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Denitsa Kirkova, manager of Crystal Spa & Wellness, knows how to create the ultimate wellness experience.

We all love a good spa and wellness experience, but we rarely think about what defines it. Denitsa Kirkova not only knows all about it. As the manager of Crystal Spa & Wellness, a company for specialised equipment, design and consulting, she is the right person to consult with when creating your own spa and wellness space in your hotel, spa centre or even your home.

Denitsa Kirkova has more than 12 years of experience in the spa and wellness industry with a focus on spa concepts, design and equipment programming. She has consulted over a hundred SPA projects in many countries, and has an MBA in Hospitality and Spa Management from a renowned university in Austria and an MA in Economy. Denitsa Kirkova is deservedly featured in the prestigious list of Global Wellness Institute of the Top 100 Spa and Wellness Consultants.

What attracts you as a professional to conceptual planning and design of spa and wellness spaces?

I am attracted by the fact that we create spa and wellness spaces that take the clients and investors on a discovery journey for both new experiences and the joy of true relaxation and care for the self. Investors in spa centres, hotel and home owners increasingly realise that this experience can be achieved and guaranteed only when they are consulted by experienced professionals from the very beginning of the design process.

What are the most common mistakes in designing spa zones? What is your advice in regard to selection of specialised equipment in the context of technologies?

My experience has demonstrated that the most common mistake is to not consult an expert in spa centre conceptual planning before you start working on your project. This is the root of the problem with wrong functional layout of the zones, the mixing of people flows, the corridor type solutions with small shared spaces and incorrect selection of the type and quantity of the spa and wellness equipment.

To create a financially successful spa centre the investor needs a detailed, in-depth analysis of the profile, preferences, culture, behaviour and values of the planned target group. Special attention should be paid to the hotel's capacity and the specifics of the region where it is located. It is crucial to rely from the very beginning of the spa and wellness zone planning on an in-depth preliminary survey. It, for its part, will lead to the successful development of: a specific plan and budget; correct planning of the functional layout and design; detailed specification of the technical parameters; the selection of the right equipment. The latter are high-technology devices and their manufacturers should be carefully chosen. As a bare minimum, all products should be certified in accordance with the EU's quality and safety requirements. To eliminate the problem with condensation and mould, international spa equipment manufacturers use a special technology. Systems for constant circulation of fresh air in the room, without heat loss, are also a must. Another crucial step is to select the most suitable floorings, facings and coats, which are both hygienic and able to withstand for years the humidity and aggressive environment they are subjected to. Attention should be paid as well on the time covered by the warranty and the maintenance costs, and on the chosen manufacturer's previous experience and realised projects.

What are the main stages of the process from the idea to the realisation of a project?

The stages in designing a particular site are usually the following. First comes the project's strategic and conceptual definition. Then follow its preparation and presentation, the conceptual, work and technical design, the construction, the delivery and the final touches. The process concludes with the commissioning and opening stages.

Are current international trends in spa and wellness business represented in Bulgaria? Which are the new trends for 2022?

Of course, they are. But not all of them are present, as some are too "exotic" for the Bulgarian culture. For example, wellness centres in some parts of the world offer mind detox with opiate and narcotic substances.

Recently, the Global Wellness Institute issued its report Trends in Spa and Wellness Industry in 2022. I will list these as they will be interesting to readers. Everyone can see for themselves which could find a place on the Bulgarian market: Dirt-y Wellness; Toxic Muscularity Comes Clean; From Wellness Tech to Technological; Senior Living Disrupted; Urban Bathhouses and Wellness Playgrounds, and many more. Artistry and Art are another major current trend, it puts the emphasis on music and its effect on a mental level.


ISSUE 185/2022