Wellness is the New Luxury

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Gigi and Kayla Falk of Art of Human Being bring mindfulness tips and guided mediation to us during Covid via Instagram (Photo by Nick Mele)

While the State of Florida is still showing a record number of Covid-19 cases (327,241 confirmed cases and 4,912 deaths to-date), the Town of Palm Beach is reporting 66 cases and 4 deaths. We have been quite cautious here over the last few months — setting and maintaining protocols such as social distancing, wearing masks, setting curfews, not allowing outside help or construction workers into our buildings and taking employees’ temperatures — yet we are still enjoying outdoor dining and activities like beach walks and golf. Health and wellness seem to be top of mind here.

JJ McDonough, grandson of Ted Withall, the legendary director of tennis at the Boca Raton Hotel & Resort, who some will also remember from The Beach Club back in the ’70s.

“High net worth consumers in post Covid-19 China seem to have turned away from luxury fashion and toward self-care products and wellness services,” according to Jing Daily. I can see that trend here. We are moving away from buying luxury fashion and towards enhancing physical and mental health. 

“The concept of personalization in luxury is now emerging in the service industry as well.” And there’s a whole generation of young New Yorkers who are now settling in Palm Beach due to the pandemic and looking for wellness programs designed around their individual goals — all while staying safe.  To set themselves apart and to get the ultimate level of a luxury experience, ultra-customized services are now cropping up.

Having a gym completely to oneself, training in the privacy of one’s own home,  with one dedicated trainer, nutrition coach, chef, life coach, or sleep expert is becoming the new norm. “The idea of personalized well-being has a dramatic business potential. Restaurants, hotels, travel agencies, hairdressers, spas all now have this opportunity to create an ultra-luxury segment that is completely personalized,” says Daniel Langer, CEO of luxury, lifestyle and consumer brand strategy firm, Equité.

One such company here in Palm Beach is my friend JJ McDonough’s company, Leeward Staffing. JJ’s love of tennis and his superb networking skills, helped him start a business back in 2000, placing tennis pros at clubs, resorts and with high net worth clients around the world. Now, he provides fully vetted freelance and full-time professionals in estate management, hospitality, culinary arts, health and wellness, childcare, recreation and more.  JJ’s many years of experience in the high-net-worth space is what sets Leeward Staffing apart, and allows the company to provide world-class service to the most discerning clients. I can’t mention JJ’s clients, but I know who they are, and trust me, they are discerning.

WWD‘s Sue Jin Lee and Beauty Industry Veteran George Ledes chat over coffee in The Breakers courtyard about Beauty Inc‘s Virtual Wellness Conference last week.

Last week, one young displaced New Yorker here in Palm Beach, Sue Jin Lee, special events director for WWDhosted a Virtual Wellness Conference for their sister publication, Beauty Inc. The daylong event covered the intersection of inner health and outer beauty, with key leaders who are transforming the $4.2 trillion wellness category in the areas of fitness, nutrition, health, ingestibles, self-care and more.

Palm Beach Beauty Guru Tammy Fender.

“We’re excited to launch our first virtual conference with all of the elements of WWD’s live events,” said Jenny B. Fine, executive editor of beauty at WWD and Beauty Inc. “In addition to presentations, panels and live experiences, our platform will also enable attendees to network with each other and create the connections that we know our audience is looking for.”

The speaker lineup included entrepreneurs from all areas of wellness, ranging from companies that are well-established to those that are emerging. They explored how consumer attitudes toward self-care and wellness are evolving, how innovative new concepts are harnessing technology to create personalized service at scale and what the future holds as categories continue to blur and intersect. 

Among the presenters was Palm Beach’s Tammy Fender, founder of the eponymous skin-care line, and one of the bespoke brands that has now partnered with the new luxury residences at LA CLARA to offer residents personalized services.

As LA CLARA’S preferred skin care concierge, Tammy will be offering a range of services including custom holistic facials and reflexology in the spa’s treatment room. LA CLARA residents will also receive a complimentary Intensive Eye Treatment with each facial service. Tammy Fender’s signature aroma therapy will permeate the spa with the calming fragrances of lavender and peppermint.

Great Room at La Clara.

Award-winning Canadian real estate developer Great Gulf has partnered with Tammy Fender, ONBLONDE PET SPA + BOUTIQUE and Virginia Philip Wine Spirits Academy to offer La CLARA residents a unique suite of services, as homes transition to a 24/7 lifestyle for family and extended family. In addition to an on-site Lifestyle Director to manage residents’ needs, from personal travels and housekeeping, to party planning and personal errands, Great Gulf engaged these Palm Beach favorites to complement the concierge program.

The Pool at La Clara.

There is a steady migration from big cities like New York to the Palm Beaches and luxury buyers are looking for resort services in the comfort of their homes. “LA CLARA residents will experience the preferred go-to brands of local Palm Beachers without leaving the premises,” said Amanda Wilson-Watkins, Senior Vice, Sales and Marketing.

The Gym at La Clara.

Natalie Geary, MD, founder of vedaHEALTH and vedaPURE, practices integrative medicine for the whole family. Her practice is based on the recognition that there are many healing traditions, including western medicine, that contribute to a sustainable wellness practice. She draws on teachings from pediatric care, family healthcare, and Ayurvedic healing to develop a personalized plan to improve and sustain health. During Covid, she has opened up her private practice virtually, with appointments available immediately. Follow her @veda.health

Dr. Natalie Geary received her BA at Harvard University and her MD from John Hopkins School of Medicine. She completed her residency at NYU and has trained at the Ayurvedic Institute, the California College of Ayurveda and Kerala Ayurveda Academy. Dr. Geary also developed a natural, Ayurvedic-based skincare line called VedaPURE, created for babies and pregnant/nursing mothers.

Sybil de Bourbon-Parme’s love of food and passion to heal others has turned her into the town’s go-to health-conscious gourmand. A Palm Beach resident for more than 35 years, Sybil attended the The Institute for Integrative Nutrition, where she learned the healing attributes of certain foods.

Sybil grows her own herbs and spices and pairs them with the freshest ingredients from local farmers and best fishmongers like Cods and Capers. She customizes complete, health-conscious menus for her clients based on their specific needs. And, is also known for her signature soups and ginger-infused baked salmon, my personal favorite.

“Food is life. And knowing that your dinner is prepared with love and care matters so much these days,” says Sybil.  Contact Sybil by email: burrbn@yahoo.com

Health conscious gourmand Sybil de Bourbon-Parme attended the Institute for Integrative Nutrition.

Gigi Falk and Kayla Falk are the 20-something daughters of Palm Beach resident Annie Falk. Recent graduates of Duke University, they were living in New York City and doing graduate work at Columbia University until Covid struck. Founders of the Art of Human Being, their mission is to help wake up the world through inner exploration and self-transformation. 

Gigi and Kayla Falk of Art of Human Being.

Incubated in Columbia’s Spiritual Wellness Lab, Art of Human Being offers teachings that blend together meditation and ancient contemplative wisdom with cognitive science and behavior change research. They currently offer online workshops, courses, and meditation coaching.

“Throughout the pandemic we have striven to meet the needs of a global community seeking tools for self-care, resilience, and self-transformation,” Kayla told me. “Many are eager to connect to their highest selves during challenging times, and to emerge on the other side of this crisis a better version of themselves. Our offerings seek to play a role in helping seekers explore those goals and take tangible steps in that direction.”

Right now they offer weekly guided meditations and mini-talks via Instagram Live @Art_of_Human_Being every Thursday morning at 10am EST, which they then share to IGTV for those who would like to practice on their own. For more information, visit: ​liveahb.com or email them at: hello@liveahb.com

Another New York business that has recently opened in Palm Beach is Hydrá Wellness which offers concierge IV therapy either in their lounge or in the privacy of your own your home. Whether you’re feeling fatigued, ill, hungover or just looking to increase your energy level, their hydration IV’s filled with vitamins and nutrients are up to 50% more effective than when taken orally.

“Over the last several years I think consumers have tuned in to wellness as an investment in their health and longevity, and now more than ever in this ‘post-COVID’ environment are understanding the role of traditional healthcare and proactive wellness practices,” says owner Christy Hamilton.

Hydrá Wellness Owner Christy Hamilton enjoying their signature Immune Boost wellness blend of vitamins and minerals, plus high dose Vitamin C, in their Palm Beach Lounge.

Hydrá is currently open by appointment only. They have a mobile unit which will come directly to you as well. Check out their full menu of hydration, detox & recovery, longevity, beauty & wellness support online at: Hydra-Wellness.com

Whitney Schott enjoys a post deep tissue massage elixir in the spa at Eau Palm Beach which is now offering a full menu of spa services, while adhering to all CDC guidelines on social distancing, cleanliness and sanitization of the facility. (Photo by Annie Watt)

Self-care is more important than ever and Eau Palm Beach offers care and wellness support at a time when we need it most. Since ancient times there have been rituals of self-purification with the purpose of cleansing bodies, souls, minds, and environments. 

The acts of washing, purging, and organizing clarifies the senses. When we can process clearly, our minds open up to new beginnings. “Each spa journey begins with a scrub and polish kit customized to your desired state of me time,” said Nick Gold, director of public relations.

Packages include: The Press Play Day that includes a 60-minute Self-Centered Massage, 60-minute Facial, Classic Manicure, and Pedicure and hair blowout. 20% off any retail purchases. For a limited time, a complimentary Eau Spa embroidered robe is included. Four and a half hours for $499.

Or, the Emergence Massage: Summer is here, and it is time to get away. You are in the driver’s seat and can pick your massage destination with light or firm pressure. Control the music — turn it up to play or turn it down chill. Roll down the windows and take in the scents of aromatherapy and colors in the sky that surround you. Enjoy the open road and pick your destination — light to medium pressure. A 90-minute massage is $325; 120 minutes is $430 per person.

Contact Concierge@eauspa.com or 561 540 4960 for more information. Enjoy!

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