In Spafinder Wellness 365’s 7th Annual State of Spa Travel Report, more than 57 percent of travel agents reported that travelers are now seeking out an “immersion in more unique, indigenous cultural experiences, versus ‘generic luxury’ at destinations.” This new demand for authentic and unique experiences while traveling has sparked spas and hotels across the globe to add more locally-inspired treatments and services. Say goodbye to the days of booking your massage to be met with a simple Swedish, dimmed lighting, and some aromatic oils that could have come from anywhere and hello to traditional techniques, indigenous ingredients, and more!
Credit: Rancho La Puerta
- Rancho La Puerta – Tecate, Mexico
At Rancho La Puerta guests have gotten to experience local flavor in their spa treatments for years. The spa uses herbs and plants grown in their own organic garden Tres Estrellas in many of the treatments including the Rancho La Puerta Herbal Wrap, a 30-minute experience that uses herbs grown directly on the grounds. Outside of the spa, guests will taste these herbs, as well as fresh veggies, in their meals!
- Chatham Bars Inn – Chatham, Massachusetts
Using locally-sourced products from nearby cranberry bogs, guests can experience the Cranberry Crush body treatment at The Spa at Chatham Bars Inn.
- CasaMagna Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort & Spa – Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Treatments at the Ohtli Spa have been inspired by the ancient healing traditions of the Huichol Indians, who reside in the nearby Sierra Madre Mountains and many of the menu items feature locally-grown agave.
- Porto Elounda Golf & Spa Resort – Crete, Greece
Here, enjoy treatments that use local Cretan sea salt and olive oil as well as Greek honey and yoghurt.
- Maruba Resort Jungle Spa – Belize
Using Mood Mud®, a detoxifying mud found in the local jungles of Belize, guests can experience detoxifying massage and wraps.
Many spas are taking a hands-on approach to local experiences, utilizing the area’s indigenous herbs and plants in blending bars and mixology stations. Here you have an opportunity to not only learn more about native ingredients and their benefits but also use them to create your own personalized treatment or even a gift to take back home!
- Aulani – A Disney Resort and Spa – Ko Olina, Hawaii
At the property’s Laniwai Spa, you have the opportunity to use oil from the malie flower, a traditional aromatic flower found in Hawaii, to create scrubs and bath salts at the outdoor Pulu Bar to use both in the spa, your room, or to take home for gifts. Teens can get in on the action at Painted Sky, the resort’s teen spa! There is a DIY Blend Bar that mimics the adult’s mixology station for scrubs and even face masks that they can pack up and try in the comfort of the room.
- L’Apothecary, the spa at L’Auberge – Sedona, Arizona
L’Auberge partnered with Lotus Wei to hand-collect and extract flower, plant, and an Oak Creek essence to create a natural signature scent which is featured in mists, scrubs, and oils and two of the treatments on the menu: Feet in the Creek and Quiet Mind. Get hands-on at the blend bar, where you can create your own custom body care products using the destination’s own healing botanicals, fragrant herbs, and flowers, starting at $30.
- Four Seasons Resort Hualālai at Historic Ka‘ūpūlehu – Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
At the Hualalai Spa you can visit The Apothecary where there are tons of indigenous ingredients including black lava salt, hibiscus, and crushed macadamia nuts which you can blend with oils and create a completely personalized, local experience!
Local experiences don’t just stop in the spa – many hotels are featuring more locally-inspired fitness classes where guests can get their sweat on in a way completely unique to their destination.
- St. Kitts Marriott – St. Kitts
Take your workout outside when you stay at this Caribbean resort by going on a rainforest hike! The lush rainforest adds a new level of motivation to your workout because as the terrain changes, so does your view!
- Colony Club, Barbados
Work your core while getting up-close-and-personal with hawksbill and leatherback turtles! Colony Club offers a Stand-up Paddle tour out to the Lone Star Restaurant where the once-endangered turtles are known to hang. Once there the group will take a dip and swim around!
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