How important is wellness for you when you travel? Do you choose your hotels based on their gym equipment and spa treatments? What if I told you that a hotel’s large pool or sauna doesn’t even scratch the surface of what ‘wellness travel’ is all about? Now more than ever, businesses understand the importance of incorporating wellness into their offerings, and there is one global hospitality company that leads the way: Accor.
With over 4,800 hotels in over 100 countries worldwide, Accor has made it its mission to reimagine the meaning of wellness tourism. Knowing that most people nowadays have certain wellness habits or routines at home, Accor want to make it possible for people to continue them while staying at one of their hotels, while also experiencing new, exciting wellness offerings.
“Our guests are among the most well- traveled and discerning travelers in the world and they are increasingly motivated by the possibilities of maintaining and improving their health and wellbeing along their journeys. From hotel design and spa concepts to facilities and programs, my goal is to continue to surpass the expectations of our guests on every visit and infuse their entire hotel experience with opportunities for transformative, innovative and extraordinary moments of wellness and wellbeing,” says Vice President, Well-Being, Accor, Luxury & Premium Brands, Emlyn Brown.
Insights and Planning Manager for Accor, Evi Ferenduros, explains that there are two types of wellness travellers. The primary travel market consists of people with a specific wellbeing objective in mind, such as those staying at a health retreat or those who base their holiday on a specific activity, such as surfing or yoga. The secondary travel market includes people that aren’t specifically travelling for wellness experiences, but they still want to fit it into their schedule, for example their morning run or their healthy breakfast. This market in particular is growing.
“Wellness is much more than a trend, now it is actually becoming a massive movement,” says Brown. So it’s unsurprising that Accor have put a strategy in place to cater to this movement; the so-called 5 pillars of wellness: Active Nutrition (offering nutritious dining experiences), Holistic Designs (making sure the hotel’s design impacts wellbeing positively), Bodies In Movement (offering sporting activities as well as a gym), Leveraging The Spa (offering an excellent spa experience), and Mindful Moments (creating moments of pause for guests).
“Wellness has moved beyond the walls of the spa to embrace healthy and nourishing food and beverage offerings; challenging fitness activities; adventurous outdoor experiences; a focus on sleep quality and even stimulating intellectual and artistic pursuits,” says Brown.
The 5 pillars of wellness serve as a guide for every hotel brand in Accor’s portfolio and the resulting wellness offering looks different for each of them. Swissôtel The Stamford in Singapore, for example, has six new Vitality Rooms that include an experience shower and bath for pure relaxation. Circadian lighting technology is uniquely designed to adapt to the guest’s circadian rhythm, boosting overall health and wellbeing. The spacious rooms feature an in-room yoga station, and a wellness wall with cable pull, water pull, and wall bars. An interactive digital display allows guests to select guided workout routines. For post work-out nourishing, the Vitality Rooms offer a mini bar stocked with nutritious juices and snacks.
Fairmont Hotels & Resorts offers travelers easy access to Reebok fitness apparel through Fairmont Fit. This popular benefit for frequent guests delivers workout clothing and running shoes direct to guestrooms for use wherever they wish to work out: in-room, in the hotel fitness centers or beyond the hotel in the great outdoors. Many Fairmont locations also offer fitness accessories, running maps and staff-led jogging groups to further enhance the workout experience.
The importance of a good night’s sleep is the focus at Raffles Dubai, Raffles Makati, Raffles Seychelles and Raffles Europejski Warsaw, which have introduced Raffles Sleep Rituals at turndown service. The slumber-inducing amenities include luxurious eye pillows of DreamSoft® linen; calming goodnight cards that encourage mindfulness and contentment; and engraved five-minute sand timers, for unwinding or meditating before sleep. Raffles has also partnered with luxury skincare brand, Aromatherapy Associates, to create a bespoke Deep Relax Oil that encourages sleep and alleviates the restlessness of jet lag.
“Wellness is becoming a lifestyle,” says Senior Vice President of Accor’s Marketing Innovation Lab, Frederic Fontaine. “It’s a 4 trillion dollar market. By 2050, 75% of the population will be living in urban areas, with all the impact of what that entails.” As a result of our increasing wellness needs, Fontaine is working on a so-called ‘Positive Place’, which is a “holistic wellness-dedicated location where you could eat, do activities, learn, and eventually sleep. We call it a Wellness Place with some rooms on top.”
It’s apparent that the future of travel is looking healthy, relaxed, and highly customisable to create holidays that work for each individual’s wellness routines and preferences. We can’t wait to hear more about this exciting movement at Australia’s first Wellness Tourism Summit to be held in Noosa in March 2020.