Renovating your Hotel for Wellness Travel

Traveling in a post-pandemic world has meant an increase in demand for wellness experiences. After a stressful 2 years, many of us now put mental and physical well-being above all else. This shift in focus has altered many industries' ways of reaching and serving their consumer. Personal wellness is now a priority and the travel industry is no exception to this.


People are actively seeking wellness travel experiences when booking their hotels. In fact, wellness tourism is one of the fastest-growing trends in the industry.


Wellness Travel is defined by the Wellness Tourism Association as: Travel that allows the traveler to maintain, enhance or kick-start a healthy lifestyle, and support or increase one’s sense of wellbeing.


Many hotels are already taking advantage of this trend and many hoteliers want to be next.


Incorporating Wellness design into your hotel can start by simply including healthier food and beverage options to offering complimentary water in the lobby. Hoteliers who want to incorporate more wellness experiences into their hotels can really take advantage of wellness tourism by incorporating wellness design into their hotel renovations.


Designing with wellness travel in mind is designing with current and future travel trends in mind.


Here are some ways hotels can incorporate wellness into their hotel renovations:


Imagine finally reaching your hotel after a long stressful journey. You’re anxious to relax and want to check-in as soon as possible. As you pull into the Porte Cochere you see natural colors mixed with wood and stone, you're reminded of a fun trail you walked. You walk into the lobby and experience the perfect light for that time of the day to match your circadian rhythm. Imagine smelling eucalyptus, lavender, or maybe another scent that relaxes you.


You look around and find that there is a clear, easy, and open flow to the space around you. Suddenly your stress is gone. As you walk to the front desk with your luggage, the colors of the walls and furniture calm you further while the green wall, plants, and natural materials around you make you feel connected to nature.


You no longer care about the line to the front desk or how long it may take to check in. You're at ease because of your surroundings, you grab a cup of water and sit in an ergonomic chair to wait for the line to die down.


You're stress free and ready to take on the day. Maybe you'll even hit the fitness center, you heard they had red lights in there to help muscle soreness.


Time to check in!

 

Let's break that down...


Lighting


Did you know that lighting can improve your mental health? There have been numerous studies now that prove the effect lighting can have on our brains.


For example, natural light (sunlight) has been proven to enhance the brains production of serotonin.


Using customizable LED lighting can improve a persons brain function and mental health by changing the light to match the time of day and what your circadian rhythm calls for.


A new light therapy trend emerging is Chromotherapy. This is the practice of using different light colors to improve mood, motivation, health, and creativity while also helping to cure disease. For example according to Sweat Box Sauna Bar, red light is said to increase motivation, activate your metabolism, relieve sore muscles, aches, and pains as well as fight against illnesses like the cold & flu.


  • Natural light - A natural way to introduce circadian rhythm lighting. Add more windows or remove obstructions in front of them in common areas & fitness centers to improve the ambiance and reduce energy costs.


  • Customizable LED lighting & Circadian Rhythm - This allows staff and guests to change the lighting in the common areas or hotel rooms depending on their needs. For example, brighter light in the morning/day and dimmer/warmer light in the evening.


  • LED candles in common areas - Promote relaxation with LED candles that give off an amber hue for calmness.


  • Chromotherapy - The practice of using different colored lights to improve things like anxiety, health, stress, happiness, motivation, etc.


Using Colors in Lighting & Paint to Improve Mood


Paint or Light Colors to Improve Relaxation/Calmness:

Blue, Green, White, Teal, & Lavender

hotel wellness design green and blue light

designing for wellness travel lighting options white and lavender light

Paint or Light Colors to Improve Energy/Productivity/Motivation:

Red & Orange

designing for wellness travel lighting options red and orange light

Paint or Light Colors to Improve Happiness/Optimism:

Pink & Yellow

designing for wellness travel lighting options yellow and pink light

Paint or Light Colors to Improve Creativity/Meditation:

Indigo

designing for wellness travel lighting options indigo light

Ambiance & Flow


Improving the ambiance and flow of your hotel promotes wellness. When people are able to move through a space with ease, they are less likely to be stressed. When there are clear indicators for things like the elevators, the pool, fitness center, etc. guests will be able to move more freely throughout your hotel.


Removing obstacles and allowing as much room as possible for wheelchairs and walkers will help you promote wellness while also being more inclusive.


Improving the ambiance can also be done by adding aromatherapy in your hotel lobby or including customizable lighting options like the ones mentioned above.


Here are some things to think about when improving your ambiance and flow:

  • Create floor plans that allow people to move comfortably through the space

  • Remove any obstacles

  • Allow more than enough room for wheelchairs and walkers

  • Consider aromatherapy in your common areas, spas, etc.

  • Include Feng Shui in your hotels interior design plans

Biophilic Design


Biophilic design and wellness go hand and hand. When you incorporate biophilic design into your hotel you promote wellness.


Bringing outside elements inside improves both the physical and mental well-being of guests.


Using natural materials in hotel design such as stone and wood on the exterior and in the interior can help guests establish a link to nature and promote wellness.


Ways to implement biophilic design:

  • Green Walls

  • Flowing Water Fixtures

  • Plants in common areas

  • Landscaping

  • Natural materials

Physical Fitness


People are interested maybe more than ever on their physical fitness and health. Having a fitness center in your hotel could be the deciding factor in whether a guest chooses to stay with you or not.


While having a hotel gym is great, there are always ways of making you stand out even more among your competition.


Introducing better or even customizable lighting in your fitness centers can help promote wellness and give you a competitive advantage. Remember when we discussed Chromotherapy?


Red light is said to improve motivation as well as reduce muscle soreness, activate metabolism, and build collagen. Including an option for red light customization in your fitness center will give your hotel a step ahead of the competition.


Want to go even further with your hotel wellness journey? Some hotels took advantage of the increased interest in fitness and wellbeing by offering rooms that included workout equipment in them. These rooms allow guests to keep up with their fitness goals while in the privacy of their own room.


Be creative with wellness! Have a courtyard? Make it a designated area for sunrise or sunset yoga. Promote the area as a space for guests to get fit while enjoying the nice weather.


Ways to promote wellness with physical fitness:

  • Renovated Gyms with newer equipment

  • Better lighting in gyms

  • In-room fitness options

  • Outside areas for physical fitness - Have a courtyard? Make it a designated area for sunrise or sunset yoga.



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