Surf’s Up! The New Wave of Wellness

“Let’s go surfin’ now, everybody’s learning how, come on a safari with me.” - The Beach Boys, 1962 It’s hardly breaking news that surf culture has been established as the apex of cool. The worship of surfing “style” took off in the ‘60s when the Beach Boys harmonized about a world where “everybody’d be surfin’ like Californ-i-a, and Bruce Brown’s documentary The Endless Summer brought images of boy-tribes on their globe-trotting quest for perfect waves to the world.


One of the keys that the Spa and Wellness industry can use to meet its much documented challenge of developing and nurturing Spa Leaders are structured mentorship programs.


A year ago Thomas Friedman, New York Times columnist and author of the best-selling book “The World is Flat”, wrote a compelling article about the linkage between long-term success in the workplace and mentorship as evidenced in a large-scale Gallup survey of nearly 1 million college students.  The survey found that graduates who had caring and encouraging mentors were "twice as likely to be engaged with their work and thriving in their overall well-being" as those who lacked this opportunity.

Welcome to the first issue of Spa & Wellness Mexico! Spa Professional Mexico magazine and website is now rebranded as Spa & Wellness Mexico.


With this new brand name the magazine and information provided within it is now aimed at both industry professionals and spa enthusiasts. With articles in both Spanish and English it’s my hope that Spa & Wellness Mexico will become a valuable resource for spa consumers within Mexico and tourists considering Mexico for their wellness focused vacation or travel experience.


I will strive to continually provide the same quality industry information alongside topics of interest to the spa consumer. As always, Industry professionals are welcome to submit articles and topic suggestions.


Sara Jones


The highlight of our fully packed agenda was learning from Dr. Deepak Chopra, Pioneer of Alternative Medicine & Author; Founder, The Chopra Foundation, U.S who spoke about ‘The Future of Wellbeing’.

After watching a short video showing the miracle of conception, gestation and birth we heard once again of the important role of the gut microbiome (microorganisms and their collective genetic material). This microbiome communicates with the body by regulating which genes get turned on and off, “acting as both a thermostat and a switch” advises Dr. Chopra. “Who are we?” he questioned, “all DNA is make of atoms forged in the crucible of stars. We are essentially stardust beings. The body is like a river, constantly changing with every breath.”

In less than one year you replace 98% of the atoms in the body, the skeleton is replaces every 3 months and our DNA which holds the memory of our evolution, changes every 6 weeks. “The body I am in today is just my 2015 model” Dr. Chopra joked.

Day 2 started with a touching poem written and delivered by Giselle Fernandez for the victims of the Paris terror attack. We followed this with a moment of silence before continuing the day’s agenda with Amy McDonald’s interview of Martin Boudreau, President, Parks and Immersive Content, Cirque du Soleil, and Iván Chávez, Executive Vice President, Grupo Vidanta, Mexico. The partnership of these two innovative companies brought the magic of Cirque du Soleil to the spectacular, custom-built theatre in Riviera Maya. We also received the exciting news that Cirque du Soleil‘s new traveling show will be based on the rich, vibrant culture of Mexico – now that’s one I can’t wait to see!

Having just arrived the afternoon before, I’d had the chance to catch up with just a few of the many delegates and friends attending this year’s Global Wellness Summit (GWS). The first day got started with a beautiful presentation from Louie Schwartzberg, ‘Gratitude Revealed’. Through the visual medium of film Louie perfectly captures the beauty of nature and delivers the message of species under threat. The Monarch butterfly that migrates between Canada and Mexico is down to 20% of its population from just a few years ago, largely due to use of pesticides and Monsanto’s Roundup. The message: we must protect the beauty of nature before it’s too late.

SpaFinder Wellness has revealed its 12th annual Spa and Wellness Trends, which forecasts top trends that will impact the industry.


1. Forest Bathing

The term “forest bathing” has nothing to do with water, and is more than just a poetic way of describing a “walk in the woods,” something humans have, of course, been doing for five million years – although never less so than today. The Japanese government coined the term in 1982, a translation of “shinrin-yoku,” which literally means “taking in the forest atmosphere.”

Hotel spas, from urban hotel spas to resort spas, enjoy various perks that other spas do not. They have a client base of hotel guests right at their doorstep, the opportunity to tap into their hotel’s resources (Finance, Marketing, Housekeeping, Engineering to mention just a few), and the ability to reach out for support from the hotel general manager when needed. 

However, with these perks comes a different set of challenges such as: 

The third and final day of ISPA featured Jewel as the keynote speaker. Her story inspired all of us as she sang beautifully and expressed through music and words how she overcame so much, surviving homelessness from a young age.

Deborah Szekely presented Jewel with the Alex Szekely Humanitarian Award for her work as the founder of Project Clean Water (a non-profit charity foundation working to provide clean water on a global scale). Jewel was inspired to start this cause after struggling to find clean water while homeless in San Diego and suffering from a kidney condition.


Day 2 of ISPA started with the Professional Development sessions. I attended Fierce Loyalty with Sarah Robinson, who outlined the secrets to success of top brands. Customers who experience the overlap of  3 component areas: (Recognition, Belonging and Safety.  Connection, Support and Predictably. Pride, Trust and Passion). Engage your community and above all love your community.



Day one of the International Spa conference kicked off with the enigmatic artist and presenter Erik Wahl. His energy and enthusiasm were infectious as he created works of art right on stage before our eyes. With a clear message to all of us to let our creativity flow in any way we can and to not be stifled by ‘right and wrong’ and the fear of making mistakes, the tone for the conference was set: CREATE: Bold Ideas, Lasting Impact.


The professional development session I attended on Tracking Technologies reinforced many points from the Global Spa and Wellness Summit last month.  Celeste Hilling and panel discussed the fact that Technology is rapidly playing a big part in all consumers’ lives and we need to integrate new technology into our guest experience and retail purchasing experience to not be left out of the loop and replaced by other competing industries. The panel discussed the importance of Telomeres, vitamin D levels (which we should all have checked) and gut health.

Spa Professional Mexico awards the Best 25 Spas of Mexico. Spa Professional Mexico reveals the results of the best spas in the country, with the aim of increasing knowledge of the industry among tourism, health and wellness experts, as well as spreading the benefits of spas among the general population.


Judges of Spa Professional Mexico have developed a list of the best 25 spas, supported by their extensive knowledge of the spa and wellness industry in Mexico and the rest of the world. To achieve recognition, spas were judged on their spa treatment menu, service quality, wellness offering and spa facilities, among other things.


Mexico's 25 Best Spas 2014 - COMPLETE ALPHABETICAL LIST

Aroma Spa, Esencia, A Seaside Estate, Riviera Maya

Auriga Spa, Capella Pedegral, Cabo San Lucas

Banyan Tree Spa, Mayakoba, Riviera Maya

Gem Spa, Coral Beach, Fiesta Americana Grand, Cancun

Heavenly Spa, Westin Santa Fe Mexico City

Kinan Spa ,Belmond Maroma, Riviera Maya

Miile Spa, Excellence Riviera Maya

Naay Spa, El Dorado Seaside Suites, Riviera Maya

Nizuc Spa by ESPA, Nizuc Resort Cancun

One & Only Palmilla, Los Cabos

Rancho La Puerta, Tecate

Remede Spa, St. Regis Mexico City

Sense Spa, Rosewood San Miguel de Allende

Sense Spa, Rosewood Mayakoba, Riviera Maya

Spa by Liverpool, Mexico City

Spa Marquis, Marquis Reforma Mexico City

Spa Matilda, Hotel Matilda, San Miguel de Allende

Spa, Grand Velas, Riviera Maya

Spa, Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit

The Apuane Spa, Four Seasons Punta Mita

The Spa, Capella Ixtapa

The Spa at Esperanza, An Auberge Resort

Vassa Spa, Azul Fives, Playa del Carmen

Willow Stream Spa, Fairmont Mayakoba, Riviera Maya

Zoetry, Paraiso de la Bonita, Riviera Maya



Spafinder Wellness 365™, the world’s leading resource for feeling good and living well all year round, recently released its 11th annual trends report of the top 10 spa and wellness trends spanning the globe, focusing on where, why and how people will spa, exercise and "get their wellness on" in the year ahead.

Spafinder Wellness 365 provides an in-depth look at forecasting the most significant global trends that will impact the hospitality, spa and wellness industry, as well as consumers in 2014. Developed by a team of research analysts, editors and industry experts, the report is based on ongoing surveys of the 20,000-plus spa, wellness and beauty providers in the Spafinder Wellness 365 network. Additionally, the company’s research and editorial teams—joined this year by industry veteran, Mia Kyricos, the company’s new chief brand officer—conducted extensive analysis of current market research, interviewed thousands of travel agents, surveyed hundreds of thousands of consumers, plus, visited spa and wellness locations across the globe.



Jessica Vartoughian, CEO & Founder of Jessica Cosmetics International, along with 14 other iconic influencers, was honored by Glamour Magazine Mexico at their 15th Anniversary Gala.


The Glam Award was presented at this invitation only red carpet event in Mexico City where Jessica, The First Lady of Nails, along with such luminaries as Eva Longoria, Demi Lovato, fashion designer Rolando Santana and innovative jewelry architect Daniel Espinoza to name a few; received the illustrious Glam Award that recognizes the achievements of industry leaders who inspired the Glamour readers.  The recipients share a passion for life, and a dream that became a reality to enliven the public.

Page 26 of 28