What Are Hotels Designed Around “Wellness” & Do Guests Even Care?

by joeheg

Hotels are betting that travelers will start to consider their personal wellness when deciding where to stay. Wellness is more than if a hotel has an exercise room or if the breakfast buffet offers anything other than regular milk.

But do people really want a hotel that is designed around “wellness?” And what does that even mean?

Hotel chains aren’t waiting for people to decide what they want and are planting their flags in the wellness space, even if they must adapt to changing needs over time.

I imagine that every hotel chain has an executive who saw the Amex Trendex online poll that was conducted by Morning Consult between September 9-15, 2021. Of the 2,000 people surveyed, 55% said they would be willing to pay extra for wellness activities on future vacations. Just over half of those polled reported that they’d be willing to shell out extra for a hotel with an in-room exercise program.

Most chains either have a “Wellness-focused” brand or properties with wellness rooms.

Marriott Bonvoy – Element by Westin

a building with a sign on it

Yes, Marriott made its lifestyle brand a sub-brand of one of its existing brands. Hey, if it means they still have Westin’s Heavenly Beds, I’m in favor of the decision.

Here’s what Marriott has to say about Element Hotels:

Element Hotels is designed for today’s healthy, active traveler who wants to maintain a balanced lifestyle while on the road.

Yeah, so whatever that means.

IHG Hotels – EVEN Hotels

IHG was quick to enter the wellness space with its EVEN hotels brand.

At EVEN Hotels, we know that many travelers, like you, wish there were more options to stay healthier and happier away from home. That’s why we’re equipped with a wellness-savvy staff, a best-in-class fitness experience, healthier food choices and natural, relaxing spaces.

IHG has opened 17 EVEN Hotels. We’ve never stayed in one but we do know someone who stayed in one of their Manhattan properties. While the wellness perks were not useful to them, they did like the hotel.

Hilton Hotels – Tempo by Hilton

If you’ve never stayed at a Tempo property before, you’re not alone. While the “brand” was introduced in 2020, there is still no Tempo hotel. Instead, Hilton has installed “Tempo” rooms which include an in-room Peloton bike at some properties. While there’s only one Canopy by Hilton hotel that still offers a Tempo room, the brand’s first hotel is due to open soon at the TSX Broadway complex.

a building with lights on the front

Located at the former location of the Doubletree, the Tempo hotel will span 36 floors of the building. The lobby with communal workspaces will be on the 11th floor. There will also be a fitness center and “hydration station,” a restaurant, a bar and lounge and an outdoor dining terrace.

Not all rooms will be fully “Tempo-ized” (I made that word up) as guests will be able to opt for rooms with an in-room Peloton bike and wellness devices from Therabody, which is best known for its Theragun massage gun.

So even with their first Tempo property, not all rooms are fully “wellness” oriented. Many of them are more suited to the typical Times Square tourist.

Hyatt Hotels

Hyatt doesn’t have a hotel brand devoted to wellness. Sure, the acquired the Miraval resorts market themselves as a place for you to “create a life in balance.” Still, Hyatt doesn’t have a mainstream hotel brand focused on wellbeing. Instead, you can find things at all Hyatt hotels to help make your stay more healthy.

In fact, Hyatt used to offer a program to provide workout clothes to visitors who left their exercise apparel at home. We’ve stayed at some Hyatt hotels which have provided yoga/exercise mats in the rooms.

Wyndham Hotels

I bet you’re surprised that Wyndham has some properties which offer wellness amenities. While it’s not many, 11 Wyndham hotels offer “Wellness-focused” rooms with aromatherapy, dawn simulation and memory foam mattresses.

Final Thoughts

While I didn’t stay at an Element Hotel because of the exercise room and indoor pool, I did enjoy my stay. I’m not a person who will pay extra for a Peloton in my room, but I might pay extra if there’s a LoveSac 🙂

I’d bet more people are willing to stay at “wellness” hotels because of the air purifiers, better beds and healthier breakfast options than because of the option to work out in the room. Maybe I’m wrong but I bet hotels will find the happy medium between a hotel targeted to a workout nut and someone who just wants a better place to stay.

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary


James December 19, 2022 - 5:05 pm

Most Americans clearly don’t care, hence the obesity epidemic. And here we are two years post-Covid and the average American has done little in the way of improving their health. Just get a shot and put a mask on is the solution. Sad, really.

Benjamin December 20, 2022 - 8:14 am

While I’m indifferent about EVEN, my husband loves them bc it has stuff to let him do stretches and basic exercises in the room plus the known that the gyms are going to be a lot nicer than the average mid-range hotel.

Wellness-focused features at mid-tier hotels seem like what pools were at midtier hotels in non-resort areas 20-30 years ago. A huge portion of people considered no pool a dealbreaker, but many of those people never set foot in the pool when they stayed.


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