Spas Go Wacky!

TREND WHISPERER – A blog by Sherri Scheck-Merrill

Spas are catching a second wind and taking their operations very seriously, in some cases with very non-traditional and downright bizarre offerings. Thanks to an abundance of wellness campaigns exploding in 2013, spas have been the epicenter of where we go to improve, relax and beautify, a trend that will continue, but with some very innovative approaches by spas.

Offering a variety of press-worthy treatments is an excellent way to peak attention. It’s also a method some spas are using to maintain a competitive edge.

Following are the latest trends hitting the spa circuit today. Before continuing, allow me to warn that some are these new services and treatments are not only downright bizarre, they will require a licensed physician to administer them.


A “suspending gravity” or “floating” trend, as it’s commonly referred to, is on the rise as people have an increased psychological and spas_chamberphysical desire to disconnect from our hyper-connected society. Expect to see flotation tanks, chambers and pools in spas that project a floating-in-space type of feeling. Devotees declare them to be life changing.  If your spa includes a fitness center, there is a global craze for aerial and anti-gravity classes along with new equipment like anti-gravity treadmills.


With social media affecting most of us, as well as the popularity of selfies that are snapped incessantly, people are expected to look spas_waterfallstheir best 24/7, without the benefit of makeup and blowouts. This means we may finally be leaving the era of faux beauty. In 2014, a new clean-beauty era takes shape focusing on the natural and introducing high-tech/low-risk beauty. Spas are becoming the go-to for new organic products as well as scientific technology to deliver minimal downtime procedures resulting in a look that appears to have been produced “naturally.”


As aromatherapy plays a greater role in the treatment of physical and mental issues, spas have been motivated to re-imagine their approach to crafting aromatherapies with “intentional effects” vs. pleasant or “feel-good” treatments. Offering “effective aromatic treatments” is what this trend is about.



Savvy spa-goers and wellness seekers are searching for more exotic destinations to stamp on their spa passports. In 2014, look for an emergence of new spa travel destinations in countries such as Bhutan, Ghana and Nicaragua.


VAMPIRE FACIALS require a physician on staff who will draw blood and separate the plasma then infuse it with calcium and spread it over the face to stimulate collagen growth, plump the skin and volumize.

IV VITAMIN THERAPY is another licensed physician procedure as an IV drip “cocktail” is administered while the guest relaxes for an spas_IVhour. Since only 20-30% of supplements taken by mouth will find their way into the bloodstream, intravenous administration achieves a higher concentration in the blood. The goal is to administer an excess amount of hydration so your skin appears more vibrant and plump, all-the-better to disguise wrinkles.

spas_bandagesSLIM WRAPS pull toxins and water out of the fat cells to tighten, reduce cellulite and combat aging.  Guests are wrapped from neck to toe in bandages soaked in organic minerals while conducting light exercise for 45 minutes. The average loss: 8-14 total inches!

FISH PEDICURES. Feet are placed in water filled with dozens of garra rufa, a toothless fish that feeds on dry, Spas_fish pediflaky skin using its suction cup mouth.  Some say the experience resembles electrical waves going through your body when they nibble. Please note to check your State requirements before offering Fish Pedicures.

KITTY LITTER FACIAL. Bentonite clay is commonly found in kitty litter because it absorbs water and is a great skin tightener. Kitty litter is mixed with water and natural oils such as rose and chamomile then applied to your face as a mask

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DSC01025Sherri Scheck-Merrill is a hospitality industry professional with a passion for excellent hotels and resorts. She is passionate about hotels, interior design, fashion, and beauty. As Vice President of Amenity Services Inc., she focuses on hotel business development and guestroom product design. She distinguishes herself by researching, teaching and reporting U.S. trends for her own fashion and export business. She is a three-time nominee for Businesswoman of the Year by California’s Orange County Business Journal. A UNLV student-athlete/Harvard Executive Education Consumer Marketing graduate, she licenses popular retail brands for hotel guestrooms.  After spending several years on a tennis court, followed by the role of head buyer at the largest West Coast-based sporting goods and fashion apparel export company, Sherri’s knack for predicting trends landed her a columnist position at Orange Coast Magazine. She is also the author of the biannual trend-forecasting report for a major retailer in Osaka, Japan, and writes a popular blog about trends for Hotels – the magazine of the worldwide hotel industry.
Our purpose: To give Boomers a VOICE in the world of social proof… Boomers! There are about 73 million of us who were born during the post WWII Baby Boom from 1946 to 1964.

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