24 February 2010

Talking Point: should spas remain kid-free?

Whether childless or the mother of a brood, most women are in agreement that some public places should be kid-free sanctuaries. Gyms, shop changing rooms (‘no, don’t open that nice ladies curtain’) and, above all spas – the overworked women’s Mecca.

That’s why a new trend noticed by the spa industry alarms us. According to the manager of the newly launched Mamounia spa in Morocco, luxury spas are no longer just for grown-ups.

‘We are beginning to see the second generation of spa goers,’ said Marianne Nielsen, ‘When I started my carrier 23 years ago, spas were a sort of secret women's club, pink and very feminine. Today's spas are all inclusive with treatments for the entire family, with more kids who come with their parents.’

Last year the Chimes Spa in Denmark landed itself in hot water after advertising itself as an ‘adult only retreat.’ They were taken to court when a US lawyer, with a three year old daughter, was told they couldn’t stay there together.

The manager of the spa said it was ‘positive discrimination.’

‘We tried to get [the tribunal] to recognise that there's this adults only sector out there. I mean, most of the people who stay with us have kids, but parenting is stressful. They need a break from it.’ Still the spa lost the case.

Do you think these second generation spa goers should be welcomed, or is can you think of nothing worse then being massaged to a screaming toddler soundtrack (not exactly whale song is it?)  

- Amy Molloy


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