A completely new Lure for Spa Customers? A Salt Cave

Nonetheless, salt therapy, also known as halotherapy, a venerable treatment in Central Europe as well as Asia, will be today being offered at spas, resorts as well as stand-alone facilities within the United States within the form of salt beds, salt rooms as well as salt booths. Floors as well as walls which are lined with salt blocks as well as salt crystals, as well as zero-gravity chairs (recliners designed to relax the back), are the norm. A device known as a halogenerator grinds sodium chloride into a dry aerosol, then disperses the idea to mimic the microclimate of a salt cave.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, salt spas seem to be sprouting in pockets of the United States which attract the rich. For example, at the Montauk Salt Cave, which opened two years ago within the Hamptons, a session costs $40 for adults. There’s a children’s hour ($40 per child, however adult guardians may enter free) as well as yoga classes as well as reiki healing amid the Himalayan salt. At the Wellery, a pop-up “wellness center” at Saks Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, weary shoppers can refresh themselves in one of several salt booths (10 minutes for $25) until the end of October.

“The ability to look at salt as well as see its helpful properties has become a significant part of our business,” said Allan Share, the president of the Spa Industry Association.


Jessica as well as Elliott Helmer, owners of the Salt Suite.

Kali McCarthy for The completely new York Times

In 2012, there were a dozen halotherapy facilities — places with halogenerators — in North America, according to Leo M. Tonkin, the founder as well as chief executive of Salt Chamber, a supplier of dry salt therapy equipment, based in Boca Raton, Fla.

“within the last four years, the number has grown to 300 salt chambers,” said Mr. Tonkin, who will be also the founder of the Salt Therapy Association, a trade group. “There’s been a rapid growth in stand-alone salt facilities as well as in resorts adding a salt room as an amenity. Day spas have taken an underutilized area as well as turned the idea into a salt room, as well as clubhouses of some high-end residential developments are adding salt rooms.”

Economics are a big driver: A visit to the sauna or steam room will be generally included within the basic spa fee at hotels as well as resorts, however salt rooms often cost extra.

Adding salt therapy to spa services will be another moneymaker. At the Four Seasons Resort in Oahu at Ko Olina, 25 minutes within the salt chamber costs $65. The so-called Ha Ritual — which involves 50 minutes in which chamber, with guided meditation, a dry salt foot scrub as well as a massage — runs $190.

however there are occasional bargains. At the Breathe Salt Room on Park Avenue in Manhattan, the “salty yoga” classes are $35, the same cost as a standard salt session.

When the Linq Hotel as well as Casino in Las Vegas opened a completely new spa two years ago, its two salt caves with halogenerators were a way “for us to differentiate ourselves,” said Joy Matti, Linq’s spa operations manager. “Several spas on the strip have salt rooms, however don’t have halogenerators.”

Linq’s salt caves feature zero-gravity chairs as well as soft music. Guests who book a spa service for at least $50 are welcome to breathe within the saline air at no additional charge. Otherwise, a 45-minute session runs $40. “We have guests who try the idea, then come back the next day because they got the best sleep of their lives,” Ms. Matti said.

The caves accommodate up to eight people “as well as are generally booked via 8 a.m. until the last session at 6 p.m.,” she said.


Supplies for salt spas in Leo Tonkin’s Salt Chamber warehouse, in Boca Raton, Fla. “the idea’s a great business product because the idea’s low labor,” Mr. Tonkin said.

Kali McCarthy for The completely new York Times

Entrepreneurs have taken note. Mr. Tonkin estimates there are 100 stand-alone salt facilities around the country, generally two- or three-room studios which charge $30 to $50 per session, though discount packages as well as membership arrangements can lower the cost considerably.

Many of these spa owners have a side business in salt lamps, bath salts, skin scrubs as well as Solé, a concentrated salt solution, to create another revenue stream. To appeal to parents who believe which halotherapy can relieve symptoms of allergies as well as eczema, some facilities have a dedicated children’s room, with salt on the floor to suggest a sandbox or beach as well as fish-themed murals.

The décor can be a big part of the lure. Some of the spaces are outfitted to look like Zen relaxation rooms, some resemble caves, as well as some have backlit blocks of amber as well as pink salt.

“the idea’s a great business product because the idea’s low labor,” Mr. Tonkin said. “You don’t need instructors. You don’t have people providing services. as well as once the facility will be built, the operational expenses are low. The only consumable will be the sodium chloride which goes into the halogenerator.” A 10-pound bag will be $25, he said, as well as will be enough for 0 to 400 sessions in a salt room depending on the size of the room as well as the length of the session.

“the idea’s pennies a treatment,” Mr. Tonkin said. “This specific will be a very lucrative business for an owner-operator.”

several years ago, Jessica Helmer as well as her husband, Elliot, of Delray Beach, Fla., were looking for a business opportunity. “We were ready to do our own thing,” said Ms. Helmer, 36, who had previously worked in corporate sales.

When a friend came back via a trip to California raving about the halotherapy center which had soothed her allergies, the Helmers were sold. In 2012 they opened the Salt Suite, a wellness center in Delray Beach with three rooms.

“the idea was a slow ramp-up however in Year 2 the idea jumped,” said Ms. Helmer, who subsequently opened a salt studio in Lake Worth. She as well as her husband have since sold Salt Suite franchises in Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton as well as Palm Beach as well as have fielded inquiries via people in completely new York, completely new Jersey, California as well as Texas “without even doing any marketing,” she said.


Leo Tonkin, founder of Salt Chamber, in his supply warehouse. He’s also the founder of the Salt Therapy Association, a trade group.

Kali McCarthy for The completely new York Times

an individual session will be $35 as well as an unlimited monthly membership will be $99. The Helmers’ clients — mostly mothers bringing their asthmatic children, as well as adults over 45 with assorted respiratory ailments — visit an average of one to three times a week.

Finding the right locations has been a challenge. “This specific isn’t a massage or haircut,” Ms. Helmer said. “the idea’s like a gym — the idea needs to be accessible so the idea can be part of your daily routine.”

however first, Ms. Helmer has to explain exactly what she’s selling. “No one has heard of salt rooms, so we have to explain what they are as well as explain which people have to come in for three or several sessions in order to see a tiny change,” she said.

however the low profile of salt rooms will be also a selling point. “People are intrigued,” Ms. Helmer said. “We possess the ‘Aah!’ factor. as well as today some of our customers are interested in franchising a studio.”

William Dunai, the owner of the Salt Cavern in Clifton, N.J., opened his doors in 2010 as well as struggled for three or four years. Groupon deals helped build the business, as well as today, during busy times on weekends, the idea operates at 95 percent occupancy.

Each of the two rooms can accommodate up to seven customers. A 45-minute visit will be $50, however there will be a buy-one-get-one-free option as well as an eight-session package for $150. “Some people meditate or pray or sleep while they’re here,” Mr. Dunai said.

Regulars come once or twice a week, though some clients show up only when they are sick. One customer has been coming daily since December, Mr. Dunai said, “as well as he told me he’s going to keep coming as long as he stays well.”

So far, so Great.

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