I used to think traveling meant veering away from the day-to-day wellness routines like healthy eating and daily workouts. “I am on vacation” seemed to be a legitimate excuse to skip out on the daily activities that kept me healthy. Sunrise yoga class? Namaste in bed instead. Protein smoothie with an extra shot of turmeric? No thanks, just hand me the nearest frosted cinnamon roll. Evening run outside? Pass! The only outdoor activity I want to participate in is patio drinking. Recently, I have noticed a shift in my desire to maintain my healthy lifestyle instead of abandoning it while I am traveling, and I am not the only one.
David Carson, a former professional basketball player turned Certified Corporate Wellness and Fitness Specialist and Nike Trainer says, “My health and wellness routine at home is what I credit for giving me the energy and sanity to make it through my crazy days. I workout six days a week at the same time and that hour becomes not just a great workout, but it helps to clear my mind and body for the goals I have set for the day. I try to set myself up for success as much as I can when traveling and probably the biggest help in that is what hotel I choose to stay at.”
Maintaining a daily health and wellness routine is more than just fitness and workouts at the gym. Take for instance Betina Gozo, a Nike Master Trainer who is recognized as a pinnacle leader and expert in the field of fitness. Gozo makes it a priority to not only work out several times a week, but to take the time to properly fuel her body. “I eat meals that have a proper balance of carbohydrates, protein, and fats and that are nutrient dense.” Foods like protein shakes, hard boiled eggs, and vegetables are a staple in Gozo’s daily diet.
It is evident travelers are no longer veering away from their daily wellness practices, but instead are looking for ways to integrate their healthy routines during their time away.
Claire Bennett, the Executive Vice President at American Express Travel, explains that millennials are willing to spend money on the best experiences (i.e. dining and activites) and many millennials are “avidly seeking travel experiences that are both personalized, with an emphasis on fitness.”
The new normal within travel is not about abandoning every day routines, but instead maintaining them. The real question is, how accommodating are hotel’s accommodations, especially when it comes to health and fitness?
The New Normal
“Humans are built on routine and many times a routine gives you confidence for the task you face. Although we should not be crippled by our routines, they are invaluable, especially in building a healthy life,” explains Carson. “I will not stay at a hotel that does not have a gym and serves breakfast if I can help it. With those being two non-negotiables in my day I need ease of access to both.” Non-negotiables are different for everyone. Professional yoga instructor, ballet dancer, and Nike Trainer,
Kenna Sullivan, expresses her ‘wellness wish list.’ “Yoga is so easy to do while traveling, but the mat is a pain to carry on a plane. If a hotel could offer yoga mats that would be amazing.”
Both Carson and Sullivan express their shared interest in fitness classes at hotels or at a nearby local studio. “As wellness becomes more intertwined with corporate America, it will serve hotels a great service to invest more in their own wellness programs and what they offer visitors. I wished hotels offered more group class offerings during your stay because many times the group setting is a great push to workout when on the road and can be used as a team comradery tool for organizations traveling together.” Sullivan agrees. “If I knew a hotel was geared to a healthy stay, I would not be able to turn it down..Quite frankly I would love it!”
One millennial “a bleisure traveler” booked a hotel 40 minutes away from the city where his business meetings were being held just so he could stay near his preferred CrossFit gym. It is clear travelers are willing to make the trip to stay at your hotel, but you have to make it worth their (health and fitness) while.
Health and Wellness Hotels
Hotels are realizing the importance of helping travelers’ health and wellness routines and are beginning to “get into shape.”
- EVEN Hotels has wellness travel perfected. Equipped with “wellness-savvy staff, best-in-class fitness experience, healthier food choices, and natural, relaxing spaces,” EVEN Hotels is making guests’ stay both healthier and happier. With yoga mats, foam rollers, and stability balls in each hotel room, guests are never far from a good workout!
- The Four Seasons Hualalai, located on the Big Island of Hawaii, offers barre fusion classes, bikram yoga, aqua calisthenics, and bouldering. It is clear why this hotel was crowned the best equipped fitness center in the hotel industry!
- The Westin Riverfront at Beaver Creek Mountain in Avon Colorado offers 70 fitness classes per week! The hotel has also been known to bring in swimming champions, offering year round lessons to guests of every skill level.
- Hotels like DoubleTree Downtown Los Angeles and the Loews Atlanta offer rooftop yoga. Guests can get their namaste on while taking in the sprawling city sites while nestled high above the city scapes.
- The Fairmont in Scottsdale Arizona is equipped for all skills-from active athletes to weekend warriors- and offers classes including aerial yoga and TRX. Club members can also up their fitness game and try out Reebok running shoes and apparel, delivered straight to their guest room before their sweat session.
- The Bernardus Lodge and Spa in Carmel California has teamed up with a nearby local lavender farm and offers guests yoga classes amongst the lavender fields. Talk about relaxing!
- Rancho Valencia in Rancho Santa Fe California offers guests a special package that includes a chef consultation to ensure guests are eating well during their stay and are consuming enough calories to keep up with all of the intense classes offered by the hotel.
How to be a Healthy Hotel
As David Carson, Nike Pro Trainer, said, “As much as I travel, I realize that many times it is nearly impossible to maintain your routine 100% on the road. What I have learned, and what I stress to my clients, is that it is very possible to maintain some semblance or percentage of your routine while you travel.” So how do you make your hotel more accommodating for guests looking to maintain some of their daily health and wellness routine? It is easier than you think!
- Partner your hotel with local fitness studios, gyms, juice bars, and other healthy eateries. For example, if there is a yoga studio a couple blocks from your hotel, see if they would be willing to offer passes to hotel guests. Perhaps there is a local Vegan eatery that has the city’s best Acai Bowls in town. Ask if they could offer travelers a sample bowl at a discounted rate when they visit.
- Create guides to fresh food. As Nike Trainer, Kenna Sullivan notes, “My biggest limitation with traveling is nutrition. There are not always healthy options at the hotel and usually no kitchen to make my own food. That [nutrition] is usually the hardest obstacle to tackle.” If you cannot offer healthier choices for guests then lead them to places that can! Is there a local farmer’s market in the town square every Thursday? Let guests know! Does your hotel offer a local area shuttle that can get guests to the nearest organic grocery store? Offer a ride! Remember, many guests pack their own healthy snacks and reminding them your hotel offers an in-room refrigerator could be vital for some travelers looking to book!
- Connect with local running groups. Community running groups and organizations know the best running routes and trails in town. Reach out to them for recommendations and offer a guide for guests to use on their next run. Westin Hotels have recently teamed up with New Balance to provide three and five mile running routes through the city or along beaches and rural landscapes depending on the hotel’s location. Runs are lead by a Run Concierge at select locations and RunWESTIN maps of the local area are available at all locations.
- Connect with local health and wellness bloggers for city specific advice. Health and wellness bloggers know all the best workout spots in town and where to go afterwards to enjoy a bullet-proof coffee or protein shake. Reach out for their recommendations!
Benefits for Your Hotel
Travelers today are looking for health and wellness accommodations that help them continue practicing their daily routine seamlessly and uninterrupted. These health focused amenities will ultimately help guests make their hotel choice when booking a reservation at your property. Although these fitness features will benefit travelers, what are the benefits for your hotel?
- Stand Out. Implementing these health amenities and wellness partnerships will differentiate your hotel from competition. Sullivan explains that if she knew a hotel in an area was geared to a healthy stay by offering fitness classes (on property or nearby), fitness equipment, and nutritious food options, she would not be able to turn it down, especially if it had similar pricing to other hotels in the area. It would be a competitive advantage for that hotel.
- Digital content. These healthy lifestyle accommodations are a Digital Marketer’s dream because of all the content that can be shared online. Press releases, website content, landing pages, email newsletters, social media posts, PPC, SEO value, the list is endless!
- Links. Hotel press releases and blogger outreach can lead to local backlinks to your hotel’s website, which in turn increases the site’s Domain Authority (DA). What’s Domain Authority you ask? According to Moz, MOZ, Domain Authority is a calculated metric for how well a given domain is likely to rank in Google’s search results.” DA will grow over time, but another way to increase your DA is through linking. Each connection the hotel makes with a local business is an opportunity for that business to link back to the hotel. This partnerships ultimately increase the site’s Domain Authority, thereby, increasing the site’s authority for terms related to the local area.
Do these sound like great ideas, but you and your team just do not have the time to implement them? Blue Magnet Interactive is here to help! Our team can take the partnerships your hotel has already established and turn them into link opportunities to create more referral traffic and increasing ranking for your hotel’s health and wellness landing pages. Don’t have those? We can help create the best health and wellness landing pages for your hotel property!
Remember, humans are built on routine and many times routines give you confidence, so help your guests maintain their health and wellness routines. Find ways to implement some of the tips mentioned above and become a health and wellness friendly hotel!