Travellers prioritising self care


An American Express Travel-commissioned survey found that 88 per cent of respondents plan to spend the same or more on wellness vacations this year, compared to previous years. About 68 per cent of survey respondents are seeking travel destinations that are surrounded by nature, to focus on mental clarity, while majority (57 per cent) of respondents plan to take extended vacations to focus on their wellness.

Among younger respondents, 61 per cent of Gen-Z and Millennials are prioritising travel plans that focus on personal wellness this year, compared to 48 per cent of respondents overall.



The Wellness Music Programme is one of the latest innovations in the wellness travel space by the Spas at Mandarin Oriental. Carefully curated drawing on regional cultures and philosophy with healing traditions in their music, the programme enhances Mandarin Oriental holistic signature treatments based on Traditional Chinese Medicine, draws inspiration from ancient Oriental philosophies and is designed to further nurture guests and deliver a deeper sense of renewal.

To create the programme the group collaborated with MusicStyling, a network of world-renowned ambient composers, and highly qualified and experienced internal team of experts. The carefully curated selections have drawn on global musicians, musical experts, and themes from historical philosophical texts to give further space for healing.

“Caring for mind, body and spirit is the cornerstone of Mandarin Oriental’s spa and wellness philosophy,” said Jeremy McCarthy Group Director of Spa and Wellness. “Our Global Wellness Music Programme is designed to create the right healing atmosphere for our holistic spa and wellness services.”



Inspired by the heritage of traditional Indian wisdom and ancient approach to wellness, the recently opened J Wellness Circle at Taj Jumeirah Lake Towers in Dubai, offers a range of treatments and rituals that blend a variety of classic healing techniques with the finest ingredients, delivered by well-trained experts that offer the iconic five-star Taj service.

J Wellness Circle is rooted in, and inspired by rituals of Indian royalty, providing guests with a multitude of options ranging from deep tissue massages, foot, head to eye treatments that release tension and a deep sense of relaxation. The spa offers beauty treatments from organic facials promoting a healthy glow, to a lymphatic draining experience designed to eliminate toxins and balance the flow of energy in the body.

Offering signature experiences exclusive to the brand, the spa invites guests to embrace harmony through different variations of massage therapy designed to melt away stress, lift spirits, and resolving muscle aches and pains. Guests can opt for Vishrama, a signature massage at J Wellness Circle which includes the release of knotted nerves using therapeutic Indian herbs and oil blends, or embrace an entrancing experience with the Trupti massage, that is inspired to bring on a good night’s sleep and restfulness.



Sober tourism is part of the wellness revolution that has been gaining huge traction in recent years, we learn in an interview with Paul Beavis, CEO, Wild Idol, a premium and naturally alcohol-free sparkling alternative to fine wine and champagne. 

“Reducing alcohol intake and the drinking culture has changed, and people are discovering new ways to have a good time. It’s difficult to say if this is a gender or nationality-specific trend but we do know that it spans multiple age brackets as people strive to create lasting memories.

“Wild Idol is for those who want to drink less alcohol, without compromising on taste or style.

“A dedicated passion project, we spent over two years researching and refining our unique blend for some of the best vineyards in Germany before finding the ideal combination of wine grapes and innovative winemaking.”

Distributed through regional distributor, MMI, alcohol-free Wild Idol drinks are available at leading Dubai venues and will soon be available in luxury hotel mini bars around the region, bringing sober tourism directly into the guestroom.



The Mandrake in London’s Fitzrovia demands a special place in this wellness edit with its surprising spiritual offerings. Represented by Elev8 GCC, the luxury London property boasts the most interesting spiritual concierge on its payroll – expect to meet tarot card readers, sound and energy healers and music mixologists to help you along your wellness journey.

The property’s spiritual concierge menu includes one-to-one sessions of reiki healing, holistic massage and shamanic rituals, conducted in room. 

We spoke to Maria Lodetoft, Head of Spiritual Wellbeing at The Mandrake: “Here at The Mandrake we believe in nurturing the soul as much as the body. We give you the opportunity to immerse yourself in spirituality and holistic experiences. Through our public gatherings, exclusive residents’ concierge menu and by bespoke wellness events, we have created a world class wellness offering, elevating your visit far beyond the norm of a traditional hotel experience.”

The property offers ticketed gatherings during the evenings, including Full Moon Sound Baths, Cacao ceremonies and Gong Immersions. On the weekends, morning yoga and reiki infused sound healing is offered complimentary to residents.

“Our latest offering is our new Spiritual Wellness Events Catalogue, with sound ceremonies and rituals that can be offered to your guests when you host an exclusive event within The Mandrake.

“Our practitioners are experts in their fields, and I am dedicated to continually expand and explore the boundaries of holistic healing and self-discovery for our guests, fostering a transformative and soul-nourishing experience at The Mandrake.”



Travellers want to relax and unplug from their busy lives and are gravitating toward destinations and resorts that will help them decompress and feel healthier, according to American Express Travel’s latest 2023 Global Travel Trends Report.

“A bevy of ‘wellness resorts’ have popped up overnight to bank on this growing demand for healthful holidays – often they are just marketing gimmicks and the properties are anything but focused on health and wellness,” Kimberly Rose Kneier, Director of Wellness COMO Shambhala Estate Bali, warns.

“The term ‘wellness’ is often being stretched by resorts in their bid to fit within the wellness umbrella and the role of travel advisors is crucial here – in filtering out the underwhelming resort options out there and equally, understanding what the client wants and matching it with the right property. If the client wants a relaxing holiday with soft wellness features such as massage therapies and wholesome food or if the client is seeking a strict weight loss programme.

“Most travellers want different things, even in the same family unit – does the property have something for everyone? Does the property feature well-read and qualified practitioners, a nutrition programme, on-site spa facilities, the latest in technology?

“At COMO Shambhala Estate in Bali, resident experts, dieticians and therapists provide individual wellness programmes to help you change your life for the better through detoxification, health, fitness and nutritional advice. All of this in a stunning estate located in a lush green forest nestled between two mighty rivers.

“We believe in ‘wellness starts within’, which also happens to be our tagline,” she says.