Joshua Luckow, former executive director of US destination spa Canyon Ranch, has launched SolaVieve, a company which will design, develop and operate holistic, immersive wellness properties.
While he was at Canyon Ranch, Luckow worked in every key area of the business, while overseeing the company’s complicated operations and running the flagship property in Arizona.
Now, working with several other former Canyon Ranch employees, he wants to use his experience to bring a similar type of wellness destination to Europe and beyond.
“This is the dawn of a consumer-led revolution within the booming wellness market,” said Luckow. “Vacationing is moving from indulgence to purpose; hospitality from conventional to experiential.
"At the same time, healthcare is shifting from sick care to optimal living, while spa is moving from a glamorous extravagance to a meaningful pursuit.”
Joining him in the venture is Jerry Cohen, who co-founded Canyon Ranch in 1979 and will serve as SolaVieve’s executive chairman; and Natalie Rushton, who spent seven of her 12 years at Canyon Ranch as the senior operations manager for the At Sea SpaClub division, and who is SolaVieve’s vice president of operations.
SolaVieve, which is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, is focused on generating a sustainable triple-bottom-line return – people, planet, and profit – said Luckow.
He is working with key members of the World Economic Forum and the United Nations to “realise a shared vision of a healthier and happier world".
“Our aim is to develop an ecosystem that harmoniously ties in hospitality environments, living communities and digital platforms to service all socioeconomic classes,” he explained.
Key to that is bringing on expert staff who are encouraged to find purpose, mastery and autonomy in creating programming to engage guests at a transformational level in health and wellbeing.
“We're not about momentary detoxifications or mere escapism, but nurturing one’s lifestyle,” said Rushton.
Programming falls under one of six divisions: Health & Healing, Fitness and Movement, Spiritual & Creative, Rest & Relaxation, Food and Nutrition, and Personal Growth.
The categories offer everything from integrative western medicine, traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurveda, to strength training and dance classes, to mindfulness, painting, watsu, cooking demos, art appreciation and philosophy.
“We always start where the guest is on their evolutionary path and create sufficient variation in our programming to stay relevant throughout a guest’s lifetime,” said Rushton.
“SolaVieve will enable people from all around the world to live consciously, healthily and enthusiastically – reducing the burden of preventable illness on individuals and society while being in harmony with our shared ecosystem,” Luckow explained.
But the breadth of programming means coordinating a complex set of operations.
“We’re undaunted by complexity and expert in servicing the whole person – mind, body and spirit,” said Luckow.
“Orchestrating the vast array of market intricacies and consumer interests, capabilities and demographics – coupled with a diversified and passionate staff-base – is a complex endeavour, for which we have honed our skills and developed best practices over the past four decades.”
Similar to Canyon Ranch, the business model will bring an all-inclusive model, in order to “minimize the transactional costs that might prevent someone from pursuing their passion, curiosity, or recommended health action,” said Luckow.
Plans are underway for the first SolaVieve location in Europe, but Luckow and the team are keeping specifics under wraps for now. The business hopes to have three locations within the next five years.