The Charles Spa Munich – Wellness to Millennials
I was fortunate to listen to Irene Forte’s presentation at the Global Wellness Summit in 2016 about ‘Wellness to Millennials”. Irene Forte is the daughter of Sir Rocco Forte, (founder of Rocco Forte Hotels) and Brand Manager for the luxury hotel chain’s spa concept ‘Rocco Forte Spa’.
Why a Spa Concept for Millennials?
Rocco Forte Spa was created primarily with Millennials in mind and it will constantly develop with them in mind.
Millennials, also referred to as Generation Y and following Generation X, are born between the early 1980s and the mid-1990s according to the majority of researchers and demographers.
For them, wellness is a daily and active pursuit. And since they will soon surpass baby boomers in overall travel spending, they are quiet important to the hospitality industry.
Now I have the opportunity to experience Rocco Forte Hotel’s spa concept ‘wellness for millennials’ at Charles Hotel in Munich for myself. The spa concept went live in all of their spas in January 2016. Each spa – with strong local accents in addition- has:
Rocco Forte Rituals: their very own treatment rituals, all beginning with a relaxing foot soak, and ending with a special Rocco Forte Nourish smoothie. Depending on the location, the rituals have a local accent to them. For example, at the Charles Spa both wood and essential oils of the stone pine assist in harmonising the guest’s experience.
Forte Organics: own organic beauty line, exclusive to and available in all their spas, most ingredients grow in their resort property Verdura in Italy. Produced in Italy and Europe, their own ingredients like water, lemon, almonds, and olive oil make this line highly unique. This is lovely example for a fully developed product line with dedication put into every bottle, and not just simply private labelling creams for marketing purposes.
If you are interested in the products in more detail, I will have a separate article for you soon.
Rocco Forte Fitness: Each hotel offers fitness facilities, such as fully equipped Technogym gym, yoga classes, pilates, personal training, lap pools etc.
Rocco Forte Nourish: a holistic concept that goes beyond healthy smoothies with in the spa area only: with a new cuisine concept, the restaurant offers healthy food options alongside ‘normal’ dishes, which means that guests have the option to seriously look into their dietary needs in every of the RF hotels. Health food options do not end at the spa exit door, but extend throughout the entire hotel. And even include the in-room mini bar, where guest can choose healthy items prior to arrival, replacing the typical mini bar items such as chocolate bars, potato chips and sugary sodas by organic lemonades, kale chips and protein bars. Truly a new concept within city hotels.
I am visiting in March, which is fasting season that is taken quiet serious in Bavaria. Thus the hotel offers their ‘detox weeks’ with detox lunch menu including detailed information about ingredients and their effects.
The holistic nutritional approach becomes apparent: not only detox treatments in the spa, but detox lunch in the restaurant and for example a detox ice tea in the hotel bar. Detox all around if you like, but of course there is no must.
My Rocco Forte Spa Experience in Munich
Whilst giving me the tour around the 800 m2 spa, Johanna – spa manager by heart, who has been with the company for several years – points out the unique size of the indoor pool (largest indoor hotel pool in Munich), and decorative elements with a strong local connection such as the Wittelsbacher coral theme.
I learn more about how the spa operates, about the employees and the dedication and passion behind all this.
Johanna supplies me with a locker, slippers, towels and (looove it!) hooded robe. I meet my therapist Sabrina, who asks me to fill out a consultation form and to choose the aroma for my body ritual of 90 min.
It is an easy choice today to opt for Melissa lemon balm, leaving peppermint and rosemary for another day.
We walk into the cosy treatment room (of which the spa has five in total including a couple’s room), where I receive my foot soak. As I stick my feet into the water, I am surprised. Something tickles my skin gently: Swiss stone pine wood chips float around, releasing their essential oil and great benefits. Talking about strong local accents!
Body Ritual – sink in, bliss out
My body ritual consists of a lovely apricot body scrub, followed by a massage and body mask in a way I have not experienced in this sequence before. After my therapist has performed her skilful back oil massage, she applies the mask product with a brush and covers up the area. Then she pursues to the back of my legs and repeats the procedure, and so on, until my entire body is massaged and my skin covered in product. Just lovely!
My finishing touch is a gentle head massage and I could have just stayed forever. Sink in, bliss out…
After the treatment, I seemingly float over to the relaxation room where I sip my yummy after treatment smoothie with almond milk, orange juice and banana. Although I feel like never wanting to get up ever again, I am curious and explore the sauna and pool areas. As the steam room is going to be refurbished next month anyway, I opt for the Finnish Sauna that I only have to share with another guest for about 10 minutes before having it all to myself. Spacious, with lemon grass infusion option, I enjoy this heat experience.
Of course I keep the best for the rest: the (largest indoor hotel pool in Munich) pool which has an adequate temperature suitable for both, lap swimming and dipping. Let moving pictures speak for themselves…
Lovely and dedicated Spa Manager Johanna is amongst the top 10 candidates for best spa manager by International Spa Awards in Dusseldorf. She tells me that the spa manages to attract about 60 to 70 % external guests, meaning non hotel residents, which are an important asset to the success of a city hotel spa.
And the best is: you do not have to be a hotel guest to enjoy the Charles Spa. Spa memberships, on a daily or annual basis, are available in different option.
About Rocco Forte Hotels
Rocco Forte Hotels is a family company (a family who has been in hospitality for four generations) with 9 hotels and 1 resort (Verdura), including 8 spas.
Each hotel is different and individual. Typically located in historic landmark buildings at the very heart of the city, such as the Balmoral in Edinburgh for example, or the Villa Kennedy in Frankfurt. They’re colourful, characterful buildings with interiors that resonate with the local culture.Their property Hotel de Rome in Berlin is venue to the Healing Summit 2017.