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Blog 03/04/2020

How wellness became a cornerstone of luxury travel

  • Wellness


It’s the hip trend that has become a core part of every major luxury hotel’s business. A few years ago, wellness, wellbeing and the need to offer guests the chance to reconnect was something of a niche. Now, having a wellness offering is essential. Beautiful suites, arresting architecture and stunning surroundings are still paramount, but without the ability to make guests feel relaxed immediately, a key component of the luxury experience is missing.


Four Seasons New York Downtown

At Four Seasons New York Downtown, making sure guests can relax and stay balanced is a core part of every stay. The property, a five minute walk from the World Trade Center, is the perfect example of how to do wellness.

“Finding balance throughout a potentially overindulgent vacation can relieve the feeling of guilt and exhaustion when returning home,” explains Tara Cruz, the hotel’s Senior Spa Director. “On the other hand, business travelers may seek a feeling of normalcy or, even better, an enhanced sense of well-being throughout their commute.”

Cruz explains that there are four pillars of travel wellness: spa and fitness; food and beverage; lifestyle; and sleep. That’s a challenge in a property found in one of the busiest parts of one of the most bustling cities on the planet. Yet there’s no denying that Four Seasons are leading the way for customers looking to be at their best while they’re away.

The spa here is nothing short of incredible. Situated on the third floor, it oozes calm from the second the elevator door opens.

“All treatments are thoughtfully customized to our guest needs, leaving them feeling inspired and even spiritually charged afterwards,” says Cruz.

During our stay, we indulge in the aromatherapy experience, with staff helping us mix our own relaxing blend of oils before taking the table to ease off the kinks of a long day’s work in the city. It does the trick, the aches and kinks of time spent rushing around New York replaced by a sense of utter relaxation.

Back in our room, staff have laid out essential oils and rose petals for a bath. And after a blissful night’s sleep, the in–room breakfast, with a focus on healthy eating, ensures we leave fully recharged the following morning.

Four Seasons Silicon Valley

This approach is something Four Seasons has taken on across its properties around the world. At its Silicon Valley outpost it has teamed up with Tonal, a Bay Area technology company, to install all–in–one fitness system and personal trainer in selected rooms, meaning busy guests can get their fitness fix without having to go down to the gym. Guests can also request a Peloton bike, Streamline treadmill, stretch ball, yoga mat and more to be placed in their room upon demand. The property also features a fitness center redesigned in consultation with Harley Pasternak; and mindful tips and heart-healthy menu items by wellness consultant and author Yvonne Tally.

“These additions to the guest experience promote holistic well-being and productivity,” says Florian Riedel, General Manager of the downtown Palo Alto hotel. “Those who want to maintain their personal wellness while travelling can do so through these multi-layered offerings, giving guests opportunities to be more balanced and focused as they go about their trip.”

The wellness trend isn’t just focused on indoor activities however. The increasing urge for guests to reconnect with their surroundings when taking time out of busy schedules is also a key part of the wellbeing renaissance.

Aristi Mountain Resort and Villas

At Aristi Mountain Resort and Villas in the remote, mountainous region of Zagori in western Greece, a focus on outdoor wellbeing has seen business boom.

“Our guests are passionate about the outdoors,” says Vasilis Iosifidis, Aristi’s owner. “The resort and surrounding Zagori region enables guests to pursue these interests with trekking, hiking and water rafting right on the property’s doorstep."

“We are also aware of the importance of wellbeing and offer guests the chance to take part in yoga lessons by the beautiful Voidomatis River and we recently opened an outdoor spa experience which is proving extremely popular.”

It could be easy to dismiss the growth in wellness as a fad. But as guests demand to feel relaxed from the moment they check in, its importance to the luxury travel sector shows no signs of diminishing.