The more we understand about wellness and its holistic nature, the more we learn about all the aspects of daily life that can contribute to or diminish our sense of wellness. The plastic wrap we put on our food, the amount of time we spend looking at our phone, the amount of adaptogens we consume – research has provided us with no shortage of information which we can use to optimize our health. Hotels ought to consider how every touch point in the guest journey has the potential to impact the pillars of guest wellness: diet, exercise, sleep, air quality, light, temperature, and mental wellness.

Diet

Spa retreats have for decades offered their guests personalized meal programs, but the wellness trend has extended to urban hotels as well. Luxury hotels have recognized that the way to make their guests feel good is not by offering calorific meal choices and cocktails, but by offering foods that are vibrant and nutritious and that won’t leave them with a headache the next day.

A post shared by Food & Health Content Creator (@breakfastnbrunch) on Sep 14, 2017 at 2:05am PDT

Hot for hotels:

  • Menu design focused on making you feel a certain way whether that be energized, focused, or comforted.
  • An ever-increasing range of diet choices: raw, vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo, keto.
  • Healthy grab-and-go food, provided through the minibar, lobby or cafe.

Exercise

Physical activity is one of the best ways to reduce the risk of chronic illness. The World Health Organization reports that 23% of adults are not active enough and advises that supportive environments and communities can help people to be physically active. Today’s fitness enthusiast has no shortage of options when it comes to instruction and facilities for all kinds of physical activity. Hotels should seek to offer a range of options that feels continuous with guests’ day to day lives.

Hot for hotels:

  • Group fitness classes, through an app or studio partnerships
  • In-room fitness equipment
  • Integrating fitness equipment with guests’ personal fitness trackers

Sleep

According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, “after several nights of losing sleep—even a loss of just 1–2 hours per night—your ability to function suffers as if you haven’t slept at all for a day or two.” Imagine a week of poor sleep when you’re on an important business trip – an incredibly frustrating experience. The connection between sleep and wellness is now better understood which is perhaps why over three million people now listen to sleep playlists on Spotify every night.

Hot for hotels:

  • Hypo-allergenic and organic bed materials
  • Smart lighting (eg. alarm clocks that gradually increase brightness)
  • Lightbulbs that reduce blue light waves (disruptive to sleep)

Air

Allergies remains a another significant global healthcare challenge. While the cause of many allergies is not clear, people suffering from them know the difference air quality can make. Air purification systems are becoming more commonplace in homes and businesses. Considering that much of our exposure to toxins comes from the buildings we live and work in, systems to filter out as many pollutants as possible feels essential today.

Hot for hotels

  • Air purification with HEPA filter
  • Natural aromatheraphy
  • Healthy building and furniture materials
 

Light

Light is one of the most important external factors affecting sleep, specifically it’s timing, intensity, duration, and the wavelength of light. Some studies even suggest that too much exposure to light at nighttime can lead to depression. The darkness of night triggers our body to produce melatonin, which lowers body temperature, blood pressure, and glucose levels, whereas artificial light at night elevates cortisol levels which disrupts sleep.

Hot for hotels

  • Long wave nightlighting
  • Circadian mood lighting
  • Coloured lighting for atmosphere

Temperature

Knowing what the right temperature is for each guest, at each time of day, is key to providing guest comfort. But how does temperature contribute to wellness? Extreme heat or cold affects our moods and our ability to concentrate, but sometimes they can also be used to combat illness or contribute to our mental wellness.  Cold spas and cryotherapy are increasingly being used to boost immunity and encourage release of toxins. At the other end of the thermostat is the practice of heating the body through saunas or steam rooms. According to Fashionista.com, infrared saunas are the most Instagrammable wellness trend at the moment.

Hot for hotels

  • Infrared saunas
  • Cryotheraphy
  • Aromatherapy steam rooms

Mental Health

Mental health has garnered increasing public awareness in recent years. The Global Wellness Institute highlights loneliness as a cause for concern and it now trumps obesity as a predictor for early death. Meditation is now a popular practice to boost mental wellness and feed the spirit. In many ways, providing mental or spiritual support can be one of the simplest parts of wellness to support, while still being a valuable part of the guest experience.

Hot for hotels:

  • Meditation rooms
  • Partnerships with mindfulness studios
  • Coloring books and creative activities

For modern customers engaging with businesses, every interaction matters. The onus is on businesses to leverage tools and insights that address customer needs while demonstrating true appreciation.