It is about time spa operators started looking at what people want. In the day and age of gender-neutral toilets, why does visiting a spa has to be gender segregated in countries where religion does not dictate otherwise? With many aspects of modern life encouraging inclusiveness, why are we still so entrenched in the belief that a couple visiting a spa together want to enjoy a sauna, steam room and other hydrotherapy facilities separately? Agreed, there are some people who do prefer to use these facilities in private, but the vast majority of people want to be together, particularly if a spa visit is to be a group social event or part of a vacation.
Hotel groups seem to be stuck in a time warp, working off standards that were written decades ago. Boundaries often don’t get pushed because everyone just sticks to these standards and nobody wants to rock the boat. The industry needs to wake up and look at how people socialize today!
Maybe it’s the rating agencies who are behind the times, to get a Forbes 5-star rating a hotel spa must have separate men’s and women’s sauna and steam. This is not only unfair to force this upon hotels, but it’s based on practices from a time gone by. Why invest in duplicate facilities when a far better guest experience could be created for the same budget?
It is time for this to change, hospitality budgets need to get the best value for their money and the modern spa or wellness facility needs to cater for upcoming generations and the way they live.
CEO, Design for Leisure
Chair, Global Wellness Institute Hydrothermal Initiative