An Integrated Wellness, Training and Relaxation Opportunity Missed in Hospitality Today
By Richard Fawell Design & Managing Principal, VOA Associates Incorporated | June 15, 2014
The wellness experience in hotel amenity spaces can and should be developed to create a single total integrated health experience consisting of fitness cross-training, relaxation, nutrition education, entertainment, and spa. This experience should not only exercise and relax the entire body and mind, but it should also be easy to organize, schedule and partake in. Instead of buried in a dim basement, the experience needs to take place in a space which connects nature with natural light and invokes an association between wellness and the organic world.
The guest should be able to customize the time and nature of the experience with trained but inconspicuous guidance (as much or as little as the patron desires) to support them through the total experience. Often however, these amenities, when they exist, are not well thought-out, are self-service and are poorly integrated into the guest experience.
The wellness experience represents a unique opportunity to connect with the patron. When it is manifest in an afterthought, even an aesthetically well-designed one, it is likely a missed opportunity. Done properly the synergistic wellness experience generates revenue and changes the way patrons think of hotels and resorts.
The Status Quo
As hotels and resorts continue to re-brand and re-think their guest and patron services in existing facilities as well as in their planning of new hotels and resorts, a great opportunity exists. Often, however, a passive approach misses the mark in terms of developing an engaging wellness amenity program. By applying some creative thinking, these programs can be an inviting and healthy alternative to the typical, humdrum fitness/pool/spa centers.
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