A wellness holiday promises relaxation and new energy. The search for the suitable offer can degenerate however into stress
Calm down. Pamper your body. Recharge the batteries. This is what many people want when the multiple burden of work, family or leisure becomes too great. “The demand for wellness services in hotels is rising continuously,” observes Michael Altewischer, Managing Director of Wellness-Hotels & Resorts, which also awards a seal of quality.
An end of the trend is not in sight. According to the Global Wellness Institute (USA), there were 66 million wellness trips in Germany in 2017, during which almost 50 billion euros were spent. Between 2015 and 2017 their number rose by 7.5 million. According to GfK TravelScope, a survey on holiday behavior, every third German considers wellness holidays to be attractive. More than half of those surveyed believe that such holidays are fully in line with the trend.
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But how to choose from the huge range? Seals of quality (see box on page 104) can help. In addition, Lutz Hertel of the German Wellness Association recommends the ratings of other guests on rating and booking portals. “Wellness” is not a protected term. Hertel: “There are no legal quality standards specifically for wellness companies. That’s why there are so many people on the market who can really spoil your holiday enjoyment”.
In order to find your way through the jungle of offers, you should not only sound out the time frame and budget but also your own needs. Do I want to relax? Do something for your fitness? Or for your health? You can choose between these types of wellness:
“They are looking for holiday resorts in beautiful nature, an appealing hotel design, good cuisine, pampering at the spa – and all this with a little luxury,” says Lutz Hertel of the German Wellness Association. The aim is to treat yourself to something good, to enjoy the precious time and to relax in a cultivated way.
Anyone who feels addressed by this should go for a wellness meal in the countryside. In the countryside, forests, meadows, mountains or waters around the hotel invite you to stroll. A cuisine that focuses on regional specialities sweetens the return to the dining table. If you want to spoil yourself with a special experience, you can also make sure that the spa area offers a few extras, such as a panorama pool or an adventure grotto.
Holidaymakers who want to do something for their body will find the right offer under the buzzword “Medical Wellness”. “The applications should promote health and prevent illnesses,” says Professor Anja Brittner-Widmann from the Dual University of Baden-Württemberg in Ravensburg. “They are adjusted to any pre-existing conditions.
Guests can book fasting cures or nutrition consultations. Moreover, according to the tourism researcher, what was long regarded as old-fashioned is currently experiencing a renaissance: healing treatments with tradition. For example the traditional Chinese medicine, the Kneippsche theory or the herbology Hildegard of Bingens. In addition, brine, fango and mud treatments are interesting for health-conscious people.
You don’t last long in a deck chair and get fidgety legs fast? Then you should pay attention to a sufficiently large active program. Some wellness hotels and daily spas not only offer the necessary infrastructure – such as a swimming pool, golf course, badminton court or fitness studio, but also a special fitness kitchen, personal training and sports courses. From Nordic walking to power yoga to aqua fitness and Zumba, everything is there.
It is also important that your destination is in a beautiful landscape. So you can set off from your front door for hiking or mountain biking. And then loosen your tired muscles in the whirlpool, relax in the sauna or let the masseur knead them.
If you want to relax and slow down, you can do something good with massages, foot reflex zone treatments, saunas or steam baths. “That goes both in hotels and in hot springs, health spas or Day Spas , says Brittner Widmann. Suitable are providers with a large wellness area, comfortable relaxation rooms and suitable treatment facilities.
If you really want to be undisturbed and leave everyday life behind for a while, you are looking for a destination with a “Digital Detox” focus. There the mobile phone is collected and radio silence is prescribed. If the relaxation should not only have an internal effect but also be visible from the outside, cosmetic treatments such as facial cleansing or body peelings are recommended.