Eight Ways to Enhance Hotel Wellness Offerings
By Veljko Savic Spa Director, Coronado Island Marriott | December 29, 2019
Travel as we know it has evolved completely in recent years. As our culture has increasingly prioritized and become aware of their physical and mental well being, the concept of wellness travel has transitioned from a luxury to an expectation.
More than ever, travelers are motivated to exercise, spend time enhancing their spirituality, maintain a diet, and seek a certain quality of relaxation and sleep while on the road. As hotels, we now see the concept of general wellness viewed as a daily, active pursuit, and even a motivating factor when it comes to deciding where to book a stay.
For travelers, often the idea of a wellness retreat or spa vacation has felt like a far off dream or something that requires an over-the-top budget. Now more than ever though, we are seeing this trend change as travelers are increasingly seeking daily touches of health and more approachable wellness vacations.
No longer is wellness only achievable at the spa, it is an all-encompassing approach to travel that can and should be integrated throughout every hotel outlet. Wellness is not limited to any one sort of traveler. From children to adults, family vacations, business trips, couples retreats, and weekend's away…wellness can be experienced in some form, by all.
Treating oneself to these sort of experiences often does not even require a trip to the spa anymore as hotels are finding ways to weave fitness experiences, pop-up spa treatments, and healthy dining options throughout the property. As hotel executives, our role is to find new and innovative ways to create a property-wide spa experience and meet the desires of our guests. We can do this by providing experiences that authentically tell the property's story and showcases their unique approach to wellness.
At the Coronado Island Marriott Resort & Spa, we work to provide wellness at all levels of experience to our guests. From complimentary amenities that encourage guests to get outside and take advantage of our beautiful bayside setting, to menu markers that designate diet-friendly dishes, and luxury spa treatments that offer the ultimate indulgence – wellness is found everywhere.
Data shows that since 2015, the global wellness industry has grown 12.8 percent, from $3.7 trillion to $4.2 trillion. That increase can really be seen in travel and as leaders in the industry, our role is to meet the demand for both experiential and transformative travel by creating environments that put both mental and physical health at the heart of our hotels, and as base for every traveler's experience on property.
At the Coronado Island Marriott Resort & Spa, we've honed in on our guest's needs and have made them central to our core principle, "The Art of Living Well." Our Southern California wellness resort is dedicated to incorporating wellness in all aspects of the guest experience from staff, to food, rooms, and beyond. We continue to look for ways to innovate and enhance the experience on property.
After completing a full property renovation in 2016 that introduced a new spa and wellness center, the resort as a whole has truly embraced the concept of wellness and has integrated it from arrival to check out. Regardless of whether a guest visits the spa or wellness center, a feeling of refresh, and an honest commitment to well being, should be felt by all travelers.
Wellness looks different at all hotels, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach to enhance hotel offerings. A few ways to integrate wellness on property, include:
1. Inspire Wellness In Staff
Lead by example and allow staff to truly understand what wellness means to the property. It is crucial to fully immerse hotel staff and employees in the wellness culture by educating them through hands-on experiences. Allow staff to try spa treatments, utilize fitness facilities as their own gym, and incentivize healthy behaviors. If staff feels wellness integrated into their own life, they are happier, healthier, and more in touch with the resort's goal of providing a wellness-oriented environment for travelers.
2. Utilize Your Setting
Provide experiential wellness, by really utilizing the hotel's location. From the sea, to the mountains, city, urban setting, country and beyond, look to the destination to provide inspiration. Ask the question, "how can wellness be experienced in my hotel's destination?" Then, design experiences around where you are and what is around you. For example, at the Coronado Marriott, the San Diego Bay and our proximity to the water provide inspiration for spa treatments. We use marine ingredients; products focused on hydration, and also incorporate seaweed, salts, and scrubs into our menu.
3. Make Wellness Approachable
Wellness doesn't have to be intimidating, it is something that can and should be available to all guests. As a matter of fact, wellness can be treated as an expectation and incorporated as part of a guest's entire stay – rather than only integrated if they are visiting the spa. A few ways to do this is through small touches, such as offering fruit-infused water or even healthy snacks upon check in. Try implementing physical activity as part of resort fees. By offering free kayak or bike rentals, guests have greater ability to get outside and stay fit.
Another idea is to offer mini or express spa treatments in spaces such as the lobby or pool. Dining programs offer ample opportunity for healthy choices. By marking menus with vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-friendly options, guests are able to make quick, convenient, healthy choices that fit their preferences and lifestyle. A little goes a long way when it comes to wellness, and tiny touches make all the difference.
4. Implement a Wellness Concierge
Incorporating wellness starts before a guest arrives to the hotel and should stay throughout their entire experience on property. By incorporating a Wellness Concierge, guests have immediate and convenient access to learn about hotel offerings, make appointments, and fully take advantage of everything available to them. In advance of a stay, send a pre-arrival email listing all of the hotel amenities, fitness classes, and spa services, and allow guests to respond directly to their Wellness Concierge.
Communicating in this way allows guests to feel a personal touch, human connection, and gives the property the chance to educate guests, all while further telling a wellness story. By informing guests of all ways they can achieve wellness on property, they check in one step ahead, and are more likely to take advantage of resort amenities.
5. Wellness for The Whole Family
Wellness does not need to be limited to only adults. Children and families can seek the benefits as well. Offering family-friendly outdoor activities like workout classes, yoga, and picnics, offer fun and healthy activities for everyone. When it comes to food and beverage, think outside the traditional children's menu. How can kid-friendly menu options offer food that fuels them for the day's adventures and promotes their overall health? If the hotel offers a spa, consider adding a child-friendly treatment area or pop-up locations where they can learn the benefits of self-care.
6. Stay On Top of Trends
Wellness trends are always changing and it is imperative to stay on the pulse. As hotel leaders, it is our duty to stay informed and to constantly look for new ways to innovate and enhance the hotel experience. Some recent trends we've chosen to implement at the Coronado Marriott include the incorporation of CBD oils into our spa treatments for its natural anti-inflammatory properties and ability to reduce stress and anxiety.
We've also tapped into smart fitness technology by adding Peloton Bikes into our fitness center. As guests continuously search for exciting ways to incorporate wellness outside of the gym, we have implemented eight pickle ball courts on property for a fun way for travelers to stay active, get outside, and take advantage of Coronado's year-round warm weather. Realizing that pickleball is a growing national trend, we even implemented a Pickle Ball Package, in which guests receive access to private coaching, all equipment needed, and to top it off, a pickled bloody mary all as part of their stay.
7. Incorporate Wellness into Meetings
For business travelers and meeting and event attendees, wellness is often a second or even third thought. Frankly, it can often be a non-existent thought. Add wellness offerings into meeting and event capabilities to create a space devoted to mindfulness and harnessing one's full potential. From diffusing essential oils in meeting rooms, and offering healthy catering options to chair massages, group yoga classes or meditations, there are myriad of ways in which touches of wellness can be treated as an extra benefit to meetings and events being held on property.
8. Add In-Room Wellness
So often, the only space a guest really sees during a hotel stay is the lobby and their own guest room – so treat these spaces as wellness centers as well. In the lobby, consider adding diffusers, scented lotions, and candles. In the guest room, get creative! What about implementing a fitness add-on where guests can request a yoga mat or free weights? Provide product with healing effect and relaxing scents, and decorate with air purifying plants.
Wellness has become more than a trend for travelers, it is a way of being. The art of living well is becoming not a luxury, but an expectation of hotel guests. By creating a rejuvenating environment that is dedicated to overall well being, we are not only creating a relaxing and tranquil environment, but also a space where all guests can truly be their best selves.
Happier and healthier guests are a benefit to all, and it is our duty as hotel executives to create an environment where each guest is given the opportunity to experience wellness on their own terms.
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