Bernard Burt, Spa Author, Activist
As the Founding Director of the International Spa Association, Bernard Burt
created a voice for the spa industry, changing the image of elite, expensive
fat farms with a new approach to healthy lifestyles. The synergy between
spas, tourism, and luxury lifestyle products motivates Burt’s landmark books.
The Washington National Spa Alliance; co-chairs, Mary-Elizabeth Gifford, Bernard Burt, and Ada Polla (photographed by Tony Powell at the Four Seasons)
“Fodor’s Health & Fitness Vacations” (1987, Random
Taking the waters has been a Washington tradition ever since President
House), updated as “Fodor’s Healthy Escapes,” became a best
George and Martha Washington escaped to a town called Bath in West
seller in the ‘90s. The Millennium marked his third book, “100
Virginia, 90-minutes from the Beltway. Now known as Berkeley Springs
Best Spas of the World.” For the new decade, Burt’s trilogy
State Park, the mineral water baths, bodywork, and winter waters festival
“Spectacular Spas” will feature destinations in Asia, Europe,
redefine cheap chic.
and the Americas (2009/2010).
New trends are shaping the way we spa. Holistic health led to a revival
The synergy between spas, tourism, and luxury lifestyle
of interest in all things natural as well as wellness programs. Corporate
products motivates Burt’s landmark books. Described as the
America discovered spa retreats are cost-effective stress management.
ideal author by T George Harris, Editor in Chief of American
The National Institutes of Health in Bethesda established a center to
Health magazine, “Burt had quite a few naïve ideas about
research and define complementary medicine for today’s standards of
health behaviors and healthy food – and found himself totally
health. Creating a forum for spa industry newsmakers, the Washington
unprepared, as most executives do, when his doctor told
National Spa Alliance will launch in 2009.
him his life would be shorter than normal if he did not get his
weight down.” Burt had taken the waters in Baden-Baden,
The ‘defining choices’ of D.C. spa goers range from day spas to luxury
Budapest, Bath, and Two Bunch Palms, but had to learn about
hotels, resort in the mountains and on Chesapeake Bay. My first
holistic health and the new concepts of mind-body wellness
experiences were at The Homestead in southern Virginia, a favored
being introduced at American spas.
retreat of Thomas Jefferson and George Washington, and The Greenbrier
in West Virginia, where members of Congress still meet and golf. Recent
As founding director of the International Spa Association,
openings included Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia, and the Inn at
he created a voice for the spa industry, changing the image
Perry Cabin, St. Michaels, Md. Arriving soon in Middleburg, Virginia,
of elite, expensive fat farms with a new approach to healthy
Salamander Resort & Spa will sport an equestrian center. New hotel
lifestyles. His lectures on spa management at Cornell Univer-
spas in Washington include Bliss at the The W, Red Door at The Willard
sity’s School of Hotel Administration, The Asia Spa Institute,
Intercontinental, and The Jefferson.
and trade shows in London and Germany, focus on the need to
educate a new generation of spa managers.
The worldwide movement to integrate wellness and preventive medicine
redefines the spa as integral to maintaining your quality of life.
Bernard Burt, Author of ‘100 Best Spas of the World’ and Chairman of the Washington Spa Alliance (photographed by Tony Powell at the Four Seasons)
Burt’s byline appears regularly online for Healing
According to the International Spa Association (ISPA), there are seven
C ommissioned to write the first guidebook on American Lifestyles & Spas (healinglifestyles.com/WebExclusives)
types of spas devoted to enhancing overall well-being through a variety
health resorts, Bernard Burt documented the spa magazine. Featured columnist for Spa Management Journal,
of professional services that encourage the renewal of mind, body, and
explosion of the 1980s. The experience changed his he tracks trends worldwide. On the Web, Burt reports for Hotel-
spirit (www.experienceispa.com). As a founding member of ISPA, I
lifestyle. A leading spa industry authority, media spa guru, Online.com and SpaGoer.com.
gained valuable insights about holistic health from providers of products
and travel marketing consultant, he became Founding
and services who support the industry’s educational programs. Among
Director of the International Spa Association (ISPA) in From his personal lifestyle turnaround to documenting
them is Alchimie Forever, headquartered in Washington and headed by
1991. Networking at conferences in Europe and America, today’s top trends, Bernard Burt defines spa experiences for
an international team of skincare specialists leading development of the
fostering leadership among spa professionals, educating new generations of SpaGoers.
trend to combine medical treatment with spa services. They are setting
news media and travel agents, Bernard Burt has been Tel +1.202.331.0228
standards for the future.
recognized for service to the spa industry worldwide. www.SpaGoer.com
271 Best of DC Best of DC 272