I’m not one for making a laundry list of resolutions, so this year, one of the few that I have made is to continue my pursuit of physical wellness and mental stability. I started practicing yoga a few months ago and am totally hooked. As a former soccer player, this is the first real workout I am determined to stick through — the physical challenge combined with the psychological elements that are yoga are incredible.
I think it is safe to assume that fitness/wellness goals are, collectively, the most popular New Year’s resolutions made by individuals. For most of us living in the northern hemisphere, the New Year comes at a time when weather is less than ideal to be outside for a workout, a yoga session, a paddle board outing, a long jog, or a brisk walk. Rather, we are bombarded with offers and sign-up specials to join a gym/fitness center or purchase health food in order to get the year started off on the right (or left) foot and fulfill our previously stated resolution of being a healthier person in the upcoming year.
As of yet, I have not come across any hotel companies that have announced any resolutions for 2014, but after conducting research on a handful of the largest brand/management companies’ dedication to the health/wellness theme, it seems as if the “amenity” offering of a fitness center or spa in most of our traditional hotels is evolving to become more than a room in the hotel.
It has long been understood that the fitness center element (and/or select-service spa offering) provided business travelers (primary target audience) and leisure guests (ancillary) a facility to maintain a semblance of their health-oriented routine while on the road. The often windowless rooms, floor-to-ceiling mirrors, poor ventilation and the minimally required equipment for the most number of potential users have plagued the industry’s push to provide a modern, state-of-the-art facility that offers guests the options and availability of equipment and/or fitness classes they are routinely utilizing at home.
As consumer demands continue to increase, brands/managers will be required to develop unique amenities to attract both new and existing guests. As we enter the New Year thinking more about the health and wellness of our society as well as the ever-growing impact of work/life balance on our traveling lives, what can we do as an industry to not only promote, but provide and encourage our guests to live on the road as if they were at home?
In my next post, I’ll be addressing a variety of brand-originated programs that are already in place, with the hope of stimulating an ongoing debate about how our industry can influence our global population as it relates to our overall health and wellness.
“One resolution I have made and try to always keep is this: to rise above the little things.” – John Burroughs