A New Year, A New You!

Towards the end of each year most of us find that the demands and pressures on our time increase to boiling point as we attempt to continue our everyday working lives and juggle the challenges that the Christmas season brings. It’s no wonder that this time of the year is often referred to as the ‘silly season,’ and that by the time the new year comes many of us are left feeling exhausted! As 2009 approaches there are additional concerns weighing many of us down even more. We have worries about the state of the economy, the housing market and the security of our jobs for example, which is quite possibly why experts from the world of spa travel and tourism are confidently predicting that in 2009 it will be a case of enough is enough as increased numbers of us flock to spa and wellness resorts for restorative holidays!

In a recent survey by SpaFinder, the global spa resource, the top 10 spa trends to watch in 2009 were revealed. The most striking trend was the rise in interest in wellness tourism; according to SpaFinder, 90% of the agents they interviewed around the world report that health and wellness is either ‘very’ or at least ‘somewhat’ important to vacationing clients nowadays. So, in a bid to detox the body after the excesses of Christmas and to clear the mind of the negative sentiment that’s present in many aspects of our everyday lives, spa industry experts are confidently predicting that the new year will be the perfect time for us all to embrace the growing trend of spa and wellness travel and tourism. 
The global spa economy is estimated to be worth over $250 billion, and the industry is growing at “a breakneck pace” according to Pete Ellis, chairman of the Global Spa Summit. This is why the most sagacious property developers in the world are going to great lengths to include luxurious spa offerings as part of their mixed-use projects, or are indeed basing entire property developments around a central and integral spa and wellness resort. According to hospitality consultants Jeff Coy and Bill Haralson, ‘resort mixed-use developments’ are the future for hoteliers and investors alike. Developments that embrace and include luxurious amenities and facilities such as spas are dubbed ‘mixed-use,’ and according to these experts in the field of profitable tourism: “mixed-use has come of age and is exploding.  It’s the hottest product type in real estate.”
Property investors looking for projects that will be of maximum appeal to their tourism rental tenants are therefore targeting real estate developments that include spa offerings, and what’s more, the lifestyle home seeker looking for a stunning property abroad in which they and their friends and family can holiday are now more likely to look for an apartment or villa where they can really escape the pressures of their everyday life. 
Developments such as the prestigious English spa brand of Champneys is developing in Marbella because according to Julia Norton, UK Sales Director of Champneys Marbella: “we have received unprecedented levels of interest in the Champneys Marbella project from both the property investor market as well as the lifestyle holiday home seeker. We’re developing a stunning residential property development centred around a world class spa and wellness resort, for which the Champneys name is of course world famous, and as a result we have investors determined to buy in to the profitability of the concept, as well as spa lovers keen to get their hands on the ultimate in terms of lifestyle getaway holiday home.”
Spa tourism is popular at home and abroad, a fact that Champneys is certainly exploring now that it is venturing further afield than the UK. Wellness tourism is also a universally appealing form of travel and relaxation, with Europeans, Britons and North Americans among the most active spa tourists. It seems that we all like to explore spa offerings around the world, a fact that Steve Worboys, MD of Experience International concurs with. 
“At Experience International our focus is on finding the most appealing, in demand and potentially profitable property developments around the world for our client base of astute real estate investors. It goes without saying that we of course include a strong level of spa related property developments within our portfolio, this is because spa tourism is on the increase, it is a particularly lucrative industry, one that attracts people from all walks of life and from many nations around the world; and ultimately the inclusion of a five star spa within any property development assures its standing as a world class property offering.”
John Prior, MD of Undiscovered Properties, a company that represents high-grade property offerings in countries such as Canada, advises that his company also represents developments with spa and wellness facilities because according to Mr. Prior: “the concept of enjoying a spa’s offerings and embracing wellness tourism is a concept that bridges so many social and economic divides as well as the divides of age, class and gender. Therefore, by including a spa within the concept of a property development’s design, the architects and planners ensure that a project will be of the widest appeal possible.” 
A spa within a residential development adds value to the development, as proven by hospitality consultants Jeff Coy and Bill Haralson – and if you’re a property investor seeking a profitable property project or you’re a spa lover or would-be property purchaser, here are a handful of the most stunning, attractive and appealing developments for sale around the world with spa and wellness facilities included as part of the on site resort amenities:
1) The Village, Coconut Island, Thailand. This is a Homes Overseas Gold Award winning property development project that truly embodies the principles of wellness. The serenity of the development’s fabulous beachfront setting is beautifully enhanced by the stunning properties for sale which comprise of traditionally styled yet luxurious 2, 3, 4 or 5 bedroom villas. For more information contact: – 00 66 878 888 082 or visit www.thevillage-coconutisland.com.
2) Champneys Marbella, Spain. Nestled in the hills of the national park that overlooks both Marbella and Puerto Banus, the Champneys Marbella property development and spa resort features the best facilities and the properties available for sale range from apartments to penthouses to duplex suites. Prices start from €696,358, for more information contact 01442 291200 or visit www.champneysmarbella.com
3) Pipa Paradise, Natal, Brazil. Overlooking one of the most famous and beautiful beaches in Brazil, the Pipa Paradise resort development and spa is one of the most desirable addresses in Natal. The eco friendly property and spa resort has villas and apartments for sale, for more information contact Experience International on 0207 321 5858 or visit www.experience-international.com.
4) Tropical Cluster Village, Malaysia. 2 and 3 bedroom villas and apartments are for sale at the Tropical Cluster Village development on the Sepang Gold Coast within a fabulous development that includes a spa as part of its amenities offerings. Guaranteed rental income is offered on these properties, and for more information contact Experience International on 0207 321 5858 or visit www.experience-international.com.
5) Blue Coral Resort and Spa, Mactan Island, The Philippines. Fully furnished, five star properties such as gorgeous apartments or three bedroom pool villas are being offered for sale at a brand new spa resort in the Philippines where the net rental income offering is an impressive 19.5%, and property owners get to benefit from the resort’s superior amenities. For more information contact Experience International on 0207 321 5858 or visit www.experience-international.com.
6) Louisbourg Resort Golf & Spa, Breton Island, Nova Scotia, Canada. This stunning four-season development is set within 2,500 acres of land and will comprise of 400 resort homes. The amenities are world class and include two 18 hole championship golf courses, a choice of bars and restaurants, a beach house, luxurious European spa, equestrian centre and an air-strip. For more information contact Undiscovered Properties on 0870 734 7968 or visit www.undiscoveredproperties.com.
7) Caracola Beach & Spa Resort, Isla Margarita, The Caribbean.  This stunning resort comprises of 1 and 2 bedroom, fully furnished apartments for sale from €79,000/£63,000. The resort is located in a frontline position to ensure that apartments have the best Caribbean views and access to the beach, and the onsite the amenities are five star, comprising as they do of restaurants, bars, swimming pools, chill-out areas, a spa, gymnasium, beauty salon, high end retail outlets and beautifully landscaped gardens. For more information please contact Emerging Earth on 0845 604 1208 or visit www.EmergingEarth.com.