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17 Sep 2019

European health hotel spa brand Ensana launches with 26 properties
BY Lauren Heath-Jones

Ensana-branded health spas will have a focus on natural healing experiences, such as mineral springs and thermal waters

Ensana-branded health spas will have a focus on natural healing experiences, such as mineral springs and thermal waters

Danubius Hotels Group (DHG), one of Europe's largest health spa operators, has launched a brand for its health spa hotels.

Called Ensana Health Spa Hotels, the portfolio will consist of 26 rebranded DHG sites across Europe which treat millions of people a year and are famous for tapping into local/natural resources – from thermal bathing in Hungary to mud pools in Slovakia and salt baths in Romania (see SB05/3 p18). The DHG brand will still be used for its 16 city hotels, while Ensana will focus on natural healing and modern medical expertise.

Ensana, derived from the Latin "mens sana" meaning "healthy mind", was created in response to the worldwide growth in the wellness tourism market, worth a reported €580bn (£519bn, $640bn), and aims to meet the growing demand for natural health and wellbeing treatments and experiences.

It will place a significant focus on safeguarding guests from future health issues using its “hundreds” of naturally occurring, healing resources. The therapeutic properties of thermal and mineral waters, muds and salt, have been harnessed to treat a range of health conditions affecting the muscles, bones, organs, metabolism and skin, as well as enhance future wellbeing. They’re suitable for guests who want to simply boost their wellbeing or for those seeking support for a variety of conditions such as people who are recovering from cancer, as well as others experiencing mobility or fertility issues or other health challenges.

In addition, the brand will offer Active Life, a series of programmes developed by group spa director Sven Huckenbeck, that feature a blend of fitness and relaxation activities, including massage, acupuncture and physical training to improve guests overall health and wellbeing.

The majority of Ensana hotels are located in traditional spa towns in central and eastern Europe, but next year it will operate its first site in the UK in Buxton, Derbyshire. The Buxton Crescent & Thermal Spa, part of a multi-million-pound project, is set to be one of the most significant openings in the UK as it taps into natural thermal waters and, aside from Bath, will be one of the only ‘genuine’ spa hotels in the country. Plans for it were put forward more than 15 years ago and construction began in 2013. Owners include a number of stakeholders including local authority High Peak Borough Council.

Ensana's wider business strategy to expand across Europe, through a combination of asset-acquisition and management agreements with third-party owners.

Mark Hennebry, chairman of Ensana, said: "We are custodians of some of Europe's most powerful and historic natural resources and we're harnessing them in new and increasingly innovative ways to enhance the health of our guests. Our ability to do this makes us totally unique and sets us apart as a highly-experienced brand founded on decades of knowledge, which people can trust with their most precious commodity - their health."

"We are continually seeking to expand and seek new opportunities for the brand. We have already invested significantly in our existing spa hotels and over the coming years, we have plans to innovate and invest in numerous ways - creating inspiring new treatments, facilities and of course, jobs."

DHG is owned by CP Holdings Ltd, a UK incorporated company. CP Holdings first invested in DHG in the early 90s and then bought a controlling stake in the group in August 2015.

One of its most famous properties is Nove Lazne in the Czech spa town of Marianske Lazne which features Roman baths dating back to 1896, once used by historic figures such as Chopin and England’s King Edward VII. Others include two hotels on Budapest’s Margaret Island, known for its mineral waters and Thermia Palace in Slovakia, with its thermal mud pool, that dates back to 1912.



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