Karma Spa Ambassador Judy Chapman is something of an oracle when it comes to Wellness – former editor of Spa Asia and author of numerous spa and wellness related publications, including her latest series The Chapman Guides, Judy has been instrumental in establishing Karma Spa as one of the most vibrant resort spa brands in the world…
When did you first become interested in the whole wellness realm and why? How has it impacted you on a personal level?
Growing up in the alternative town of Byron Bay in Australia, wellness was always part of our life. We had no electricity or TV and family vacations were trips to yoga ashrams in India, hiking in the Himalayas and sleeping under the stars on magical beaches. Our diet was mostly vegetarian and organic. Recently, I’ve been tuning into Ayurveda and did my first Panchakarma in 2017. I’ve started to integrate many of the Ayurveda balancing wellness into own life and it really works. I honestly feel Ayurveda is the true frontier of wellness in terms of helping people cope mentally, emotionally and physically.
In 100 words or less, how has the spa industry evolved over the years, where is it at now and where is it headed?
The landscape of wellness and spa is changing fast – in a good way. In fact, the Global Wellness Institute recently announced the wellness economy is now worth 3.7 trillion – far more than the pharmaceutical industry. Wellness travel (people traveling to a retreat or integrating wellness activities into their itinerary) is now the biggest sector of the entire travel industry. Trends to be aware of include wellness real estate and communities. There will be more smog-free, silent, solo, women’s only and digital-free wellness destinations. Spa menus of the future will offer more treatments tailored to mental wellbeing and fitness-focused hotels and resorts are on the rise. It’s all very inspiring!
What is unique about the Karma Spa approach? What’s its underlying philosophy?
From the start, our ethos has always been ‘it’s all about the therapist’ and this remains strong today. If not for our hard-working therapists then where are we? What’s significant about Karma treatments is they are all based on our S.L.O.W philosophy and are delivered deeply, slowly and mindfully. This is because I strongly believe that people will increasingly seek out experiences that get them off the ‘inflammatory’ digital devices. Even a one-hour massage can re-center and rebalance.
What next for Karma Spa?
We are about to launch our new Balinese Apothecary Wellness retail line – six massage blends curated from wild essential oils all grown across Indonesia – think turmeric, ginger, coffee and cocoa! I am also really passionate about our Karma Bavaria and Karma St.Martins properties that offer incredible lung-cleansing yoga, hiking and spa retreats. New spas coming on line include Greece and a stand-alone spa on beautiful Rottnest Island in Australia.
Give us three Karma Spa experiences that shouldn’t be missed!
#karmawellnessweek – it’s a new initiative inspired by our partnership with the Rugby Football Union (RFU) to sponsor the England National Rugby Sevens – our pilot happens in April – and is on at every karma royal resort – it’s a fun-filled week of fitness, great spa deals, workshops and community – it’s a great way to meet and mingle with other fitness-minded folks.
Our newly launched 45-minute Yoga Facial – it’s an incredibly slow facial massage sequence combining facial massage and acupressure to deeply rest the mind and allow the skin to regenerate – it’s my new favorite!
I’m also obsessed with our soon to be launched 45-minute Happiness Booster menu – these offerings will appeal to people who don’t have the time or money to book a 2 hour treatment yet still want a top-result oriented therapeutic experience.