesia
Opening: Q3 2016

USA wellness group Canyon Ranch has announced plans for its first resort on foreign soil – an integrative retreat on the Indonesian island of Bintan. The company already operates some of the most well-known destination spas across the USA.

Canyon Ranch Bintan – which is being developed by Malaysian firm Landmarks Berhad and will be operated by Canyon Ranch – consists of 64 hotel suites and 64 villas and is expected to open by Q3 of 2016. It’s located in Bintan’s Treasure Bay development, sandwiched by natural mangroves and white sand.

Residents and guests will have access to a range of classes and consultations encompassing the five pillars that make up the Canyon Ranch wellness philosophy: Health & Healing, Fitness & Movement, Spa & Beauty, Spirituality and Food & Nutrition. The cornerstone of the spa will be Aquavana – a European-inspired aqua thermal oasis with experiential rains, herbal laconium, a chill room and crystal steamroom.

Bintan is the largest of 3,200 islands that make up the Riau Island Archipelago and is accessible via a 45-minute high-speed ferry ride from Singapore.



This will be the brand’s first international spa
Mission Hills Haikou

Opening: 2015

Three leisure developments covering 435 acres (174 hectares) will launch next to the existing Mission Hills Haikou site in China by the end of this year. A low carbon footprint town is being built in collaboration with Marriott alongside a leisure destination by entertainment brand Lan Kwai Fong, and a movie town by two of the biggest names in the Chinese film industry: director Feng Xiaogang and Huayi Brothers Media.

There will be six hotels across the developments including a Ritz-Carlton and a Renaissance which will both feature a 1,000sq m (10,764sq ft) spa. The guests from these spas will also have access to the giant spa and mineral springs offering at Mission Hills Haikou – complete with 168 volcanic mineral pools and 90 treatment rooms (see Spa Business 14/3 p92).



Guests of the three new developments will have access to the existing mineral springs spa at Mission Hills
Pearl South Pacific Resort

Pacific Harbour, Fiji
Opening: Q3 2015

The FJ$85m (US$45m, €35m, £28m) Pearl South Pacific Resort’s three-phase development situated in Fiji’s Pacific Harbour is on track for completion in August 2015.

An eight-treatment room spa and wellness centre, supplied exclusively by The Pure Fiji skincare brand, will be a key amenity at its 132-bed hotel.


Solís Ubud Resort & Spa

Ubud, Bali
Opening: 2017

Capella’s Solís Ubud Resort & Spa is to debut in 2017 complete with an original ancient king’s bath.

The wellness facility at the 108-bed resort has been designed by AW Lake to recreate the traditional Balinese cleansing rituals carried out by royals in ancient times. Its Royal Bath Circuit, for example, is a hydrothermal journey where guests can cleanse themselves in purification fountains, therapeutic baths and recline on water loungers at a riverside relaxation deck. There are also steamrooms and saunas at the 1,214sq m (13,067sq ft) Auriga-branded spa.

Solís Ubud, to be designed by architecture firm Denton Corker Marshall, is located in the heart Bali, set amidst rice paddy fields along the Wos River.


Mandarin Oriental Chongqing

Chongqing, China
Q4 2016

A rooftop meditation garden with a labyrinth, Kneipp walk and pods for silent reflection is one of the standout features of the spa that’s under construction at Mandarin Oriental Chongqing. These mindful touches are what makes the eight-treatment room facility one of the most innovative for the company according to group director of spa Jeremy McCarthy.

Slated to open towards the end of 2016, the 231-bed hotel is part of the Jingbeizui Central Business District mix-used development. It will be located on the top floors of the tower with views of the Yangtze and Jialing rivers.



Spaces for quiet contemplation will be designed into the new spa

Yongyu-Muui, South Korea
Opening: 2030

An 80sq km (31sq mile) super city in South Korea, that’s three times the size of Macau, will boast a wide range of leisure facilities including a theme park, casinos, luxury hotels and a medical-themed ‘healing town’.

An estimated US$275bn (€202bn, £160bn) will be used to convert the small island of Yongyu-Muui, near Incheon International Airport, into a tourism hub that will attract up to 134 million visitors – mostly from China and Japan – a year.

Not expected to open until 2030, the 8City site is being designed by UK-based architects Foster + Partners and is shaped like a figure of eight – a number which is known to symbolise good luck in Chinese culture.

Eightcity, a special purpose company was set up in December 2011 to develop the site. Investors includes Kempinski, Korean Air, Daewoo Engineering & Construction and C&S Corporation.


Tahiti Mahana Beach Resort & Spa

Punaauia, Tahiti, French Polynesia
Opening: Q3 2021

The French Polynesian government has approved plans for what’s billed as the largest resort in the region. The US$2.5bn (€1.9bn, £1.5bn) Tahiti Mahana Beach Resort & Spa is to include five international hotels, most with spas, totalling 3,128 rooms.

Hawaiian company Group 70 International, has will oversee the design, drawing on French Polynesian themes such as its seafaring tradition and tropical retreat setting. The centrepiece will be a high-rise building with an iconic sail-shaped façade. The overall project is due for completion in 2021.



Five international hotels with spas will feature in the US$2.5bn development
Ramada Lakeside Resort & Spa

Rotorua, New Zealand
Opening: Q4 2015

Spa and wellness has been identified as a key driver for developing the tourism economy of Rotorua – a district in New Zealand which is famed for its geothermal landscape.

Mayor of Rotorua, Steve Chadwick says: “We already have a healthy offering of geothermal bathing and spa treatments. But there’s a resurgence now and the long-term vision is to expand the spa and wellness offerings alongside other existing tourism attractions, Maori culture
and its status as a top mountain biking destination.”

Most recently, international hotel chain Wyndham signed a deal with Auckland-based developer Safari Group for three properties across New Zealand – including the 68-bed Ramada Lakeside Resort & Spa in Rotorua. The NZ$18.5m (US$15m, €11m, £9m) development that’s due for completion in December 2015 will feature a geothermal health spa.



photo: shutterstock/Chameleon

Rotorua is a known geothermal region
Blackadore Caye: Restorative Island

Opening: 2018

Actor Leonardo DiCaprio is to open the one of the world’s greenest resorts on his private island in Belize in partnership with wellness real estate firm Delos – the company behind the Well Building Standard®.

Dubbed Blackadore Caye: a Restorative Island, the property will offer 68 villas and 48 homes with development set to begin this year and completion scheduled for 2018. A spa and wellness centre, as well as the Deepak Chopra Center for Renewal and Anti-Aging will be included in a number of luxury amenities.

Delos owner Paul Scialla has founded Restorative Islands LLC to build the resort and Restorative Hospitality – a Delos subsidiary – to operate the facilities and also manage the wellness programming offered at the resort.

All buildings on the island will promote the health and wellbeing of guests and incorporate features such as circadian lighting for better sleep, water purification systems and advance air filtration systems to minimise allergens.

Using sustainable building techniques, McLennan Design aims to regenerate the surrounding ecosystem and, it claims, reserve the effects of climate change.
DiCaprio, a supporter of environmental initiatives, says: “This project is leading a new way in eco-tourism, development and green building and demonstrates that human development can be truly restorative and beneficial for the environment.”

DiCaprio is an investor in Delos and serves on its advisory board, he also reportedly bought one of its first wellness apartments in New York. Chopra and McLennan also serve on same board.



A wellness centre as well as a Deepak Chopra anti-ageing spa will be included in a number of luxury amenities
Viceroy Cartagena

Obra Pía, Colombia
Opening: 2016

The Viceroy Hotel Group and investment firm KIT Capital are to spend US$50m (€37m, £29m) on redeveloping Obra Pía, a former 17th century convent in Colombia, into a luxury resort with two spas.

The site, in the city of Cartagena on the north coast, was the original capital of the Spanish Empire in the New World and is now a UNESCO World Heritage location.

Due to open in 2016, Convento Obra Pía, Viceroy Cartagena will be the group’s first property in South America. It will transformed into a 102-bed hotel by architectural firm Barrera & Barrera. Historical features will be preserved, while modern amenities include a 257sq m (2,960sq ft) courtyard pool, fitness centre and spa.
An affiliated resort on Rosario Islands will include 15 cabanas and an Asian-themed spa. Two luxury yachts will take guests to the site which is about 40 minutes away.



South American debut for Viceroy
Kittitian Hill

St Kitts
Opening: Q1 2016

­­Sedona Resorts is to operate the Mango Walk Spa at the Kittitian Hill resort in St Kitts when it opens in early 2016.

Master architect Bill Bensley is designing the 20 treatment room spa inspired by local buildings. There will be a focus on active relaxation in nature. Meditation gardens and walks are being created and a yoga studio is being built in a bamboo cathedral structure. A saline pool as well as hot and cold water treatments will also be offered.

Kittitian Hill is a 400-acre resort with four boutique hotels, villas and one of the world’s first ‘edible golf courses’. Parts of the development are already open.



The Mango Walk Spa will open in early 2016 with a focus on active relaxation in nature

Local ingredients will be used in treatments
Baha Mar

Opening: 2015

The US$3.5 billion (€2.7bn, £2.2bn) Baha Mar (Vegas on the beach) complex in the Bahamas is predicted to open mid 2015, complete with two spas, after a series of delays and legal hitches.

Baha Mar will boast 2,200 luxury guestrooms across four hotels – Baha Mar Casino & Hotel, with its world-class gaming facilities; Rosewood; Grand Hyatt; and SLS LUX properties.

The 30,000sq ft (2,787sq m) ESPA-managed spa will take pride of place on top of the casino at the main property – the 1,000-room Baha Mar Casino & Hotel. The focus is on the 24 treatment rooms with other amenities including a fully-equipped gym; an eight-unit nail studio; and male, female and unisex thermal zones.
A smaller 10,000sq ft (929sq m) wellness facility will also feature at the Rosewood hotel, under the company’s Sense Spa brand.
Elsewhere, a massage suite will sit alongside a fitness room, media room and gaming chamber as part of Villa Roxie – the interiors of which have been created by singer Lenny Kravitz’s design firm

In addition to the four hotels, a Jack Nicklaus golf course, numerous pools, beach experiences and many restaurants and luxury shops will form part of the highly-anticipated complex.




ESPA will manage the main wellness facility which will take pride of place on top of the casino of the main hotel

The complex is known as ‘Vegas on the Beach’
K-Club renovation

Barbuda, Caribbean
Opening: Unconfirmed

Film star Robert De Niro is to develop a US$250m hotel and spa resort in Barbuda, the lesser known twin island of Antigua, according to the Caribbean Journal newspaper.

The project includes the refurbishment and expansion of K-Club, a resort which became famous in the 90s as a hideaway for Princess Diana but which closed eight years ago.

The newspaper says De Niro is partnering with Australian media mogul James Packer on the deal. Packer also owns the Crowns Resorts which has three major resorts with multiple spas: one in Melbourne and Perth and the City of Dreams resort in Macau, China.

De Niro is no stranger to the leisure industry either. He co-owns The Greenwich hotel and Shibui Spa in New York (see SB11/1 p44) and is a shareholder in a number of Nobu facilities, including the first Nobu Hotel at Caesars Palace, Las Vegas where Nobu has created a spa treatment menu at the Qua Baths & Spa (see SB13/2 p20).  



photo: shutterstock/cinemafestival

De Niro is investing in the development
Esplendor Hotel Boutique Punta Carretas

Montevideo, Uruguay
Opening: Unconfirmed

World-renowned architect Carlos Ott is designing a four-star hotel in the capital city of Montevideo, Uruguay, called Esplendor Hotel Boutique Punta Carretas.

The 197-room hotel, which includes residential units for sale, will feature a spa, gym, pool, restaurant and convention centre. Ott is working with project management company Embrenurban, whose hotel operations partner Fën Group will run the facility.

Ott first became famous after he was picked over 700 competitors to build the Bastille Opera House in Paris in 1983.



Carlos Ott will design the hotel and spa
Dreams Dominicus La Romana

Bayahibe, Dominican Republic
Opening: October 2015

USA travel firm Apple Leisure Group (ALG) is growing its Caribbean portfolio with the Dreams Dominicus La Romana which is due to open in October 2015.

Upon the resort’s opening, AMResorts (an ALG subsidiary) will have eight properties in the Dominican Republic under five brands.

The family-friendly, five-star Dreams property will have 478 rooms and have a signature Dreams Spa by Pevonia at the property as well as a substantial 13,750sq ft (1,277sq m) infinity pool.

There’s much demand from travellers for premium, all-inclusive options in the Dominican Republic says Javier Coll, chief strategy officer of ALG.



AMResorts’ eighth site in the Dominican Republic will have a signature Dreams Spa by Pevonia
Turtle Cove

Turks and Caicos Islands
Opening: 2016/2017

The Turks and Caicos Islands’ government has signed an agreement with developer Circle Holdings to create a US$100m (€93m, £66m) luxury resort, which is scheduled to open during the 2016/2017 tourist season in Grace Bay at Turtle Cove.

The project includes a 140-key resort with a branded spa with lush gardens, rooftop pools, dining venues, sports/events facility and casino. This will be built on a 17-acre (7-hectare) site with a beach and marina.

The development agreement predicts the resort will create 300-400 jobs and bring additional tax revenues of around US$9m (€8m, £6m) a year to the government when it opens.



photo: shutterstock/Jo Ann Snover

US$100m is to be spent on the luxury beachfront property
Harmony Cove

Telawny, Jamaica
First phase opening: 2017

Chinese firm Sinohydro is investing US$2.5bn (£1.5bn, €1.8bn) in the Harmony Cove mega-resort development in Telawny, Jamaica.

The 9.3sq km (3.6sq mile) property on Jamaica’s north coast, is to be transformed into a resort with three PGA golf courses, high end hotels, a luxury health spa, private residences, casino, restaurants, convention and entertainment centres and a dedicated private airport.

Real estate developer Tavistock has acquired the rights to develop the property, while Leisure and Hospitality Design International (LHDI), MODE architects and MSI are collaborating on the design and architecture.

Work on the first phase, expected to cost US$800m (£478.1m, €583.7m) and including 2,000 hotel rooms, started in 2014 and is predicted to take three years to complete.
The delayed project, construction of which was initially due to start in 2009, has strong backing from Jamaica’s government.



Jamaica’s government backs the project
Blue Lagoon

Opening: 2017

The world-famous Blue Lagoon geothermal destination spa in Iceland has revealed to Spa Business that it’s investing €40m in an expansion and redesign project.

A new thermal bathing pool built into the surrounding lava field will connect to the existing lagoon and enlarge it by half. A luxury 60-bed hotel will also be included in the changes, as well as a refresh/upgrade of other facilities.

Sigridur Sigthorsdottir of Basalt Architects will lead the project which is due for completion in 2017. She’s been the architect at Blue Lagoon for almost 20 years and her work in harmonising the man made and natural environment has been noticed internationally.

The Blue Lagoon, which holds six million liters of geothermal seawater, is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Iceland and last year it welcomed 766,000 visitors.

The purpose for the expansion is to enhance the experience for each guest rather than to increase numbers.  



A new thermal bathing pool will connect to the lagoon, existing facilities upgraded and a 60-bed hotel will also be added
Gabala Lake Palace Espace Chenot Health Wellness Hotel

Opening: Q2 2016

Wellness specialist Henri Chenot is to open his second destination spa in 35 years, after the launch of his original flagship centre in Palace Merano Italy.

Scheduled for completion in mid 2016, the entire Gabala Lake Palace Espace Chenot Health Wellness Hotel will be dedicated to hosting Chenot Method holistic detox and revitalisation programmes. The Chenot Method combines Chinese medicine, western modalities and biontology – a discipline concerned with psycho-physical ageing that Chenot identified in the late 90s.

There will be a 6,000sq m (64,583sq ft) wellness zone with departments covering sports and fitness, traditional aesthetic spa therapies, aesthetic biontology, hydro biontology, aesthetic medicine, human performance plus medical diagnostics.

International architect and interior designer Michel Jouannet, whose work includes the Cipriani hotel and spa in Venice, will lead the 72-bed hotel development which is 225km (140 miles) west of Azerbaijan’s capital Baku. Surrounded by the forests, lakes and mountains of the Gabala region, the setting is ideal for a health retreat says Chenot.  

There are six other hotel spas in the Chenot portfolio, including one at L’Alberata Relais & Chateaux in Italy which is being refurbished. Another is under development at the One&Only Portonovi resort in Montenegro.



This will be the second Henri Chenot destination spa to open in 35 years

This will be the second Henri Chenot destination spa to open in 35 years
New Prora

Opening: Unconfirmed

Investors are cashing in on the redevelopment of a beach resort which was originally built by the Third Reich as part of a Nazi vision for the future of tourism in Germany.

The resort on the island of Rügen in the Baltic Sea was built in the run up to World War II and nicknamed the ‘Colossus of Prora’ due to its sheer size. Its eight identical six-storey buildings stretch 2.8 miles (4.5km) along the coastline.

Construction slowed during the war and the blocks were sold off to independent developers over time. The complex was considered too expensive and architecturally significant to tear down.

A youth hostel opened in the resort – now known as New Prora – in 2011 and there are plans for a 100-bed hotel and spa. Other parts of the site will be transformed into luxury beachfront flats according to The Independent newspaper.



The resort was built by the Third Reich
Poultry Hotel

London, UK
Opening: 2016

The headquarters of the Mildred Bank in London, UK – which once portrayed the Fort Knox building in the James Bond film Goldfinger – are to be transformed into a five-star hotel and spa.

The Grade I-listed property is considered to be British architect Sir Edwin Lutyens’ finest commercial creation. It’s being redeveloped into the Poultry Hotel by EPR Architects and is to reopen in 2016.

The spa will be built in collaboration with pool specialists Barr + Wray which will install a lap pool and roof top pool as well as oversee the work on an “elaborate thermal zone” which will include an 8sq m (26sq ft) hammam, sauna and stream room.



The building features in a James Bond film
Abadía Retuerta LeDomaine

Duero, Spain
Opening: Q3 2015

A former stable on the Abadía Retuerta LeDomaine estate, a five-star retreat in Spain’s Duero wine region, is being remodelled into a spa, complete with a ‘spa sommelier’ who will carry out blind tasting sessions for each guest before suggesting treatments based on individual preferences.

The estate, which used to be an abbey and winery, dates back to 1146 and includes 500 acres (202 hectares) of vineyards. A 22-suite boutique hotel opened in 2012 after a restoration of the abbey and eight more guestrooms are now being added.

The 10,000sq ft (929sq m) El Santaurio (sanctuary) will debut in Q3 of 2015 with an outdoor pool among the vineyards, vinotherapy using produce on-site and other treatments by Spanish brand Natura Bissé. Four individual treatment rooms, a separate spa suite and hydrothermal facilities will also be included.

Marco Serra, the architect behind the hotel, also worked on design and conception of the spa.



There will be 10,000sq ft wine-themed spa

Amélie-les-Bains, France
Opening: Q4 2016

A collaboration led by Spanish architectural firm Francisco Mangado has been commissioned to convert an old military hospital into a thermal bath facility in south France. Scheduled to open at the end of 2016, the €6.5m (US$9m, £5.3m) 3,143sq m (33,830sq ft) contemporary spa is set over three floors and will feature hot zones, cold zones and more than 10 wet and dry treatment rooms.

It’s based in Amélie-les-Bains, a town known for its natural spring water – which will be used extensively the spa’s thermal and bathing experiences.

Francisco Mangado will lead the conversion, along with V2S architectes, Terrell, SACET, Alayrac, and GAMBA Acoustique Architecturale & Urbaine.

The renovation plans incorporate the original solid stone wall architecture of the former hospital but this will be superimposed with glass panelling to give it a more modern look.



photo: ©francisco-mangado

The old military hospital will be converted into a thermal bathing facility with a contemporary spa
Spa Village at Galgorm Resort

Northern Ireland
Opening: Q3 2015

Work is underway on a new spa village at Northern Ireland’s Galgorm Resort.

Up to €5.5m (US$6m, £4m) will be spent on doubling the size of the existing spa to 75,000sq ft and adding extra facilities such as a healthy eatery, a hydro pool, and a snow room and sanarium by Klafs. These will connect to an outside area with a riverside sauna, hot tubs and a relaxation orangery.

Meandering pathways, secluded time-out spots and gardens complete the communal village setting. Paul Smyth, MD of Galgorm says it: “will become an awe-inspiring space, where staying overnight or just visiting for the day will be a relaxed, informal and friendly experience to savour.”

The owners worked with spa consultant Jennifer Gorman on the project.

The spa village is part of a wider €21m (US$22m, £15m) expansion which includes 48 new bedrooms.



The existing spa will double in size
Bürgenstock Resort

Lake Lucerne, Switzerland
Opening: Q1 2017

The eco-friendly car-free Bürgenstock Resort at Lake Lucerne, Switzerland, is on track to meet its scheduled opening date in early 2017.
The 400-bed resort is owned by Katara Hospitality – which is in turn owned by the state of Qatar (see p55) – and will boast a sizeable 10,000sq m (107,639sq ft) 15-treatment room Alpine Spa.

The tender for the spa’s construction has been awarded but construction has not yet begun. Core shell work on the palace hotel has, however, already been completed and other infrastructure/building work is ongoing. Patrik Dierks Norbert Sachs Architekten and London-based interior designers MKV Design are in charge of overseeing the CHF500m (US$520m, €477m, £349m) resort.



An Alpine Spa will be included in the eco-resort that’s owned by Katara Hospitality

Vienna, Austria
Opening: Unconfirmed

Austrian property entrepreneur Günter Kerbler is to build one the world’s largest wooden skyscrapers in Vienna, with design by Rüdiger Lainer and Partner architects. The €60m (US$67m, £43m), 84m (276ft), HoHo building will house a hotel, wellness centre, health club, restaurants as well as apartments and offices. Wood has been chosen for its green credentials.

HoHo is part of the Aspern Urban Lakeside Project, a 20-year initiative to create a new quarter for Vienna, with 20,000 houses and integrated leisure and hospitality.


Skadar Lake

Montenegro, France
Opening: Unconfirmed

An eco-resort is being developed, along with an environmentally friendly spa, in Skadar Lake National Park in Montenegro, designed by François Leclercq.
The 1,300sq m (12,917sq ft) spa, with sweeping views of the landscape, will have signature products and treatments using plants and essences specific to the lake and surrounding region. Additional facilities at the eco-spa will include a solarium, a large indoor hydrotherapy pool and a steam room.

Other resort features comprise a panoramic restaurant high up on the peninsula, hotel and private villas, a number of sporting facilities and a heliport.
Lionel Sonigo, president of the Montenegro Resort Company, says: “I selected the absolute best location inside the national park and joined forces with François Leclercq, one of the greatest French architects, who channelled his considerable talent and the effort of his teams into creating a prestigious eco resort that preserves that nature of the site.”



Skadar Lake National Park is a fitting home for the sustainable development
Oaks Prague

Czech Republic
Opening: Unconfirmed

Arendon Development Company has announced that architecture firms John Pawson, Richard Meier and Eva Jiricná will be designing elements of a large mixed-use scheme, the Oaks Prague, in the Czech Republic.

The development, masterplanned by EDSA with Chapman Taylor and John Thompson and Partners, is based on a village concept, with wellness and healthy living built into its core.

London-based firm, John Pawson, is drawing up plans for the epicentre of Oaks Prague; a mixed-use hotel, spa, restaurant and club house. The project will be built into an existing 19th-century chateau/farmhouse, using specific materials that respond to and mirror traditional building techniques – allowing the history and context of the site to come through.

Once complete, the site will offer more than 200 new homes as well as extensive fitness facilities, such as a nine-hole golf course and gyms.



Wellness and healthy living are key
Canica Spa Complex

Oslo, Norway
Opening: Q4 2015

Spa design consultancy and heat equipment manufacturer Thermarium is working on a three-storey spa outside Oslo, Norway, which is set to open at the end of 2015.

The Canica Spa Complex is funded by Canica AS one of Norway’s largest private investment companies. Thermarium is providing the concept, engineering, interior design and final construction services for the 3,700sq m (39,826sq ft) spa.

The first floor will incorporate a number of heat experiences such a Nordic laconium with a polar lighting effect, a cinema sauna, jungle sauna and an art deco area for pools featuring a real gold mosaic.

Communal and private hammams with adjoining scrub and relaxation rooms are located on the second floor alongside a treatment zone with 16 rooms for various therapies.

The third Japanese-themed floor, will feature a steambath with a basalt stone fountain, sauna, lounge, experience showers overlooking a Zen garden, and a meditation room that is also a 45-50ºC (113-122ºF) sauna.

Canica AS was originally set up in 1985 to own the Norwegian grocery store chain RIMI. Today it invests in retail, fast moving consumer goods, real estate and manufacturing sectors. Its also owns Farris Bad, a hotel and spa built around a cave with natural mineral spring waters.


Aire de Vallromanes

Vallromanes, Spain
Opening: Unconfirmed

The Aire Group is set to open its fifth thermal bathing facility – Aire de Vallromanes near Barcelona, Spain – as part of its ongoing vision to create an “oasis of calm that drinks from history, the one that shows us how ancient civilisations made public baths an art for our senses.”

Though it’s not yet clear what the new retreat will offer, the architect studio is Alonso Balaguer. The Spanish designers are behind two of the group’s previous facilities and are also working on the Olympic Village for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games.

Based in Spain, the Aire Group was founded 15 years ago when a number of investors and friends pooled their resources together to restore a 16th century palace in Seville which was built on the ruins of a Roman bathhouse. Co-founder Armando Prados, who grew up in an area in southern Spain which once boasted hundreds of public baths, wanted to revive the traditional ritual of relaxation and rejuvenation through water.

There are two other Aire Ancient Baths facilities in operation in Barcelona and Almería. The first international site opened in 2012 in New York City in the basement of a former textile factory that was built in 1883 (see Spa Business, issue 2, 2015 p92).



The Aire Group already has three bathhouse-style spas in Spain and one in the USA (pictured)
The Kempinski Hotel Summerland

Beirut, Lebanon
Opening: Q3 2015

A circular spa which has been planned by Beirut interior design company Architectes Anyonymes is to feature at The Kempinski Hotel Summerland in Lebanon when it opens in July.

The 1,400sq m (15,069sq ft) standalone facility will be managed by Resense and include its signature bathing kur experience – an 11-step bathing and cleansing ritual, akin to a modern version of Roman bathing traditions. As well as separate hydrothermal facilities for men and women, the two-storey spa will house a double therapy suite and six single treatment rooms, plus two scrub rooms and relaxation lounges.

Guests will be able to relax on a terrace in the shade of olive trees, some of which have been standing for 150 years, or soak in the outdoor vitality pool. A spa café is to offer a range of refreshments and there will also be a fitness centre and studio on-site.

The hotel itself will have 153 bedrooms and 73 village-style apartments.



Beirut firm Architectes Anyonymes have designed the circular spa

Katara Cultural Village, Qatar, Doha
Opening: 2016

An evianSpa is to open in 2016 as part of the 3.8-hectare (9-acre) Katara Plaza development – the commercial centre for the Katara Cultural Village in Doha.

The plaza, which will also host a Galeries Lafayette department store by the Parisian retailer, will serve as an anchor for the village’s theatres, concert halls and exhibition galleries as part of the 2030 Qatari National Vision to “nuture social development through art and cultural exchange”.

Katara Plaza will be operated by Qatar’s Ali Bin Ali Group (ABA), a distributor of evian® mineral water. ABA also holds the licence for evianSpa in the state and plans to introduce a flagship 2,400sq m (25,833sq ft) women’s-only facility which will use multisensory experiences to “tell the story of the miraculous evian water journey in the Alps.”

Leyk & Wollenberg and Atelier GH will lead the architecture and design and construction is already underway. Gael Hiétin from Atelier GH is one of the leading multisensory designers in France and worked on the original evianSpa concept. He is part of the Leyk & Wollenberg team which is known for its innovative spatial solutions and sensitive material choices.

The project is being coordinated by Patrick Saussay, owner of the Global Project & Spa Advisory consultancy, who’s also worked with evian on previous spas.

This will be the third evianSpa for the French-based group, following the launch of the concept in Tokyo in 2012 (see SB12/4 p30). And it’s a first for the brand in the Middle East. Laurent Houel, the global brand director for evian says the “development is a new step for us in our exclusive approach to bringing a new spa experience to some key cities worldwide”.



Katara Cultural Village, Qatar, Doha
Mandarin Oriental Doha

Doha, Qatar
Opening: 2016

Mandarin Oriental Doha is to open in 2016 with a truly gender-segregated spa: something which is being increasingly requested by local tourism bodies. Unlike other luxury hotels in the area – which typically only offer different male and female changing and thermal bathing facilities – Mandarin Oriental will provide separated reception, waiting, grooming, bathing and fitness areas.

Of the design, group director of spa Jeremy McCarthy says: “One of our VIP suites can be connected to one of the locker rooms, giving us the option to include an entire wet area as part of the suite, should it be needed for a deluxe private spa experience.”

As the 160-bed property is adjacent to the Souq Waqif and the city’s business centre in West Bay, Mandarin won’t be aiming for the family market like its competitors in beach locations. Instead, it will focus on the executive market, aiming for high-end business and leisure travellers who are seeking serenity.



Barr + Wray supplied the wet areas
Lapita Hotel

Dubai, UAE
Opening: 2016

Marriott is to operate a new Polynesian-themed family hotel being developed as part of the AED10bn (US$2.7bn, €2.1bn, £1.7bn) theme park project in the Jebel Ali area of Dubai, set to open in 2016.

The 503-bed Lapita Hotel – which will be the first Autograph Collection property located in the Middle East – will be constructed in the first phase of the project, which will also see the arrival of Legoland Dubai, Motiongate Dubai and Bollywood Parks Dubai attractions.

John Rees, Marriott’s area director of operations in the Middle East and Africa, told Spa Business: “The footprint space for the spa will be elaborate for this project and it will follow the Saray spa concept [see SB11/1 p24]. The project team are in discussions with interior designers and architects to finalise the feel and look of the spa.”
The hotel will draw inspiration from Polynesian tropical landscapes, featuring Polynesian flowers, lagoon-style pools, themed activities and dining options.



The Polynesian-themed hotel will have a Saray-branded spa by Marriott
Centara Grand West Bay Hotel

Doha, Qatar
Opening: 2016

Thai operator Centara Hotels & Resorts will make its first move into the Middle East in 2016 when the 264-bed Centara Grand West Bay Hotel opens in Doha, Qatar. Up to 96 residences for private use will be on offer also.
An 18-treatment room Spa Cenvaree, the in-house spa concept for Centara, will be situated in a large entertainment zone which will be spread across the 29th and 30th floors of the hotel.

Tara Hanrahan, group director of spa operations says there are many reasons why the spa will stand out. “The furnishings are modern versions of traditional Thai interiors and our treatments will incorporate the softness and innate nurturing approach of Thai therapists that’s made them so famous throughout the world. In addition, the décor in the treatment rooms will be quite sparse with no distracting elements so that the mood and tone will be focused inward.

“The spa takes up an entire guest floor, so the breadth of the experience and spa journey for guests is extensive. The wet relaxation facilities will be very large and we expect guests to linger both before and after. There’s also a presidential VIP therapy suite and several couples’ rooms, which is considered quite new for the region. No expense has been spared at this site.”



No expense has been spared on the spa which takes up an entire floor of the hotel. The wet relaxation areas will be particularly spacious
Al Murooj Golf Club

Saudi Arabia
Opening: Q1 2016

Steiner Spa Consulting is working on a spa that’s set to open in early 2016 as part of the King Abdullah Economic City development in Saudi Arabia. The Red Sea coastal community, called Al Murooj, will feature a health complex and social hub with leisure facilities. The spa, located at the Al Murooj Golf Club, will be designed by Hirsch Bedner Associates.


Mövenpick Resort & Spa Dead Sea

Opening: Q2 2016

An Indian therapy block is being added to the Mövenpick Resort & Spa Dead Sea in Jordan. The extension will house ayurveda wellness suites, alongside a library, organic café, meditation spaces and a herb garden.

The expansion will enable the resort to add lifestyle wellness programmes aimed at weight, sleep and stress management, detox, emotional healing plus skin and rehabilitation care.

“Our long term goal is to establish our spa facilities as a pioneering research and development institute for Dead Sea therapies that can assist skin and musculoskeletal disorders,” says spa director Suraj Jokhushankar Dubey.


The Langham, Palm Jumeirah

Dubai, UAE
Opening: 2016

The Langham, Palm Jumeirah will be the hospitality group’s first resort in the UAE, when it opens in 2016. “The Chuan Spa will showcase 26 treatment rooms and its traditional Chinese medicine therapies,” Barry White, Langham’s director of spa told Spa Business, adding that there will also be an expansive fitness centre.

The treatment menu has been designed in collaboration with a Chinese medicine practitioner and its therapies and treatments are guided by the pillars of wu xing (the five elements), yin & yang and jing luo (the meridian system).

Chuan is the in-house spa concept for Langham and there are currently 12 of them worldwide. In 2013 it launched a holistic massage diploma in collaboration with ITEC and there are possible plans for a spa management course in the future.

All 323 bedrooms of the Dubai property, which is owned by DAS Real Estate, will have outdoor terraces and views facing the sea. There will also be eight food and beverage outlets.


The Langham, Palm Jumeirah

Dubai, UAE
Opening: 2016

The Langham, Palm Jumeirah will be the hospitality group’s first resort in the UAE, when it opens in 2016. “The Chuan Spa will showcase 26 treatment rooms and its traditional Chinese medicine therapies,” Barry White, Langham’s director of spa told Spa Business, adding that there will also be an expansive fitness centre.

The treatment menu has been designed in collaboration with a Chinese medicine practitioner and its therapies and treatments are guided by the pillars of wu xing (the five elements), yin & yang and jing luo (the meridian system).

Chuan is the in-house spa concept for Langham and there are currently 12 of them worldwide. In 2013 it launched a holistic massage diploma in collaboration with ITEC and there are possible plans for a spa management course in the future.

All 323 bedrooms of the Dubai property, which is owned by DAS Real Estate, will have outdoor terraces and views facing the sea. There will also be eight food and beverage outlets.



Chuan Spa, the in-house concept for Langham, focuses on Chinese therapies
QC Terme Governors Island

New York, USA
Opening: Unconfirmed

A 70,000sq ft (6,503sq m) European-style hydrotherapy spa is planned for Governors Island in New York, which is a five-minute ferry ride from Brooklyn or Manhattan.

The Quadrio Curzio family from Milan, which manages five other European spa locations under the QC Terme brand, selected Robert D Henry Architects to design the spa that will incorporate a number of hydrotherapy pools, some of which will be heated for year-round use.

The spa comprises listed buildings, formerly occupied by New York City’s Coast Guard, centred around a courtyard of outdoor pools.

“We’re taking a preservation stance regarding these buildings, which will now be turned into a campus of wellbeing,” says designer Henry, who’s work in the wellness field includes the G Spa & Lounge at Gansevoort Hotel NYC and the Mandarin Oriental Spa Miami.

Male and female changing rooms will feature a whirlpool, sauna and steamroom and there will be an assortment of lounges for relaxation, as well as a café and a more upscale restaurant.

A rustic wellness hotel is to follow in the second phase of the development.



PHOTO: shutterstock/Richard Cavalleri

The island, only five minutes from Manhattan or Brooklyn, will feature a 70,000sq ft hydrotherapy spa designed by Robert D Henry Architects
Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas at Las Colinas

Texas, USA
Opening: Q2 2015

The existing spa and fitness facility at the Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas at Las Colinas in Texas, USA, is to undergo a US$3.5m (€2.8m, £2.2m) renovation, which will transform it into one of the largest hotel spa and health clubs in the country.

The new 176,000sq ft (16,351sq m) facility is due to relaunch by July under Trilogy Spa Holding’s Well & Being brand.
The Well & Being concept is based on customised wellness experiences combining fitness, nutrition, integrative medicine, mind-body therapies and advanced skincare.

The expansion will see three exercise studios and a cardio gym suite added, alongside a clinic for personalised nutrition and preventative health programmes.

“Trilogy has been retained to design and manage all aspects of the Well & Being [facility], from creation of the service menu to staffing and training,” says a spokesperson for Trilogy, adding that Four Seasons will still run the operation.
This is the second Well & Being spa for Trilogy. The first one opened at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess in Arizona, in 2012 and replaced the hotel group’s Willow Stream Spa brand.



The spa will relaunch under Trilogy Spa Holding’s Well & Being brand
Mado Hamlet, Serenbe

Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Opening: Unconfirmed

A wellness and healthy living hamlet, complete with a destination spa, is being developed at the Serenbe sustainable community on the outskirts of Atlanta, Georgia.

More than US$500m (€403m, £106m) is being invested in Mado Hamlet and the first 60 homes, including assisted living properties for older adults, are expected to be complete by the end of the year. The spa will follow alongside a community and cultural centre and a boutique hotel.

Serenbe founder Steve Nygren says: “Our goal is not to make [spa]services age-specific but to introduce elements that appeal to everyone who wants to live well. Therapies will incorporate eastern and wellness techniques and there will also be a multi-purpose health centre.

“Overall, we’ll take advantage of the many electronic devices that monitor biometrics to help family and healthcare workers to track people’s health.”



A wellness community in the making
VieVage Napa Valley

Napa Valley, California, USA
Opening: 2016

Auberge Resorts has replaced St Regis as the preferred operator of a luxury resort that’s planned in the Stanly Ranch vineyard in the Napa Valley wine region in California.

The 110-room resort, which could launch by the end of next year, will open under the VieVage name – a new lifestyle hospitality brand for Auberge. It says the concept “will bring contemporary themes of design, community, locally-sourced food, sustainability, fitness and wellness together in a fresh, active and social environment.”

The spa concept is being created by Tracy Lee, who has been the head of spas at Auberge since 2000 developing a number of its award-winning facilities. Lee, who has also set up environmental stewardship programmes at all of the company’s properties, says details of the new VieVage spa brand will not be released until later this year.



Vineyard home for a new Auberge brand
Agua Caliente Hot Mineral Spring development

Palm Springs, California, USA
Opening: Unconfirmed

The Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians is to build a new entertainment district based around thermal waters in downtown Palm Springs, California.

The tribe has selected San Diego-based JCJ Architects to redevelop its 22-acre (9-hectare) plot which is home to the 1960s Spa Resort Casino that’s currently in demolition.

The site is also home to the tribe’s culturally-significant Hot Mineral Spring – the Agua Caliente name means ‘warm waters’ in Spanish. Bathhouses which provided access to the healing waters have operated there since the late 1800s.
Demolition of the existing hotel is due to be completed by Q3 2015.

The Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians owns 50sq miles (129sq km) of reservation land in Palm Springs and the surrounding area. As well as the Spa Resort Casino, it operates two golf courses and the Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa in Rancho Mirage.


Gurney’s Montauk Resort & Seawater Spa

Long Island, New York, USA
Opening: 2016

Global spa consultancy and management firm WTS International is to lead the refurbishment of the spa at the Gurney’s Montauk Resort & Seawater Spa in Montauk, Long Island, New York.

The refurbishment is timely, as 2016 marks the 90th anniversary of the hotel.

Light upgrades to the spa, salon and retail spaces will be complete in Q3 2015 as part of the first phase of development. Then in 2016, renovation of the entire wellbeing space will commence.

Susie Hammer, vice president of spa operations at WTS, says: “We’re conducting market analyses, implementing marketing strategies and working on staffing and training requirements… We’re also reviewing the retail and merchandising process, developing fitness and outdoor adventure activities, creating a new spa café menu and reviewing the treatment menu.”

Kim Matheson, senior vice president at WTS, confirmed that although the treatment menu is being updated, WTS will keep the same vendor partners – Aromatherapy Associates, Phytomer, Spa Technologies and Moroccan Oil.



PHOTO: shutterstock/MJTH

WTS will lead the seawater spa overhaul
Semiahmoo Bay Resort

Washington, USA
First phase opening: 2017

Plans have been filed for a 70,000sq ft (6,503sq m) destination spa and wellness centre that forms part of a 54-acre (22-hectare) development on the Semiahmoo spit just south of the Canadian border in Washington, USA.

California’s BlueRidge Semiahmoo Point LLC is the real estate firm behind the project, which is unaffiliated with the existing Semiahmoo Resort in the area. And Seattle’s Olson Kundig Architects are behind the design.

If the proposal is approved, BlueRidge hopes the first phase of construction – including a 125-bed hotel and the destination spa – will be complete by early 2017. Although it may take up to six years to finish the entire project.  

Derek Jones, founder and CEO of BlueRidge told local media: “The portions of this resort dedicated to spa, health, wellness and fitness fundamentally differentiate it from the existing Semiahmoo Resort and any other spa and wellness centre in the northwestern USA and British Columbia.”
He adds that while other facilities are designed to accommodate families and large corporate groups, this property will target spa-goers, couples and small groups.

Jones was unable to give specific details of spa at such an early stage, but he did mention that they are looking to secure a well-respected management company to run it.


Hyatt Playa del Carmen  

Opening: Q2 2015

The 314-bed Hyatt Playa del Carmen, Mexico, designed by Mexican architect Javier Sordo Madaleno of the Rockwell Group, is scheduled to launch in June featuring a natural mangrove jungle, oceanfront infinity pools and a spa.

The beach resort’s spa will include cenotes – natural pits featuring groundwater – that will be used as swimming holes. These are typically found on the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico.

The new hotel is built in a V-shape and will have three bars and two restaurants.



Natural swimming holes, known as cenotes, will be a highlight of the resort’s spa
One&Only Mandarina; and One&Only Santa Maria de Xala

Opening: Unconfirmed

Kerzner International has entered into an agreement with BK Partners to develop and operate two new One&Only resorts, each with residential elements, on the Pacific Coast of Mexico.

BK Partners is an equity fund that’s focused on tourism and land development.

A spa and fitness centre will be one of many amenities at both the 145-villa One&Only Mandarina and the 75-villa One&Only Santa Maria de Xala.
Kerzner already runs the One&Only Palmilla in Los Cabos.



Both new sites are located on the coast
Yamani Healing

Riviera Maya, Mexico
Opening: Unconfirmed   

The construction of Yamani Healing, a new eco-design hotel, destination spa and healing centre in Mexico’s Riviera Maya is to start later this year as part of the US$32m (€29m, £21m) Los Árboles Cobá lifestyle-focused development.

The US$12.3m (€11.3m, £8.3m) Yamani Healing project will offer a holistic approach to detoxification and will feature a hotel with 48 rooms, three large yoga halls, six cleansing and detox rooms, eight alternative healing and spa treatment rooms, infrared and herbal saunas, a temazcal sweat lodge and a pool.
The facility will act as the centrepiece of the Los Árboles Cobá development, which includes 420 residential lots, a community centre and more than 1,000 acres (405 hectares) of conservation areas including unspoiled jungle.

“Yamani Healing will be situated in 48 acres of pristine, raw jungle, so we have a real responsibility to protect the land,” says the Yamani Healing co-founder Heather Henninger. “Our goal is to be the first carbon neutral resort and destination spa, with the first LEED accredited hotel, in Mexico.”

Mexico City-based architecture practice Estudio Tacubaya will lead the design of the hotel and healing centre, and UK-based Greg Kewish has been hired as sustainable architect and design consultant. LEED-specialist Robyn Vettriano will work with the team to outline green specifications and design strategies to reduce the retreat’s environmental impact, and ultimately obtain LEED certification.



The US$12.3m Yamani Healing project forms part of the Los Árboles Cobá lifestyle development and will focus on detoxification

The US$12.3m Yamani Healing project forms part of the Los Árboles Cobá lifestyle development and will focus on detoxification

Originally published in Spa Business Handbook 2015 issue 1

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