Individually and collectively, we have all witnessed and experienced the many different levels on which the variety of spa experiences available can have a positive and meaningful impact on the way we live and feel.
For those who have not yet come across our story, here goes. Spabreaks.com was founded by Abi Wright in 2008. Having worked in PR and marketing in the hotel spa industry for more than a decade, she realised that spas, in general, were not showcasing everything they had to offer, and as a result were only appealing to a limited market.
Spabreaks.com was designed to break down barriers of all kinds; to make the spa industry more accessible to every one in terms of price points, package options, geographical spread, booking options and restrictions on customers with a history of serious illnesses such as cancer.
In many ways, Spabreaks.com probably just seems like a good place to find a spa experience, and of course that is exactly what we are. However, there are a lot of things that have gone on behind the scenes that have been part of our passion for sharing the spa experience with as many people as possible. For example, we were the first online spa agent to build an online portal for spas to communicate availability to us and sell from allocations on the website – a big change for an industry that worked with paper and pen when we started.
You will notice as you go through our website, that our spa experiences are categorised by theme as well as by price points and location. This is one of the fundamental things we are passionate about within the industry – the sheer variety of options available to customers. For many people, there is a particular image that comes to mind when they think about a spa experience, but the truth is there is just so much to choose from.
There are destination spas, luxury hotel spas, eco retreats, boot camps, and luxury hotels with decadent treatments available. You can go on a romantic break, a mid-week twilight break, a health retreats, afternoon teas with a glass of champagne, hen parties, stag dos, mother/daughter breaks, babymoons, prenatal experiences, corporate wellbeing options… the list goes on, and we have yet to be presented with a person or situation that we have not got a spa partner for.
One of the areas that is closest to our hearts however are our Recovery Retreats. An industry first, they are designed for anyone with or recovering from cancer, and they have helped to break down prejudicial barriers against cancer patients that historically existed in the spa industry.
Recovery Retreats are part of an ongoing effort to ensure no cancer patient is turned away from treatments due to a lack of training amongst therapists, as has previously been the case. We have worked closely with our customers and spas to better understand how that experience impacts their physical and emotional wellbeing.
We also formed Accessible Spas, making booking easier for anyone with a disability. Our goal is to challenge the perception that spas are purely about beauty and highlight their importance for wellness as well.
Moving forward, our goals are simple – we want to keep providing the widest variety of spa experiences possible, we want to keep making people aware of the many options available to them, and we want to make it easier for people who have not previously experienced a spa break, to do just that.
We want to continue to develop the way that spas are perceived, to widen people’s understanding that spas can heal, dispelling the idea that it’s just about beauty, and we want to enhance the healing nature of spas in the UK. We would also like to lobby government to create programmes to encourage massage and treatments back into recuperation for people with conditions such as cancer or PND… so even after 10 years we still have plenty to do!
Perhaps the most compelling thing about the spa experience is the feedback we get. Of course, sometimes it is simply about quality time – maybe on your own, or maybe with a friend. Denise Van Outen wrote beautifully about an afternoon at a London spa with a mummy friend – no mobile phones, no interruptions.
It can be a time for indulgence, for peace and quiet, to address a skincare issue you have been putting off for a long time, a semi regular way of resetting in a busy working world… but it can also be a really restorative time of healing. The impact that a massage can have on a body that has been through the rigours of surgery or cancer treatment can be phenomenally healing, and we have been fortunate enough to receive feedback, which we always listen to, and some of which is shared on our blog.
Yes, a spa break is a luxury, but in many ways there is something very necessary about it, and that is why we are passionate about helping as many people as possible to discover the right spa break for them.
Contact our team of spa consultants on 0800 043 6600
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