2018 Spa and Wellness Trend: Creative Hotel Offerings

Hotels without spas are getting creative with their wellness offerings.

It used to be that a hotel’s ultimate symbol of wellness was a spectacular spa. Unfortunately for many operators, that was not always an achievable reality. But times are changing, and hotels are creatively and effectively catering to the needs of a growing base of wellness-minded travelers by creating unique experiences, in-room offerings, and savvy partnerships.

For some properties, teaming with a local spa or fitness facility is the way to their clients’ healthy hearts. Kimpton Canary Hotel (Santa Barbara, CA) recently partnered with Float, a nearby day spa, to offer a package that includes accommodations, in-room or in-spa services, healthy farm-to-table meals, and other experiences to help guests unplug. The Kimberly Hotel (New York City) has a partnership with New York Health and Racquet Club (NYHRC) that allows guests to access any Manhattan location during their stay. Several other properties across the country have teamed with the on-demand massage service provider Zeel to give guests easy access to in-room treatments. Guests can book vetted, licensed therapists through the concierge and add the cost of service to the hotel bill if they choose, and the hotel, meanwhile, receives a portion of the revenue. “Zeel provides a dedicated account manager and live support,” says Samer Hamadeh, founder and CEO. “These features benefit both partners and guests alike, and it’s why we’re working with so many properties.”

Still other hotels are getting even more resourceful. The Inn at 500 Capitol (Boise, ID) doesn’t have a spa but does offer five spa suites in its 11-room boutique hotel. Even at a higher price point, the rooms designed with serene extras tend to sell out. “I think having a room type geared towards a more tranquil experience is a big draw,” says  general manager Curt Asmussen. In a more urban setting, where space is at a premium, Hotel 48LEX (New York City) offers options like fresh pressed juices and healthy dining, pop-up yoga classes, partnerships with nearby boutique fitness studios, and a new spa mini-bar program featuring Knesko masks and Malin & Goetz products for in-room spa experiences. Luma Hotel Times Square (New York City) offers the Glow Concierge program. Guests can make a call to the front desk and have access to on-demand beauty services from Glamsquad, a specialty menu curated specifically for Luma guests from nearby Juice Press, gym-in-a-bag items, a neighborhood fitness map and a list of Bryant Park’s fitness classes, admission to the Blink Fitness location around the corner, and more. “Our menu consists of some of the best wellness options in the city,” says general manager Kate Martin. “Not only can guests book a service at their convenience, but they can also experience options that might not be available in their cities.”

Indeed, it seems that an on-site spa is no longer a make-or-break amenity to attract healthy travelers, and hotel operators are taking advantage of this fact. “Today’s luxury guest values time above all else and the ability to maintain their lifestyle while traveling,” says Rebecca Tisbe, director of rooms at Hotel 48LEX. “Wellness is a priority for many these days, and giving our guests the option of healthful and relaxing experiences in the convenience of our beautiful hotel is what keeps them coming back.”

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