How do you recognize as a consumer quality? Long time 'cures and wellness ' were seen as a hype. It would be passing. But meanwhile wellness and health are part of every holiday offer. Even for journeys that are not specifically focus on this theme, the wellness facilities of the hotel or resort promoted and sit there relax-days in the program. Find than like real spa- and wellness enthusiast but once the real gems in the increasing offer. Some resorts seem in the directory real dream places! But an independent and internationally recognized certification is not there. Who wants to enjoy carefree must pay attention: because of the differences between spa holidays and wellness travel, but also because of the often (to) nice picture that brochures giving the level of treatments and the spa facilities.
Cures and wellness: different approach
The offer spa- and wellness travel is great: a spa trip to the dead sea, a wellness mini cruise to Norway, radioactive cures in Austria (Gastein), desert sand treatments in Morocco, Beach massages on Curaçao, baths in Budapest or thalasso in France, a design spa on the Turkish Riviera, juice fasting in the Algarve. It's all not cheap, and we are fast losing the overview. And a clear and independent label is not.
The most important distinction is that between spa travel on the one hand and Wellness travel On the other hand. At primary health journeys to the medical approach. Cures do we do in medical sense to work on our health. And that takes sometimes effort. At Wellness travel is about to be cuddled and pampered: pure relaxation so. This also means that we have to watch very different cures and wellness to business on ' the quality ' to be able to assess.
Cure vacation: luxury or necessity
At Spa travel, we work with a medical approach to our health. Particularly in Central- and Eastern Europe it has cures a long history. Netherlands has no real cure tradition. However, we are also investing more and more in our health. More and more insurers are (in the case of medical necessity) prepared (a part of) to reimburse the cost of a foreign treatment. Especially when there is no real alternatives exist in Netherlands. It is essential for it to an established spa town with a good reputation. The presence of a medical staff is, of course,. Many insurers now have a close eye on these foreign contacts. Though it was to the much lower pricing abroad. The foreign cure tradition ensures that the quality of treatment and the medical staff is generally well guarded. Up to a year or four ago had for example Germany right to any resident in a course of 3 weeks per year, that was fully reimbursed from the Krankenkasse. That fee is now brought back to once every three years. But it does indicate how normal this form of ' health therapy’ in many countries,. Often it is also seen as a preventive investment in health.
Cures: quality and possibilities abroad
Many spas offer special and sometimes unique treatments. Most make use of local geological qualities, which often already recognized by the Romans. Thus we find in Czech Republic water resources with beneficial which is mainly drunk for disorders to bile, intestines, bladder and joints. In the North of Croatia (Varazdinske Toplice) is the power of the very sulfur rich thermal water praised and widely used for the treatment of nerve- and muscle disorders. The Gasteiner Heilstollen In Austria are known for the natural radioactive possibilities for the treatment of bv. patients with Bechterev. In France, North Germany and Tunisia is in the thalasso therapy widely used the power of seawater at o. (a). problems of the skin. And as said: the foreign cure tradition ensures that the quality of treatment and the medical staff is generally very well, and well guarded. Check with your own insurance company what the possibilities are for treatment and compensation abroad. But orient you through independent sites: not all possibilities are known at all insurers.
Wellness: worry-free enjoyment?
At Wellness travel is (in contrast to the previous) to coddle, pampering and relaxation. Every four or five star hotel now offers wellness to. Even the traditional spa resorts relax add to their existing offerings. Many people see wellness as a good (preventive) investment in health. The famous ' healthy mind’ in the ' healthy body '. Pity only that health resorts as easy copying each other's offer. So it is very trandy to something to do with Ayurveda, or with hot stones or to be holistically. But in most cases it is not very authentic. And that makes it hard for special or unique travel options. In addition: we let ourselves through the hotel brochures easily lull. The facilities eyes actually always good, the prices are high enough to ' quality ' to suggest and the look is above average luxury. The erosion of the concept of wellness is started!
Wellness: quality criteria
Wellness is relaxation. True relaxation. But there is no independent, internationally recognized certification for the quality of ' wellness '. The search for treatments and special spa locations has learned that the quality of a wellness treatment and of the facilities is highly dependent on three things:
- a unique and authentic concept
- the details of with which that is worked out
- the knowledge and Science of the staff
To start with this last: is there genuine interest for the client? The therapist feels that at that time I need? There Is a high level of expertise regarding. the treatments? The atmosphere during treatment on my need tuned? Is there enough ' aftercare ' or is the time all of a sudden to? In Short: during a spa treatment you don't want to ' number ' are. Than about the concept. Each high-quality resort has a unique concept. That could be the use of local products and traditions. For example, a farm-spa in Nutter really unique, but also a desert sand treatment in Morocco! Reverse engineer and a Roman bath house: that is really too simple. A unique concept may also consist of real authentic treatments. As it turned out an Ayurvedic setting on to beat Malta in detail: the oils, the herbs, Yes even the staff were ' imported ' from Shri-Lanka. Or the privacy concept of the famous Adlon hotel in Berlin: not guest changes but the therapist and the ' space '.
Find independent information
The more trees, the forest is more difficult to see it. Also here. Take time for quality and look for independent information. A good source for independent reports, tips and personal experiences in the field of cures and Wellness is of course our own acclaimed magazine Wellnesstraveling.nl with more than 150 personally visited destinations. But be sure to visit also the sites of the resorts and try for yourself the unique capabilities to filter out the often general texts: good read and compare pays off! Don't just take the offer of travel agencies but also orient yourself very well through other sources…
Special by: Arjan Mulder
This article also appeared in Seniors Guide, January 2012, in a Special Edition for the holiday fair in Utrecht (Edition 208.000 ex).