We are entering a new era of transformativewellness travel. Today, a growing number of cruise passengers are health-conscious travellers looking for well-being experiences such as wellness seminars, health and fitness activities, and healthy food choices as part of their cruise.

ASPA International has been designing superior-quality spas and wellness centres for the luxury and travel markets for over 30 years. Based in the Algarve, Portugal, the company closely monitors global wellness trends, as well as innovations in design, interiors and materials. It allows ASPA to advise its clients on current and emerging trends.

"When we discuss projects with cruise operators, we think in terms of the quality of spa experience passengers expect, and how we can create a new profit centre for ships’ managers, offering on-trend wellness experiences," says Martin Goldmann, managing director of ASPA International. "As a company, we have always believed in helping people to live healthier, longer lives. It’s what really drives us."

As a company, we have always believed in helping people to live healthier, longer lives. It’s what really drives us.

Working with the best

ASPA International’s client list is extensive and includes some of the best spas and resorts in the world. From Belmond Reid’s Palace in Funchal, Madeira, to the award-winning Gulf Hotel Spa in Bahrain, to the Mövenpick Resort and Marine Spa in Sousse, Tunisia. The company is also a consultant for the Marriott hotel chain and AccorHotels. ASPA International was responsible for the refurbishment of The World’s residence spa, following the vessel around the globe while the treatment rooms, reception area and corridors were refitted in dry dock.

The spa designer can revitalise ships’ existing spas in as few as three weeks, and design and construct spas for new builds, offering à la carte options to clients. Getting back to wellness, Goldmann says, "Knowing where the wellness market will be in ten years’ time is a challenge. However, we follow wellness trends very closely, and, coupled with our experience in the industry, we can help our clients to extrapolate where the wellness industry is going and design spas for new-build ships that will be on-trend."

"Global wellness trends in 2018 include wellness travel, which we have mentioned, the wellness kitchen, wellness as a contributor to happiness, extreme treatments such as cryotherapy, and the reinvention of the sauna," continues Goldmann. "All of these trends can be catered for on board, giving wellness travellers the experiences they want and cruise operators opportunities to market new, profitable services." ASPA International is already incorporating cryogenictreatment

rooms into its projects, such as DohaAlive in Doha. Cryotherapy, for a long time the preserve of professional athletes, can help to alleviate pain, swelling and inflammation of injuries. The health benefits of saunas are well documented; they improve sleep and blood circulation, detoxify and clean the body through perspiration, relieve sore muscles and much more. Sweating will get more social in the years ahead.

It’s not only wellness trends that ASPA International incorporates into its spa concepts. The company uses cutting-edge technology to improve operational efficiency and minimise maintenance costs. "We are using extruded polystyrene foam in our spas because of its beneficial properties to ship operators. It is extremely light, doesn’t absorb moisture and is flame retardant."

ASPA International can take care of entire spa projects, from initial consultancy to design, construction, engineering and dry dock installation.