“Stay well, even on the road,” welcomes the chain of EVEN Hotels. That message from a hospitality company is part of the growth of the retail health landscape, driven by consumers’ desire to live well and make healthy decisions every day – even during business trips. The message is that, “Wellness is more than a word. It’s your way of life. But when it’s time to travel, it all falls apart,”
Who among us road warriors for work doesn’t get that message?
This is a real trend that engaged health consumers have begun to demand. A friend of mine traveled this week to Salt Lake City and checked into the Hotel Monaco. She was glad to see the amenity of yoga offered at the hotel, along with a yoga mat in the room. She found hydrating fruit-infused water available 24/7 in the lobby, a map of local running trails, and a full gym with good high-end equipment as well as hula hoops (!) open 24/7. Three times a week, a local masseuse sets up a chair and gives free back or neck rubs. For the spirit, it’s a pet-friendly place but if you don’t bring your pet, the hotel will loan you a goldfish in a bowl for your room for the length of your stay. Finally, fine Frette linens on the beds add to the (health-boosting) sleep experience, as well. Note that this hotel is part of the Kimpton brand, belonging to the IHG family of hotels that includes the Intercontinental Hotels, Holiday Inn, Hotel Indigo, and Crowne Place, among others.
This week, the Hilton hotel chain launched its health-hospitality program, Five Feet to Fitness, an in-room wellness concept. The hotel rooms are fitted with “Gym Rax” storage shelves that incorporate various fitness accessories and modalities for strength (using the TRX system with straps that attach to the Gym Rax), core, yoga, meditation, stretching, and family-oriented fitness. Wattbikes are available for avid cyclists, who can link to their preferred app during the exercise. There’s also a digital kiosk that provides over 200 guided exercises and workouts using equipment in the room. As of this week, the program is available at Parc 55 San Francisco and Hilton McLean Tysons Corner (VA). Expansion plans for the project are slated for Atlanta, Austin, Chicago, Las Vegas, New York and San Diego.
Health Populi’s Hot Points: Hilton’s Five Feet to Fitness fits into a trend that JWT identified in its report on The Well Economy called “sportspitality.” JWT sees the phenomenon especially resonating with the Millennial age cohort, in which nearly one-half of travelers born between 1980 and 1998 look for access to a gym and exercise classes when making a hotel decision. JWT recognizes that hotel chains are building out specific brands to respond to this consumer demand.
JWT recently published a report on Food + Drink Trends and Futures for 2017 which complements the wellness/hospitality segment. In the report, analysts calls out at least two trends on the food/wellness front. First, “healthonism rising” speaks to consumers who are looking for guilt-free, great-tasting products for healthy indulgence. Products that fit here include low-carb alcoholic beverages and new chocolate-based delights. A second healthy food trend is “prescription nutrition,” with consumers spending disposable income on healthy food subscription services.
Independent hotels and restaurants have been offering these kinds of amenities for several years. The hotel and restaurant chains are now scaling the concepts to new brands, joining the growing array of choice for consumers looking to bolster health and wellness every day. As the EVEN Hotels mantra states on the video below, the goal is to, “Rest easy…Eat well…Accomplish more.”
Check out EVEN Hotels’ video here with that health message expanded.
Here’s a video on the Hilton Five Feet to Fitness program.