• Design for Leisure

Trend: Urban Bathhouses & Wellness Playgrounds

Earlier this month, the Global Wellness Summit (GWS) released its annual

wellness trends report, the new directions in wellness that the organization believes will have the most meaningful impact on the industry and people worldwide. The 110-page report goes in-depth on the major shifts ahead in nutrition, wellness travel, wellness real estate, women’s health, men’s wellness, healthcare, technology, sustainability and spas.


One forecast that obviously caught our attention was the "Urban Bathhouse" trend: "Whether it’s new or renovated bathhouses featuring hydrothermal bathing (saunas, steam rooms, pools, etc.); large-scale wellness water resorts (some of which accommodate up to 8,000 visitors daily); or public parks where nature meets art and wellness, cities around the globe are suddenly making the pursuit of wellness accessible, affordable and inclusive.


Render of Therme Group's planned Toronto bathhouse and wellness playground.

Communal bathing that hearkens back to European and Asian bathing cultures is inspiring an urban bathhouse renaissance around the globe. Just a few examples: Austria’s Therme Group, which already attracts around 3.4 million visitors a year to its sites in Europe, is now investing heavily in North America; Italian wellness company QC Terme will open its next urban bathhouse on New York’s Governor’s Island; and a Finnish-inspired Nordic bathing spa opened in early 2022 in Toronto.


Breathtaking QC Milano has been built over an ancient communal bathhouse.

Additionally, sauna bathing (and communal sweating) is becoming more popular and playful—it’s less about being serious and silent and more about communal joy! Large event saunas have been opening outside of European sauna “hot spots,” with cities like Las Vegas hosting high-octane “Sauna Aufguss” performances and London night spots offering private rooftop saunas adjacent to the rooftop bar."


Check out DFL's recent Sauna Aufguss installation at Resorts World, Las Vegas!