Man soaking in spa during personalised wellness hotel experience

Luxury Stays, Personalised Wellness: How Hotels Are Setting the Standard

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Join us as we dive into the dynamic landscape of wellness in 2024 and explore how hotels can lead the way in providing those highly sought-after personalised wellness experiences.

Over the past few years, personalised wellness has transcended being a mere trend to become a fundamental priority for people worldwide. Research shows a remarkable surge in the number of people who consider wellness as crucial in their daily lives, with Gen Z and Millennials spearheading this big shift. From nutrition to fitness, and mindfulness to sleep, it’s clear that consumers are increasingly seeking science-backed solutions to optimise their wellbeing.

As the wellness industry undergoes a profound transformation towards a more technologically driven and personalised approach, hotels find themselves standing at the forefront of delivering tailored experiences to meet the evolving needs of their guests. In this blog post we will dive into the dynamic landscape of wellness and explore how hotels can lead the way in providing those sought-after personalised wellness experiences.

High demand for science-backed wellness solutions

In today's fast-paced world, prioritising wellness has become increasingly essential for consumers worldwide. Recent studies reveal that 82% of US consumers now consider wellness a top or important priority in their daily lives, with similar sentiments echoed by 73% in the UK and 87% in China. Notably, Gen Z and Millennials are leading this trend, driving an uptick in the consumption of wellness products and services across health, sleep, nutrition, fitness, appearance, and mindfulness.

While wellness is far from new news, what’s driving headlines is the industry’s current shift towards a more cutting-edge approach, focused on optimising the body for peak performance. 

Whether it's improving nutrition, enhancing sleep quality, or boosting physical fitness, consumers are increasingly seeking effective, data-driven, and science-backed solutions to their wellness needs. They're also moving towards products with clinically proven ingredients over ‘clean’ or natural products, with around 50% of UK and US consumers prioritising clinical effectiveness over natural ingredients.

This trend presents a big opportunity for the travel and leisure industry to leverage technology and innovation for personalised wellness solutions - from jet lag recovery to bespoke sleep programs. Partnering with AI-driven platforms can offer tailored recommendations to guests who want to make the most of their stay.

Source: McKinsey

Personalised wellness for luxury travel and stays

Luxury travel isn't just about the destination; it's about crafting experiences that cater to every guest’s wellness needs. Whether it's indulging in a restful morning lie-in or hitting the pavement for a sunrise run, wellness means something different to everyone. The key lies in offering a diverse range of activities and experiences, ensuring that each guest can customise their luxury experience to align with their personal wellness goals.

When people travel, they seek an escape from the ordinary—a chance to immerse themselves in new experiences and become the best version of themselves. These unforgettable moments often become the stories of legends, with travellers reminiscing for years about the unique activities they enjoyed in exotic locales. Personal recommendations hold incredible sway in shaping these cherished memories and can be some of the most effective forms of marketing.

Travel Industry Entering the Ozempic Era

We can’t discuss the future of travel and wellness without mentioning the impact of GLP-1 drugs, which is poised to be significant. Medications such as Ozempic, Wegovy, Zepbound and Rybelsus are used to treat diabetes and heart disease but have, controversially, garnered the world’s attention for their effectiveness in also aiding weight loss. Predicted by Goldman Sachs to become one of the most successful pharmaceuticals of all time, their potential influence extends far beyond the realm of medicine.

While it might seem unlikely to connect a medication's surge in popularity with the travel industry, the reality is that the widespread availability of GLP-1 drugs will make a big impact on the worldwide issue of obesity. This is especially true for those catering to the American market, where more than forty per cent of the population is considered obese, eleven per cent have been given a diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes, and one in eight U.S adults have already taken Ozempic or a similar drug. As a result, nearly every sector is expected to feel the effects, including travel. 

Looking ahead, if the popularity of GLP-1 drugs continues to surge ahead at its current pace, industry experts anticipate that businesses where food and beverage costs are considered expenses rather than revenue generators will emerge as winners in the new landscape. Conversely, venues relying heavily on food and beverage sales may encounter challenges, given how these drugs work to suppress the appetite and cut cravings. 

The rise of GLP-1 pharmaceuticals also coincides with a growing demand for physically demanding activities among travellers. Experience providers can expect a surge in bookings for activities that promote health and fitness, reflecting a broader shift towards active and wellness-focused travel experiences. This trend builds upon the momentum observed in 2023, where activities such as nature walks, bike tours, and hiking trips saw notable increases in popularity.

Sources: The New Yorker; KFF Health Tracking Poll May 2024

Ways hotels can cater to the evolving wellness trend

  • Offer nutritional menu options tailored to guests' dietary preferences and wellness goals.

  • Provide personalised sleep programs and access to sleep specialists for a bespoke experience.

  • Enhance room features such as cooling mattresses and gravity blankets to promote better sleep quality.

  • Deliver personalised jet lag programs to help guests recover from travel fatigue.

  • Offer Vitamin IV drips in the spa and/or in-room for revitalisation and hydration.

  • Provide cold plunge facilities for a refreshing and invigorating wellness experience.

  • Recommend spa treatments tailored to individual needs, utilising techniques like face mapping.

  • Focus on Women's Health by offering personalised care for pregnancy, menopause, and menstrual health, leveraging technology for optimised personalised wellness.

  • Support healthy ageing with fitness, nutrition, and specialised spa treatments aimed at improving longevity.

  • Address the growing demand for weight management solutions, considering the influence of widespread pharmaceuticals like Ozempic and offering support for guests striving to lose weight.

  • Facilitate in-person fitness sessions with personal trainers, whether in the gym, local neighbourhood, or nearby park for an authentic ‘local’ experience.

  • Collaborate with local wellness partners such as boot camps, juice and salad bars to offer comprehensive wellness experiences during guests' stays.

As the wellness landscape continues to evolve, hotels need to embrace the opportunity to redefine the guest experience. By prioritising personalised wellness solutions and staying attuned to the latest trends and advancements, hotels can not only meet but exceed the expectations of today's health-conscious travellers. As travellers seek to escape the ordinary and embark on journeys of self-improvement, hotels are poised to be their partners in wellness, offering tailored experiences that leave a lasting impression and foster a sense of wellbeing long after check-out.

Written by Kamila Zawadzka, Marketing Lead & Strategist at The Orange Studio


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