Vishal Patel shares how sensei has created a personalized
approach to caring for their guests’ healthcare interests with a science backed research and data approach.
Please tell us about your background and role as a pioneer in wellness research and how this can benefit the luxury hotel space?
As the Director of Wellness Research at Sensei, I am tasked with building the brand’s Knowledge Base to create, evaluate and disseminate evidence led content and programming to guests. I am also responsible for vetting technology and services to ensure they reflect today’s most current standards supported by empirical evidence.
Prior to my role at Sensei, I earned my M.D. as well as a Ph.D. in Genetics from Case Western Reserve University, and a certificate in Ayurveda from Gujarat Ayurved University in India. I worked with nationally renowned healthcare systems, including Geisinger, Baylor Scott & White, and Parkland Hospital, on the design, implementation, and analysis of programs to improve the health of populations, as well as at three different start-ups, designing, building and delivering data science solutions to reduce adverse events and costs.
As Sensei is a well being-centric brand, it was a great next step to continue pursuing my passion for health and wellness, while leaving room for new ideas and opportunities in the luxury hospitality sector. The connection between technology and wellness continues to expand and now includes the luxury market, so expanding into luxury hospitality is a natural fit.
How do you use technology and data to create effective wellness programs?
With our founders being renowned pioneers in both the fields of health and technology, all of our wellness
programs stress an emphasis on healthier living through the Sensei Way, which distills preventive health science, data and research into three simple paths for everyday living: move, nourish and rest.
The Sensei experience starts from the moment a guest books with the pre-arrival questionnaire to after they leave. The efficiencies, fluidity and data available through the use of new technology continues throughout the guest’s stay to calibrate a highly personalized program and facilitate the important flow of ongoing communications between guides and Wellness Team members about each guest. All of our guides work with our knowledge library, which is a curated collection of science-backed research and data that we use to make informed recommendations to our guests.
There are a variety of ways that people or other wellness brands are tracking their health data via technology, but what sets us apart at Sensei is that we take it a step further by interpreting the data for our guests and providing them with a road map to live a healthier lifestyle.
One of the leading technologies used is thermal body mapping. In the comfort of a private spa quarter known as a hale, massage practitioners use exclusive. Sensei-developed thermographic technology to create a visual map of the body, revealing asymmetries, muscle tightness and areas of pain. Using these key data points, the practitioner provides a custom massage with targeted bodywork, helping the guest gain greater flexibility and alignment while discovering a new appreciation for the body and the way it carries one through the world.
There is a lot of information out there about health and wellness. How should guests select the right experience for them?
Health and wellness should not be stressful, but with an overabundance of information out there on what to eat, exercise, etc., we often find guests not knowing where to start on their wellness journey. This is exactly where the Sensei Guides come in- We want to provide guests with the tools to adopt a healthy way of life by creating a customized itinerary for them based on their lifestyle. We want to help take the guesswork out of health for our guests.
Sensei Lanai also has different experience options depending on a guest’s price range and interests. Those who want a completely curated and customized experience can opt for the fully Guided Sensei Experience. Those who perhaps have less time on the island or prefer to only dip their toes into the world of wellness can do the Select Choice Experience, offering a-la carte services during their stay.
Can you tell us about some of your personalized and
transformative wellness programs with Sensei?
At Sensei Lanai, guests are empowered with customized wellbeing plans enacted through on-site Sensei Guides who curate personalized itineraries with the goal of guiding guests towards greater wellbeing and aligning actions with intentions no matter where a guest is on their wellness journey. Itineraries can include 1-on-1 instruction in nutrition, exercise, lifestyle practices and more, as well as a selection of spa treatments, outdoor classes and outdoor activities ranging from sailing to archery, exploration of the extensive outdoor art gardens and more.
Some of the most notable treatments we offer at Sensei Lanai include the thermal body mapping (which was mentioned previously) and the Lomi A’e, which is provided by a certified practitioner who studied under a Polynesian Lomi master. In the Hawaiian traditions of bodywork and healing, Lomi Lomi brings the collective wisdom accumulated through various lineages of Hawaiian ancestry to work on the body and tap into its natural healing processes.
Another unique offering at Sensei Lanai is that spa experiences
are conducted within one of the ten private spa‘hales’, meaning “home” in Hawaiian, which offer guests an exclusive sanctuary to receive treatments and consultations, as well as enjoy various upscale amenities including infrared saunas, Japanese-style Ofuro tubs, their own private garden and more. This offering is not only luxurious, but also ensures guests feel completely at ease and safe while on property.