Before the pandemic, a typical wellness resort featured private massage parlors, saunas, and hot baths. Its guests can enjoy beautiful gardens too, but they often preferred the sanctuary of the indoor facilities. There they would relax or meditate, listen to soothing music, and breathe in the scents of calming oils.
Such experience is indeed the epitome of wellness and luxury. It sounds like something we need while dealing with the stress of the pandemic. But sadly, the environment of wellness resorts was risky, given the close contact you’ll have with therapists.
So wellness resort owners have to be more creative so that they can offer a safe experience to their customers. Many already changed their services, while some remodeled their facilities to adapt to the new normal. Since COVID-19 may not be the last pandemic we’ll experience in our lifetime, wellness resorts started preparing their facilities for possible health risks in the future.
That said, here are the new things you’d likely see in wellness resorts after the pandemic:
More Outdoor Spaces
Wellness resorts don’t just need to comply with health protocols. They also have to consider their customers’ new priorities. When the lockdowns began, many customers felt trapped and anxious. Hence, wellness resorts have to address their new mental and physical needs post-lockdown.
Instead of promoting their indoor services, many wellness resorts moved their activities and treatments outdoors. Viruses spread slower in an open and exposed environment, making the risks of catching COVID-19 lower. Restaurants started doing the same thing too. Some even invested in robust outdoor additions, such as bubble tents and geodesic domes.
One way for wellness resorts to boost their outdoor treatments is to create a Zen garden. A Zen garden is also called a Japanese rock garden, and it appeals to people who prefer the look of carefully fashioned rocks, shrubs, or sand. Rather than wildflowers and soft-textured plants, a Zen garden exhibits naturalness, simplicity, and austerity. It is a space that lets the mind and body relax, and fall into a meditative state.
Wellness resorts don’t have to spend a lot on a Zen garden. It’s incredibly easy to create that even homeowners can do it in their backyards. They just have to rake the sand or gravel and place attractive landscaping rocks on top. Plants can be added, but just sparingly. You have to see more low spreading plants than upright ones.
There is actually symbolism behind the stones of a Zen garden. Upright, vertical stones may represent trees, whereas flat, horizontal stones may represent water. Arching stones, meanwhile, represent fire.
A Zen garden may also feature a bridge to create a sense of distance. It will aid in making wellness customers feel more secluded in their retreat. But despite the bridge, Zen gardens shouldn’t feature a pond or be near a body of water. It isn’t a written rule, but water features may pose a distraction, which a Zen garden aims to remove.
More Health-focused Treatments
Many wellness treatments are focused on enhancing one’s appearance. But since the pandemic changed people’s priorities, many wellness customers started demanding more health-focused treatments from their favorite resorts.
To satisfy this demand, some resorts offered immunity-boosting nutrition programs. Others began to adopt a more holistic approach to their wellness offerings. In addition, certain retreats added no-contact treatments to completely avoid the risks of passing the virus.
New Accommodation Rules
You may also encounter new rules in accommodations. Check-ins will most likely become paperless and person-less. No one will hand you a key card anymore, because you will download it from the hotel’s app instead. Of course, only high-end accommodations can offer this, but average resorts will definitely adjust their check-in measures too.
Resorts and hotels will become more transparent about their cleaning procedures. They will start showing their guests how their rooms and are being cleaned and prepared. Housekeeping staff will be seen disinfecting their hands every 20 minutes. You may also see some cleaning products in the bathrooms along with the usual toiletries.
Room service will become contactless as well. Resort and hotel owners will encourage their guests to dine inside their rooms in order to control the crowd in the restaurant. But instead of ordering from a menu card or booklet, you can download the menu on your smartphone, and make your order electronically.
Some hotels, including the Four Seasons, also allowed their guests to grill their barbecues outside their private villas, and to have a picnic with sanitized blankets. This is so that guests can enjoy the outdoors safely.
The effects of COVID-19 could last a long time, so wellness resorts need to make adjustments for the long-term. We miss massages and close-contact treatments dearly, but it’s now time to incorporate physical health in our wellness retreats.