2017 Summit makes unprecedented choice of lead sponsor — a hotel property versus a destination; delegates to be immersed in wellness-focused resort business that prioritizes employee well-being and social responsibility above all.

The Global Wellness Summit (GWS), the world’s preeminent gathering of decision makers in the wellness industry, today officially announced The Breakers Palm Beach as this year’s host sponsor, a first for a hotel property, which will have a key role in shaping the content of the 11th annual conference, to take place in Palm Beach, Florida, October 9-11, 2017. The Breakers is supported in their GWS sponsorship efforts by two Florida-based institutions, Palm Beach Atlantic University and Cigna Corporation.

“Bringing the Summit back to the U.S., whose last gathering took place in collaboration with the Aspen Institute in Colorado, opens up great opportunities for a dynamic agenda that includes visionaries and entrepreneurs that make up one of the largest and most innovative wellness markets in the world. And easy international access to Palm Beach, as well as The Breakers’ inherent beauty and coveted beachfront location, will undoubtedly be a draw for our global delegation,” said Susie Ellis, GWS chairman and CEO. “However, we anticipate that the biggest impact The Breakers will have on attendees is understanding their unwavering commitment to the well-being of their team, community and environment, and how that ultimately drives guest satisfaction.”

GWS delegates, key influencers from the $3.72 trillion global wellness industry, will be given the unique opportunity to experience some of The Breakers initiatives first hand. Attendees will learn of the resort’s longstanding, committed owners and executive team, who have developed a wellness-focused business that empowers team members to attain professional and personal goals and reach their greatest potential. The result is an engaging, collaborative and high-achieving workforce, to which CEO Paul Leone attributes the resort’s success as one of America’s leading and most profitable independent hotels. Thanks to Leone’s leadership (since 1994) and the owners’ relentless dedication and unrivaled investment of over $30 million each year in capital improvements, The Breakers stays on a path of continuous renewal to thrive in the highly competitive hospitality market.

“We believe that the heart and soul of an organization drives its long-term success – a belief that was instilled in our culture over 120 years ago by our founder, Henry Morrison Flagler,” said Leone. “We look forward to not only sharing our many initiatives - including our dedicated Wellness Team, unique wellness incentives, healthcare discounts, and financial wellness programs that include college and retirement planning – with Global Wellness Summit delegates, but anticipate engaging them directly in our spirit of community service and environmental advocacy.”

Leone also thanked The Breakers’ co-sponsors Palm Beach Atlantic University, a comprehensive, interdenominational Christian university, and Cigna Corporation, a global health service company dedicated to helping people improve their well-being.

Community and civic responsibility is a core tenet of The Breakers, and in 2016 alone, its team volunteered 20,670 hours to build homes for the homeless, provided support to enhance the welfare of individuals and families with start-up resources and advocacy, and raised awareness and funds to eradicate illnesses.

The resort’s sustainability initiatives include innovative water conservation practices, energy efficiency programs and highly impactful waste reduction measures designed to reduce landfill.

“Hotels and resorts, especially those with spa and wellness offerings, need to make the wellness of people and planet a priority. At The Breakers you can really see and feel that this is taking place and is part of their organizational DNA. It’s a great model,” said Ellis.

This year’s Summit is co-chaired by Professor Gerry Bodeker, PhD, clinical psychologist and public health academic (University of Oxford, UK; Columbia University, New York); Clare Martorana, formerly of Everyday Health and WebMD, now Digital Service Expert, United States Digital Service; and Maggie Hsu, advisor for U.S. online platform Zappos.

The Global Wellness Summit attracts leaders from every sector of the wellness industry: hospitality, tourism, spa, beauty, fitness, nutrition, finance, education, environment, medicine, architecture, workplace wellness, wellness communities and technology.

The Summit is an invitation-only gathering for senior executives; for information about attending click here. For sponsorship, contact 

 About the Global Wellness Summit: The Global Wellness Summit (GWS) is an invitation-only international gathering that brings together leaders and visionaries to positively shape the future of the $3.7 trillion global wellness economy. Held in a different location each year, Summits have taken place in the U.S., Switzerland, Turkey, Bali, India, Morocco, Mexico and Austria. The next will be held at The Breakers, Palm Beach, Florida from Oct. 9-11, 2017.


About The Breakers Palm Beach

The Breakers Palm Beach is an iconic, luxury oceanfront resort, renowned as a destination of world-class hospitality and service, and seaside glamour. Situated on 140 acres in the heart of Palm Beach, Florida, the hotel features 538 guest rooms and suites, which includes the private-access Flagler Club, an ultra-luxury boutique hotel nestled atop the resort. Its multi-faceted amenities and services include nine distinctive restaurants; two championship golf courses and a golf academy; a new luxury spa; a Mediterranean-style beach club with poolside bungalows for daytime rental, four oceanfront pools and watersports, tennis, a Family Entertainment Center and an extensive program of family and children’s activities; and 11 on-site boutiques. The Breakers also features 70,000-square feet of meeting and event space and services, including an oceanfront conference center, ballrooms, executive meeting rooms and outdoor venues. Thanks to the dedication of its longstanding family ownership the resort continues to thrive independent of chain affiliation, re-investing over $30 million each year in capital improvements and revitalization.


The Collection Includes 4 Boutique Hotels in Tulum, Mexico and 1 on Little Corn Island, Nicaragua


(Tulum, MEXICO – February 2017)   Colibri Boutique Hotels announces their new association with Small Luxury Hotels of the World.  The collection’s five Caribbean properties include La Zebra, Mi Amor, El Pez and Mezzanine in Tulum, Mexico; and Yemaya Island Hideaway and Spa on Little Corn Island in Nicaragua. The five boutique beachfront properties include all-adult, family, and couples-targeted options, with a range of spas and top dining and drinking outlets, all with attentive, personalized service.


The Small Luxury Hotels of the World brand is a collection of more than 500 independently owned exclusive hotels in more than 80 countries. Small Luxury Hotels feature award-winning spas, country houses, golf resorts, island retreats, city sanctuaries, and game and wilderness lodges.


Each exclusive property commits to a single standard of excellence, guaranteeing travelers worldwide an unsurpassed level of service, quality and luxury. Appropriately fitting into this privileged collection, Colibri Boutique Hotels prides itself on offering distinctive experiences in distinctive settings.    


Brendon Leach, CEO of Colibri Boutique Hotels, says of the new alliance, “SLH is a growing brand worldwide. We are honored to be part of this consortium and we are confident that SLH will help us introduce our wonderful boutique hotels to new visitors. “


About Colibri Hotel Collection

Colibri Boutique Hotels currently consists of four properties in Tulum, Mexico and one on Little Corn Island, Nicaragua.  Designed for “Barefoot Chic” relaxation, the collection includes both all-adult properties and properties suitable for individuals, couples and families. The five hotels are air-conditioned, generate their own energy, offer concierge service, and include WiFi. Distinctive dining and bar options are featured as well.  www.colibriboutiquehotels.com  Instagram: www.instagram.com/colibriboutiquehotels/. From the US, dial 1-303-800-1948.  Email:


El Pez – set atop picturesque Turtle Cove, a nature sanctuary in Tulum, the 18-room oceanfront “Seaside Chic” hotel offers rooms, suites and cabanas, and is family-friendly, with a swimming pool and a secluded beach. Award-winning chef Paco Ruano oversees the hotel’s Mexican- and seafood-influenced menu.  www.tulumhotelpez.com   Facebook: www.facebook.com/elpezhoteltulum



La Zebra – set directly on Tulum’s beautiful beach, “Beach Chic” La Zebra is a fun and relaxed family-friendly hotel. La Zebra’s lively Sunday night salsa beach party is a popular event. A pop-up of New York City’s well-known, artisanal Mulberry Project bar runs through May, adding a new component to the indulgent 8-course, mixed pairing Chef’s Table experience curated by Chef Eleazar Bonilla. From April 12- May 28, 2017, acclaimed Noma chef, Rene Redzepi, together with sous-chef and taco specialist Rosio Sanchez, creates the Noma Mexico residency in the jungle at La Zebra. Additionally, 15 new accommodations have just opened, bringing the total to 29 suites, along with a new massage room. A pool and lounge area above the restaurant has opened for hotel guests only. www.lazebratulum.com   Facebook: www.facebook.com/lazebratulum




Mi Amor – a contemporary, romantic 17-room hotel perched on a rock cliff overlooking the famed Tulum coast, the adults-only “Love Chic” hotel offers a mix of oceanfront and garden/pool-facing rooms, a spa, swimming pool, and nearby beach. Guadalajara’s award-winning chef from Magno Brasserie, Paul Bentley, heads up the restaurant. www.tulumhotelmiamor.com/   Facebook:  www.facebook.com/miamorhoteltulum




Mezzanine – the 9-room, adults-only “Lounge Chic” Mezzanine focuses on style and DJ lounge music, offering a hip alternative to other Tulum hotels, a plunge pool and an adjacent beach.  Mezzanine’s restaurant specializes in authentic Thai cuisine as well as other “beach” favorites. www.mezzaninetulum.com   Facebook:  www.facebook.com/mezzaninetulum 





Yemaya Island Hideaway and Spa – set on Little Corn Island on the Caribbean side of Nicaragua, “Island Chic” Yemaya offers 16 oceanfront cabañas, a spa, daily yoga, and beachfront water sports, and a restaurant and beach bar offering changing menus based on organic ingredients from its own garden and fresh meats and seafood. The car-free island’s Creole culture is highlighted. The resort produces 50% of its own energy. A new deluxe room with plunge pool opened in January, with more planned for later 2017.  www.yemayalittlecorn.com   Facebook:  www.facebook.com/yemayalittlecorn




About Small Luxury Hotels of the World    Small Luxury Hotels of the World™ (SLH) matches independently minded guests with independently spirited hotels. The diverse collection of more than 500 hotels in more than 80 countries around the world includes everything from cutting edge design hotels and city center sanctuaries to historic country mansions and remote private islands. All SLH hotels are consistently different; however, they are all united by the fact that they offer the best locations; highest quality, personalized service; and a truly authentic way to discover a destination. SLH membership brings automatic credibility, allowing travel agents and consumers alike to book with confidence. Reservations for any SLH hotel can be made online at www.slh.com or via the iPhone app, by contacting a travel agent, or by calling a Small Luxury Hotels of the World reservations office; click here to view a listing by country.


Press Release

For Immediate Release



  • Spa & Wellness Mexico rebrands to Spa & Wellness MexiCaribe
  • Circulation of Spa & Wellness MexiCaribe magazine will increase to over 12000 around Mexico, Caribbean and Latin America. 


Playa del Carmen, Mexico, 17th February 2017. Spa & Wellness Mexico, the publication specializing in spa, wellness, wellness travel and industry events announced its expansion to cover the Caribbean and Central/Latin America.


"Through the collaboration with Asociación Americana de Spa (AAS), Spa & Wellness MexiCaribe magazine will now be sent to over 12000 subscribers and association members around Mexico, Caribbean and Latin America. It can now reach a wider audience very much in need of high quality international information," said Sara Jones, editor of Spa & Wellness MexiCaribe.


“The AAS and Spa & Wellness MexiCaribe have confirmed their alliance to work together promoting the spa and wellness community throughout the region,” said Eduardo Finci President of AAS, “The growth observed in the wellness market and the desire to meet the needs of professionalism within the sector are the fundamental motives driving this alliance.


Sara Jones of Spa & Wellness MexiCaribe assisted Caribbean WE (Wellness & Education) with the CHTA Marketplace and WE Bahamas events in Nassau, Bahamas Jan 30 - Feb 3, 2017, delivering marketing and social media solutions during the successful events. The magazine will now reach spa and wellness destinations across the Caribbean bringing exposure for product brands, events, current education and relevant industry information to the region.


Caribbean WE founder Stephanie Rest partnered with Liliana Grajales the Principal Owner of LG Wellness Advisor for this event. "Working with Spa & Wellness MexiCaribe was a great opportunity to increase the profile of the Caribbean WE event and reach an audience of millions via social media." Said Stephanie Rest of Caribbean WE. “The WE Bahamas and CHTA events delivered spa & wellness education and awareness specific to the environment in the Caribbean.” Says Liliana Grajales of LG Wellness Advisor. “I always make sure everything we do has a focus on substance, sustainability and style.”


# # #


About Spa & Wellness MexiCaribe: Spa & Wellness MexiCaribe magazine specializes in industry and consumer information for Mexico, Caribbean and Latin America. With over 12,000 subscribers, it is an influential publication, informing readers throughout the region on the happenings of one of the fastest growing industries in recent years.




Sara Jones


Asociación Americana de Spa



Caribbean WE



The International SPA Association (ISPA) will present the 2017 ISPA Visionary Award to Sue Harmsworth at the 27th annual ISPA Conference & Expo at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Nev. from Oct. 16 - 18, 2017.

“Sue is recognized as one of the world’s leading spa experts,” said ISPA President Lynne McNees. “Her innovative, inspirational and forward-thinking approach combined with her passion and vision helped shape the spa industry into what it is today. We are thrilled to be able to honor her achievements with this award.”


Harmsworth is the chairman and founder of ESPA International (UK) Ltd. She has devoted her life to spa and wellness, leading the industry by creating spas and helping to educate the industry on the impact of health and wellbeing on beauty. Harmsworth’s early career began in health and beauty journalism before she opened a salon in Toronto, a Thalassotherapy resort in France, and a health farm in the UK. She has been responsible for the design, development and management of more than 200 spas in 60 countries. The culmination of this knowledge and her visionary approach for what the spa industry should be offering, led her to the creation of ESPA in 1993 and to the extensive development of ESPA’s natural product range. Working with experts in natural science, she created ESPA’s product range powered by unique combinations of plant actives, marine actives and essential oils.


In 2010, Harmsworth was honored with an MBE from the Queen of England in recognition of her services to the spa and beauty industry.


“I am thrilled to be receiving the award for what has been for me, simply my life passion. Right from the start, I was driven by an ambition to help people to understand the impact of health and wellness on beauty and to learn how to look and feel their very best,” said Harmsworth. “It is this passion that still inspires me today to keep pushing the boundaries of the spa industry and I am thrilled to be receiving the Visionary Award from ISPA who are such an iconic organization in the industry.”


The ISPA Visionary Award is presented each year to someone in the spa industry who has made significant contributions to both the definition and positive movement of health and wellness over the lifetime of their career. More information about attending the 2017 ISPA Conference & Expo can be found at attendISPA.com.



Global Wellness Summit experts identify future directions for the $3.7 trillion wellness industry: from a new focus on “silence” – to the bold reinvention of sauna-going – to wellness rewriting both architecture and beauty 


Sauna Reinvented

Something both hot and very cool: the reinvention of sauna that’s underway. From “Sauna Aufguss” events where “sauna-meisters” conduct theatrical performances of infusions, song and dance. To hip, social “amphitheater” or “hangout” saunas (whether Helsinki’s new high-design Löyly sauna complex or Scotland’s new loch-side “Hot Box” with DJ and bar). To quirky pop-up saunas floating on lakes or hanging from bridges. To trendy urban “sweat lodges” serving up infrared sauna treatments, like NYC’s Higher Dose. No longer a solitary, “meh” experience, the new, spectacular, social saunas are some “outside of the box” thinking…literally.


Wellness Architecture

Architecture has long been preoccupied with surface aesthetics: “starchitects” designing to wow or shock, but with little attention paid to creating buildings that improve the health of the humans living within. Change is finally here: “living buildings” that grow their own energy; responsive architecture that tailors indoor health experiences for every inhabitant; phone apps alerting you when you’re entering a “sick” building; dawn-simulating lighting easing you into your day. Everything “built” is getting reengineered: from indoor air quality (a killer) to sleep and acoustics.



In a world of 24/7 connectedness, wellness destinations are embracing a dramatic approach to “turning off” the noise: true silence. For example, the first completely “Silent Spa” (with stunning church-inspired architecture) just opened at Austria’s Therme Laa Hotel. And new “wellness monasteries” are on the rise: retreats opening in, and infused with the silent, contemplative values of, ancient sacred spaces – like Italy’s soulful Eremito, with no WiFi/phone signal and silent, candlelit dinners. Properties like Germany’s Brenner’s Park have even installed “digital kill switches” for totally silent rooms. And “silent” restaurants, salons, gyms, stores and airports are all being unveiled…


Art & Creativity Take Center Stage

Born of a storied history, but forgotten of late, the creativity-wellness-spa connection is making a comeback: with more art, music, literature and dance (both as experienced and “to do”) at the center of more wellness experiences. Look for more performance, like at Germany’s famed spa resort, Schloss Elmau, where musicians and writers “play-to-stay” (making possible 200+ concerts a year) – or live classical violin while taking the waters at the UK’s new Gainsborough Bath Spa Hotel. We’ll see more sophisticated, “beyond the adult coloring book” programming launch, like painting classes under the stars – as well as a profusion of multi-sensory experiences, from sound baths to “yoga concerts.” The creative arts have a future starring role in wellness.


Wellness Remakes Beauty

Beauty, the goliath industry ($1 trillion) of the $3.7 trillion wellness economy, is remaking itself to meet the needs of a wellness-oriented population obsessed with authenticity and “inner beauty.” From an avalanche of eatable/drinkable beauty-boosters and clean, organic cosmetics – to medical evidence for a new “neuroaesthetics” (the brain is wired to respond to beauty) – the “beauty comes from within” concept will keep gaining on superficial (topical) models. And preventative approaches will keep gaining on the old “cosmetic repair.” We will continue to learn (and snap up solutions that tackle) how beauty is far more than skin deep.


The Future Is Mental Wellness

When it comes to mental wellness, our world has a problem: depression and anxiety is skyrocketing, and by 2030, the former will be the #1 health issue, outranking obesity (WHO). So look for dramatically more “healthy mind” approaches in coming years. Wellness retreats and spas are adding neuroscientists and psychotherapists (like London’s ESPA Life at Corinthia Hotel). Meditation is not only radically mainstreaming (even on-demand in hotel rooms), but spawning creative new breeds (from “dream” to “floating” meditation). We’ll see everything from new part-mind/part-body workout brands to apps that track your mental state (think MindBit, not FitBit). Because “mind” will finally get equal billing with “body.”


Embracing the C-Word

The wellness world is waking up to the needs of a surprisingly underserved population: cancer patients. For instance, Julie Bach’s pioneering “Wellness for Cancer” program means wellness companies/spas are finally trained to deliver comfort (and dignity) to cancer sufferers. From ESPA’s “Nurture and Support” program to Natura Bissé’s “oncological aesthetics” to Two Bunch Palms’ “Mindful Touch Massage”, wellness practitioners are finally opening their hearts and healing practices to cancer patients.


Beyond the Ghettos of Wellness

In a world where rising income and “wellbeing” inequalities are fueling a populist backlash, a wellness industry that’s become narrowly associated with rich elites (those $300 yoga pants and Reiki sessions) will change. More wellness businesses will give back to the “other 99%”, like “Yoga Gives Back” helping poor women in India – or Newfoundland’s Fogo Island Inn, where every dollar of profit goes back to its economically-challenged island community. A “Wellness Tourism 2.0” will rise: a development model thinking beyond the (often elite, “gated”) property to creating whole towns, regions and even nations, where a comprehensive wellness vision (from protected nature to a sustainable, healthy food supply) benefits BOTH locals and tourists. The  new wave of low-cost “wellness” is part of this democratization: like more affordable healthy supermarkets and spa chains. But with some future mindfulness about “rock-bottom” vs. “fair” pricing, given the human labor that delivers so many of these healthy experiences.



About the Global Wellness Summit: T017.he Global Wellness Summit (GWS) is an invitation-only international gathering that brings together leaders and visionaries to positively shape the future of the $3.7 trillion global wellness economy. Held in a different location each year, Summits have taken place in the U.S., Switzerland, Turkey, Bali, India, Morocco, Mexico and Austria. The next will be held at The Breakers, Palm Beach, Florida from Oct. 9-11, 2

Giselle Fernandez Emcee welcomes delegates Sue Harmsworth Co Chair 2016 Summit MBE Chairman Founder ESPA International UK Co ChairGWS2016


Day 3 kicked off with the student challenge. Over 60 submissions were received this year, and it came down to three finalists who presented their ideas to the judging panel. The winner was announced as Shahrin Ali of North South University in Bangladesh who, unable to attend the summit in person, made her presentation via Skype. Her idea is to make sustainable sanitary napkins accessible to the 80% of women throughout Bangladesh who currently rely on unsanitary and ineffective options. Mukto Sanitary Napkin concept promises to reduce the health and social problems associated with this issue. Shahrin Ali received the $5,000 top prize.




Irene Forte of Rocco Forte Hotels outlined strategies for engaging the market segment of millenials and advised everyone that, based on the research “Like it or not, millenials are quite important!”. Having developed the wellness program for Rocco Forte, she then focused her attention on career development within the hotel industry with an app that helps staff focus on their career goals, learn remotely at their own pace, and advance through the ranks on their chosen career path.




Global Wellness Day was recognized and celebrated as Ambassadors and Key Supporters from around the globe came up to the stage to cheer along to the GWD song. Later on GWD Founder Belgin Aksoy was invited onto the stage to receive the Leading Woman in Wellness Award.


LeadingWomaninWellness4 GWS TAG3 182


In total, five awards were presented to leaders in the industry:


Leader in Workplace Wellness: Dr. Fikry Isaac, former VP of global health services for Johnson & Johnson, a pioneer in the field of workplace health promotion and global health.


Leading Woman in Wellness: Belgin Aksoy, founder of Global Wellness Day, a movement that has reached over 90 countries.


Leader in Sustainability: Balthasar Hauser, owner of Biohotel Stanglwirt, was honored for his pioneering, sustainable Tyrolean spa resort.


Leader in Innovation: Richard Schmitz, CEO of H/S/M Hotel and Spa Management, for his forward-thinking addition of the phrase “& Spa” to the name of the iconic “Brenners Park Hotel & Spa” in 1983.


Debra Simon Award for Leader in Furthering Mental Wellness: Jeremy McCarthy, Group Director of Spa & Wellness for Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, and author of The Psychology of Spas & Wellbeing, received this first-ever honor for his work in bringing the power of positive psychology to the spa industry.



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Over the course of this 10th Anniversary summit we were encouraged to write our predictions for the future and drop them into the time capsule. This was sealed by Edie Weiner of The Future Hunters and will be opened in 10 years time at the 2026 Global Wellness Summit. Will you be there when it gets opened? I hope to be!


We toasted with champagne to another successful summit completed. The exciting news is that next year’s GWS will be held at The Breakers, Miami, Florida. An easier journey for those of us coming from Mexico, the Caribbean or within the US!


Sara Jones




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Day 2 of GWS started with a bang. Edie Weiner's session, ‘The Double Paradigm Shift: The Global Economic Transformation Plus The Beginning Of Civilization Alpha’. This predicted future changes, opportunities and reactions. Weiner outlines how we are moving into the Metaspace Economy and need to consider 10 major areas of growth:


  • Inner Space

  • Outer Space

  • Micro Space

  • Cyber Space

  • Time Space

  • Design Space

  • Green-Blue Space

  • Storage Space

  • Play Space

  • Inter Space


She warns that, with this fast moving economic change happening at such a pace, the result of leaving large sections of the population ‘behind’ will inevitably lead to denial, backlash, gridlock and authoritarianism.


The afternoon of Day 2 was set aside for wellness activities, as we hiked, paraglided, mountain-biked and lunched atop the famous Hahnenkamm Mountain. Although we weren’t treated to the spectacular sunshine of our arrival day, the rain and fog didn’t stop the fun as everyone enjoyed the activities and the delicious, well-deserved lunch.


The evening gala dinner was held at Swarovski Crystal Worlds where we glittered and sparkled for a fantastic evening. We meandered through the dazzling ‘Chamber of Wonders’ enjoying cocktails and then settled for a delightful meal surrounded by more crystals than you can imagine. The 10th Anniversary Auction managed to raise $108,000 to benefit the future Global Wellness Institute research projects, and Susie Ellis was surprised with an award of $27000 to further her own development as an international leader of the wellness industry.


Sara Jones,



DoubleParadigmShiftEdieWeiner Kitzbuhel Town 2 KitzKongress 2

HahnenkammMtnFranzLinserStephanEberharterAdrianEgger MountainParagliding MountainSegway


Two Researchers with a lot of Balls Katherine Johnston 6


For me, the most prevalent theme of day 1 at GWS was the connection between beauty and wellness. This 999 billion dollar industry is a huge sector of our industry and I believe beauty is still the driving force and motivation, behind so much of the spending in the entire wellness industry overall. Beauty has become almost a ‘dirty word’ in the wellness industry in recent years with connotations of superficiality and narcissism. At times, beauty is seen as only skin deep. We all want to promote 'beauty from within' and feelings of wellness.


We cannot deny the fact that we are hard wired to recognize beauty in nature, in sound and all around us. Surely it can only be a good thing to see and feel beauty when we look in the mirror. By embracing beauty and acknowledging we are part of this industry along with all other aspects of wellness, we can work together to encourage a healthy view of beauty, body image and aging.


Skincare companies gathered together in a session to develop ‘The Intersection of Beauty and Wellness: Understanding the Emotional, Physical, Psychological and Social Relationship between Beauty, Health and Wellness.’


We also heard from Katherine Johnston and Ophelia Yeung, who allowed us a sneak preview of the most recent industry research which they effectively demonstrated with a visual representation of blow up balls. A lighthearted, interesting session highlighting some pretty serious numbers:


Global Wellness Economy is worth US$3.7 Trillion 
• Beauty and Anti-Aging: $999 billion 
• Healthy Eating, Nutrition & Weight Loss: $647.8 billion 
• Wellness Tourism: $563.2 billion 
• Fitness & Mind-Body: $542 billion 
• Preventative & Personalized Medicine & Public Health: $534.3 billion 
• Complementary & Alternative Medicine: $199 billion
• Wellness Lifestyle Real Estate: $118.6 billion
• Spa Industry: $98.6 billion 
• Thermal/Mineral Springs Facilities: $51 billion
• Workplace Wellness: $43.3 billion

Johnston and Yeung advised that, from 2013 to 2015, the global economy shrank by 2 per cent. However, in this same time, the global wellness economy grew by over 10 per cent. This is due to the growth in the middle classes who have more disposable income and can dedicate to their lifestyle. The increase in chronic disease and aging populations also means more spending on healthier lifestyles and disease prevention.


Sara Jones


Spa & Wellness Mexico awards the Best Spas of Mexico. Revealing the results of the best spas in the country, Spa & Wellness Mexico aims to increase knowledge and awareness of the industry among tourism, health and wellness experts, in addition to informing the general population of the wonderful the benefits of our spectacular spas.


The Best Spas of Mexico are:

• Apuane Spa, Four Seasons Resort, Punta Mita
• Armonia Spa, Emerad Bay Pueblo Bonito, Mazatlan
• Awe Spa, Playacar Palace, Playa del Carmen
• Banyan Tree Spa, Mayakoba, Riviera Maya
• Feel Spa, Live Aqua, Mexico City
• Gem Spa, Coral Beach, Fiesta Americana Grand, Cancun
• Kinan Spa, Hotel Belmond Maroma Resort, Riviera Maya
• Luna Y Mar Spa, The Resort at Pedegral, Cabo San Lucas
• Miilé Spa, Excellence Resorts, Riviera Maya
• Naay Spa, El Dorado Casitas Royale, Riviera Maya
• Naay Spa, El Dorado Seaside Suites, Riviera Maya
• Nizuc Spa by ESPA, Nizuc Resort, Cancun
• One & Only Palmilla Spa, Los Cabos
• Rancho La Puerta Resort & Spa, Tecate
• Remede Spa, St. Regis, DF
• Sense, A Rosewood Spa, Rosewood Mayakoba
• Sense, A Rosewood Spa, Rosewood San Miguel De Allende
• Spa, JW Marriott Cancun
• Spa de Autor, Grand Velas, Riviera Maya
• Spa Makawé, Grand Sirenis Matlali, Puerta Vallarta
• Spa Matilda, Hotel Matilda, San Miguel de Allende
• The Spa at Esperanza, Auberge Resorts Collection, Cabo San Lucas
• The Spa, Capella Ixtapa
• Willow Stream Spa, Fairmont Mayakoba, Riviera Maya
• Zoetry, Paraiso de la Bonita, Riviera Maya

Spa & Wellness Mexico also recognizes the best Boutique Spas and Day Spas around the country. Providing excellent service, quality spa treatments and meticulous attention to detail, these spas create noteworthy wellness experiences, maximizing often limited space and without extravagant facilities.


The Best Boutique Spas & Day Spas of Mexico are:

• Casa Azul Spa Urbano, Monterrey
• Dos Casas Spa, San Miguel de Allende
• Hela Spa Polanco & Hela Spa Santa Fe, DF
• Rosas y Xocolate, Merida
• Spa by Liverpool, Mexico City
• T’ai Spa & T’ai Spa Boutique, Merida

Having heard for many years about the wonderful Rancho la Puerta, located in Tecate, Baja California, it has long been a dream of mine to visit and experience for myself one of the original wellness destinations. Founded in 1940 by Edmond and Deborah Szekely it has been through many renovations and reinventions, always staying true however, to its foundation of promoting a healthy, active lifestyle. A visit of anything less than a week at Rancho la Puerta, I realized, wouldn’t provide the complete experience and would definitely be over far too soon. The friendly atmosphere is incomparable to any other retreat experience I have encountered, This seems to be a feeling echoed by the numerous repeat guests who often joke that the ranch is like summer camp for adults. I can simply say that my week there was exceptional and filled with so many new experiences that I enjoyed immensely.



Rancho La Puerta’s sprawling 3,000 acres include 32 acres of gardens, the ranch grounds, organic gardens and hiking trails. The grounds around the main facility are certainly impressive and, although I rarely saw a gardener, all the lawns are well groomed and the plants well attended to. The mix of plants and flowers gives the impression of a naturally wild meadow, yet I imagine it takes a fair bit of work to achieve. Maps of the ranch can be found at regular intervals along the winding pathways., However they are not exactly to scale and things occasionally look closer or farther than they really are. By the end of the week I had just about learned my route to all the venues I needed to get to, but the first couple of days were filled with wrong turns!



The spacious and well-appointed suites are dispersed around the property in clusters. I was hosted in the beautiful ‘Villas Sol’ section of the ranch with a spectacular and unobstructed view of Mount Kuchumaa where we hiked each morning. The room was equipped not only with the essentials of an extremely comfortable bed, roomy bathroom and dressing area, desk and terrace, but it also had an open fireplace, a mini kitchenette area for tea and snacks, a reverse osmosis drinking water tap to reduce waste from plastic bottles and the wonderful cell-phone sleeping bag. Putting my phone away for periods of time is a practice I am trying to carry through into everyday life, however difficult that may seem! The Villas Sol and Villa Luna encircle the Villas Pool, a quiet, relaxing space to refresh in the cool water or soak in the Jacuzzi during the fresh evenings. After arriving from a long journey the pool was my first stop after lunch. Here, I met several other guests, who all visit the ranch regularly - one of whom was enjoying her 21st visit!



The hikes for me were one the highlights of the ranch experience.  With a variety of options each morning; you can choose the difficulty level you prefer - I started with a moderate mountain hike to Alex’s Oak Tree. Sitting atop a relatively small mountain, this oak tree was a favorite spot of the late Alex Szekely, former manager of the ranch and son of Deborah Szekely, Co-Founder of Rancho La Puerta, who passed away aged 44 in 2002. The subsequent hikes throughout the week ranged in difficulty, and I progressed to the 5.5 Mile Coyote Hike by the end of the week. While on the Professor’s Hike (a 3.5 Mile hike) I was treated to the spectacular view of ‘Skull Rock’ with a background of low cloud sitting in the canyon beyond. I wasn’t able to complete the Raven Hike or the 7-Mile River Hike during my stay, which just means there’s a good reason to return.


Exercise activities

I could fill an entire magazine solely dedicated to the variety of activities available at Rancho La Puerta. However, with limited space, I will attempt to highlight my favorites. 

Cardio Drumming: It occurred to me that this class was a great way to get males and females, young and old, to take part in a fairly standard, dare I say it… aerobics class! Add in the large barrel drums, and your grapevines and L-steps are a lot more interesting! 

Feldenkrais: Using small, subtle movements, the body is adjusted and realigned as each participant is encouraged to listen to their internal feedback and make natural self-corrections. Although it’s difficult to explain, everyone who participated seemed to agree that the class was ‘really strange but really good’! 

Pickleball: I was introduced to this fun and entertaining game on the first morning of my stay and, as someone who likes tennis (but spends most of the time running after the ball), this was a perfect alternative for me. A small court, a short paddle-like racket, a whiffle ball and a fairly straightforward set of rules made this game great exercise and very enjoyable.

Pilates: My stay fell on the same week that visiting instructor, Odile Zelenak, led the Pilates classes. Hailing from Northern California, Odile expertly guided all levels of participants through the Pilates classes with a range a difficulty levels suitable for all.

TRX Suspension Training: A favorite of mine, this functional, whole body workout is equivalent to fairly tough session in the gym and, as our expert instructor advised, ‘beginners class’ doesn’t mean ‘easy class’!



With such an abundance of activities available every hour at the ranch, it was really a struggle to fit any relaxation in. However, I managed to ‘schedule in’ some relaxation in the form of Crystal Bowl Sound Healing, Tai Chi and spa visits etc.

Crystal Bowl Sound Healing: This amazing experience is one that I repeated daily for the 3 afternoons it was offered. The sound of the singing bowls gently vibrates through your body and encourages such a deep relaxation that, I am certain, would not be possible just by laying down for 45 minutes - despite the early mornings and full days of activities. On the days where I took part in the Crystal Bowl Sound Healing sessions, I certainly found I had renewed energy for the evening activities.

Labyrinth: This beautiful meditative pathway provides a place for introspection and contemplation whether you are searching for an answer to a question or clearing your mind of thoughts.

Tai Chi:  Our expert instructor talked about the foundation of Tai Chi, its purpose, and led us through a simple sequence that was easy to master but left us feeling like experts.


La Cocina Que Canta (The kitchen that sings) 

Designed by Deborah’s daughter, Sarah-Livia Brightman, La Cocina Que Canta cooking school provides guests hands-on culinary educational experiences that enhance the stay at Rancho La Puerta. Set amidst the 6 acres of organic farmlands where the ranch cultivates its many ingredients, the kitchen celebrates the magic of cooking.

With visiting internationally-renowned expert chefs who have a passion for teaching, the ranch attracts many culinary enthusiasts who can also take home a variety of cookbooks - including the ranch’s own; Cooking With The Seasons At Rancho La Puerta.

I was lucky enough to visit at the same time as Chef Raghavan Iyer, author of numerous cookbooks and a teaching enthusiast. He guided us through the process of creating the most diverse and delicious vegan Indian cuisine I have ever tasted. 



Spread across four locations (Women’s Health Centre, Men’s Health Centre, Villas Health Centre & Beauty Salon) the spa offerings at Rancho La Puerta include wraps, scrubs, facials, water treatments, gemstone therapy, grooming services and, of course, an extensive range of massages. With four main themes of, Cleanse, Relax, Energize & Restore the spa assists guests in selecting the service best for them. With some, such as the Xocolatl (Chocolate) Skin Replenishment, you are invited to mix ingredients yourself before the journey begins. My favorite experience was the Japanese Restorative Facial, where a deeply relaxing facial massage sent me into a state of pure bliss and after which my skin felt firm, lifted and intensely hydrated.  


Bazaar del Sol

Tucked away in one corner of the ranch is Bazaar del Sol. A quaint little terrace-lounge-bar-boutique offers the perfect place to relax, socialize, read, work or enjoy the events such as live music or markets showcasing jewelry, arts & crafts. With a selection of wine and high speed Internet, this is often a hub of activity at the ranch!


Sara Jones


What Are They?
This popular little superfood can be found in all our Fruterias and grocery stores around Playa. Local to Mexico and South America, the Aztecs, Mayans and Incans ate Chia Seeds as a source of energy for runners and warriors. Chia means ‘Stength’ in the Mayan language. The seeds are easy to digest and a versatile addition to many recipes.


High quality protein source
High in Essential Fatty Acids, Especially Omega-3 – one of the richest plant-based sources
Vitamins A, B (1,2 & 3), E & D
Minerals such as Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium, Phosphorus, Manganese
High Antioxidant Activity – even better than Blueberries! This also helps them last up to 2 years unrefrigerated
High in Fiber


The Benefits
Improved Digestion – Fiber promotes a healthy digestive tract and helps you feel full quicker. The soluble fiber can also work as a prebiotic supporting healthy probiotic growth in the gut.


Heart Health – With more Omega-3 Fatty Acids than salmon, Chia seeds can help lower blood pressure and inflammation and decrease bad cholesterol.


Boost Energy & Metabolism – Add Chia seeds to water to make your own sports drink; improve performance and burn fat.


Strengthen Bones – The high calcium and mineral content of Chia seeds makes them a great food for healthy bones. Gram for gram, they have more calcium than many dairy products.


Prevent Insulin Resistance – studies have shown Chia seeds to stabilize insulin levels even in high sugar diets, potentially offering protection again Diabetes Type 2 and inhibiting belly fat.


How to use them
Soak Chia seeds before consuming them or using them in recipes, this will reduce the phytic acid and promote easier digestion. The bland taste means Chia seeds can be incorporated into many different foods, both savory and sweet, as they will absorb the flavors around them.

Add to water, smoothies, juice, oatmeal, puddings, cereal and yoghurt. They can also be included in vegetable, grain and rice based dishes to instantly improve the nutrient content.


Sara Jones
Spa, Wellness & Lifestyle Expert and Founder of Spa Professional Mexico magazine

Summer is here again and almost every conversation, greeting or passing hello on La Quinta seems to involve some exclamation of the sweltering heat we are experiencing. Yes, even though we experience the same thing every year!

Other than hibernating in air conditioning, what else can you do to stay cool during the summer? Here are six ways to stay cool:


Choose cotton - for clothing and bedding
Lightweight and breathable; cotton is great for allowing ventilation and will help you stay cooler than many synthetic fabrics or sheets.


Limit time outside to early morning and evening
Before the heat rises and after it subsides is the time to run errands, meet up with friends or take a stroll. If you are out in town in the middle of the day, take advantage of some of the over air conditioned stores on La Quinta; browse and cool down at the same time.


Eat frequent small meals
Smaller portions of cold food will help you stay cool while in comparison, a heavy, cooked dinner will have a thermogenic effect, heating you up from the inside. Not ideal in this climate!


Chill your pulse points
A cold compress or cold pack kept in the fridge or freezer can work wonders when applied to the pulse points on the wrists and to the forehead, temples and back of the neck. This literally cools your blood as it flows close to the skin at these points, therefore cooling the body as it circulates. Some ice cubes or a bag of frozen peas can also do the trick.


Get high!
Rooftops are great places to meet up in the evenings as they are generally more exposed to the wonderful ocean breeze that can help you stay cool while you enjoy a night out.


Avoid dehydration
Drink plenty of iced water and limit caffeine and alcohol intake, which can dehydrate the body.


Sara Jones
Spa, Wellness & Lifestyle Expert and Founder of Spa & Wellness Mexico magazine

Yoga offers a great variety of benefits, here are just a few to encourage you to head down to your local studio and take part

1. Clear Your Mind & Enhance Your Mood
Starting your day with yoga practice allows you the chance to really quiet your mind and focus. Often the yoga instructor will encourage you to focus on your breath, or to set an intention for your practice that can carry through to your day. My favorite is ‘gratitude’. With that in mind, challenges of the day seem far less…well, challenging!


2. Deepen Your Breathing
Breathing is at the core of all yoga practice. Yoga will help you learn to take long, slow breaths using the full capacity of your lungs, a practice that can benefit all other sport or fitness activities you may enjoy. Taking regular yoga classes can also increase lung capacity over time.


3. Strengthen Muscles
Yoga poses can sometimes be held for minutes at a time, challenging both your balance and strength. Frequent practice can lead to a profound increase in strength and agility and while it’s not a cardio activity per se, yoga can certainly get your heart pumping. With increased muscle tone and regular practice, you may also notice the added benefit of losing excess weight


4. Improved Flexibility and Posture
The benefits of yoga on the flexibility of often-tight muscles are tremendous. Yoga poses stretch and tone the muscles at the same time and help align the body, which improves posture and prevents imbalances. Don’t get caught up with what others in the class are doing, it doesn’t matter if you can’t get your head to your shin, only that you perform the movement safely and to the best of your ability. Yoga will train your body to hold your core strong, open your chest and slide your shoulder blades back and down. Counteract those hours of driving or sitting at a desk!


5. Prevent Injuries
Improving balance, co-ordination, flexibility and strength are all key to preventing injuries that can leave you out of action. Increased range of motion in the joints and stronger tendons, ligaments and connective tissues mean less risk of strains and sprains.


Yoga is suitable for all fitness levels. Talk to your instructor about the best style of class for you and any concerns or injuries you may have.


Sara Jones
Spa, Wellness & Lifestyle Expert and Founder of Spa & Wellness Mexico magazine

What are the key accomplishments in wellness of the last decade?


Susie Ellis:  The fact that the term “wellness” has been embraced globally is a huge accomplishment and one that happened over the last decade. Ten years ago many different terms were being used and vying for attention, but each fell short of inspiring a movement.  Some examples include “spa,” “prevention,” “health,” “healthy travel,” “eco building,” “integrative medicine,” etc. Now that all of these separate sectors have found a place under the term wellness (“wellness centers,” “wellness retreats,” “wellness tourism,” “workplace wellness,” “wellness architecture,” “medical wellness,” “wellness communities,” “wellness technology,” etc.). The combined efforts have garnered significant attention and the entire industry is now valued at $3.4 trillion. That’s a huge accomplishment!


Franz Linser: We have gone from talking about “spa” to talking about “wellness” and have evolved from a small market segment to a mainstream industry that now covers all spheres of modern life – from home, work to tourism – and has become truly the “center of society”. We’ve gone from focusing on pampering (momentary feel-good treatments) to treatment concepts that sustain wellness and wellbeing and actively prevent illness and promote health. In place of the concentration on physical treatments (massage & beauty), you’re seeing a rise of mental and psychological offerings and a new focus on social health (wellness communities), as well as spirituality on wellness menus. 


Sue Harmsworth: The word ‘Wellness’ has been around for years. In the last 5 years or so, it’s really become fashionable, however people don’t really know what it means. Spas have opened the eyes of a much larger volume of consumers and the global lifestyle issues have become more apparent. Before technology we lived a different life, many issues now are technology and stress driven and people are more aware. A recent statistic predicts that by 2020 there will be more obese people than malnourished people.


What would you forecast in the wellness industry for the coming decade?


Susie Ellis:  As more people understand that 75% of illness is preventable and that rising health care costs around the world make it unsustainable to continue to pay for treating the effects of lifestyle choices that result in those illness, there is no other option but to work together to make prevention the goal.  Governments, corporations, small businesses, insurance companies, schools, medical professionals, individuals, etc. will begin working together to make this happen. I feel that within the next 10 years (hopefully much sooner) the statistics of increasing obesity and diabetes will begin to reverse, and that healthy living and real sustainable lifestyle change is going to have to happen.


Franz Linser: First, traditional beauty concepts will become more radical, more invasive and more medical (eternal youth, plastic beauty). Second, a wellness inspired redefinition of beauty will occur. An evolution from external beauty paradigms to individual beauty concepts is expected. Standardized, one-size-fits-all beauty concepts will be replaced by personalized beauty concepts with authentic differentiators. The new beauty will be the beauty of authenticity, character and charisma; the beauty of happy individuals, well groomed and cultured with clearly distinguishable personal characteristics. 


There is yet another area within the wellness industry in which we will probably be observing the biggest changes in the near future: life direction, sense and spirituality. Customers searching for answers, advice and solutions in these fields, will ask for completely different wellness concepts, different locations, different spa programs and social settings.


Sue Harmsworth: Clarification. The conversation of what constitutes wellness and what properties should offer has shown that developers don’t necessarily have an understanding of what wellness is. Projects need clarification to move forward. Most of what we need has yet to be built; it’s difficult for existing spas and hotels to switch over to wellness. Adding a few wellness aspects doesn’t make a spa or hotel a wellness destination. There will likely be confusion for the consumer and the industry over the coming years before clarification is achieved. Division is also required of what is medical and what is prevention. So facilities are aware of what’s appropriate in the luxury resort environment.


What areas of wellness do you feel are most important for the global population as a whole?


Susie Ellis: I think what happen as we get more serious about wellness and prevention of illness is a change in attitude – there needs to be collaboration and openness because there really is no “one” solution. Different solutions are important in different circumstances, different countries, and for different people – so lots of things need to happen to truly make a difference. 


Diet, exercise, stress-reduction, sleep, medical appointments, genomics, education, technology, social networks, people discovering their purpose in life, family relationships, financial wellness, nature, spiritual health, healthy buildings and communities, improvement in income disparity, mental health, decrease in geopolitical conflict, and likely things that aren’t even in the conversation yet, are all going to be part of the solution. So perhaps one of the most important factors to improve global health will be a spirit of collaboration.


Franz Linser: The global population as whole needs to begin to live a more conscious and active life; focusing on health versus sickness and pain. There needs to be recognition of mother earth and everything nature offers and living in accordance with the gifts and rules of nature. This means eating less processed food and taking in more natural herbs, fresh air, fresh water while living in the healthy rhythm of life which will result in sharpened senses (people will feel, smell, see and hear better) with longer life expectancy.


Sue Harmsworth: We, as an industry, need to focus on education. Educating consumers on wellness, fitness, health, and how to live longer and better is important. Millennials will see things in a different light however there’s no point living longer if we are not healthy. Education will help the prevention of disease and mindfulness can provide people with a positive outlook. Being in the right place both mentally and physically will help people positively affect their lives.

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