For those that want to practice healthy habits, a spa resort is the best place to go, offering individual services for their guests as well as short term residential/lodging. Generally, a stay of seven days provides an all-inclusive program, including wellness educational seminars and classes, spa services, physical fitness activities facilitated by specialist trainers, special interest programming, and healthy cuisine, plus all the other similar services offered by a day spa or beauty salon.
Many spas are historically placed in the neighborhoods of mineral waters sources or natural hot springs. Exotic locations or spa towns are also home to destination spas, where the guests are residing and participating in the program, not just spend holidays or visit for a treatment. Many historical destination spas are not used anymore, even if they were used for a long time, but they are preserved for their historical role in earlier times. An example is Gilroy Yamato Hot Springs from California who had its peak in late 19th century and beginning of 20th century.
A spa, also called bathing place or spa town, is a developed town located near a developed mineral spring, called a mineral spa. “Taking the waters” has specific health benefits on the ones that use it. The spa word is inspired by the Belgian town Spa. Continental Europe was not using the spa term, but instead used ville d’eau or town of water. In our days, the spa term is used for resorts or towns that are offering hydrotherapy, with hot thermal baths, mineral water treatments or cold water.
In late 1930s over 2000 health resorts were open in US, using cold or hot springs. By 1950s the number fell down greatly and continued to diminish in the following two decades. Traditional bathing activities were the spas purpose in the past, but currently, US spas are emphasizing dietary, exercise or recreational programs.
The US industry of public bathing remained stagnant. But the therapeutic baths had a bigger popularity in Europe, and this continues until today. Japan’s traditional spas, called onset, based on hot springs baths, are continuing to attract plenty of tourists as always.
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