Traditionally, it’s been tricky for business travellers to keep up with their fitness regime and healthy diet while on the road. Smart hoteliers however are adjusting to the escalating interest in health and wellness among corporate customers and making healthy amenities a top priority.
text: Lois Hoyal // photography: istock
Long gone are the days when hotel gyms were dusty, forgotten about areas in the basement. Nowadays, hotel fitness centres boast up-to-the-minute equipment and motivational fitness classes in expansive rooms lined with shiny mirrors. Normally with a view of the state of the art pool next door. Many hotels even keep their gym open 24/7 to allow guests to work out whenever suits their schedule or body clock.
Now some hoteliers are going further and fitting individual rooms with fitness facilities. “Should this become a trend, some hotels might be able to eliminate their fitness centres while continuing to meet guests’ needs by making in-room fitness equipment available,” says Chekitan S. Dev, professor of marketing at Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration and author of “What Do Hotel Guests Really Want?”
A growing favourite among savvy hotels are stationary Peloton bikes, streaming live indoor cycling classes on screens. And after working out guests can chill out and enjoy hot and cool air purifiers, meditation headbands and healthy minibars, brimmed full of healthy snacks. A selection of workout and yoga videos provides guests with numerous ways to feel the burn. Some hotels even equip rooms with their own training zone or amenities such as stand-up desks, meditation chairs and medicine balls.
Don’t forget that your guests might prefer to put on their running shoes and head out for some fresh air. Local running maps help keen joggers navigate their way around an unfamiliar city. “Running has the great advantage that you can do it anywhere,” says one executive at the European Patent Office who goes running whenever he travels for work. “It’s good when hotels offer me a running map – hotels are best placed to provide you with the best possible routes, even in a crowded city. Discovering a city waking up while running is magic.”
He suggests that hotels provide sports drinks to refuel after a run, as well as a specific place in a room to hang up sports gear to dry.
After working up a sweat, your guests will have worked up an appetite. Providing a choice of healthy meal options is essential for today’s wellness-minded executive, who will seek out freshly squeezed juices and smoothies, and a choice of gluten-free, Paleo and vegetarian dishes.
Hotels should also offer is a good night’s rest. Innovations to induce sleep include blackout curtains, soundproofed walls, and a range of pillows or aromatherapy products. Or why not take things a step further and install dawn simulator alarm clocks, circadian-rhythm lighting, and blackout shades. Or even guided meditation for those struggling to nod off.