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Wellness Redefined: What it means for hospitality in a post-Covid world

By Rebecca Deczynski for Peloton Commercial
17 November 2022
6 min read
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The world has opened up again, and today’s travelers aren’t just searching for gorgeous views and memorable experiences—they’re also seeking opportunities to promote their health and wellbeing. In hospitality, wellness is the latest essential offering.

Spas and fitness facilities are not new innovations in the luxury hospitality sphere, and these amenities are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the rising wellness trend. Instead, consider top-of-the-line exercise equipment, state-of-the-art mattresses, and personalized amenities the new necessities for attracting today’s most discerning guests.

Post-pandemic, wellness has taken on a whole new level of importance in many people’s lives—and it’s about a lot more than green juice. “While the world was locked down, people were able to reflect on the importance of health and became laser-focused on wellness strategies,” explains Dustin Nabhan, vice president of health and performance at Canyon Ranch, a trailblazing business in the world of integrative wellness. Now, as those individuals are traveling again, they not only want to keep up their new habits—they want to use their vacations as opportunities to pay more attention to their overall wellbeing.

Wellness travel—in which wellness is the primary reason for a person’s trip—is on the rise, growing twice as fast as GDP. And about half of travelers say that it’s important for their 2023 travels to address their mental or physical wellness, according to a recent survey by Hilton. This has fueled not only an uptick in demand for on-property fitness and spa experiences, but also “the desire to integrate wellness into every part of the stay,” says Lara Hernandez, Hilton SVP of Global Brand Strategy.

One way hotels can respond to this demand is through upgraded gym amenities. Omnichannel fitness has emerged as a popular offering among guests who want to stick to their favorite self-care routines even when they’re far from home.  “With Peloton Commercial, we’re reimagining the guest wellness experience, delighting travelers by bringing a highly visible consumer brand into the hospitality arena,” says Peloton Commercial Vice President Betsy Webb.

Over half (6 out of 10) travelers say they’d be more likely to use a hotel gym if it had a Peloton Bike, and 9 out of 10 current Peloton members say they’d be more likely to stay at a hotel if it has a Peloton Bike, according to a recently conducted survey by Peloton. “Peloton Bikes can sit in the hotel gym for all guests to enjoy,” says Webb. “Or, hoteliers can offer in-room fitness experiences as a unique differentiator, which has proven successful with many luxury properties.” 

And those travelers are true to their word: While traveling for both business and pleasure, hotel guests have completed a whopping 1.6 million rides on Peloton Bikes in the past year, taking time out of their busy (or not-so-busy) days for a workout with their favorite, familiar instructors. The dedication of these cyclists led Hilton to forge an industry-first partnership, which will bring at least one Peloton Bike into every Hilton-brand hotel in the U.S., by the end of the year.

Exercise is a great way for travelers to boost their moods, take their minds off stressors (like flight delays or lost luggage!), and even combat the effects of jet lag. But it’s just one component of a successful, holistic approach to wellness travel. “We look at wellness as the aggregated experience of the whole duration of your stay,” Hernandez says of Hilton’s approach. “It means a delicious meal, a great night’s sleep, a great shower experience, a chance to get out and explore new neighborhoods, an opportunity to reconnect with people and places.”

Increased levels of personalization have helped hoteliers exceed expectations in the wellness arena. That includes menus that take into consideration dietary restrictions and preferences and room amenities—like tech-forward beds—that help guests feel truly at home. “Anything that feels tailored to your needs will elevate that luxury feel,” says travel content creator and photographer Ana Linares. “Personalization allows for a more thoughtful and intentional experience.” As a result, guests feel more welcomed, and enjoy a more memorable stay.

Linares points to Rosewood Hotels and Resorts and New York City’s Park Hyatt hotel as examples of exceptional personalization thanks to their partnerships with Bryte, the maker of a scientist-designed technological ecosystem made to promote restful sleep. With the help of artificial intelligence, the brand’s Restorative Bed quite literally lulls users to sleep, and in the morning, presents them with a sleep analysis upon gently waking them up. Not only do these futuristic beds help travelers to feel more refreshed, especially after long flights or packed days of exploring; they also offer an educational component, giving them valuable insight into their sleep habits.

The pandemic has also amplified conversations about mental wellbeing. While there are real mental health benefits to traveling—recent research shows that it can boost both physical and psychological wellbeing—stress can still arise while planning, packing, and doing the travel itself. That’s why some hotels have developed new ways, both big and small, to support guests throughout the duration of their stays. Simple, tech-forward innovations, like Hilton’s Digital Key and Hilton Honors app, have helped reduce friction in the travel experience, keeping stress levels as low as possible for all guests, says Hernandez. 

While upgraded amenities and special programming can help hotels meet travelers’ needs and expectations, to go above and beyond, they should aim to make wellness a core part of their DNA, says Mia Kyricos, president, CEO, and chief love officer of the wellness advisory firm Kyricos & Associates. Acceptance and generosity have long been tenets of hospitality—and they’re just as essential today. “It’s important to bring humanity back to travel. Travelers want to simply feel seen and cared for,” Kyricos says. “A genuine smile and authentic attempts to care for their health and wellbeing go a long way.”

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.

Rebecca Deczynski

About Peloton Commercial

Peloton Commercial brings the power of Peloton beyond the home and into your facility, meeting  your exercisers and Peloton Members wherever they are: at work, at school, or on the road. With world-class instructors, thousands of live and on-demand classes, motivating music, and more, Peloton at your hotel offers the content customers crave—the same Peloton Bike class library that keeps its millions of Members coming back—made free for your guests. 

For hospitality, Peloton combines its signature experience with hardware enhancements, warranty coverage, and service support for commercial settings. The result? A smooth ride for your hotel guests and staff alike. Learn more at commercial.onepeloton.com