Not so long ago, a hotel’s only connection to “wellness” was a fitness center with a treadmill, a stationary bike and some free weights. Today wellness in hotels is more than just the latest trend to hit the industry – it’s become a necessity for hotels to stay relevant and competitive in the current market.
Wellness has also evolved beyond fitness; it’s now about how a traveler’s personal well-being is impacted throughout their stay. Here we’ve crafted five ways to make your guests feel their best at your hotel – from food to mood, sleep to movement – even small changes can make a huge difference.
If your hotel offers any kind of food, from grab-and-go to a continental breakfast to a full-service restaurant, make sure healthy options are always available and prominently displayed. Welcome guests with a bowl of fresh fruit at the front desk and provide purified water in the common areas. Guests with dietary restrictions, or those who are simply trying to eat carefully, will appreciate vegetarian, gluten-free and high-protein food items. Try to include as much of these options as possible in your F&B programming. Small details like gluten-free baked goods can be what brings a guest back again.
Cleanliness is next to happiness, and with guests more aware than ever of allergens and sensitivities, keeping guestrooms as clean as possible is critical. There are several steps you can take to make this easier. For example, replace carpet tiles with luxury, easy-to-clean vinyl tile (LVT), especially in high-traffic areas. AC Hotels by Marriott has wood flooring and elevated furniture in the guestrooms, vastly reducing dust and making it much easier to clean.
And then there are the linens. Hotel bed sheets are white for a reason. Health-conscious guests will already be concerned about sleeping on someone else’s sheets. Use washable materials for the top of the bed, wash everything in between each guest, and have a placard on the nightstand assuring guests that everything they sleep on has been sanitized prior to their arrival. They’ll feel much better.
Exercising inside is fine, but when the weather is good, encourage guests to get outside and see your community. Find some good walking and jogging paths to recommend and offer maps when guests head out. If possible, get staff to organize guided walks or jogs around town. It can be a fun way for guests and the hotel team to connect.
Westin Hotels & Resorts has partnered with New Balance to loan shoes, apparel and accessories to hotel guests. During their stay, guests can borrow running shoes with brand new, disposable insoles for each use, as well as exercise clothing. Hotel South Beach in Miami Beach partnered with Soul Cycle to create a 2,600-square-foot facility with a 54-bike studio, locker rooms and an apparel boutique.
On a smaller, more exclusive scale, San Francisco-based Hotel G has partnered with local artists to host invite-only DIY classes for guests to express their creativity. For starters, consider in-room massage services from a neighborhood business, yoga classes from a local instructor or even a painting course from an area emerging artist.
1. The Fitness Center
All right, yes, you should have a fitness center. It doesn’t need to be large and it doesn’t need to have a full gym’s worth of equipment, but even a small hotel can find space for some free weights, yoga mats and exercise balls.If you can’t find a room in your hotel for a fitness center, offer to bring portable exercise gear to the guestrooms upon demand. Guests will appreciate knowing that they can work out in their rooms whenever they need to.
When they’re healthy, they’ll be happy, and when they’re happy, they’ll come back.