With the world of wellness ever evolving, founder, Trip for Wellness, Sara Ismail shares her insight on trends in spa and wellness with Natalie Hami, while also touching upon Portugal’s wellness scene and the company’s significance.

TTG: What uber-luxury upcoming trends are you aware of concerning the spa and wellness industry and how will you be capitalising on them?

How to define luxury? Many will agree that the most important luxuries of nowadays are time and peace of mind. According to a recent study from the Global Wellness Institute: “the European (and global) consumer is facing unprecedented stress and 24/7 digital connection and noise. Radically pressured lives mean we don’t feel well anymore, and it’s creating new desires: for complete time out, uncompromising peace and quiet, and to be close to the forces of nature. And European spa and wellness resorts will increasingly shift their focus from glitzy, amenity-driven, ‘exotic’ luxury to meet these powerful needs towards deep authenticity, peace, quiet and nature.”

Therefore, Trip for Wellness believes that destinations that are better prepared to meet these powerful human needs can truly offer luxurious spa and wellness holidays. As a boutique specialised travel agency in Portugal, some reasons why Portugal should be on top of your list when it comes to luxury wellness holidays include: political stability and peacefulness; location; the variety of upscale Hotels, Resorts and Beach Resorts; a mild climate throughout the year, clean and fresh air; Mediterranean Cuisine; modern and internationally certified private medical facilities; and a welcoming and relaxed atmosphere where English is widely spoken.

TTG: How are you giving a spa and wellness experience a more local touch?

Portugal has a very close connection with the Atlantic sea and it just so happens that this sea has unique characteristics for the practice of Thalassotherapy – totally natural treatments that combine the use of heated seawater, air and marine extracts such as algae, sand and mud under medical supervision.

The marine environment, the chemical composition of the water and the toning and detoxifying power of algae have several health benefits such as:
– Rebalances the levels of vital minerals and trace elements in the body
– Stimulates metabolism, facilitating the assimilation of nutrients
– Eliminates waste, promoting detoxification and natural weigh loss
– Promotes relaxation and helps overcome depression
– Analgesic effect and pain relief
– Strengthens the muscles and rehabilitates paralysed muscles
– Increases the amplitude of body movement
– Activates blood circulation in the arteries and veins, reducing the sensation of tired legs
– Improves breathing and fights respiratory problems
– Fights insomnia

With vital trace elements such as magnesium, iodine, lithium, zinc, copper, selenium and calcium, among many other minerals that are essential to the body, the Atlantic waters bathing the Portuguese coast are a powerful source of wellness and balance and full benefits can be seized with Thalassa Holiday Programmes in selected resorts.
On the other hand, the use of unique local ingredients and products in the spa and wellness treatments such as organic grown herbs, honey and grapes are authentic sensorial experiences not to be missed.

Honey making in Portugal dates back to Roman times since the 16th century honey has been produced in several regions and types such as carob, thyme, rosemary and orange. Honey contains a treasure of nutritional and medicinal since it is loaded with antibacterial and antifungal properties that has been used since the early days of Egypt.

As for grapes, Portugal possesses a large array of native grape varieties, and several grape phytonutrients are now believed to play a role in longevity. In addition to providing us with antioxidant nutrients like vitamin C and manganese, grapes are filled with antioxidant phytonutrients.