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Wellness, more than a trend!

Published on February 22th 2016

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What does Wellness mean to you? This term comes from the contraction of two words: ‘well-being’ and ‘fitness’. It has become very popular and it incorporates both physical and psycho-logical health, and for some people it is associated with true personal fulfillment.

Ms. Tatiana Da Costa, manager of the SPA and trainer of thebeauticians and masseuses at the Hotel Le Bristol in Leukerbad, shares with us her vision of Wellness and describes her work.


Ms. Da Costa, what does Wellness mean to you?

People look for Wellness so they can relax, unwind, and escape the worries of their daily lives. To-day, this idea is very accepted because people are so active and they don’t have a lot of opportuni-ties to decompress. Wellness acts like a safety valve you can release when you have some free time or when you’re on holiday. Some of our clients take advantage of our services each day during their stay. Beyond physical relaxation, people come to find serenity and mental calm here in our SPA. We listen to their needs and sometimes even assume the role of confidante. We also help them re-store their energy and recharge their batteries through invigorating treatments.

What’s unique about the SPA in the Hotel Le Bristol?

Our major advantage is that our services harmonize with those provided in the hotel’s private ther-mal facility adjoining the SPA. Access to it is reserved for guests of the hotel as well as external guests who have booked a treatment. This is called the ‘Day SPA’. Guests can enjoy an entire day dedicated to relaxation. We also set ourselves apart because of the variety of what we offer. In addition to classic therapy options and massages, we also feature ‘Valaisan’ organic treatment options (see below). In fact, we offer our services to a very wide clientele. For example, we have started a ‘Junior SPA’, featuring fun treatment options for kids aged 5 to 13 as well as a ‘Golden Age SPA’, perfect for the sensitive skin of seniors.

What is the difference between a city SPA and a mountain SPA, particularly in a thermal resort?

There is a big difference. Unlike cities, we work mainly with tourists and vacationers seeking relax-ation. This means we have to adapt our menu more often and faster than we would with ‘regular’ clients, and we need to grasp their specific needs and desires right away. Our activities are focused mainly on relaxing and energizing treatment options and massages. Above all, we work in conjunc-tion with the thermal waters, so that’s our real Wellness advantage. We offer our clients the oppor-tunity to extend the therapeutic effects of their treatment in the thermal baths.

What is the synergy between the thermal baths and the SPA?

The naturally warm thermal water of the pools is 33° Celsius and works on the muscles and joints as an excellent complement to our relaxing massages and treatments, reinforcing their effects. We always advise our customers to go to the thermal baths after care,firstly to extend their relaxation time, but especially to take advantage of favorable effects initiated by the treatment. Indeed, once relieved of their muscle tension and psychologically soothed, clients are much more receptive to the benefits of thermal baths. We also recommend that our clients use the thermal steam hammam be-fore their body or facial treatments to enjoy its detoxifying properties and allow the skin to become more receptive once the pores are dilated under the effect of the steam.

What types of treatments do you offer?

image005For those wishing to relax, we recommend, for example, a relaxing massage with marjoram oil, hot stones or a warm candle. We offer Shiatsu, a head massage using pressure points, and foot reflexol-ogy. We also offer various facial and body beauty treatments, such as fango or aromatic wraps. Ex-clusive to us are our ‘Valaisan’ treatments, like the Valais apricot oil treatment. Our treatment op-tions obviously change with the seasons. While massages are requested throughout the year, we offer more warming massages in winter, while in summer the preference is for facial treatments, as well as manicures or pedicures.

What types of products do you use?

We are very careful about the origin and the quality of our products. We prefer organic and natural products, free from preservatives, dyes, or parabens. For facial treatments, we have selected the Babor brand, composed of thermal water and particularly suitable for sensitive skin. For massage treatments, we use organic products by Jardin des Monts. Finally, for Vinotherapy, we use very locally sourced products, including those from Fructum Vitis. These organic products are made in Salquenen by Mrs. Heidi Kuonen. Of course, we only use water from our own thermal spring to prepare and complement our products and treatments.

You have told us that you have a very varied clientele. Who are you addressing with these treat-ment options?

Our clientele is indeed very diverse. In addition to treatment options for our female clients, we also offer a range of treatments for men, especially massages. One unique feature we offer is our ‘Junior SPA’. This idea came following the request of parents who wanted to share a relaxing moment with their children. We offer them fun treatment options, such as a chocolate massage, which is a big hit with our younger customers. We have also introduced a ‘Golden Age SPA’, which is particularly well suited to the sensitive skin of seniors. We offer them treatments with specific products, such as paraffin-based reparative products for hands and feet, but also lymphatic drainage massages and anti-aging warm candle massages.

What are the most sought-after treatments?

Massages are clearly the most requested treatments. Our clients come to us for the chance to un-wind, thus the relaxing treatments are the most popular ones. In fact, some days we only have mas-sage reservations. Then come the ‘Valaisan' treatments (prepared with Valais apricot, marjoram or grape seed oils) and our warm candle and hot stone treatments.

Can you explain the details of the ‘Valaisan’ treatments, including Vinotherapy?

Vinotherapy products come from the Valais ‘terroir’. They are produced with the seeds of grapes, from which we mill a flour that is mixed with sweet almond oil or warm honey to make scrubs and for massages, with grape seed oil. These treatments have a relaxing anti-oxidant and anti-aging ac-tion, restoring elasticity to the skin. They are all-encompassing, because they also promote healthy blood circulation. We recommend these treatments especially for clients that are 30 years old or older to fight against the onset of wrinkles and heavy legs.

(Interview: Magali Ganguillet)

Click here to view the Hotel Le Bristol SPA menu and treatments.