High-tech hospitality: The new wellness tools changing how travelers rest and recover

Hilton Hawaiian Village, Waikiki

A big, luxurious hotel bed has long been synonymous with rest and relaxation—but as more and more travelers prioritize their wellness, hotels and resorts are going above and beyond to help guests recharge. Exercise and recovery tech make it easier for travelers to support their health through self-care and personalization, especially on the go.

That’s an increasingly important offering: Wellness travel is the fastest-growing travel sector, according to data from the Global Wellness Institute, a research-driven nonprofit dedicated to preventative health and wellness, and wellness tourism is projected to be a 1.3 trillion-dollar industry by 2025. “The demand is there,” says Kathryn Schutz, a Virtuoso-certified travel advisor based in Chicago, adding that both business and leisure travelers are looking for ways to enhance their wellbeing. “Any hotel has to be on top of this trend to attract people.” 

For some venues, she says, that can mean replacing a long-neglected business center with a relaxation room outfitted with meditation pods or enhancing spa offerings: the spa at the Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World, for instance, offers access to a state-of-the-art Somadome capsule, which guides guests through an immersive meditation experience with binaural beats and LED light therapy. 

For others, improved wellness amenities might include tech-enabled mattresses, upgraded gym equipment, and personalized, data-driven tools that give guests better control over their experience. These high-tech solutions are leading the charge in the wellness tourism wave.

Park Hyatt New York Bryte Sleep Suite

Smart sleep solutions

Park Hyatt New York has always been in the “business of sleep,” says Patricia Galas, senior director of marketing communications for the five-star hotel, but its more recently added “Sleep Suites” have established it as a distinctively wellness-focused accommodation. Launched in 2022, the Sleep Suites are outfitted with king-size mattresses by Bryte, which use artificial intelligence to enhance sleep and allow for customized firmness and tilt. “It’s taken off,” Galas says. “We upsell the experience to guests when they’re checking in, and we have guests who only want to stay in that suite from now on.” 

Additional hotels across the United States, including the Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills, Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, and Carillon Miami Wellness Resort, also offer Bryte smart beds in select guest rooms and suites.

Hotel Figueroa, a boutique hotel in downtown Los Angeles that’s part of Hyatt’s Unbound Collection, similarly promotes a good night’s rest with its “Rest & Recovery Suite,” which comes outfitted with a number of sleep-enhancing amenities: custom Pluto Pillows, which guests can pre-order ahead of their stay, an Eight Sleep mattress that smart adjusts temperature on both sides, Molekule’s Air Pro System that optimizes air quality, a Gamma Light Therapy Revive red light therapy lamp to help guests fall asleep, and a Loftie Lamp, which helps them wake up. 

“We really aim to offer our guests, both near and far, a short reprieve from the hustle and bustle of everyday life with all the key elements of a restorative vacation,” says Connie Wang, managing director of Hotel Figueroa. “We’re seeing a continuing trend with travelers in search of hotels that prioritize a good night’s rest and support long term mental and physical wellbeing.”

Hilton Hawaiian Village, Waikiki

Upgraded fitness and recovery amenities

Hotels are also investing in higher-end workout amenities, both in their fitness centers and guest rooms. “Connected fitness is a standard,” says Schutz. “People want to be able to go into a gym and pick up where they left off at home or with their trainers. I have clients who will only stay in hotels with Peloton Bikes!” 

At select Hilton hotels, the Five Feet to Fitness room gives guests access to bespoke exercise equipment in the convenience and privacy of their own rooms. Offerings can include a Peloton Bike, as well as equipment from other notable fitness brands. As of this summer, all Hilton-branded hotels in the U.S. also feature at least one Peloton Bike in an industry-leading partnership.

Westin Hotels and Resorts, a Marriott brand, recently launched WestinWORKOUT Gear Lending Kits, allowing guests to check out recovery gear, including the Normatec Go, Hypervolt Go 2, and Hypersphere Mini by Hyperice, through a collaboration with the brand. Guests can also use Hyperice’s percussive devices to warm up or recover after workouts in fitness studios at select Westin properties. 

“We want to help travelers accelerate their wellbeing as well as their recovery because when it comes to feeling your best, we know that the way you recover is just as important as the way you move,” says Jennifer Connell, vice president and global brand leader for Premium Distinctive and Collections brands at Marriott International. “Our goal is to help motivate and inspire guests to reach their full potential, whether an avid runner needs recovery tools or cross-training, or a guest wants to relieve tension from a long day of travel or meetings.”

Smart data integrations

Bespoke experiences and data-driven tech enhance a guest’s wellbeing even further—and give them the tools to prioritize their wellbeing far beyond their travels. Guests at Sensei Porcupine Creek, a wellness-focused resort in Rancho Mirage, California, receive a complementary wearable device ahead of check-in; the device gathers fitness, sleep, and recovery data, which the hotel translates into personalized guest itineraries with recommended wellness classes. Guests can access their health data via the secure Sensei Portal, both during and after their stays.

At Pan Pacific London, a luxury hotel in the heart of London, guests can exercise using an exclusive training system that gives real-time biometric feedback using body recognition technology and instructs users through mindful movement designed to promote long-term joint health. 

Guests that stay in Park Hyatt’s Sleep Suite can gain a better understanding of their wellness needs thanks to its data integration, says Galas: “A feature that people really like is a sleep report, which shows guests their heart rate while they were sleeping and how much REM sleep they got.” And if they fall in love with the Bryte bed during their stay, she adds, then they can purchase a mattress for their own home with a discount.

Wellness travel, Schutz says, is “definitely here to stay”—and while the trend may have first emerged with wellness-focused hotels and resorts, today, hotels across the board are investing in enhanced, tech-enabled wellness experiences in order to stay competitive and keep guests feeling their best. “This is definitely where the industry is heading,” she says. “Everything is going to be personalized and bespoke.”

About the author

Rebecca Deczynski is a writer and editor living in Brooklyn, New York. She covers a wide range of topics, including business, culture, design, and wellness. 

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