Hotel Spas and the Wellness Journey – Part 2


In Hotels Spas and the Wellness Journey – Part 1, we took a look at how hotel spas can do Wellness well by going all-in on the concept. In this post we’ll discuss some options for those hotels who can’t or won’t go all-in but still want to dip their toes in the metaphorical Waters of Wellness.

So why can’t other hotels do the same as the likes of COMO Hotels an Six Senses when it comes to Wellness? Why don’t they simply go all-in?

The reason is that this level of Wellness, going all-in, requires a big commitment in terms of time, money and effort. And all this for what is in reality still a niche market. While some can certainly do very well by targeting a niche market like this, for most hotels, the reality of filling rooms means they need to appeal to a wider market. Catering to a broader market does not require dedicated spa cuisine chefs, yogis and Doctors of Ayurveda on staff. Carrying all these payroll and operational costs to do Wellness right often just doesn’t make financial sense.

Beware the Wellness Washers

The obvious question from hotel GMs is ‘Can’t we just do some basic Wellness things, without necessarily going all-in?’

And yes, you can. However, when you do this, you’re only delivering a partial Wellness experience. The problem here is the type of guest for whom Wellness is an important factor in choosing your hotel over another, is likely to be well informed on Wellness. That means they’re unlikely to be impressed with a partial solution. Conversely, the guest who is happy to accept your partial Wellness offering is unlikely to be swayed by it in terms of impacting their choice of hotel.

If you’re looking at offering some Wellness components in your hotel to give you a true USP versus your competitors, you really need to commit to doing it properly. If, however, you simply want to keep touch with your competitors by at least offering something that can be promoted and seen as Wellness related, there are some relatively simple things you can do. But be careful. Some hotels in the past have tried these half measures with environmentally friendly elements, back when eco-friendly was all the rage. They were soon called out by those that were doing it properly and accused of ‘green washing’ – ie: making green claims when in reality they weren’t really doing much at all.

Just a Touch of Wellness

So, are you still willing to run the gauntlet of ‘Wellness Washing’? Here’s some ideas…

  1. Add some healthy options to your food and beverage menus and identify these on the menus as Wellness Cuisine. If you have enough of these items, you can even print a special Wellness Menu that you can offer to diners as something unique and healthy.
  2. Sleep is a critical part of Wellness and of course an often underrated part of a hotel stay. Anything you can do to help your guests sleep can be marketed as part of your Wellness Program. Items such as…
    • Pillow menus
    • Bath menus
    • Aromatherapy diffusers to fill the room with sleep inducing scents like lavender or chamomile
    • A sleep channel on your TV that plays soothing sleep inducing sounds.
  3. Yoga mats can be made available on request so the guest can practice in their room.
  4. A Yoga channel on the TV to provide instruction.
  5. Jogging or walking maps for those that want to get some exercise and fresh air.
  6. A ‘Sound Sleep’ card on turndown with a few simple stretches and breathing exercises to help guests fully relax before bed.

All these ideas can be combined and before you know it you have a Wellness Program. Of course, this is probably not enough to establish yourself as a true Wellness hotel. However, in a market where many hotels are doing nothing at all, it just might be enough to give you an edge.

Wellness is a Journey, not a Destination.