Yet the downturn has forced hotels and resorts – and their customers – to expand their notions of wellness and the activities that fall under that umbrella. Before the pandemic, wellness travel likely centered around traditional spa services, said Caroline Klein, communications director for Preferred Hotels & Resorts, a luxury hotel group. Now hotels can offer nature walks, meditation, yoga or a number of creative offerings.
In some ways, hotels are responding to the lifestyles that many people embraced during the height of the lockdowns, including cooking homemade meals and taking virtual fitness classes.
“Hotels really see people bringing these new minds, routines and preferences with them when they start traveling again,” Klein said. “What this creates is a definite shift in the expectations and experiences that hotels have to meet, as they are not responding to travelers as of 2019.”
Emily Rossin, spokesperson for a hotel group that includes the Ryder, a boutique hotel in Charleston, South Carolina, said after seeing the rise in popularity of Peloton bikes during the pandemic, the hotel decided make it an in-room option for guests.
“We noticed that people were still stuck in their usual routines since we were locked out,” Ms. Rossin said. “When they come to stay with us it’s in their same routine and they really don’t have to break that.”
Established wellness hotels are also benefiting from the boom. Alex Glasscock, co-founder of the Ranch Wellness Retreat in Malibu, Calif., Which offers daily hiking hours and a vegan menu, has seen an increase in bookings, he said, especially from teenagers. and young adults. It’s a big change from when he and his wife, Sue, started the business in 2010 and people were baffled by the concept of a “luxury boot camp”.