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Leisure, Wellness & Hospitality

A Market on the Rise

Leisure, Wellness & Hospitality are all terms that have seen a marked increase in recent years as people prioritise their own mental and physical health and wellbeing, amidst a world that never seems to stop and rarely slows down. Over the coming pages RLI highlights a selection of concepts, spaces and experiences from around the globe that portray the growing importance of personal wellbeing.

Over the past ten years, the global wellness tourism sector has taken up a huge segment of the travel industry’s market share and its size was valued at $915.77bn in 2023. This value is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.42 per cent all the way up to 2030, according to Grand View Research. Wellness tourism includes activities aimed at improving and enhancing an individual’s physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing.

Meanwhile the hospitality industry is poised to embrace a new era of wellness thanks to the growing emphasis being placed on preventative health measures for surviving today’s environments. With people paying more attention to their health and wellbeing, the industry is responding with a range of innovative solutions designed to enhance the guest experience.

In addition, leisure plays an important role in any trip as people look to switch off from their busy lives and enjoy active leisure time, seeking thrills and an adrenaline rush without having to think of work or an email they may not have sent. Leisure activities allow people to recharge whilst being active in other ways and enjoying different experiences than their regular Monday-Friday allows.

Examples of Leisure, Wellness & Hospitality Across the World

KidZania last year launched a new concept called kinezis, a gym-style destination merging fitness, wellness and entertainment all in one. kinezis offers three unique experiences – kinezis fitness, which focuses on physical training, kinezis fun, which includes adventure activities and kinezis health, which provides wellness experiences. kinezis fitness is a boutique gym area with classes led by trainers. It uses state-of-the-art equipment and provides immersive activities. kinezis fun features adventure activities, from climbing walls to zip lines and kinezis health is a wellness area with a spa, personal trainer and nutritionist. The first kinezis location has opened in the Mundo E shopping mall in Tlalnepantla de Baz, Mexico. The $23M venue is the first of many, as KidZania plans to open additional locations in Mexico and across the world. The man behind the concept, Xavier Lopez Ancoma, said it took them 25 years to get KidZania to 22 countries, but he thinks they will be able to get the same growth for kinezis in just five years.

Nobu Hospitality is continuing its expansion streak, adding hotels in New York and Bangkok to its growing pipeline. Both hotels are in partnership with Thailand real estate group Asset World Corp. Scheduled to open in 2026, both hotels are redevelopments of existing buildings. In Manhattan, the Hotel Plaza Athenee New York, which has been shuttered since the start of the pandemic, will become the Plaza Athenee Nobu Hotel and Spa New York. Located on the Upper East Side, the property will relaunch with 145 guestrooms and offer a Nobu omakase dining experience, a bar and lounge, a rooftop venue for private parties and a Japanese-style onsen, spa and wellness centre. In Bangkok, a building dating to 1884 will be transformed into the Plaza Athenee Nobu Hotel and Spa. Situated along the Chao Phraya River, the hotel will offer a Nobu cruise boat available for private events and other customisable experiences.

Named Hong Kong’s Best Day Spa by World Spa Awards 2023, MiraSpa at The Mira Hong Kong has proudly announced the launch of two fun-loving spa experiences – Sakura & Sake Spa Ritual and Birthday Pampering Spa Day, aiming to transport guests into a realm of unparalleled rejuvenation, to escape the stresses of daily life and embrace a world of tranquillity and luxury. MiraSpa is an award-winning 21st century metropolitan spa combining contemporary, Western design, with stylish, warming touches that deliver a sense of wellbeing and subtle stimulation. The 18,000sq ft retreat comprises of a spa zone, wellness and beauty facilities featuring a stunning, 25m indoor infinity-edge pool and jacuzzi, immediately immersing guests in an environment of absolute tranquillity and pampering that includes a wet zone with sauna, steam, whirlpool, experience showers, waterbed lounge and nine spacious treatment rooms: seven Spa Suites with private washroom and shower and two VIP Spa Suites with private sunken whirlpool bath, relaxation area, steam shower and vanity area for the ultimate exclusive spa experience.

Fully opened at the beginning of last month following the launch of SO/ Maldives, CROSSROADS Maldives is the archipelago’s first and only multi-island leisure destination. Home to three beautiful, world-class five star resorts, a 30-berth quay, endless retail and dining options, unique excursions, kids activities and blissful spa offerings, CROSSROADS Maldives is a transformational and enigmatic hub at the heart of the Indian Ocean. The ambitious nine island project is set amongst the breathtakingly exotic South Malé Atoll and Emboodhoo Lagoon, just a 15 minute speedboat ride from Malé International Airport. Embracing a fresh and innovative approach, every aspect of CROSSROADS Maldives – from resorts and dining to leisure, fashion and entertainment – is seamlessly blended into one destination where there is truly something for everyone. Developed by S Hotels and Resorts Public Company Limited and Singha Estate Public Company Limited, the jewel in CROSSROADS’ crown is the Maldives’ first and only marina. Not just for sailing and yachting enthusiasts, the Marina has redefined hospitality and tourism in the Maldives: it’s an 800m stretch of beach lined with beautiful cafes, restaurants, upmarket boutiques, a laid back beach club, spa, 30-berth quay and kids club. The Marina is also home to a multi-purpose event venue that’s perfect for MICE and dreamlike weddings, with an outdoor marquee ideal for beachside festivities.

Global wellbeing organisation Therme Group has announced the location of its first Asia Pacific project. The wellbeing resort will be in South Korea’s Incheon City as part of its Golden Harbor development. The agreement will see project plans progressing throughout 2024 and an expected lease signing in 2025. Subject to finalised plans and permissions, construction is expected to take two to three years. Incheon is the global gateway city to neighbouring Seoul. Therme’s large wellbeing resorts integrate ancient wellness traditions with modern sustainable technology. Golden Harbor is Therme’s first announced location in the Asia Pacific, with further projects to follow in the region. The group has active resorts in Germany and Romania and a global pipeline of future developments including the USA, Canada, UK and mainland Europe.

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Launched in July last year by developer Melco Resorts & Entertainment, City of Dreams Mediterranean is Europe’s first integrated resort where premium hotel meets majestic casino, meets grand resort – all on the beautiful island of Cyprus. Guests can choose from over 500 luxury rooms and suites with breathtaking views and enjoy world-class service and hospitality from a global leader in Forbes stars. They can also indulge in exquisite dining options, unwind in the sister spa to the best spa in the world and up the ante at Europe’s grandest casino. They could also soak up the island’s largest pool complex and get their adrenaline pumping on the Waverider or at the Adventure Park. Finally they can let loose with live and exclusive entertainment and guest DJs hosting an endless party, all night, or all day long. Since its launch, City of Dreams Mediterranean has been taking modern resort luxury to new heights and it is set to continue to be a game-changing development, poised to revolutionise the island’s tourism and hospitality sectors.

Last December, Third Space, London’s most luxurious fitness and health club, opened the doors to its new Wimbledon club, in a move which brings world class training, wellness and recovery facilities to South West London. The launch of Wimbledon marks the beginning of Third Space’s expansion into residential areas, a central strategic aim of the group, as demand for clubs nearer members’ homes and places of work grows. The Wimbledon club, located within the newly renovated Wimbledon Quarter, provides 47,000sq ft of premium workout space for members to enjoy. At the heart of the club will be a state of the art wellness sanctuary, complete with a plunge pool for immersive cold water therapy, bespoke heated loungers, a traditional hot and dry Finnish sauna and a hot and wet Loyly sauna. Here, tranquillity will meet training, courtesy of a 25m four-lane swimming pool designed for performance and set against a backdrop of calming blue and green.

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Set to open in 2025, Therme Manchester will provide the city with an urban oasis which enhances mental and physical health. It is set to be the first in a nationwide rollout of the Therme concept, set to include Glasgow, London and Wales. Its UK rollout reflects Therme’s ‘90/90’ vision, working to make a Therme accessible to 90 per cent of the UK population within a 90-minute travel time. In addition to a ‘next generation’ waterpark, thermal bathing and a wellbeing spa, Therme Manchester will include experiences such as immersive digital art, an on-site urban farm and botanical gardens. Every part of Therme Manchester is designed to optimise wellbeing. With activities for all ages and abilities, healthy and nutritious food for all the family and entry prices to suite every budget, Therme Manchester will have something for everyone.

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Launched at the end of last year thanks to an historic agreement paved the way for Asia’s luxury hospitality leader to introduce its brand of holistic wellness to the Emirate, Banyan Tree Dubai opened with a full suite of dining and recreational facilities and it fronts the shoreline of Bluewaters – a vibrant lifestyle destination that includes a mix of residential, retail, hospitality and entertainment options. In a stunning addition to the group’s global collection of branded residences, Banyan Tree Dubai will open with 96 one- to four-bedroom private residences. As well as enjoying access to a dedicated outdoor swimming pool, private beach and resort facilities, residents will benefit from a host of exclusive privileges as part of Banyan Tree Group.

The highly anticipated Dior Spa has opened its doors at The Lana, Dorchester Collection, Dubai, heralding a new era of indulgence and marking a significant milestone for the hotel. The first Dior spa to open in the UAE, the space is inspired by the inimitable elegance of the French designer and offers an oasis of tranquillity, embodying The Lana’s commitment to creating Dubai’s ultimate luxury enclave. This spa is located on the hotel’s 29th floor, with views of the Burj Khalifa. Designed by Gilles & Boissier, combined with the elegance of the House of Dior, guests are invited to immerse themselves in a holistic wellbeing that seamlessly integrates effective treatments with a focus on fitness and movement. With five treatment rooms and one couple’s suite, the Dior Spa The Lana blends cutting-edge technology such as the Icoone Therapy, Hydrafacial, Dior Micro-Abrasion and the Dior Skin Light LED therapy mask into its treatments. Enhancing the experience, the spa offers a futon for Japanese-inspired treatments, as well as a dedicated beauty room which provides meticulous nail services and makeup sessions by artists from the House of Dior, ensuring that every detail is attended to. Each cocoon possesses distinctive characteristics, adeptly adapting to the unique desires of every guest while upholding an unwavering commitment to privacy.

The Red Sea is pioneering a brand-new luxury regenerative tourism destination along the west coast of Saudi Arabia by developers Red Sea Global. They are spearheading new development and tourism models, putting people and planet first to deliver projects that actively enhance the well-being of customers, communities, and environments. Their portfolio includes three world-leading destinations along Saudi Arabia’s west coast. The Red Sea destination opened its first resort in 2023, will continue opening the 16 resorts of its first phase over 2024 and 2025 and will be completed in 2030 with 50 resorts. Thuwal Private Retreat will open as a single-hotel destination in 2024, while AMAALA’s first phase with eight resorts is due to open in 2025 and will be completed in 2030 with 29 resorts. AMAALA is being developed as an exquisite, luxury tourism destination that sets guests on transformative personal wellness journeys. Upon completion it will one of the world’s most exclusive luxury wellness & sports retreats that sets new global standards.

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Under construction by developer NEOM, the NEOM project has announced Elanan, an upcoming guest retreat that it says will redefine luxury and well-being experiences, in Saudi Arabia. Situated on the Gulf of Aqaba coastline where the mountains meet the sea, Elanan sensitively emerges from within its lush oasis surroundings, fed by ancient natural springs. It features 80 bespoke rooms and suites and is designed with well-being at its core, offering a unique nature resort that embraces all the senses. Elanan takes a modern approach to wellness, blending new technologies in a discreet luxurious setting that promotes relaxation and reflection. The signature facilities provide numerous options for guests to embrace themselves in tranquillity, rest and recharge. Elanan follows the recent announcements of Leyja, Epicon, Siranna, Utamo, Norlana, Aquellum, Zardun, and Xaynor which are sustainable tourism destinations within the Gulf of Aqaba, all interlaced by NEOM’s commitment to sustainable development.