KLAFS: Prioritising self-care

By David Fagan

By David Fagan

28 May 2021

Launched in 1952 as a small, family-run company, the KLAFS Group is now a multi-award-winning, global market leader in hydrothermal experiences with a distribution network covering 46 countries around the world.

With a deep passion for innovation across all aspects of its output, KLAFS specialises in the custom design of exceptional, individually tailored hydrothermal spaces. Serving both the residential and commercial markets, including spas and wellness centres, the company’s team of in-house experts have built an enduring reputation upon their ability to marry leading-edge design with the latest technology, pushing back boundaries to consistently deliver a ‘wow!’ factor.

“Spa en Suite by KLAFS enables guests to enjoy in-room wellness as a personal option, 24/7.”

Thorsten Bichler

Group international sales director, KLAFS

Most recently, the introduction of KLAFS’ Spa en Suite concept has seen the brand pivot its hydrothermal offering to enhance hotel guest rooms, adding value with the addition of in-room, wellness-focused experiences, including expanding saunas, whirlpools and experience showers.

We spoke to the company’s international sales director, Thorsten Bichler, to find out how KLAFS has been supporting its spa and luxury hospitality clients while meeting demand for its products during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Why are thermal experiences a good investment for the future of spas?

Thermal experiences offer various health benefits, are contact-free and quite simply, they help people to feel better. The Covid-19 pandemic has made health and wellbeing more important than ever before.

Self-care has become more of a priority than a trend and people are actively seeking personal experiences to improve mental, emotional and physical aspects of their lives. As part of this we are seeing increased demand for thermal bathing both at home and as part of commercial projects.

KLAFS's Spa en Suite concept at Miramonti Boutique Hotel in Meran, Switzerland

There will be an even greater desire to be fit and well in the future. It has become more widely accepted that ‘health is the new wealth’ and prevention is key.

Hot-and-cold-contrast therapy has been shown to improve blood circulation, promote a healthy heart, detox the body, manage high blood pressure, improve the immune system, boost energy levels and release endorphins to make people feel better.

How is KLAFS supporting spas as they face the challenges of the pandemic?

We have a large, experienced in-house team of designers, architects and technicians who are deeply informed about the latest international wellness design trends. We also work closely with internationally renowned architects. This allows us to work on each and every project individually and to offer unique, sustainable and holistic spa design and technical consultancy to all kinds of spas.

A nature-inspired spa suite at Pfalzblick Wald Spa Resort in Dahn, Germany

Since the pandemic, it is especially important to provide multifunctional and easily adjustable concepts that incorporate technical solutions in terms of hygiene, cleanliness and safety.

All our products are custom-made and eco-friendly, and with our global sales and service partner network, we can guarantee a 24/7 aftersales service, so KLAFS really does provides a complete turnkey solution.

Why are hydrothermal experiences good revenue generators for spas?

With people all over the world focused more on their personal health and wellbeing, spas and thermal experiences will receive more recognition as revenue drivers and profit centres post-Covid-19.

A KLAFS Sauna S1 is part of the guest room experience at Miramonti Boutique Hotel, Switzerland

According to many reports, for almost half of international travellers, the presence of a spa is currently an important factor in selecting a hotel. Many guests now have new wellness routines that they don’t want to disrupt when they travel.

Wellness options boost satisfaction levels and highly satisfied guests return more often. Health-conscious travellers also spend more on hotel amenities per trip than other types of guest.

How can spa operators move forward in a Covid-secure way?

As an industry, we need to listen, understand and adapt. Guests previously looking for socialising and shared experiences are now actively seeking socially distanced, personal and
health-benefit-driven experiences.

We will see intensified cleaning protocols, liability waivers for everyone entering the spa, one-way traffic to minimise anxiety around passing in tight corridors, touch-free sanitising stations and UVC air purifiers being made a part of existing HVAC systems.

A KLAFS thermal suite at Hotel Öschberghof in Donaueschingen, Germany

There will also be an increase in touchless therapies, so self-service areas, such as saunas or halotherapy (salt) rooms will be attractive to spa guests. Spas may either require fewer but larger thermal rooms, made from easy-to-clean materials, or they will offer a greater number of smaller, unique thermal areas to guarantee social distancing, with the option of private, sole usage for guests.

Trust and communication are key. It is more important than ever before to create spas that are safe and reliable, rather than just stunningly designed. Guests are looking for spaces they can rest in without fear or concern.

This leads us to your Spa en Suite concept. Please tell us about that.

Spa en Suite is a new concept that gives hotels the opportunity to add additional value to their existing offer. Anticipating guests’ increased desire to spend more time away from large groups, Spa en Suite offers hotels the option to modify their room layouts for
multifunctionality, enabling guests to enjoy in-room wellness as a personal option that is always available.

KLAFS's Spa en Suite concept anticpates guests’ increased desire to spend more time away from large groups

Wellness-focused amenities can easily be personalised and delivered according to individual preferences. These include space-saving saunas, such as our Sauna S1, which can be incorporated in bathrooms or living areas, or balcony whirlpools and experience showers.

Existing guest rooms can also be transformed into wellness suites that could be booked separately. Each Spa en Suite can be configured to the individual hotel’s preference and this taps into the increasing trend for exclusivity and privacy.

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