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6 hotels that raise the bar for health and wellness
The wellness industry is booming right now. Just recently, the Global Wellness Institute (GWI) announced that the wellness market is valued at a staggering $4.2 trillion. It grew by 12.8% between 2015-2017, which is nearly twice as fast as global economic growth.
Wellness has also become a huge trend in the hospitality industry. As travelers dedicate their vacations to nurturing their mental and physical well-being, hotels are stepping up their game by integrating wellness into the heart of their experience.
While a juice bar and a well-equipped gym might once have been sufficient, today’s wellness-seeking travelers want more.They’re looking for challenging physical experiences, spiritual retreats, extreme digital detoxes, and sleep regeneration packages to help them rejuvenate body and mind.
With that in mind, here are six hotels that are raising the bar for wellness in the hospitality industry.
1. Miraval — Austin, USA
The Miraval Arizona Resort & Spa has taken the idea of wellness to a whole new level. Following a recent major refurbishment, guests can indulge in an array of activities that go way beyond your typical R&R experience.
Mindful horseback riding, wellness counseling, barefoot walking meditations, celestial yoga, and a zen boot camp are just some of the activities on offer. Guests can also become a chicken keeper at Mirvial’s working farm, and a new beekeeping experience is on its way this year.
The hotel also has a non-tipping policy, so guests don’t need to angst over the bill when they’re trying to make the most of their stress-reducing treatments.
2. The Temple House — Chengdu, China
Built on the grounds of an old temple, this boutique property stands apart among the city’s five-star hotels as an enclave of urban wellness. The hotel’s Mi Xun Teahouse restaurant offers 44 local tea infusions, along with a healthy vegetarian menu featuring produce from organic farmers in Yunnan province, and the hotel’s own herb and vegetable garden.
Guests seeking inner calm can enjoy relaxation-focused classes, such as calligraphy, tai chi, yoga, and private tea ceremonies. While those seeking a bit more buzz can join a weekly fitness boot camp hosted by a personal trainer.
The Temple House also offers a range of luxury spa treatments, including a slimming treatment for men (known as the ‘Venus Legacy’) that the hotel affectionately calls, ‘when the panda transforms into a poodle.’
3. The Ritz-Carlton Georgetown, Washington, D.C., USA
At this five-star boutique property, guests can book themselves into one of 13 new ‘Wellness Rooms’ that focus on three areas of wellness: comfort, relaxation, and fitness.
Room highlights include a desk wellness ball, yoga mats, a Germ Guardian air purifier, aromatherapy bath salts, and a vitamin C aromatherapy shower head that’s designed to boost the body’s immune system.
To ensure a restful night’s slumber after exploring the nation’s capital, Wellness Rooms also come with sound + sleep machines, a Tempur-Pedic pillow, and beds that are adorned with luxurious 400-thread-count Egyptian cotton linens.
Wellness Rooms are conveniently located on the same floor as the hotel’s state-of-the-art fitness center, so it’s easy to get in a vacation workout. And health-focused guests can also ask the concierge for a jogging map and a guide to local fitness studios and healthy eateries in the surrounding neighborhood.
4. Eremito — Umbria, Italy
Tucked away in a remote forest in the valleys of central Italy, this unique wellness retreat celebrates the simple pleasures of ascetic living. Recognized as one of Italy’s first ‘digital detox’ hotels, Eremito is designed in the style of an old Umbrian monastery. There’s no TV or Wi-Fi, and it’s nearly impossible to pick up a mobile phone signal.
Cozy, cave-like rooms (or celluzze) are based on monastic cells, and feature wrought iron beds, a shower, toilet, and a stone desk with sweeping views across the valley. In addition to yoga and meditation spa facilities, guests can book themselves into enriching programmes, including fasting, a Gregorian chant workshop, horse riding, and a woodland walk along the Chiani river.
Meals at Eremito are humble and 100% vegetarian, and a candlelit evening meal is taken in silence to help bring about a mood of contemplation.
5. Villa Stéphanie — Baden-Baden, Germany
Nestled in the German spa town of Baden-Baden beside, Villa Stéphanie (located beside Brenners Park-Hotel) provides guests with exclusive access to a cutting-edge health facility.
Weight loss and detox treatments are expertly administered through individual dieting, a personalized training programme, and daily medical supervision. Guests can also book numerous preventative healthcare programmes — from a two-day medical check-up and gynecologic assessment, to holistic medicine and specialist ophthalmology.
A special mention has to go to Villa’s Stephanie’s 15 guest rooms, each of which come with a digital “kill switch”. When turned on, the switch blocks all wireless signals into the room, making it ideal for anyone that can’t resist checking their Instagram feed between treatments.
6. Delos Stay Well rooms, USA
After a big night on the Las Vegas strip, Stay Well rooms at Park MGM, MGM Grand and The Mirage offer a welcome retreat for weary guests. Also available at six Marriott properties, these innovative rooms rooms set the standard for healthy lifestyles by combining the latest technologies from Delos, the Cleveland Clinic, and Dr. Deepak Chopra.
A dawn simulator gently rouses guests from sleep, “energizing lighting” helps to regulate circadian rhythm and minimize jet lag, and an in-room aromatherapy system can be activated to release calming scents to relax and boost mood. An air purification system also helps to limit allergens and toxins, and showers are designed to reduce chlorine to leave skin and hair feeling suitably smooth and soft.
There’s also a Stay Well mobile app that provides health and travel tips, including a guided meditation program, and a vitamin D tool that suggests optimal times and durations to maximize sunlight exposure.
The new age of wellness
The frenetic pace of 21st-century living has become the driving force behind the booming wellness trend. From monastic-like experiences and high-tech hotel rooms, to advanced healthcare programmes and spiritual retreats, travelers can now pick from an array of wellness-themed vacations to meet their personal needs.
While the world’s leading wellness hotels might differ in their self-care options, they each emphasize a lifestyle-focused experience that’s setting the standard for a whole new level of wellness travel.
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