Road warriors’ travel habits are changing: it’s not just a drink at the bar at night but yoga, meditation and workouts. How you can make them feel right at home with minimal adjustments.
Text: Laura Myers // FOTOS: iStock
Twelve voice messages, 178 E-Mails, 33 WhatsApp messages a day, plus notifications, tweets, alerts, push messages, and, oh, not to forget those personal meetings, discussions and power lunches. A business traveler is always on – and it is draining. No wonder studies indicate that business travel increases stress, smoking and drinking, not to mention sleep disturbances, obesity and heart problems. “Our hectic schedules and 24/7 mobile-focused lives are driving the need for self-care and escapism,” said Bill Caswell, principal and global hospitality practice leader at North Highland, a management consultancy headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. Many road warriors are aware of their need for balance. So how can you provide some of these elements and create a haven for your guest?
Doing push-ups and crunches on the carpet still works. However, there are many innovative ways to get fit in a hotel and bringing in a personal trainer can be a bonus. One of the hottest trends is TRX: Total Body Resistance Exercise. This is an affordable, compact, unique strap system that can be easily set up in a sleeping room utilizing just a door anchor. Whether it be TRX or other forms of exercise, personal coaches can guide and motivate your guests. Although you may not be able to equip every room with Hilton’s Five Feet to Fitness concept, you might invest in rowing, biking or elliptical cross trainers which enable the user to monitor their training. This equipment could be placed in a larger sleeping room or suite. To enable the business traveller to exercise in the privacy of their own room, you can make available hand weights, a workout mat, exercise bands, TRX, a foam roll or a medicine ball. Access to YouTube on the HDTV provides a myriad of exercise videos to fit any traveller’s schedule.
Yoga and Pilates continue to be popular and flexible forms of fitness. Offering professional instructors can help guests with the specific postures, breathing techniques, core strengthening exercises and relaxation. Contracting external trainers will create appreciation for the personalized attention to their physical and emotional well-being. Be sure to provide mats, yoga blocks and straps for the ultimate stretch.
We all suffer from tense shoulders, lower back pain, a pulled muscle or just sore feet. Maybe you personally know a physical therapist who can offer in-house sports massage, shoulder tension relief or foot reflexology for your guests. The therapist could also coach on specific stretching techniques or how to use a foam roll. Not just for women, a facial massage is also a rejuvenating and relaxing method to relieve stress.
Meditation is an ancient yet popular technique used to relax and reflect. Many executives find this practice a helpful method to focus and cope with their daily work challenges. Offering the services of an accredited meditation trainer, during the guests’ off hours, can help those road warriors find their inner peace.
Zentangle is a repetitive drawing technique that is a relaxing and creative approach to meditation. Instructors can be found online, and their equipment is minimal: paper and pens. A simple one-hour session exposes your frazzled road warrior to an artful form of meditative drawing that anyone can do.
By adding some relaxing elements such as natural light, greenery, wood furnishings, or a “white noise” quiet zone to your hotel lobby or other areas, business travelers can find solace at the end of their day. Perhaps you have a small garden where guests can sit and relax surrounded by trees and fragrant flowers. No birds, no problem – add an avian soundscape for ambiance. A more serene guest room could include window darkening shades for those arriving on the red-eye flight, and soundproofing with thicker headboards to enable sounder sleep. You should also adjust dripping faucets, knocking heaters and loud air conditioning units. Here is a unique idea to induce calmness in your guest: Kimpton Hotels lends guests a bowl with goldfish during their stay to help them unwind. Keep in mind, it is often the little things that make a difference.