Difference between spa, hot springs and wellness centers

The wellness industry is recording a strong growth trend from year to year. A trend determined in particular by the change in lifestyle by the Western population increasingly oriented towards the well-being of mind, body and soul and the improvement of the quality of life. Wellness centers, spas and hot spings have therefore become the main destination for those in search of peace and serenity. But what exactly is the difference between these three dining places? If you don’t know it yet, find out with us.

What is a SPA

The Spa is a company that offers water-based treatments – thermal (hydrotherapy) and / or marine (thalassotherapy) – for body care. The peculiar feature lies precisely in the use of water which becomes the main element behind each therapy.

For this close connection with treatments that involve the use of water, according to some the term SPA is the acronym of the Latin phrase “Salus per Acquam”, or “Health through water”. In fact, the Accademia della Crusca has indicated that the term originates from a toponym. Spa is in fact also the name of a Belgian town in the province of Liège rich in thermal springs and that’s where the spa name comes from.

The main treatments offered are all linked to the use of water to treat specific ailments through thermal, mechanical and chemical stimuli that water is able to induce on the human body. Among them are:

  • Hydrotherapy
  • The hot tubs
  • The Turkish bath
  • The emotional shower
  • The Kneipp path
  • The Finnish sauna


Spa and thermal baths: the difference

Thermal baths like spas also exploit the benefits of water to offer therapeutic treatments. The peculiar feature, however, lies in the type of water used. In fact, the thermal baths exploit the hot waters that flow directly from the subsoil, their vapors and the resulting muds. These are waters particularly rich in minerals and precious gases for the health of the skin, joints and respiratory tract. 

Combined with mud and clay they are able to fight inflammation, cellulite, rheumatism and wrinkles.


Wellness center: the difference with spas and thermal baths 

Even in the wellness centers there are treatments that take advantage of the benefits of water but unlike spas and thermal baths, there are also other services entirely dedicated to relaxation and well-being of mind and body. Among the additional services that can be found in a wellness center, but which are not generally present in a spa, there are certainly:

  • Massages
  • Beauty treatments for face and body
  • Chromotherapy treatments
  • Aromatherapy treatments
  • Halotherapy treatments
  • Vinotherapy treatments


The main difference between spas, wellness centers and thermal baths therefore lies in the type of services offered. If on the one hand we have in fact the spas, which necessarily must be equipped with facilities aimed at offering medical therapies, on the other hand we have places more focused on body care and relaxation.

In any case, these are structures entirely dedicated to relaxation and well-being of the person.