While hoteliers often think of amenities in terms of the type of traveler, such as a business guest or a family, a number of amenities appeal to a wide array of guests. Some of the most important amenities that appeal to virtually all guests are those pertaining to fitness and wellness. In the past decade, cultural shifts have placed a much larger emphasis on healthy lifestyles, and hotels that provide opportunities for pampering both the body and the mind may have a strategic advantage. However, it’s important to think outside of the box and move away from large, costly gyms that only a minority of guests use. Instead, look to exciting, novel amenities that will make guests look forward to their stay. Some examples include:
1. In-room fitness options
Not everyone feels comfortable exercising in public, and the prospect of changing into different clothes to hit the gym may discourage some guests from working out. Some hotels are recognizing this problem and offering different solutions. One major U.S. hotel chain offers guests a “gym in a bag,” which comes with equipment that can be used within their room, such as jump ropes or resistance bands. Some hotels could conceivably even deliver free weights directly to guests. The same chain recently rolled out on-demand fitness videos that guests can access from their rooms. The routines are led by a number of prominent athletes.
2. Guided, holistic experiences
One hotel located in Thailand has introduced a unique holistic health experience for its guests. Called Asaya, the program connects guests to wellness guides that help them set goals for their stay and identify workouts, spa treatments, and other services that can be used to achieve them. The program emphasizes physical, spiritual, and emotional wellbeing and provides a wide range of options that guest can use to achieve their goals. Providing a wellness guide helps guests set realistic goals and gain better perspective on how to work toward them most effectively.
3. Running concierges
People who regularly run at home may choose not to do so while on vacation because they are unfamiliar with the area and the best routes. Some hotels now offer a solution to this problem: a running concierge who works with guests to find the best routes for their available time, goals, and interests. In addition, hotels can offer group runs for guests of varying skill levels, which is a great way to get guests interacting with each other and perhaps building relationships that will last much longer than their stay. Of course, some guests who would like to participate in these activities may not have brought the appropriate gear, so some hotels also have lending programs for athletic clothing or provide the opportunity to purchase it in-house.
4. Clean eating programs
A Six Senses hotel located in Portugal recently rolled out a unique “clean eating” program that was designed in collaboration with a physician. Based on the success of the program, other chain locations also implemented it. The meal options help guests achieve their specific goals, such as boosting their immunity or improving their digestion. In general, the meals are designed to be low in sugar, sodium, and inflammatory substances. Six Senses also provides integrative health screenings, as well as personalized sleep and fitness advice, as a complement to the culinary program. This sort of integrated program helps guests feel like they are working toward their overall wellbeing even while traveling, a time when many let their healthy habits slide.
5. Bike rentals
Bikes are often the most convenient way to explore a new city, and many hotels now offer complimentary rentals to guests. When doing so, it’s important to also provide guests with locks and helmets. In addition, hotels can go a step further by offering maps of bike routes to local landmarks and guides to bike parking in the city. A boutique hotel chain in New York actually offers its own custom-made bikes to guests and additionally employs a bicycle counselor who leads groups on guided bike tours of the city. Bike rentals are a great way to ensure that guests have adequate transportation during their stay, while also giving them an excellent way to get some exercise.
6. Group exercise adventures
A large number of hotels around the world have adopted exercise classes as part of their fitness and wellbeing programs. Hotels can impress guests even more by offering unique group exercise experiences, like “floating yoga” classes conducted on stand-up paddleboards or aerial-based exercise classes using hammocks or fabrics. Another way to make these experiences more engaging is to turn the exercise into an outdoor adventure. For example, hotels located near the ocean can provide group kayak trips or even group surfing lessons. Hotels in other locations may want to offer group hikes or other adventures that help guests socialize and have fun in nature.