Independent hoteliers share how their properties have evolved thinking around wellness to offer guests the experiences they are looking for.
GLOBAL REPORT—Independent hotels that focus on wellness offerings have shifted how they think about wellness to roll out new concepts for guests, sources said.
“Just like everybody else, we previously thought of wellness as putting your head down in a doughnut and getting a massage,” Hans Pfister, president of Cayuga Collection, said via email.
Cayuga properties, which are located in various regions of Latin America, offer massage treatments, but wellness is “really more about feeling well in general,” he said.
“We focus on human interactions, food and beverages, activities, not only traditional exercise, and relaxation in general,” he said. “For 2021, we plan to roll out a Cayuga-wide wellness concept that we are working on developing right now.”
At Provenance Hotels properties, wellness goes beyond physical movements, Kate Buska, VP of brand development, said in an email interview.
“It’s programming that promotes mindfulness in thoughtful ways including unique amenities and in-destination partnerships,” she said. “These aspects are built into several customer touchpoints from our websites to in-room collateral outlining the offerings available.”
Each hotel offers Provenance Signature Programming, but there are opportunities for each hotel to explore creative programming unique to its location, she said.
“Take for example, the Bedside Botanical Menu available at Woodlark and the Adventure Valet at Dossier, both in Portland, Oregon,” she said.
Hawaii’s Hotel Renew renovated and rebranded in 2019 to reopen as Renew, a hotel that focuses on wellness.
Adrian Perez, GM at Renew, said the goal of the hotel’s revamp was to connect to the local Oahu community in a “thoughtful, sustainable way.”
Hawaii’s Renew hotel serves up craft coffee to guests at the property’s reVitalize Coffee Bar. (Photo: Renew)
“Almost every aspect of the hotel incorporates the local community in some way, from the hotel’s designer, The Vanguard Theory, to the art on our walls to the coffee, drinks and food served as well as the activities we offer,” he said via email. “We really wanted guests to get outside of the local hotel and truly experience Oahu, not just experience a hotel in Oahu.”
One way the hotel does this is by hosting yoga on the beach rather than inside the hotel, which is followed by a beach clean-up, he said.
Renew is the only hotel in Oahu to offer a wellness concierge, Perez said. The wellness concierge is available to direct guests to wellness-minded restaurants, activities, shopping and more.
Programs that are offered at the hotel through the rebrand include astrology readings and mini aromatherapy facials. Renew also offers amenities such as a craft coffee bar, a healthy grab-and-go station and a nightly craft cocktail bar where drinks are prepared from local spirits and ingredients, Perez said.
‘Fresh, healthy and local’
Eating well is a big trend in the wellness space, Pfister said.
“Guests want fresh, healthy and local,” he said. “It’s not about counting calories, but about eating food that is good for you and tastes good. We are also seeing sustainability and wellness go together 100%. People only feel really good when they know their actions don’t harm the environment.”
Cayuga properties have updated menus recently to focus on vegan diets, he said.
“We’ve been very accommodating to gluten-free diets for years, but in the end, it is about fresh, local and healthy,” he said. “We never really have guests complain; most feel that they eat very well at our hotels and lodges.”
The Woodlark hotel in Portland, Oregon, offers a Bedside Botanical Menu as part of its wellness offerings. (Photo: Provenance Hotels)
Wellness on the road
Provenance’s goal is to help guests stick to their healthy lifestyles while traveling, which “starts with a good night’s sleep with our Signature Sleep Experience and pillow menu,” Buska said.
“Through our dedicated Well+Fit program, which debuted in 2018, we offer upgraded gyms, hosted fitness pop-ups on a regular basis and even offer guests the option to continue their fitness regimen from the privacy of their own room with the delivery of our complimentary Well+Fit kits,” she said. “It’s just essentially room service for the mind and body.”