Over the past year, I’ve spotted a trend: High-end hotels offering healthy lifestyle amenities to lure health-conscious travelers. Some of this has been going on for years, of course. But I’m not talking just aromatherapy products in the bathroom or a well-equipped gym or spa down the hall. These are rooms specially outfitted to help guests stay healthy.
Some of these new health-oriented hotel rooms are redesigned from the floor up, with features such as air and water filters, ionizers, and hypoallergenic bedding. Others are on a specially designated hall or floor with round-the-clock spa and gym access.
Still others come with special programs designed to help business and other travelers follow a healthy lifestyle plan during their stay. Here are five hotels around the country that stand out for their serious commitment to helping their guests stick to their health resolutions away from home.
1. Stay Well Suites, MGM Grand Hotel, Las Vegas
From the moment you open the door to your Stay Well themed room at the MGM Grand, you can’t help but notice that something’s different. It’s the lighting, which has been specially designed to regulate the sleep-promoting hormone melatonin, which can help prevent jet lag and ease fatigue. (Need to wake up? There’s also the option of a pulsed blue “wake up” light therapy in the bath room and an alarm clock that rouses you with light rather than sound.)
Take a shower, and you’ll feel another difference; the water is infused with vitamin C, giving it a zingy, tingly feeling that wakes up your skin. Turn on the in-room entertainment system, and there’s wellness guru Deepak Chopra, MD, offering health tips and pointing you towards all the room’s special features, which also include a fitness and nutrition program developed by the Cleveland Clinic. Designed by wellness pioneer Delos Living, the Stay Well amenities also include water filters and HEPA-quality air purification – great for anyone, but a huge boon to allergy and asthma sufferers.
2. EVEN Hotels from InterContinental
This one’s not a program, it’s a whole new brand. Unveiled by InterContinental Hotel Group in August, the EVEN brand is still in the early stage, so there isn’t an actual property to check out yet. (Although reports are that the first property will open in New York City in 2014.) But listen to a presentation, as I did, or follow the “take a peek” link on their website and the innovations they’re planning sure look cool. A few of the most tempting details:
- Hypoallergenic linens
- Coat racks that double as pull-up bars (great for a sore back, as well as strong arms)
- Luggage racks that function as workout benches (complete with foot bars)
- An array of fitness equipment you can “check out” library style and take to your room
- Free signature waters on tap whenever you’re thirsty
- Natural cleaning products used in the rooms
- Extra floor room for working out
Plans are to launch or rebrand 100 EVEN hotels within the next five years in cities known for their health-conscious culture such as San Francisco, New York, and Washington, D.C.
3. Trump Wellness
One of the most comprehensive roll-outs of an across-brand wellness program comes from Trump, which offers three different wellness programs that target nutrition and fitness while on the road. The Trump Wellness programs, unveiled in June, are clearly designed for the time-strapped business and luxury traveler who doesn’t want to let his fitness routine slip while away from home. The three components of the program are:
- Nourish: A menu revamp of Trump’s dining room cuisine highlighting vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free dishes and listing nutrition data for each dish. Items on the Nourish menu also prioritize locally sourced and certified-organic ingredients.
- Healthy Bites: A menu of nutritious low-calorie room service options that can be at your door in 15 minutes or less. As part of the Nourish program, in-room minibars will also be stocked with a healthier array of snack choices.
- Travel Fit: My favorite of the programs, this one is uber-practical. First off, free workout gear – including shoes and clothes from Under Armour – is available for those all-too-frequent times when you forget your own. (Or can’t fit them in carry-on luggage.) The program also provides yoga mats, weights, and stretch bands for your room, to be used along with instruction cards for simple Technogym training routines. And each participating hotel has helped design a nearby running path – for which a map is provided.
Note: Trump is not the only brand to offer free workout gear to executive travelers. In fact, this appears to be a hot new trend. Westin recently partnered with New Balance in the Gear Lending program which provides New Balance shoes and workout clothes to their guests, while Fairmont has the Fairmont Fit program, a similar deal with Adidas exclusive to its President’s Club members.