Outdoor treatments: Expect more outdoor treatments and nature-inspired wellness activities. “Mindful activities in tranquil locations including outdoor yoga classes, forest bathing and hiking will be key trends,” says Pia Marie Ametsbichler, Preferred Hotels & Resorts’ director of global sales for the UK, Ireland & Nordics. Il Castelfalfi in Tuscany has a new open-air cabin where guests can have treatments overlooking the rolling hills, while resorts that already offer outdoor treatments such as Costa Navarino in Greece and Elounda Peninsula in Crete could be in high demand.

ABOVE: A maximum of four people can use the sauna at Chedi Andermatt, Switzerland

HYDROTHERAPY AREAS Saunas, steam rooms and plunge pools are something of a sticking point, with approaches differing depending on guidelines in each country. “Since the virus cannot survive in high temperatures, many saunas and steam rooms are operating, but with a limit on how many people can use them,” says Stella Photi, founder and managing director at Wellbeing Escapes. “The same applies to spa pools that are either ozone or chlorine-treated.” Wet facilities at all Six Senses spas will need to be booked in advance, as will the sauna and pools at Portugal’s Quinta do Lago. Switzerland’s Chedi Andermatt has a limit of four people in saunas and steam rooms at any one time, while Nizuc is limiting its hydrotherapy circuit to four guests. Relais & Chateaux, meanwhile, has a one-at-a-time policy for its saunas. Many spas won’t be opening these facilities just yet, however; Hard Rock Hotels’ hydrotherapy areas are closed, as are Sandals’ saunas and steam rooms (though plunge pools will be open). Elounda Peninsula in Crete says hydrotherapy areas at its Six Senses Spa will be closed, in line with Greek government guidelines. Forte Village in Sardinia is helping to combat these issues by creating a new private area in its spa that can be booked for exclusive use, with four thalasso pools, a sauna, private treatment cabin and more among the features – setting a new trend towards extra exclusivity that we might well see more of in the coming months.

ENHANCED CLEANING PROTOCOLS As expected, there’ll be a big focus on cleanliness. The ultra-luxe Royal Mansour Marrakech in Morocco says guests will be asked to wash their hands and feet before entering the treatment rooms, and only two people will be allowed in the changing rooms at any one time. Joali Maldives will require guests to shower before and after their treatment, with a 30-minute window on either side to allow extra time for cleaning the room. Ikos Olivia in Halkidiki is likewise allocating an extra 30 minutes between each treatment, and SHA Wellness is taking things a step further with UV light towers for disinfecting between treatments. Sandals will have a ‘triple check’ inspection of key areas at least three times per day, plus enhanced sanitisation at 18 key ‘touchpoints’.

Guests can also expect floor markings and other social distancing measures to become the norm – Quinta do Lago says it will have arrows directing guests to control traffic flow, for example, alongside an acrylic screen at the spa reception as an extra shield.

TREATMENTS When it comes to the treatments, reassure clients many will still be available, but with some restrictions. Lansdowne Resort and Spa in Virginia is offering massages, manicures, pedicures and hair treatments but not facials, as face masks are mandatory in the state. Sandals says it has likewise modified the list of treatments available, with facials currently off

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Mindfulness: There’s likely to be an increased focus on alternative wellness therapies, according to Jacinta Stevens, head of wellness at Mason Rose. “Any hesitation around touch therapies may mean that more people embrace therapies such as energy healing, meditation and mindfulness practices to support mental health in particular,” she says.

Fitness classes: Many will still be offering fitness classes but with guests spaced further apart and a cap on numbers; Como Shambhala, reopening in September in Ubud, Bali, will have smaller groups for its classes, while Joali Maldives will be offering outdoor fitness classes with a maximum of six. Its gym will also be open, but with equipment spaced two metres apart and a limit on occupancy.

PICTURE: Shutterstock

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